Posts Tagged ‘writing mothers’

Making Time

In Writer Challenges, Writing & Motherhood on September 3, 2009 at 2:41 am

As a mother I have a lot of things contending for my time, and as a writer, it seems like my work is never done.  So I have learned a few ways to squeeze a few minutes in here & there (besides writing during naps) to get some of my writing done.

At night after the little one has fallen asleep getting out of the bedroom and to my computer can seem like walking through a mine field.  So I keep a notepad and pen in the nightstand beside the bed, and once he’s in a deep sleep I can just roll over and jot some lines down in my notepad.  Getting them typed, polished, and sent where they need to be is the hard part.  I can also manage a few minutes at my computer during the day by using a big safety gate like the one shown here to gate off the “hot spots” (electrical outlets, computers, bookcase, etc) and let him run amok.  If you have an especially independent baby and an intriguing collection of toys you may be able to sit him down with the toy box and get a few minutes in (this hasn’t worked for me, my son becomes easily bored with the toy box and is entertained for longer stretches when allowed to roam the living room freely).  Sometimes if I take him for a stroll in the park he will sit quietly in his stroller while I write.  That usually lasts ever so briefly.

I get the bulk of my work done by sneaking out of bed at night to get a few lines typed before I hear him waking up and by letting him roam around during the day.  But no matter what “tricks” I have learned, I think it’s just a fact of life that i will have to accept – I will not be able to complete anything in the same time I was able to in my pre-baby days.  It has taken me far longer than expected just to rework an article I’d already written to re-submit.  I did finally finish it though today!  Hopefully I will have a link for you guys to visit within the next couple weeks.

If you have any other interesting tips for how you write with a baby let me know!!  I’m always looking for more ways to get the most out of my time & I’ll share them here.


BIG Freelancing No-No

In Learn from my mistakes. on August 23, 2009 at 3:42 am

If you’re reading this then you qualify to be one of my valued readers – and as such I wish with all my heart that you will learn from my mistakes and not be doomed to repeat them.

So I’ll let you in on a little secret….as a freelancer your job is to complete your assignment in the allotted time (or before if you really want to impress some people) and adhere to the client’s specifications.  This is true even before you’ve landed the job when you promise your prospective client some samples.

A few weeks ago I called a woman that I’d met and asked if she needed any assistance writing a newsletter for her organization.  She asked is she could see some of my work and told her I’d have some samples to her within a couple days.  Here’s the rub – I don’t have the samples.  So I have to write brand new samples and get them to her in a couple days.  With a 12 month old in the house under my care 24 hours a day that was impossible, as I would soon learn, since I still have not gotten those samples to her.

I am still working on the samples and I will send them to her along with my sincere and heartfelt apology for taking so long.  I will try to make her understand that this is not how she should expect me to handle business in the future, and that I am usually very punctual with my assignments and deliver quality material on or before the time discussed.  But needless to say I probably will not be getting her business, no matter how flawless my samples are or how sweet my apology is.

The lesson to be learned here?  Don’t take on a project you can’t handle.  And always under promise what you can deliver.  Even if you’re absolutely positive you can have that piece done in a week, promise to have it done in two (or three)- just in case.  Either something will come up and you’ll be right on time, or you’ll finish early and your client will be pleasantly surprised.

In the future I will be taking my own advice.

Taking the Plunge

In Getting started on August 22, 2009 at 2:26 am

  Do you want to write for a living?  Do you want your words in print?  Are you trying to get your story published?  Do you want to make  a more than decent living doing all of the above and then some?  Join the club.  So do I, and so do hundred or thousands, maybe even millions of others.  So how do you compete?  That is the million dollar question.  If you have the answer please let me know.

  What I hope to accomplish in this blog, by sharing my successes and failures in the freelancing industry, is helping others advance their writing careers by avoiding some of my mistakes and taking some of my advice.  

  I’ve known since high school that I wanted a career writing.  But it wasn’t until about a month ago that I really started to do something about it.  I had read all the books on freelancing, but I hadn’t sent out a single query or gotten one byline since high school.  I had my work cut out for me.

  What was my first step?  I decided I needed a writing community to help me stay motivated.  I couldn’t find a community for writing mothers.  I started my own (Mommy Writers).  I figured I would be able to benefit from the experience of other writers and take advantage of the networking opportunities while supporting each other.

  What will be your first step?  Have you long toyed with the idea of a writing career but done nothing to make it happen?  Maybe your first step should be meeting other writers, pick their brains.  You’d be amazed what opportunities you might stumble upon, and how encouraging it can be just to talk to someone who’s been where you are and succeeded.   


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