Price: $5.99 Available in Epub, Kindle, and PDF Formats Please note- sales tax is added at the time of purchase It was the winter of 1789 and all Jack wanted was some peace…Jack hoped that the war wouldn’t follow him into the mountains of western North Carolina, just south of what would later become…
Seriously though, according to my parents, it was a snowy morning in December that welcomed me into the world. For as long as I can remember I have been creating stories- either through writing, role-playing games, improvisational antics, and telling stories around the campfire. However, my love of using my imagination and the written word…
“There is a house, in New Orleans… They call the…”
Except for the fact that this particular house was found in good old Toledo Ohio. On North Ontario Street to be exact. It was a fairly plain house when I lived there with my then boyfriend. We rented it from an older man and fixed it up as our relationship slowly imploded.
We lived there in 1998 and 1999 or thereabouts. The house certainly had a good bit of character, as did the landlord, who insisted that we were to have free rein over everything, except for the third-floor attic, which we were not allowed to enter under any circumstances, upon pain of… well, you get the picture.
That’s what I thought until I started talking with the prostitutes.
Hello all Just wanted to touch base with you all and let you know that the Emerald Musings series on inspiration is far from over — here’s what we have in store for you in October and beyond! This coming Friday, yours truly is picking up the mantle as I share the inspiration behind one…
Hello All, and Happy Friday! First, let me apologize– I haven’t been keeping up with my blogs, Emerald Musings and Walking the Path as well as I should. While I have a few very exciting reasons for it, there really is no excuse, and you have my heartfelt apologies for dropping the ball. As an…
Overall Summary: While enjoying a family picnic, the lemon-drop eating medical examiner extraordinaire for the city of New Orleans Andy Broussard witnesses his Uncle Joe being shot by a sniper, who then shoots himself and falls into the bayou. Since the cause of the death in both cases is seemingly clear, it’s up to Andy…
So you’ve gotten started in the freelance world. Great! You’ve started to apply for jobs. Wonderful! You’ve decided on how much you will charge for your services. Wait. You haven’t? Well, it’s time to fix that.
Many new freelancers operate under the assumption that what they get paid is dependent on what the customer is willing to pay, and whether or not the customer can find it somewhere else cheaper. And while budget considerations should certainly be a factor to consider, there are other ones to consider as well — such as your time, your energy, and this little thing called being able to make a living as a freelancer.
- Low Prices Make Me Competitive — Umm, perhaps, but not in the way that you want to be. Content mills, sites like Fiver, or other websites that sell your work for cheap do you absolutely no favors. Why? Simple — when you deliver high-quality work for pennies on the dollar, your client will expect it, and you’ll have to take on more and more work just to make ends meet. That leads to burn out. Not good. Plus, there are literally THOUSANDS of people out there perfectly willing to churn out work for little or no pay. I’m not entirely sure why, but there are. Do you really, really want to compete in that type of market?
- Only Veteran Freelancers Can Go for the “Big” Clients — Absolutely not. Simply put, if you have the skills to get the job done, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t go after the big fish. Just make sure you can deliver on what you promise!
- If I charge too much, I’ll price myself out of the market! Well, that depends on which market you’re aiming for. Sure, if you want to try competing with the low-paying content mills, or other such websites or companies, chances are if you charge a reasonable rate, you will. However, if you want to compete on a different level, dare I say on the professional level, having a reasonable rate is not only expected, it is encouraged.
When you first start looking for freelance work, it can be difficult to know exactly where to look. There are quite a few options out there, and finding ones that fit your needs can be a hassle. As I said in last week’s post, which you can find here, I do have a few favorites that have proven, at least for me to be quite fruitful. One of them falls under the category of what I call “raw classifieds” — or those sources that simply list the job, with no filtration, and no fuss.
So how do I use Craig’s List to find freelance work? It’s actually pretty simple, especially if you keep in mind the points I made in the earlier blog post: preparation is key, be picky about your sources, and be picky about your jobs.
So here goes — this is how I typically find the jobs I want to apply for on Craig’s List. By the way, this process also works well for aggregator sites like problogger.com or freelancewriting.com as well.
Step 1: Decisions, Decisions.
Before you even open up your browser, think about what type of jobs you’re going to apply for. Set some criteria for what is acceptable. Here are a few things to consider:
- How many hours a week are you willing to devote to one project?
- What is the minimum hourly or per word/flat fee you’re willing to accept
- Is there any type of work that you consider taboo? Something you simply will not do?
- What is the max number of projects that you can work on right now?
Once you have this information determined, open up your browser and go to Craig’s List. Since Craig’s List is regional, your “home” Craig’s List may be a different location, but the basic layout is the same:
There are two areas you want to focus on — the “Gigs” category in the lower right-hand corner, and the location menu on the right-hand side:
So you’ve decided to take the plunge, huh?
Well then, welcome to freelancing! It’s a wild, sometimes frustrating, always competitive, and occasionally nerve-wracking, but if you’re anything like me, the idea of going back to the 9-5 job won’t be considered. This life isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, you’ll know pretty quickly- say in about six months or so.
As a freelancer, you’ll no longer have the luxury of a regular paycheck, of having your employer deal with taxes, the employee provided insurance, or even paid time off. Gone are the days of two-week paid vacations, regular hours, and camaraderie around the water cooler. Say hello to 10 to 12 hour days at a time, multiple demanding bosses also known as clients, sometimes laughably low wages, and most of all the looming uncertainty of how to pay the next bill.
Still with me? Stil want to be a part of this game? If so, good — the world needs more people like you.
It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself when you write creatively.
Sure, there is the normal stuff — like finding your passion, what drives you as a person, or even the various small pet peeves you have. What I’m talking about though is the really interesting things that no one really talks about anymore. Not the “why” of what you do, but rather the nuts and bolts, explaining exactly “how”.
For me, that’s where things get interesting. As a writer, or an artist, how do you come up with your creations? Are they inspired by a muse hidden somewhere in the clouds, playing a magical lute? Or is your inspiration a little more grimy, a little closer to home — such as a resilient sewer rat that you saw race towards the next grate on the sidewalk? And once you have your spark of inspiration, how do you go about actually creating the masterpiece? Is it torn violently from your mind in a torrent of activity, or is it more of a slow, plodding process?
I have discovered that often my inspiration is the reality around me, and the creation process is not a quick one. But there is also something that I recently discovered about my process — something that I think that some of my fellow writers and even publishers might be a little confused about. I dare say many would think I’m off my rocker, so to speak.
So here goes…