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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Remembering Why I Am So Busy

Posted by on April 22, 2014 in choices, creativity, goals | 0 comments

6:30am – get up, feed all of the animals, start working on three articles that must be submitted to meet deadlines. 8:30 – wake husband, see him out the door 11:15 – admit that only one of the three articles will be ready to turn in, email editors to ask for one more day 11:45 – arrive at part time job in time to shove some food in before my shift 12-8:10 – work, work, work 8:30 – return home to cook dinner and try to wrap up at least one article For some people, that would be an average Monday. For me, that’s a long day.   Lately, I’ve...

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Matthew Hubbard Shares His Thoughts on Writing

Posted by on December 16, 2013 in independent writing | 0 comments

Today, I am pleased to welcome Matthew Dale Hubbard to the Smiling Tree independent writing series. Matthew is a Chattanooga local. His story about how he reached the decision to self-publish includes the usual agents, rejections from traditional houses, but much more: a life and death struggle combined with an unquenchable desire to help others.  When I was a child, I did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, adoctor, an astronaut. Writing, for me, wasn’t a dream. I didn’t approach it as though it was...

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Indie Publishing After a Traditional Career

Posted by on November 25, 2013 in independent writing | 0 comments

NaNoWriMo brought things at Smiling Tree to a screeching halt! However, November is almost over and we should return to the regular, two posts per week schedule soon. Today I’d like to welcome Jennifer Lawler. Jennifer is an accomplished writer and has published both fiction and nonfiction, used various pen names, written under her own name, gone the traditional route, and self-published. In this post, she shares her reasons for choosing to self-publish after a successful, traditional career. I have to say that traditional book...

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On Being a Beta Reader

Posted by on October 23, 2013 in books, reading, writing | 0 comments

Recently, a Twitter connection was complaining about how none of the people he asked to be beta readers had time to read his new novel. Since I love to read, and especially love to read free stuff, I offered. He enthusiastically accepted. And, I realized something: I love the idea that my comments might help make a book better. That may seem like bragging, but isn’t that what beta readers do? Offer feedback that will help the author publish their best possible work? As it turned out, the writer seemed to sincerely appreciate my comments. It...

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Bad News for Everyone: A Guest Post by Charles Barouch

Posted by on October 16, 2013 in books, independent writing | 0 comments

When my daughter, Lore, and I did our writing workshop at Otakon, we divided writers into four broad categories: Private, Protected, Public, Published. The categories are actually stolen from the Delphi programming template but they fit so well. Here are the quick definitions: Private writing is the sort you do in a journal or diary. It is not meant for anyone but yourself. Protected writing is written for your own circle. These are the people who hear you say “Aunt Jean” and they know that you are referring to that Charles Barouch incident...

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An Embarrassing Lesson About Leaving Negative Reviews

Posted by on October 14, 2013 in bad days, books, inspiration, writing | 0 comments

When I had the pleasure of interviewing Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt, we talked about how it’s possible for authors and readers to develop Sometimes a direct connection can be painful. (image from Creative Commons on relationships and the immediacy of contact. Before the internet, most people “reviewed” books with friends or in book clubs. Your thoughts about a particular story probably never reached the person who wrote that story. Now, of course,there is a direct connection between writers and readers. And, despite the fact...

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Editor & Author Rob Bignell Answers Common Questions

Posted by on October 10, 2013 in independent writing | 0 comments

One of the (many) pieces of advice offered to authors who plan to self publish is “find a good editor.” Many writers don’t know anything about working with an editor. How do you find an editor? How do you know if an editor is a good fit for you? What is a reasonable cost? Mostly, writers just have no idea what to expect when working with an editor. To explore some of these questions, I contacted Rob Bignell of Inventing Reality Editing Service. Rob has written a total of 13 books, including a novel and three writing Rob Bignell, Author &...

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The Independent Writing Series Continues With Chip Borkenhagen, Cover Designer

Posted by on October 3, 2013 in independent writing | 0 comments

Unless you are that creature as rare as a unicorn – a writer with design skills – figuring out what to do about a book cover is a challenging step in the self publishing process. Despite the old cliche “don’t judge a book by its cover” that is exactly how most people browsing online decide to click or not to click.  Today, I am happy to share an interview with Chip Borkenhagen of RiverPlace Communication Arts, a design company that specializes in cover design. They offer a variety of packages from Basic to Creative, and each cover is designed...

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