Seven Steps to Becoming a More Successful Writer

You've come up with a great idea. You've written a nice rough draft. You've completed your editing and revising. You've submitted your work to the publisher of your choice. And now you're finished, right? Not quite. You see, what many new writers fail to realize is that writing involves much more than just putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. The work of a writer is a never-ending process. Sure, there's a lot of waiting time involved, but that time should be used to aid in your growth as a writer. Below are a few ideas to keep you busy and improving in the art of writing.

Develop new ideas - Do you have another project you would like to work on? What is it? Is it fiction or nonfiction? Who are the characters? What is the setting? What is the plot? What research needs to be done? Spend this time gathering new ideas to work on when the time is right.

Read - Stephen King said it best when he made this comment on the author's need to read: If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot...reading is the creative center of a writer's life...you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. Reading educates us. Reading stretches our imaginations. Reading is a necessary part of any writer's life.

Expand your vocabulary - When was the last time you learned a new word? A growing vocabulary is an asset to every writer. Why use the word "subtle" when you can use the word "insidious?" Don't say "showy," say "ostentatious." There are many websites available that offer daily or weekly e-mails that present you with new words to enhance your vocabulary. Sign up for a few and see the vast improvement in the flow and imagery of your writing.

Improve your spelling - Along with expanding our vocabulary, many of us would benefit from brushing up on our spelling skills. True, we can always look it up in the dictionary or use spell-check, but we would save a lot of time if we would learn to spell the words correctly in the first place. Besides, it is a good thing to increase our knowledge.

Research - Waiting time is an excellent time to do research for your next project. Spend some time at the library, the bookstore, or online. Record the facts you need, and don't forget to make note of your sources.

Study the market - The time between projects is the best opportunity for you to study the market. Who is currently looking for submissions? Are there any upcoming themes you feel comfortable writing for? Which publishers would be interested in your next project? Take your time and study your options. Market study is almost as important as the writing itself, maybe even more important.

Take a class - If you would really like to improve your writing skills, take a class or visit a workshop. There are many courses offered online, and some of them are even free. Simply go to your favorite search engine and type in "free writing classes" or "writing workshops." You'll be amazed at the number of options available to you.

Writers must write. That is a fact, however, there are other important steps you must take if you want to become a successful writer. Writing is a joyful journey, but it is not easy. It requires time and effort. If you're willing to invest in it, it will change your life!

A Checklist for Editing and Revising Your Work


Editing and revising takes your work and turns it into a masterpiece. Let's face it, even the best writers don't create a masterpiece on their first draft. I urge you to go back and look at some of your earlier work. I guarantee you'll find things that you would change if you were to write it over again. That's just the nature of writers. The more we learn, the more we are able to improve our work. Here is a checklist to aid you as you go through the editing process.

Spelling & grammar check

Your word processor most likely has a spell-check on it. Use it, but keep in mind that it will not catch all your errors. If you type “his” instead of “him,” your computer will not identify that as a mistake. As for the grammar, there are many inexpensive grammar guides for writers available today. Visit Amazon.com or your neighborhood bookstore and find something to help you.

Overuse of words & cliches

As you go through your story, pay attention to how many times you use certain words. Did you use “beautiful” three times in the same paragraph? If so, get out your thesaurus and find an alternate word. Also, avoid using cliches. There is no telling how many times publishers have read phrases like sparkled like diamonds, flat as a pancake, or stubborn as a mule. Your job as a writer is not simply to write an interesting story, but also to make it different from all the rest. Give the publishers a reason to pick your story above the other 1,000 sitting on their desks.

Overuse of adverbs & adjectives

Most adjectives and adverbs can be avoided by using stronger descriptive words. The princess isn't “very pretty,” she's “beautiful.” He didn't “run fast,” he “sprinted.” Search for strong descriptive words and leave out everything else.

Subject/verb agreement

Most of us balk at the insinuation that we might make such a blatant mistake, but the fact is that it happens. One of the easiest places to “slip” with subject/verb agreement is when a prepositional phrase separates the subject and verb. It is easy to mistakenly have your verb agree with the object of the preposition instead of the subject. As you read through your story, take the prepositional phrases out and see if your subject and verb do, in fact, agree.

Consistent tense

Another common mistake is to change tenses in the middle of the story. For example, the beginning of your story may be told in the present tense and the middle of your story in the past tense. Check to be sure that the tense of your story is consistent throughout.

Consistent Point of View

If at one point in your story, you refer to your main character as “I” and at another point, you refer to him as “He,” your reader will become confused. If you are working on your story or book in sections (as we all do), it's very easy to sit down and start writing in a different POV without even realizing it.

Unnecessary scenes or characters

Mark Twain once said, “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” Easily said, but not easily done. As a writer, you get to know each part of your story and each character. Every part is special to you. The idea of cutting part of it out appeals to you about as much as cutting off your own arm. But the hard truth is that if the story doesn't need it, the story will be better off without it. Remember, each scene and character should serve to move the story forward. If the scene or character doesn't serve a purpose other than to take up space, the story will be better without it. As much as it hurts, cut it out.

Check your hook

You have only your first few paragraphs to catch your reader's attention (sometimes less). Make good use of your beginning. Have some friends or colleagues read your first paragraphs and give their honest feedback. Are they intrigued? Would they like to read more? Of all places to spend time during the editing process, the beginning is probably the most important. After all, if your reader doesn't make it past the beginning, nothing else matters. Some writers claim to spend the same amount of time on the first chapter as they do on the rest of the book combined. That is how important a good beginning is!

Read through your dialogue
In order for dialogue to be effective, it must be realistic. Read through just the dialogue and see if it sounds like something your character would say. Does it flow? Does it make sense? Is it age-appropriate?

Watch for the five senses
As you read through your manuscript, allow yourself to look specifically for the five senses. Mark them if you want. Evaluate if you've done a thorough job of adding the five senses and other description. Does your story seem flat and lifeless? If so, go through and add more description.

Did you finish the story?
It is important that you make sure you have completely ended your story (unless it's a series, of course). Don't leave your readers hanging. Answer all their questions. Fulfill all their desires. Wrap up all the loose ends. Have a clear ending.

Does your story have a good title?
Did you know that Dr. Seuss' book
And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was rejected nearly 30 times? Did you also know that its original title was A Story That No one Can Beat? When Seuss changed the title of the book, he immediately found a publisher willing to publish it. The title of your story is more important than anything else. Without a good title, your book or story probably won't even make it into the hands of your reader. We've all browsed the shelves in the library or bookstore. Which books do we pick up? The ones with interesting titles. If you create a masterful work and then give it a cheesy title, all your work is in vain. Think carefully when naming your story. After all, you want to make a good first impression.

Obviously, I can't spell out each thing you need to look for. That would take forever. What I can tell you is that if you will follow these guidelines, your manuscript should be in good shape. Use the above checklist to aid you during your editing process. While some writers truly enjoy the editing process, others despise it. Whether it is enjoyable to you or not, keep in mind that you are doing it to better your story. That will help ease the pain of having to cut precious words that you spent so long crafting.


Want to know more about how to turn your writing into a finished masterpiece? The LWN ebook, Creating a World of Your Own: Your Guide to Writing Fiction, will give you step-by-step information on all of the writing process, from finding an idea to submitting your work to publications. Order your e-book today for only $19.98. Or, if you want coaching help along the way, visit LearnWriteNow.com and sign up for the fiction writing e-class.

I've Finished Writing My Book -- Now What?

It's finally happened. You took that wonderful idea of yours and put it down on paper. You've spent hours perfecting your work, making sure that your ideas flow smoothly and that your message is clear. And now, at long last, the manuscript is complete. You would be amazed at the number of people who make it to this point and then have no idea how to proceed. If you are one of those people, have no fear. This article is just for you.

There are MANY different ways to go about publishing your book. They all have pros and cons, so I'll give you the highlights of each which will allow you to make a more informed decision about which way you would like to proceed.

Traditional Publishing
- You send your work to publishing houses in hopes that they will accept it for publication.

Pros: There is no upfront cost to you, and many times, you receive an advance of
money from
the publisher
The publisher takes care of all formatting, editing, cover art, copyright, ISBN,
and distribution.
With this option, everyone considers you a "real writer."

Cons: Publishers are swamped with manuscripts and therefore only accept a small
number of
those they receive.
The wait for a publishing house to "decide" about your manuscript is generally
6 months or more.
Publishers desire authors who already have an established platform (audience,
such as through a blog or speaking engagements).
Unless you are "somebody," traditional publishers will NOT market your book.
That is up to you.
Royalty payments are only 8-12%.
Many publishers only allow you to query one company at a time, so if company
#1 decides after 6 months that they don't want your manuscript, then you have
to go to company #2 and start all over again. This process could take YEARS
and has for many authors.

Subsidy/Vanity Press
- You hire a company to "self-publish" your work.

Pros: The publisher takes care of all formatting, editing, cover art, copyright, ISBN,
and
distribution.
In many cases, the publisher will make available to you a marketing package
(for an additional fee).
The turnaround time for your book to be published is very quick, usually within
a month.
Royalties vary depending on the company, but many of them offer more than
traditional publishers.

Cons: The starting fee for many of these types of presses is $1,000. Packages vary,
but all, I
feel, are still over-priced.
These presses have a very bad reputation because they will publish
ANYTHING whether it's good or not.
Unless you pay for the extra marketing package, marketing is still entirely up to
you.

Amazon's CreateSpace
- You do your own "self-publishing."

Pros: There is no upfront cost except to buy any books you want for yourself at a
nominal fee
(as little as $2.10, depending on book size).
There is a built-in cover creator where you can design your own cover using
their templates.
All books published through CreateSpace are immediately made available on
Amazon.com.
The free distribution channel makes your book available to online bookstores as
well as distributors such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor.
The process is quick and easy, and you get to retain much more on the royalty
money than with traditional publishers or vanity presses. (60% from Amazon,
80% from CreateSpace, and 100% of what you sell directly (minus the price of
the book.)
Free ISBN number.
The turnaround time for your book to be published is a matter of days (literally).
Very easy step-by-step process.

Cons: CreateSpace does offer editing and formatting service, but at a rather high fee.

Even though your book is made available to distributors, it does not include a
"buy back" feature which in turn makes your book less appealing to bookstores.
(If the book doesn't sell, the distributor will buy the book back from the
bookstore. CreateSpace does not make this offer.)
If you desire, you must obtain your own copyright and Library of Congress
number.
The ISBN number actually belongs to CreateSpace.
As with the other forms of publication, marketing is up to you.

Whatever route you decide to go, be sure to do your homework. There are many "presses" out there that are only interested in making money. Find out as much as you can about the publishing house of your choice, and also make sure you get specific details about what your publishing package includes. Once you've decided on a house, don't waste any time. While the house is working on your book, use that time to work on your marketing plan. The best book in the world won't sell if no one knows it's available.

CreateSpace: Unlocking the Door to Publication


I would like to tell you about a service that has been a huge help to me and has made it possible for me to become a published author. As a writer, I've discovered that the actual writing process is the easy part. The difficult part comes when one wants to publish his/her work. The process of finding a publisher is tedious and time-consuming, not to mention frustrating. Now, thanks to CreateSpace, that is an issue I no longer have to deal with.

You see, I had thought about self-publishing before, but after looking through several websites and catalogs, I quickly discovered that I couldn't afford it. Many of the self-publishing services cost around $1,000, and that doesn't include the price of printing each book. That's when I found CreateSpace.

CreateSpace is part of Amazon.com. If you go to the main Amazon page and scroll all the way to the bottom, you'll see a link that says “Publish with Us.” Clicking on that link will take you to CreateSpace, a self-publishing company. The process of publishing a book with them is so easy that even a child could do it. The website leads you step by step through the process of setting up your book project. They tell you how to format your pages, how to set up your book, and they even assign your book an ISBN number.

One of the newest features is their cover creator page. This allows you to use their templates to create your own book cover, or you can choose to design your own from scratch. The templates are very professional-looking and have a lot of ways you can adapt them to meet your needs (changing colors, fonts, etc.).

The entire process is very simple. You fill out the online forms to start your project. After that you upload your book file and create your cover. When that's done, you order a proof copy to make sure everything looks as it should. If all is well, you approve the proof, and you're ready to go. Your book will be available for purchase in the CreateSpace bookstore, on Amazon.com, and you can even sell it yourself from your own website. The entire process is amazingly quick!

With CreateSpace, you'll make more money from every sale than you will with traditional publishing, and the best part is that CreateSpace offers this service for FREE. There is no charge to create a book with them unless you wish to purchase their PRO package for a fee of $39. This package allows you to purchase your books for less and also to make more money in royalties.

If you're a writer and tired of looking for a publisher, I highly recommend CreateSpace. I have already published four books with them and am currently working on my fifth. I have been completely satisfied, and I can't explain the joy you will feel when you finally hold your published book in your hands.

The Guide on How to Submit Articles to Magazines

Maybe you have great passion for writing or you are a skilled writer yearning to see your work appear on magazines. Either way, you definitely need the right guide on how to submit articles to magazines. First, decide whether you are doing this as a freelance, a part time thing apart from your full time job or there is the intention to commit full time. Once you know what you are aiming for, it will be easier to draw out your goals and plans in writing and submitting articles. It is better to plan ahead and have all the expectations and what exactly you want to achieve from this

Another thing to do on how to submit articles to magazines is to determine what type of magazines you are targeting at. There are such a vast of fields and areas which you could pen an article on. There could be categories of fashion, men, women, parenting, home improvement, automobile, photography, nature, children, gardening, lifestyles, food and beverage, craft and art, computer, IT, entertainment, social work and possibly many more which you may have the interest in. Find what type of magazines of interest to you and write articles that fit the particular field. This will make it easier for smooth submission. You certainly would not like to send a list of tips to dress up in a fashionable way to a home improvement magazine! So get this check out and set out which you could write well and have the interest in.

Once you decide which magazine to send your articles, find out the details for submission. Get the company or publisher's contacts. There will be e-mail, telephone numbers, fax numbers and website included. You also need to read the rules and regulations for submission. Find more on the copyright and payment for your articles should it be accepted to be published.


By Dennis Moore Hopkins

Author enjoys writing articles related to Article Directory and Article Submission. You may visit for more details.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dennis_Moore_Hopkins

The Most Lucrative Writing Jobs

The writing world is full of many opportunities. Blogging. Magazine articles. Books. E-books. Online articles. The list is practically endless. The good news is that with this many different avenues there is certainly no shortage of writing jobs available. The bad news is that it can often be confusing and frustrating to find your niche. What do you want to write? What are you qualified to write? Which writing is the most profitable?

While there are many forms of profitable writing, I would have to say that copywriting is probably the most lucrative. Copywriting is basically sales writing. When you go to a website that is selling a product, the information there is a form of copywriting. The letters you receive in the mail from various associations and organizations, those letters are written by a copywriter. Even most item descriptions in catalogs are the work of a copywriter. As you can imagine, the need for copywriters is immense; therefore businesses are willing to pay top dollar for quality work.

Not every writer has the skills necessary to become a copywriter, but it would benefit every writer to take classes and read books about the process of copywriting. In a sense, the skills are the same as those you would use to sell yourself as a writer or to sell your books and other products. If you think you may have the skills to become a successful copywriter, here are a few things to remember.

First, you must do your homework. If you're going to write a letter for a business or company, you must know all there is to know. How long has the company been in business? What is its main goal? What type of letter will you be writing? Who is the target audience for that letter? Copywriting is more than just sitting down at your computer and typing out a sales letter. You must get the facts before you begin.

Second, you must know how to structure your letter. Again, you're not just typing out a letter to a friend. In most cases, you are trying to convince someone to buy something. There is an order to follow in which you present your information and make your offer. Without the proper order, the reader is likely to throw the letter away without reading it through. Discover the proper structure for writing a solid copywriting piece, and then follow it without fail.

Third, be willing to start out small. While copywriting is a lucrative field, there is much competition. When first starting out, you may need to lower your price to win out against the competition. Once you've completed a few successful jobs and have some samples for others to see, then you can raise your prices a bit. Remember that just because you are lowering your prices doesn't mean you should lower your standards. If you have the mentality of “Well, they're only paying $100, so I'm not going to do $500 worth of work,” you might as well not even begin your career as a copywriter. No matter what the pay, give the project your complete attention and your best effort. Your thoroughness will pay off in the end.

Want to make more money writing? Consider copywriting, but as with any new task, learn all you can about the process. There are many different books, e-books, and classes dealing with copywriting available online. Learn what you can and then see if you have what it takes to become a success in that field. If not, don't consider the time wasted. As I mentioned earlier, copywriting skills are valuable to every writer.


For detailed information on writing copy, check out this e-book.

Keep It Short, Strong, and Specific

Writing is the process of putting thoughts and ideas into written (or typed) words. But when it comes to good writing, not just any words will do. Words need to be powerful and evoke a response from your readers. For that to be accomplished, it is imperative that you follow the three S's: short, strong, specific.

People like to read material that is easy to be read. This is not to say that the average reader is not intelligent. It is only to say that generally our readers are pressed for time so they want to get the most information they can in the least amount of time. For their benefit, we would do well to keep our words short, our sentences short, and our paragraphs short. Not only does this allow us to get our message across more quickly, but short words and sentences can display great power. Ernest Hemingway is an excellent example of this type of writing. It's been said that he wrote with simple genius, getting straight to the point. That should be our goal as well.

If we're going to use fewer words, however, we must be sure that the words we use are strong. Instead of saying, "He walked up and down the length of the hall," we can simply say, "He paced." The word "paced" conjures feelings of anxiety, confusion, and restlessness whereas "walked" simply brings to mind the picture of someone walking. We accomplish more in a sentence of two words than we do in a sentence of ten words.

Not only does our word need to be strong, but for it to be effective, it must be specific. It is never wise to settle for a general word. Get specific. Sobbed, not cried. Lumbered, not walked. Peered, not looked. Muttered, not said. Choose words that can describe your exact meaning without needing an adjective or adverb to enhance them.

Concise writing is knowing what you want to say and then saying it as best you can in as little space as necessary. By keeping your words both strong and specific, you will be able to keep your writing to the point. William Strunk Jr., author of The Elements of Style, says it best: Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

Start Your Own Writing Business With No Money Down

It is possible to begin making money as a writer with no start up costs. If you need to start a writing business but have no money to get started with, here are some steps you should follow:

1. Open a free profile on Guru.com and begin bidding on jobs.

2. Open a free profile on Kasamba.com.

3. Open a free profile on Keen.com.

4. Make a free online business card and submit it to search engines manually so you’ll have a web address for your business.

5. Start posting on sites that allow free listings (like craigslist.com).

6. Include a free blog on your website. To get the attention of search engines, start blogging three 250 word articles (with search engine optimized keywords) three times a day. Make sure the blogs are about the kind of writing you’re selling.

7. Spend $8 on a courtesy bid on Elance. This will allow you to post a profile and bid on eight projects. If you choose these eight bids wisely you can get hired right away.

8. Put any work that you own the rights to on Constant-Content

9. If you have a book, post it on Lulu.com.

10.Start subscribing to Yahoo and MSN groups that will deliver information about writing jobs to your email account.



Make More Money with PLR

Tapping into the power of private label rights products to build an Internet empire is one of the easiest paths you can take to generating a serious income online. With just an ounce of creativity, you can quickly begin using PLR products to earn you income 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

So what are private label rights products?

When you purchase products which come with “private label rights”, it simply means that you are allowed to edit the product in any way, shape or form (including branding it with your name as the creator) and ultimately do with it what you like. You can turn the originals into new products, sell them as your own (and keep 100% of the profits), sell the resell rights to them, change the formatting, repackage them, give them away (depending on the terms of the license), and more.

In a nutshell, PLR gives you the ability to acquire the complete rights to various pre-made products as if you had them created yourself. It’s a huge time saver and an enormous shortcut for those who are smart enough to put forth a little effort and take action.

So, how does that help you, the freelance writer? Well, you have two options.

First, you can purchase PLR products to sell from your website. The possibilities with PLR products are endless. You could purchase several PLR articles on a specific subject and then put them together to form an e-book with you as the author. You could use the PLR articles for your blog, newsletter, e-classes, and the list goes on. Many PLR products come with no restrictions, so what you do with them is completely up to you. What a quick and easy way to build content for your site or products authored by you.

The second option available to you is to write PLR products to sell to others. Many businesses are jumping on board the bandwagon of PLR products, so why not get involved yourself? By offering quality PLR articles, e-books, videos, etc, you'll be able to make a steady income with very little effort. While the "per article" price seems low (usually no more than $1 per 400-600 word article), PLR packages can be sold over and over again. Let's say you have a PLR pack of ten articles that you are selling for $10. If you sell that same pack to 100 different buyers, you make $1,000 on just ten articles. That's $100 per article. The key here is to build a reputation for yourself as having high quality content.

For more information on profiting from PLR, check out these resources:

Quick and Easy PLR Profit Tips
PLR Secrets Exposed
Endless Free PLR
PLR Goldmine

You can also find more information by doing a simple Google search for "PLR products."

Making Money with Easy-to-Read Articles

When writing articles, make sure to keep your readers in mind. Studies have shown that most Internet readers tend to scan a page to find the information they are looking for, rather than reading the entire page. This means having good titles, a lot of subtitles, and making use of bullet points to help your readers easily scan your page. Readers prefer a site that is easy to use and will be more willing to come back to your site time and time again. The more that your readers return, the more opportunities you will have to get them to click on each of your offers or affiliate links. Failing to write your articles in this manner could turn your site visitors away before they even have a chance to see what you have to say or to learn what your offers and affiliate links are all about. Keeping your articles organized as recommended will keep your visitors returning and enable your site to continue making money for you.

(For a bundle of information on making money from articles, check out Article Cash. I assure you it will be worth your time and money.)

Using a Free Blogging Website

For first time bloggers, a free blogging web site is a great way to get started in the blogosphere. Popular blogging web sites like Blogger and Wordpress allow users to set up and host a blog without paying any fees at all. This encourages people to start blogging. The fact that one of these sites can provide you with all of the tools that you need to get your blog up and running without spending any money means that you have nothing to lose by starting a blog. In fact, it is so easy to find a way to blog for free that many people who have never had any other kind of web presence before find themselves drawn to blogging.

By signing up with a free blogging web site, you may find it easier to get listed in search engines than you would if you were starting your own blog from scratch. For example, Google runs the free blog hosting site blogspot and crawls its pages very often looking for updates, so if you have your site hosted by blogspot you are almost guaranteed to be listed on Google's blog search engine. This easy access to search engines can take some of the work out of promoting your blog, and can help you gain a following with a minimum of marketing effort.

If your blog attracts a large readership, you may want to consider moving your site. Many people feel that being hosted by a free blogging web site gives a blog a kind of amateur flavor that is fine for a new member of the blogosphere, but is not appropriate for a high-profile blog. Having your own domain can help make your blog feel professional, and finding a company that will host your domain is not difficult or expensive. Once your blog takes off, you will probably be able to sell enough advertising space to be able to afford to buy a domain and pay for a hosting package, and still have money left over. However, it does not make sense in most cases to invest in these glossy luxuries before you have a sizable readership.

Starting your blog on a free blogging web site is a great way to build a following before you spend any money on your blog. If and when your blog becomes popular and you are ready to take the next step and purchase your own domain, your readers will follow you to your new home. The fact that it is possible to use a free blog host like Blogger or Wordpress as a kind of incubator for your blog is great news for bloggers everywhere.

Writing in the First Person Point of View

Point of view (POV) is the perspective from which a story is being told. In essence, it is the element that shows us who is telling the story. While there are several different points of view, only a few are widely used. In this article, we will be focusing on the First Person point of view.

The first person POV uses the pronouns “I” or “we.” In a sense, you (the author) become the character who is telling the story. This is becoming a very popular way to tell a story because it brings the reader directly into the mind of your character, and therefore, into the story itself.

If attempting to write in the first person POV, it is imperative that you know your character inside and out. You must act, speak, and think as your character would. Not only that, but you must notice and pay attention to things that your character would. For example, if my husband and I were to walk into a store, my attention would immediately be drawn to the trendy clothing or adorable knick-knacks. My husband, on the other hand, would go directly to the tools or outdoor equipment, hardly noticing the things he passed along the way. Why? Because we have different interests. Our attention is drawn to things we are interested in. So it must be with your character if you are using this point of view.

When using first person POV, since your character is telling the story, that character can only tell what he or she knows. In other words, if your character is in the kitchen, he can't tell you what is going on in the living room unless he can hear or see the action taking place.

For this reason, one of the hardest things to do in the first person POV is to describe your character. If your character can only describe what he sees, unless he is looking in a mirror, personal description is lost. In addition, it is difficult to describe the character's personality without sounding like they're bragging. Fortunately, there are a few ways around this obstacle, and they include:

* Use a mirror (note: this has been overdone)
* Compare the character to another character in the story
* Have another character describe your main character
*Don't describe them – It has recently become acceptable to not describe your POV character at all as long as there is adequate description of the other elements in the story.

The first-person POV is very popular, and so it would be in your best interest to master its usage. Remember, the main key is to know your character and to essentially become that character in the telling of the story.



(Want to know more about POV? You can find information about all aspects of fiction writing in my LearnWriteNow, e-class. Join the class now for only $99, or get the e-book version only for less than $20.)

Should You Start Your Story at the Beginning?

In the beginning of the story, you must establish your main character and the basic plot of the story. The beginning of your story should grasp your reader's attention. It has been said that because of the attention spans of people today, you have only 3-5 seconds to capture their attention. That's not much time.

For this reason, your first sentence must be a powerful one—a hook, as we writers call it. It must capture the reader's attention so that they will want to keep reading. A boring first sentence or first paragraph will leave the reader tossing the book on the table or placing it back on the bookshelf. Obviously, that is not what we want. No matter how good your story is, if you fail to hook your reader with your beginning, your story will probably go unread.

Here are a few examples of good beginnings that hook the reader and immediately draw him into the story:

Nothing ever starts where we think it does. So of course this doesn't begin with the vicious and cowardly murder of an FBI agent and good friend named Betsey Cavalierre. I only thought that it did. My mistake, and a really big and painful one. - Violets Are Blue, James Patterson

Notice in this example, the author tells you that the story doesn't start where you think it does or even where the main character thought it did. This leaves you wondering where the story actually begins, as well as intrigued by the knowledge that you'll be helping to solve a crime.

The New England woodcarver Jacob Adams was having a lean year— as lean and unprofitable, he thought, as if the Devil himself had a hand in it. If Jacob Adams had been born two hundred and thirty years later, he would simply have thought, Business is lousy. - Ghost Ship, Dietlof Reiche

In this example, you, as the reader, are intrigued by the last sentence. Why would Jacob have thought differently at present than he would have 230 years later? What led him to believe that the Devil himself had a hand in his lean and unprofitable year? In just one short paragraph, you are left with questions that beg to be answered.

Winter's chill hung in the air like thousands of polished silver shards, poised to fall soundlessly to the ground. A young woman stood in the midst of the chill, heedless of its potential to harm her, and motionless, as if simply breathing in and out was all she could manage. She remained there for quite some time, fighting visibly to keep herself upright. In time, she took a careful step forward, only to rest again, still breathing raggedly, still adding to the frost. - The Mage's Daughter, Lynn Kurland

Again, the author begins in the middle of the story, leaving you feeling like you must read on to figure out what's happening. Who is this young woman? Why is she so weak? What happened to her? Will she be alright?

Many new writers are under the impression that at the beginning of the story they have to spill out, in great detail, everything that they know about the main character and the plot of the story. Big mistake! This will cause your readers to feel as if you're simply throwing bits of information at them and expecting them to make sense of it. Character development and plot development can take place later in the story. It can be worked in as you go along. Don't give in to the temptation to deliver all your facts on the first few pages of your book or first few paragraphs of your story. If you do, you leave your reader with nothing to look forward to, and therefore, no reason to finish reading.


(Excerpt from my fiction writing class at
Learn Write Now. You'll be pleased to know that this e-class is now available in e-book format for a mere $19.98. Click here to purchase your copy.)

Fabulous Writing Prompt


I came across this writing prompt the other day, and I just had to share it with you. It's awesome!

If you could go through a beautiful, mystical door which leads to a utopia where the most perfect life for you was suddenly possible, what would the door and the utopia look like, what would it feel like, and what would this door have opened up for you? (Prompt provided by Trendle Ellwood.)

Take 1,000-3,000 words, and see what you can come up with. I assure you it's an excellent way to boost your writing skills, not to mention stretch your imagination. What are you waiting for? Give it a try.

Hit Your Muse With a Rock

There is a very healthy market of books on how to write and — more importantly — how to find inspiration. Every day, frustrated writers struggle with getting their characters on paper — they battle writer’s block and boredom and the conviction that the story isn’t worth writing. They rack their brains for ideas on how to liven the story, how to make it work, how to “find their muse.” And yes, many of them are sitting in the chair, hand on pencil, eyes on the page as they struggle, so it isn’t even an issue of taking the time to write. It’s an issue of making the writing fit the time.

Seriously, when your muse deserts you like this, hit her with a rock.

Blink. A rock? How can I advocate hitting an imaginary goddess of inspiration with a rock?

It’s simple. When a story stalls, that’s your invitation to write whatever comes to mind. You can begin with the most outlandish words you can think of. For example: “Muse, dear, I’m mad at you. I need a good story. Why aren’t you helping me? I’m throwing a brick your way.”

It sounds like a twisted form of on-the-couch therapy, but the key to this technique is that you write as you do it. Writer’s block is so harmful because it stops your desire to write. It halts the pen with thoughts of inadequacy. Hitting your muse with a rock is not the way to start the Great American Novel. What I’m advocating is a way to break that writer’s block. This probably won’t produce words you can use, and anyone looking over your shoulder might wonder at your sanity when the muse writes back with “Oh yeah? A rock? Is that the best you’ve got, writer-boy?” But this technique will get you writing. It will get thoughts from your mind onto the page, reopening the all-important path between eyes and pen.

This technique is actually a modified version of freewriting. Most writers use freewriting entirely off-the-manuscript. They find a fresh scrap of paper, scribble away for fifteen minutes or so to get in the head of their protagonist, and then they return to their typing. Hitting the muse with a rock requires no such interruption. As you sit before the precious manuscript with nothing to say, you duke it out with your muse right there. You type it onto your manuscript wherever it is you happen to be. Sure, the muse holds no real part in the story, but it relieves a lot of stress to throw rocks on paper. It loosens up the manuscript itself. Remember that writer’s block is the result of high expectation for the manuscript coupled with low expectations of your own abilities. Both of these impulses are wrong. A manuscript is never all-important — when you’re still at the stage for writer’s block, you’re sitting before a first or maybe a second draft. The story isn’t done yet. There’s plenty of room for change. Throw some bricks — you can always delete them later. A press of a key or a swipe of the pen restores the original work.

The secret, of course, is that you don’t need to throw bricks. You don’t need to involve your muse. As you develop this technique, you can focus it to meet the needs of your story. I discovered how much fun this can be during National Novel Writing Month, that wild month of the 50,000 word novel. For NaNoWriMo, the only requirement is word count, but getting that word count is hard. A week of writer’s block can be a deathblow to your work. To produce 1,667 words a day during the month of Thanksgiving and Christmas Shopping, every moment counts. You have to be focused and you have to be excited. The fingers must fly. So I began throwing rocks at my protagonists. Rocks, dragons, tanks, even a computer that was allergic to water. I tossed in absurd challenges, ideas that I would have never written had I taken the time to worry about the final product.

Strangely, the story I wrote worked. The protagonists fought back. Parts of the work seemed silly and ridiculous, I kept writing. The audacity of the story kept me in my seat — I never knew what would happen next, but I always knew I could find another rock.

There’s a reason why this technique works. Deep down, every story is about conflict. It’s about a protagonist facing a challenge and learning to overcome. Challenge on the page takes many forms, but you can imagine it as throwing a rock. Remember that your rock can represent any difficulty. It can be the prom dress that doesn’t fit. It can be the spooky neighbor who invites your protagonist to see the windowless basement after dinner. It can be the cute crush who’s too nice and too funny and to perfect for your protagonist to bear thinking about.

How does your protagonist respond to the rock? Does she duck aside, find her own rock, and throw it back at you? Or does she catch it in the stomach and throw up? Don’t think about it — write it. The key to this technique is to write every step of the way. Keep it fun. Pick an unusual rock, something that does not fit with the rest of your story. Has the heroic knight of the quantum order defeated the horrible space dragon? Give him the queen’s baby nephew to keep quiet for an hour. Has your heroine survived budget cuts and layoffs to become the executive vice president? Maybe her boss the vampire invites her to a round of midnight golf.

Remember, the goal here is not to write the Great American Novel. The goal is to break through writer’s block and to keep writing, to get the ideas free-flowing. Sometimes, you may discover an entertaining twist that you enjoy more than the original story. Other times, you’ll get a good laugh, reconnect with your characters, and then pick up from where you left off. The hardest part is letting go. You have to relax, ignore the expectations of greatness, and focus on your eyes and your fingers.

And, when all else fails, feel free to blame your muse. Just beware of the brick she’ll throw back.


Copyright 2008 Ryan Edel. All rights reserved.

Ryan EdelAbout the Author | More by Ryan Edel
Ryan Edel is a creative writer in Raleigh, NC. His website, 1-2-Writing Workshops Online, helps writers make the most of their fiction through daily articles, links to resources, and an online writing workshop: www.12writingworkshopsonline.com.

Create the Writing Life You Want

By Marg McAlister

Ah, writing. For those of us who love to play with words, it's like standing in front of a smorgasbord, agonising over which delicacies to try. You can potter about with your writing as a thoroughly delightful hobby - writing wedding speeches, penning dreadful doggerel for people's birthdays, or writing stories to entertain your children. Or you can work at it, hour after hour, determined that your book is going to be the next bestseller. You can choose the writing life that's perfect for you now, then change direction later, as your circumstances change and your experience grows.

HOBBY OR CAREER?

I'm going to work on an assumption here - that you actually like writing. (I can't imagine any other reason you'd be reading this article. If you don't like to write, why are you being such a masochist? There are thousands of other jobs out there that will suit you better. Stop reading this and go find one.) So, given that you like to write, you should now ask yourself: 'Do I like writing enough to do it full time, or do I want to keep it as a hobby?'

If you just want to keep it as a hobby, then you are relieved of a number of 'duties' already. Since it's a hobby, you don't have to earn money. You don't have to please editors. You don't have to be published. You can scribble in faint grey pencil on a table napkin if you want - nobody else has to read it. And best of all, you don't ever have to write anything except what you want to write!

PART TIME WRITING

Most of us are not in that situation. We either want to write as a paid hobby (which might also be known as 'part time writing') or we want to work towards a full time career. Let's look at 'part time writing' first, and assume that you wouldn't mind being paid for what you do. (At least in kind - a free book or meal in exchange for your carefully produced text.) If you want to be paid, then you are faced with a certain set of responsibilities. You have to make sure that the person paying you can read your work, so faint grey pencil is out. In fact, it's very likely that good clear word processing is in.

Hmmm... this is beginning to sound expensive. Suddenly it's taking money to make money. You have to invest in your career - in the form of hardware and software and consumables. You have to think about GST and that means a business name. Your part time writing career might take up more time, and cost more money, than you had expected.

WHAT KIND OF WRITING?

But wait... you have more decisions to make. Are you going to concentrate on just one kind of writing (say, writing short stories for popular magazines) or are you going to peddle your words in any way that will bring in cash?

There are lots of people out there who require writers. They need wordsmiths to write their 21st birthday party speeches, or to put together smart resumes and application letters, or to create snappy promotional material for their business flyers. If you're happy enough to do all of these things and more, then you can certainly generate a part-time (or even full-time) income. Of course, you may have to advertise, and obtain business cards, and that costs more money... but don't worry: the better you become at what you do, the more your clients will do your advertising for you. ("Oh, you must get so and so to do your flyer; she's really good...")

THE 'SERIOUS WRITER' - TYPE #1

Time to move on to the Serious Writer. Serious Writers come in two flavours: the ones who want to write the Great Australian Novel (or win one of the major literary awards for novels) and disdain networking, marketing, self-promotion and all those mundane things.

They are passionately committed to writing literary fiction, and if it takes twenty or forty years of living off relatives or typing at night after their day job, then so be it. Some of these Serious Writers can write like angels and will undoubtedly achieve what they want. Others never mix with anybody else and have no idea that their work is substandard or boring until they get their first rejection. (They may not realise even when they get their hundredth rejection.)

THE 'SERIOUS WRITER' - TYPE #2

The other kind of Serious Writer is the one who is determined to make a success of writing, investing as much time, energy and cash as is needed. He is happy to network and talk to clients or editors and other writers. Sometimes this becomes a broad-based writing career - this person just loves words and crafting finished pieces of writing, whether it's fiction, non-fiction or promotional material. He is happy to be writing - any kind of writing!

Not everyone is happy to write whatever puts bread on the table. Some writers are content to do an assortment of fiction (mainstream, romances, or romantic intrigue, for example) or to target one specific genre - say speculative fiction - in both short and long formats. They spend time tracking down other aspiring writers in these genres, swap stories of near-misses and 'good and bad' rejections, and share the jubilation of finally getting a 'yes'. If you are determined to write only what you want to write, then don't give up your day job in a hurry - it might take a while and a few 'practice books' to get your first acceptance.

What you can do, right now, is determine the writing life you want-and start working towards it. Begin by asking yourself the ten questions below.

KNOW THYSELF: 10 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU DECIDE ON THE WRITING LIFE THAT WORKS FOR YOU:

  1. Would I rather do any kind of writing than do other work? (If the answer is 'yes', and you know you handle words with creativity whether you're writing a short story or a letter to the bank, then a multi-faceted writing career might suit you.)
  2. Can I identify a range of writing that I would be happy to attempt? Is there a need for this writing? Can I provide a special service, or target a niche market?
  3. What kind of books do I like to read? Are these the kinds of books I'd enjoy writing?
  4. How much money do I need to spend on equipment or resources to start a writing business? If I haven't got this money, how long will it take me to save it or obtain it?
  5. How many hours can I devote to writing?
  6. Do I need a separate office and phone line, or can I share a computer with the family?
  7. What other commitments do I have? What other demands are there on my time?
  8. If I could choose any kind of writing at all to do, what would it be? Can I work towards this, even if I can't spend all my time on it now?
  9. Do I have a network of supportive people - friends, family and other writers - to help me achieve what I want? If I don't, can I find these people?
  10. What can I do RIGHT NOW to set my writing career in motion, or to start moving in the direction I really want?

(c) Copyright Marg McAlister

Marg McAlister has published magazine articles, short stories, books for children, ezines, promotional material, sales letters and web content. She has written 5 distance education courses on writing, and her online help for writers is popular all over the world. Sign up for her regular writers' tipsheet at http://www.writing4success.com/

Five Steps to Starting a Freelance Writing Career

Chris Bibey

The number of people who aspire to become freelance writers is astonishing. Unfortunately, most of these people never take the time to chase their dream. Instead, they work their 9 to 5 office job, take orders from a crabby boss, and get paid less than what they are worth. If you want to be a freelance writer and are tired of any of the issues above, it is time to make a move. The more you procrastinate the more time you are losing.

Even though it will take time to build a successful freelance writing career, the steps to actually getting started are simple. No, these steps do not guarantee loads of money, but they will put you on the right path to earning a solid income sometime in the future.

Here are five steps to starting a freelance writing career.

1. Sooner rather than later, you need to build up enough courage to ditch your current job. Many people are afraid of making the change, and there is nothing wrong with that. Changing jobs can be difficult enough, and doing so to a career that is as unstable as freelance writing can be downright scary. But if you never suck it up and decide to take the chance, you will go on working the same old job, day in and day out.

To combat some of the fear of a sudden change, you may want to consider a part-time career in freelance writing for the time being. In other words, keep your day job and moonlight as a freelance writer. This will allow you to get your feet wet without having to give up your regular earnings. Is this going to be a lot of work? Sure is! But when you finally have enough clients to go into freelance writing full-time, you will realize that the work was well worth it.

2. Determine what area of freelance writing you want to get into. Some people think that all writing is the same, but find out soon enough that this is a myth. Many writers concentrate on web content, whereas others would rather write for print magazines. It does not matter what area of concentration you choose, as long as you choose one. Trying to be everything to everyone can quickly bog you down.

3. Do you have any freelance writing samples? If not, you need to put together a portfolio right away. When you approach clients or bid on jobs, one of the first things that you will be asked for is samples. If you have samples relevant to the potential client, make sure that you offer those first. They will give you the best chance of landing the job. But even if you only have general samples, they are better than nothing.

When writing samples, make sure that they are your best work. After all, you do not want to show potential clients sub par work. Additionally, when putting together your portfolio, add several different types of projects. This could include everything from a sales letter to a feature article and much more. The more samples in your portfolio, the better chance you have of supplying a relevant piece.

4. Do not jump ahead of yourself. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting your freelance writing career to take off from the onset. But if you get too far ahead of your capabilities, you could find yourself tied down with work that you are not sure about. Consider every job offer that you receive, and use your best judgment when deciding how to move forward.

5. Setting rates is one of the most difficult tasks for a freelance writer. This is especially true for beginners who do not know anything about industry averages, or what most clients are willing to pay. Do yourself a favor and research what other writers are charging. From there, adjust your rates to suit your experience and potential client base. Remember, freelance writing rates are not written in stone. After you gain more experience you can adjust your rates accordingly.

If you want to start a freelance writing career, you now how five steps that can guide you from day one. While working through these steps, you may find that you have to make changes to suit your lifestyle and career path. But for the most part, all five of these steps will have to be conquered sooner or later.

After several years in the corporate world, I put my college degree to good use by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Three months later, my income level had reached that of my previous sales job. Within a year, I was consistently earning $5k/month.

You can do it too.

(For more articles by this author, check out Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.)

How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes


Jim Estill

Believe it or not, it only takes me 20 minutes to write a 400-500 word article. This article (which I wrote in 20 minutes) explains some of the tricks I use to accomplish this.

Blogging gives me a daily deadline, and I don’t really want to spend more than 20 minutes each day on blogging. Many of my blog entries are actually less than 500 words so take me less time.

Taking up blogging got me to start thinking seriously about writing quickly, and you may be facing a blogging time-crunch as well. So here are my 8 tips for writing an article in 20 minutes or less.

  1. I start with a list of ideas and concepts I want to cover. Usually I write this list in point form. For me, I do this the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.
  2. I often “incubate” an article for a few days (this does not count in the 20 minutes). What I do is start roughing out some topic ideas then leave it. Because I have thought about it, ideas tend to come to me that I frequently add to my points. Of course I always carry a notebook for ideas.
  3. I often need to reduce the number of ideas that I cover. Sometimes they do not fit with the angle of the article or do not flow with the other ideas. Sometimes I have to give up a point to write a good article.
  4. Never save a good idea. When I know I have many article deadlines to meet, it is tempting to “save” a few good ideas for later. New ideas will always come so always give your best ideas.
  5. Develop tricks to get past writers block. One way I do this is ”warm up” writing. I just sit down and write for 5 minutes. This tends to help subsequent writing to flow. Another way I do this is to go for a walk, cycle or a run (although sometimes I think I might use this to procrastinate a bit too). Another trick I use is to make a game out of the deadline – say I will do it by X o’ clock. Perhaps I am simple but this motivates me.
  6. Come back to it later. My best articles are written partly, revisited a few times, then finished. I spend the same 20 minutes, though only 5-7 minutes per session. Of course if the ideas are flowing well, I do keep writing.
  7. I often write 3-4 articles at the same time. Spending 5 minutes on one, 7 on another etc. When I am really in writing flow, this works well.
  8. One trick is using bullet points or numbered points as in this article. People seem to like this technique and it helps articles flow for me.

So if I can write so quickly, why don’t I write a few articles each day? Apart from the fact that I have a very full time job, writing is the easy part; coming up with the ideas is the tough part.

Ideas anyone?

About the Author: Jim Estill is the CEO of Canadian computer product company SYNNEX and the author of the Time Leadership blog and book.

Who's Telling This Story, Anyway?

by: Cindy A Christiansen

I want to address another issue that beginning writers often have difficulty accomplishing. The Writing Perspective. Who the heck is telling this story, anyway? Is it the author, the character, more than one character at a time, or some unknown person that knows everything that's going on? In a lot of the entries I've judged, writers are using a combination of these perspectives which tends to confuse the reader. Pick the best option that works for your story and stick with it.

Below is a brief summary of the different types of writing perspectives. If you don't know or understand them well, please find a good book on the subject.

* First person includes the thoughts and opinions of one main character. This person is telling the story and is told from the point-of-view (POV) of 'I'. Example:

I danced across the floor.

* Third person with one character's POV. Example:

She danced across the floor, pain searing in her ankle.

* Third person with multiple characters telling their POV one at a time. In this perspective, you pick out 2 to 3 main characters and tell the story from each of their views, but not at the same time. A character tells their POV in a scene, it ends and the next scene begins with another character's perspective. Example:

She continued to dance across the floor, not sure whether she could withstand the pain searing in her ankle. The curtain fell as she collapsed.

~ * ~ [Scene change]

Bill rushed to Angie, knowing the pain must be excruciating. He knelt by her side, cradling her head in his lap.

* Third person with thoughts and feelings from two or more main characters at once. Also called head-hopping. Example:

She danced across the stage. Pain echoed up her leg and back down to her broken ankle. He knew she couldn't dance another step with a broken ankle.

* Third person omniscient includes a narrator who is a know-it-all. The narrator tells the story from everyone's POV. He knows everyone's thoughts and feeling. Example:

Angie danced across the floor. The pain tore through her ankle. Bill rushed up and caught her just after the curtain dropped. She fell into his arms, sweat beading her brow. He knew she had to be in a great deal of pain. How could he have known that the doctor switched the medications and injected her with cyanide?

There are a few other types of POV, but these are the main categories. As I said, new writers tend to combine these POVs, leading to confusion on the part of the reader. Here is an example of mixed perspectives:

[Third person/ one character POV] Angie danced across the floor, her ankle on fire with pain. The doctor had told her the medicine should have started working by now. What went wrong? The pain continued to radiate through her ankle, and she felt...odd. Her heart raced uncontrollably. She spotted Bill in the wings. If she could only make it across the stage to him.

[Third person omniscient] Angie didn't know that the doctor had exchange the vial of pain medication for a vial of cyanide. She had no idea that Bill's mother had orchestrated the whole plan because she didn't want Bill to marry her. When she reached Bill's arms, she collapsed dead.

Do you see how if you are in Angie's POV you cannot know what the doctor did or what Bill's mother had planned, or know that she was going to die?

In romance writing, the story is typically written in third-person with scenes in both the hero and the heroine's POV. First person is another perspective used a great deal in chick-lit romances. Multi-published authors can get away with head-hopping. I find it difficult to read, and it loses the voice of the character as they are telling their own version of the story.

Also remember to give each character their own voice. I'm not talking about accents and such. I'm talking about the way they might think in their head; more of a personality issue. I read a lot of books and entries where both the hero and the heroine think and sound the same. How many real people do you know that think and act alike? I'm sure you know that men and women think and feel eomtions in their own way. Try to remember this as you are writing the next best novel.

Give it a try. I know your characters will really come to life.


About The Author

Cindy A. Christiansen is a multi-published author and a member of Romance Writers of America. To find out more, visit her website at: http://c.a.dragonfly.googlepages.com

Busting Freelance Writing Myths - Part Six

Myth 6: Giving 110% will be rewarded in online freelance writing.

Giving 110% is usually a good idea in the offline world, but in the world of
Internet freelance writing the only things this will bring you are bad eyes,
headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

The key to online freelance writing is to avoid taking on too many jobs at once and
to make sure you get paid for an honest day’s work. The truth is that in the world
of Internet writing, giving 110% will only earn you a reputation as a good bargain
and get you lots of clients who expect you to work extra hard for less money. You
can’t afford to set such a precedent in a market where the going rate is already less
than $10 a page.


Excerpt from The Write At Home System
Own your copy today for only $9.99!

Busting Freelance Writing Myths - Part Five

Myth 5: Specialization will make you rich.

While specialization may work well for other aspects of Internet business, it is the
last thing a freelance writer should consider doing. You just can’t make a living
specializing in only one type of writing. Diversity is the key to becoming a
successful online writer. You should work to provide your customers with as
many different types of writing as you can manage.

There are occasions when having a specialty can make you a lot of money. The
key is to make sure your specialty is in demand. It may be ebooks one year and
Google AdWords another. The market right now seems to want ebooks and blogs.
It’s important to research your market before deciding to specialize.


Excerpt from The Write At Home System
Own your copy today for only $9.99!

Busting Freelance Writing Myths - Part Four

Myth 4: Being an online freelance writer will give you more free time.

Being an online freelance writer will only give you more free time if you don’t do
much work. This will give you all the free time you want, but of course you won’t
make much money. If you want to make enough money to become self-sufficient,
then you need to put in as many hours as possible for bidding, pitching, promotion,
and the actual writing. The more projects you can do, the more money you can
make.

It’s also important to remember that the life of a freelance writer is one of
deadlines. There’s no time for personal indulgences like sleeping in, taking time
off, or allowing personal problems to interfere with your work. If you miss too
many deadlines you will lose credibility as a writer.

Those who rely more on affiliate marketing in writing can afford to be lazier
because they are making money even while they’re not working. Affiliate links
are always online and the advertisements are running 24 hours a day, seven days a
week. On the other hand, affiliate marketing takes more time to get off the ground,
and the luxury of being lazy comes only after your affiliate business has become
successful.


Excerpt from The Write At Home System
Own your copy today for only $9.99!

Busting Freelance Writing Myths - Part Three

Myth 3: Internet writers need a website to make money.

The truth is that having a website is nice, but not necessary to the online writer.
Most auction bidding sites let you build a profile on their website, which means
that your page ends up in search engines much faster than if you were submitting
your own site. If you spend some time on your profile on sites like Elance and
Guru and describe yourself well then you should get plenty of jobs.

Excerpt from The Write At Home System
Own your copy today for only $9.99!

Busting Freelance Writing Myths - Part Two

Myth 2: Only good writers make money on the Internet.

It may seem backwards, but good writers will make less money than writers who
can produce less quality at a greater speed. If you spend too much time on a piece
as an Internet writer, you will probably lose your client.

Talent is not appreciated on the Internet as much as expediency is. Also, the less
money you charge for a job, the more you are likely to make in the long run when
your clients keep coming back to you. As I said before, quality is not necessarily
the most important factor in online writing because of the low reading level of the
general population.

Excerpt from The Write at Home System.
Own your copy today for only $9.99!