10 Must Haves to be a Successful Freelance Writer

Absolutely! Successful freelance writers have a lively, energetic imagination.  It’s the heartbeat of the very work that creative writers design.  However, that isn’t the only element that freelance writers need to be successful. In fact, imagination alone could find writers struggling to build ways to transfer the many ideas filling their head onto paper (or onto a computer screen).

Without these other 10 “must haves,” freelance writers could also spends weeks or months (dare I say . . . years) trying to land quality clients (who doesn’t want their savings to grow?), sharpen their craft or grow their readership. Absent a few of these “must haves,” freelance writers could also start feeling frustrated and (oh, no!) quit.

So, without further ado, here’s the 10 “must haves”. How many of them do you already possess?

Determination – Freelance writing isn’t always easy, especially at the start of a career. By being determined, you can hang in there when client work has dropped off, novel sales are sluggish or you find yourself racing to catch up to lightning fast technology advances.

Open Mind – No one knows everything about anything.  An open mind makes it easier for you to receive new ideas, continue to learn and accept reader feedback without losing focus of your writing goals.

Solid Skills – Okay. You don’t have to be an English professor to enjoy phenomenal success as a freelance writer. But, you do need to have a good handle on grammar basics. If you feel you have room for improvement in this area, consider enrolling in an online or offline course so you can get up to speed.

Marketing Drive
– Whether you work as a copywriter, technical writer, medical writer, etc. or as a book writer (fiction or non-fiction), you’re going to need to market your work to pull in more clients or readers. Participating in marketing discussion forums is one way you could start learning about tricks you could use to attract a larger audience for your work.

Financial Acumen – There really isn’t much sense in working hard to make money if you’re only going to waste every cent you earn. A budget (as well as sticking to a budget) could keep you on track, helping you to grow savings.

Courage – Should this one be Number 1?  Okay. These “must haves” aren’t in any particular order. But, that said, courage is HUGE. Without courage, you might avoid contacting interview subjects (i.e. CEOs, celebrities) so you can land freelance writing gigs. You might also steer away from reaching out to book club presidents, readers, etc. to gain reviews for your latest novel. In fact, courage probably impacts everything you’ll do as a freelance writer.

Humor – Despite your best efforts, there’s no guarantee that you’ll always get the winning results you seek. It’s also highly unlikely that you’ll never make a mistake. Learning to laugh and take all that comes with freelance writing in stride could save you lots of frustration, disappointment and anger. Try it!

Appreciation – Although we writers often work alone,  our lives don’t unfold in a vacuum (and, who would want that?). Appreciation for other people can help you remember what’s primary as a writer (regardless of the type of writing you do) — readers . . . aka “other people”.  By focusing on writing to improve other people’s lives, you could really start to win as a freelancer. This cannot be overstated.

Great Editors – Sure. You can edit your own writings. In fact, it’s a great idea to do so. However, if you want to truly improve as a writer, moving closer and closer toward ongoing  success, there’s a huge chance that you’re going to have to work with editors — great editors. The better the editors you work with, the better your writing will likely be.

Vision – That’s right. Imagination alone may not be enough. You need to “see” what you want, including how you want a story to unfold, what you want to achieve as a freelance writer each day, week, month and year. It’s this inner vision that can help you to know which choices to make (i.e. what to say “yes” or “no” to).

Resilience is another ingredient that can propel you to the top as a freelance writer. After all, down times might come, but if you are determined and resilient, you can stay the course, holding on for more and more writing success.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com ($3.03 – lowest price I’ve found so far) and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Perhaps Not All High School Graduates Need to go to College

By Denise Turney

Getting college and university degrees might be en vogue. However, getting college and university degrees doesn’t always lead to rewarding, high paying jobs. Economies don’t have to be hard for students to discover that the college degrees they spent thousands of dollars to attain aren’t worth what they thought they were. It can also be sobering for college students to learn that employers value work experience as much, if not more, as they value college degrees.

The Price of Earning College Degrees

As reported in the June 12, 2012 “Do Too Many Young People Go To College” Wall Street Journal article, it takes 40 percent of college students about six years to earn a degree. Family and work responsibilities could, of course, be a reason it’s taking college students longer to graduate. What’s more alarming is the fact that college tuition costs have tripled over the past 50 years. Add to this the fact that many college graduates will strive to enter the workforce, competing for jobs alongside adults who have years of work experience.

After awhile it could make good sense to ponder whether or not it’s in some high school graduates’ best interest to step into a rewarding career as soon as they get a high school diploma. In some ways (and aside from the large contracts professional athletes can receive), it’s similar to decisions talented college athletes make when they decide to leave college in order to take a paying job with a professional sports team.

Managing Costs of Earning College Degrees

Talented college athletes and talented high school graduates may find themselves asking the same question. Both may wonder whether it’s in their best interest to get expensive college degrees or start earning a salary right out of high school. For high school graduates who choose to enter the workforce right after they get their diplomas, it might be worth it to secure work with employers who offer tuition assistance programs. This way, high school graduates can continue their education at the same time they expand their work experience, not to mention the fact that students will be receiving a paycheck.

High school graduates who secure employment with employers who operate college tuition assistance programs can also avoid racking up pricey student loans. To say this choice could help high school graduates avoid going into debt within a year or less of their graduation is an understatement. After all the costs of a earning a college education has outpaced inflation.

Regardless of when they enroll in college or university, students are encouraged to research occupations using tools like the United States Department of Labor’s occupational handbooks. Using these tools, students, can discover which careers are expected to grow or decline over the coming years. They can also find out the types of degrees employers typically require job applicants to have before they hire them into certain occupations.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.



Men Love Romance as Much as Women

By Denise Turney
Men might not want it to get out, but they appreciate romance as much as women do. However, men express romantic feelings differently than women do. It’s easy to see why. Men, whether they are raised by a woman or a man, are generally raised to hide certain emotions. For example, emotions that lend the perception that a man is emotionally or psychologically weak, are taboo for boys to express in many households.

Some of these emotions are sadness, fear and vulnerability. It might not seem like it, but when you see a man who finds it hard to express his romantic feelings towards you, you’re actually looking at a man who has been taught to hide those feelings. Make him feel safe (or give him enough time to start to feel safe with you on his own, as he shares more experiences with you) and don’t be surprised if he begins to let you see how he feels about you more fully.

Truth is, we all desire to both give and receive love. It’s part of the circle of life, what keeps us connected, whole. Where we differ is in our genetics and our childhood programming. Even more, it’s during the first five years of our physical experiences that our brains are developed. Now, imagine that a boy was scolded or belittled each time he expressed “soft” emotions from the time he was two years.

If you meet that man when he’s in his twenties, you might feel like you’re pulling your own teeth when you try to get him to express romantic emotion. There’s nothing wrong with the man; it’s the coding or programming he received as a child. What you have to ask yourself is if you enjoy being with the man enough to wait until he sees that he no longer needs the old programming (programming he might have been given by well intentioned parents, friends and extended relatives).

It’s also important to remember that there’s no guarantee that a man (or woman) will feel safe enough to express his romantic emotions for you fully. In this case, you might decide to stop at friendship with this person. Whatever you decide, this much is sure. There’s a loving person, someone who wants to feel wanted, beneath the surface, at the core. Gender can’t stop that from being the case.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Advantages of Working with Book Editors

By Denise Turney

The marriage between book writers and book editors might be one of the most divergent  relationships around. If you’ve ever worked as a writer or editor, you probably know what I mean. As a book writer, you might think that your work is excellent, certainly not worthy of an editor’s criticisms. Yet, that’s where you are likely to always be wrong.

Zoning in on Talented Book Editors’ Trained Eyes

In fact, there might not be a perfect book, especially to a talented book editor’s trained eye. When they’re working on a book, editors look for grammatical errors, voice inconsistencies, awkward tone and style, to start. Book editors also examine characterization, dialogue, setting and plot while editing a book. Because they are trained to look for and zone in on elements authors might ignore, book editors notice weaknesses in stories that authors don’t. This could be a reason why authors argue passionately when they receive an editor’s feedback.

It’s also a reason why some book editors handle writers with kid gloves. After all, who wants to fight with the people who are paying her? No. . . Who wants to argue with anyone every time he does his job, even if it’s a job that can deal a striking blow to a book writer’s fragile ego?

More Advantages to Working With Book Editors

The funny thing is, it’s nearly impossible to avoid receiving feedback on a book if you’re an author. Think about it. If talented book editors, people who have the best interest of your book at heart, don’t offer you feedback, book reviews and readers almost certainly will. Unfortunately, when book reviewers and readers notice weaknesses in your novels, they may not be nearly as kind or as gentle as book editors. Unlike book editors, reviewers and readers also might tell others about the weaknesses in your stories, costing you book sells.

Other advantages inherit in working with book editors include:

  • Smoother scene transitions
  • Fewer to no typos or misspelled words
  • More believable book characters
  • Strong, realistic dialogue
  • Improved timing and pacing
  • A workable number of characters instead of too many or too few book characters

Book editors offer critical reader feedback to authors. Their work can help turn an average story into an above average story. Furthermore, as book writers continue to work with the same book editors, the pairs can form rewarding relationships. They could also become familiar with each other’s style, and come to fully respect what each brings to the creative table. It’s a marriage that’s worth fighting for.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

A Miracle Can Happen Anytime

By Denise Turney

Miracles are all around us. The challenge is — seeing miracles. After all, we only see what we want to see. Scientists are discovering this more and more. Our perceptions, prejudices, intentions and expectations influence what we see, keep us from seeing what we don’t want to see. For example, if someone who stole from us started a community organization years later, it’s not likely that we would trust the person (even if she’d changed). Instead, we’d probably believe she was going to “get caught doing wrong” sooner or later, desperately wanting to have our questionable thoughts proven to be “right”.

Which raises another point — rather than to face the truth, seeing miracles all about us, we prefer to be “right” (even if we’re wrong).  So, are we waiting for miracles to happen in our lives or are waiting for our eyes to open so we can see more of the miracles that are all about us? Or are we waiting for our minds, our repetitive thoughts (also called beliefs) to change, so mental barriers dissolve and we finally see the miracles?

And how will this seeing change our lives? Will seeing (really seeing) cause us to stop being afraid of love? Will it cause us to stop thinking there’s something noble or kind in living small, especially as we step into the truth that we are limitless beings?

If miracles are all around us, then it would be our thinking that would need to change. Even when we accept this, we may be reluctant to take up the task of actually changing. If we do stir up our courage and take steps (i.e. meditating, uttering positive affirmations, creating vision boards, asking for what we want) to change, we might be surprised to discover that it may take longer than we expected for our minds to transform, letting go of old, unproductive beliefs.

However, quitting shouldn’t be an option. As we stay open, accept change, remain curious and willing to take on smart risks, our minds will transform. We’ll become increasingly courageous, and start to feel differently. It might take years of work, especially if we received unproductive programming when we were children, similar to what Raymond Clarke experiences in Love Pour Over Me, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it to start to really SEE. After all, there are so many miracles waiting for us to finally SEE them, so we can start living the lives we were meant to live, savor and enJOY!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.