It’s Most Difficult at the Beginning

Posted by on March 12, 2015 in business, choices, goals, habits, inspiration, marketing | 0 comments

I am back to square one, maybe even square negative five, regarding my fitness level. Similarly, but much less drastically, I’m at a low point in client numbers. Fitness and business have always swung along the same pendulum in my life, likely because they both depend solely on my own motivation and willingness to do the work. At this particular moment in time, I’m working on the basics for good health and for a prosperous business. You know, paying attention to what and how much I eat, making a point of doing some form of exercise everyday,...

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Walking the Freelancer Tightrope

Posted by on February 27, 2015 in business, choices, habits | 0 comments

The fourth quarter of 2014 was my most lucrative quarter as a business owner to date. It was the kind of quarter that makes you reevaluate and scale up your goals, and spurs you to begin dropping your lower-tier clients. It felt good. (You know what happened next, don’t you? It’s so sadly predictable!) The first two months of 2015 have been less than stellar. They haven’t been my worst months ever — not by a long shot — but my earnings did drop to about 30% of what they were in the two previous months. There are many reasons for the drastic...

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Refusing the Fear

Posted by on January 7, 2015 in choices, goals, habits | 0 comments

One of my big things for 2015 is publishing fiction. It was one of my big things for 2014, too, but it didn’t happen. Lots of other good things happened, but I didn’t publish any fiction. This year, I’m taking a few proactive steps to push myself along: I’ve taken a spot on the calendar of a very in-demand professional editor. In December, she announced that her first available opening for 2015 was August, and I grabbed the slot. So, I now have a deadline. Writing fiction is scheduled, just like my client work. Each day begins with...

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Review & Reflect, Set & Implement

Posted by on December 23, 2014 in business, goals | 0 comments

For about the last three or four weeks, and maybe even a little longer, I’ve been thinking about what I want. From little things like some new socks (why do I wait until every pair has holes before I buy new ones?) to bigger-picture things like You have to start somewhere. what I’d like my life to look like in a year, or five, or even ten. Thinking about what I want inevitably leads to thinking about how I spend my time because, as we all know, minutes make hours and hours make days and days make years. What you do with your minutes matters....

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What To Do When You Mess Up

Posted by on August 28, 2014 in bad days, business, writing | 0 comments

Throughout the majority of my writing career, I’ve worked with long-term clients. Usually, my clients are business owners who need regular content for their blogs or their newsletters. We get to know each other fairly well. Lately, I’ve been diversifying a bit and adding in a few publications. A few weeks ago, I pitched an article to an editor I’d never worked with. She liked my idea and gave me a rather short deadline. It was exciting because it was a topic that I love, and the pay was higher than Perfection is over-rated. I’d expected it to...

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Doing the Right Thing at the Wrong Time

Posted by on July 11, 2014 in habits, writing | 0 comments

There are so many ways to procrastinate that look like work, it’s a wonder anything ever gets done. For instance, I have a friend who loves to market her writing, to talk to editors, interview, and put together outlines. But she detests turning those outlines into articles. She will send out an extra five letters of introduction, reconcile her finances for last year, make I also take photos of flowers when I’m avoiding writing fiction. budget predictions for next year, and scrub the toilet in order to avoid the actual writing part of her...

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“I’ll Take a Look at It on Spec”

Posted by on June 20, 2014 in business, choices, marketing, writing | 0 comments

The majority of my writing clients are regular clients, and most of them are people I’ve met. I work with several local business owners, and a few folks I met or found online. In any case, my invoices go to pretty much the same group of people month after month. Sometimes there will be additions, and sometimes clients will drop off. Now and then, I like to look for new work — either because I’m ready to boost my income, or I want to learn about a new industry, or I have a good story idea. Recently, I decided to look for publications within a...

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Do You Wear a Mask?

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in social media | 0 comments

When it comes to interacting online, there are as many opinions as there are people. You see words like “authenticity” and “transparency” tossed around, and there are discussions of privacy that deserve our attention. The fact is, we all wear masks all the time. You behave differently at home with your family than you do at work. When I was working as an office assistant, I wore makeup to work everyday and realized it was because I felt the need to hide a little in that particular environment. I’ve never had a job where I was 100% openly...

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Diversify & Other Lessons from the Freelance Writing World

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in business, writing | 0 comments

There are some pieces of advice that turn up ubiquitously in articles and blog posts directed at freelance writers: One wide, deep income stream might be attractive, but can be dangerous! Learn to say no. Always have a contract. Never stop marketing. Diversify your income. Smiling Tree Writing has existed as a business for about six years now (I think. It might actually be 7. I’m losing track!). I’ve had the opportunity to learn why certain bits of advice show up over and over again. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about having a diverse...

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Developing Discipline

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in goals | 0 comments

The most frequently visited post on this site is about pursuing multiple goals at the same time. Today, I’m going to share a little more about how I personally pursue multiple goals, and the kind of planning I do. Most everyone knows that having vague goals is about as useful as having no goals. For instance, if you are a writer and your goal is to finish a novel someday, chances are mighty low that you will actually finish a novel. Most of us need some kind of deadline attached to those goals. I couldn’t find an appropriate photo, so here is...

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