Tips to Kickstart Writing

Back to school. Back to work.

Sun is setting on another glorious summer

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t take the summer off. I might not have the same writing output during the summer months, but I’m still around. Anytime I slip away, I schedule posts to publish while I am gone, but places that require real-time presence slip a bit.

My established clients are okay with that, but ultimately will only stay my clients if I come home at some point. Their social media pages need to stay active.  If their pages aren’t active, then their presence diminishes. Which means a potential downturn in sales. Less money on hand means cutting costs, first up of which would be me. So yes, I still maintain their presence, even if the effort isn’t quite as thorough.

Now the kids are back in school though, leaving me with more time on my hands. Sure, that means that extracurriculars will be starting up, but that doesn’t fill the daytime hours. And it certainly doesn’t refill coffers spent on lazy days, road trips, and adventure. It’s time I looked at adding more writing to my days. How can I do that? More importantly, how can I do that and get paid?

Tips to Kickstart Writing

Time to get back into the swing of things and focus on writing again!
  • submit queries to journals, magazines, and newspapers
  • write poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction pieces to submit to contests
  • join a networking group to meet new people/potential clients
  • finish editing my book (or yours!) to get it ready for publication
  • take another writing class to finish my Creative Writing certificate program (check with your local library, community college, or city to see what writing courses might be out there for you)
  • contact old potential clients to see how their social media platforms are holding up
  • ask other writers if they have any connections they may be willing to share
  • advertise services;
    • via blog, Facebook page, on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc
    • create a website outlining services
    • once other social media links are updated and in place, share links to them on other platforms

Note that YOU can do any of these things as well. This is about motivating me today, but I hope to motivate any other writers out there who might need the kick in the pants that I do. Of course if you are looking for someone to write blog posts, magazine articles, schedule Facebook updates, tweet or any number of other tasks, contact me today! I’m sure we can figure something out. Until then…

Happy writing!

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Life on the Go

There has been so much going on in my world the last little while. Between clients updating websites and field trips for me to attend various work-related events, I feel like I haven’t had a moment’s rest the last month. But I love it! It helps to keep my time management skills sharp, not to mention me out of trouble.

Go, go, go! I’ve been to Toronto to see the Green Living Show. A few plays in London were necessary to see for clients I work with. My tree services friends never stop, so I’ve been to a few work sites this spring where trees were removed, trimmed, transplanted, and freshly planted. And I’ve slotted in coffee to discuss changes to client’s web presences too. All with camera round my neck and a trusty notebook at my side. It even has me reflecting on my own web presence as well. Time to tinker.

Definitely spring renewal. Keep it coming world! I can handle it.

A snapshot of my world on the run…

Sick Day

My schedule has switched up a bit recently and I am still working out the timing of things. New clients have come my way, at least for a short-term basis, but other clients I’ve worked with for a while are scaling back a bit. It means rethinking what I need to do when, which is fine, but on the first day of a cold, all I want to do is crawl back into bed.

My inspiration is less than at its peak, but my boss doesn’t pay sick pay. Darn self-employment. I also don’t get vacation pay, so dreaming of summer vacations instead of working doesn’t help either. Sigh

Perhaps I will just take a moment to reflect back on the long weekend instead (I probably gave them my germs, but we can suffer together). This Family Day weekend there were hugs, laughs, and many moments with family. My sister was down with her kids for a visit, and good food, cheese, and drinks were on the menu. We challenged an Escape Room and won with 2 minutes to spare (shocked us with our smarts). Plus, we got in some much-needed nature time, as who could resist the balmy temperatures. All moments to buoy up dull mid-winter souls.

Now if only I could hear the rustle of leaves and squeals of laughter as we slid down mud-slicked hills again instead of my growling laptop. That would be nice. I suspect I have to add a computer to my shopping wish list, along with an air conditioner this year. 

Suddenly, summer vacations just became that much more remote a dream. Time to get back to work. Anyone in need of a Freelance Writer? winter walk

Set Sail

Ontario Place harbour
Set sail for summer adventure

I claim to be a freelance writer, and I am, yet far too many days I find myself scouring other people’s words to share with others. It is called content curation. And as I understand the power of social media and how to wield it, people turn to me for help in that avenue.

Content curation is about sharing, but not necessarily always your own content; you can share any interesting articles, pictures, videos, graphs, or anything that relates to your brand. As it takes skill, creativity, and time to create new content, sometimes it is easier to share what other people or companies have already put out there. Finding it can take valuable resources though—again, that precious commodity time—which many small businesses have in short demand.

time
How many hours do you have in a day?

While I don’t have any more hours in the day than anyone else does, what I do have is the know-how of how social media works. I take the time to find content which fits with a company’s image and consider when best to share it. I spend enough hours on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, not to mention Pinterest and LinkedIn, to know what kinds of content is popular and what isn’t.

At least I do my best. People have been known to surprise me though.

Useful info from Clovermead
Useful info from Clovermead

I have to admit though that some days, I feel like a liar when I say I am a writer. Today I wrote up invoices. Not exactly fine literature, but it pays my bills (once my clients pay theirs). I spent most of the day either scouring for articles to share with clients or editing old blog posts to ensure links aren’t broken and images still exist. I took a break to collect a library book my daughter left at a friend’s house and stopped at the grocery store to pick up buns for dinner. No short stories were written or started. I didn’t dash off any witty poetry or even a haiku to stun the Twitterverse.

Sigh…

Set for Stratford Festival's "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe"
Set for Stratford Festival’s “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”

Not very writerly. BUT, it is summertime! School is out and the children are home daily. Some days I spend in front of the computer all day, but many more are spent with friends and family doing whatever fun things come along. We have camped, swam, gone to the theatre, drive-in, and beach. Festivals have filled plenty of days and campfires have lit many nights. So what if reams of writing hasn’t chained me to my desk? Sometimes there is more in the living, than there is in the imagination.

Perhaps tomorrow we will set sail on a new adventure to spur creativity later. I think that sounds like the perfect plan.

Sick Days

There’s a reason I work from home. It’s not because I don’t like talking to people (because I have been known to talk to grocery store clerks, random people at the gym, and, yes, my cats). It’s not because I prefer working in my PJs (because I DO get dressed every day. I swear!). It’s not even because the pay is better, as the taxman scratches his head when he looks at my income taxes every year and wonders how I do it.

No. The reason why I work from home is so that on days when my children are under the weather, I can be home to take care of them. Hair appointments can wait. Running around can happen another day. Writing still happens when my babies are resting. And I have the comfort of knowing that I am exactly where I need to be for the people who need me most.

Kid #1 down with a case of ick