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by Sharon
Rated: E · Book · Other · #1267252
Informative topics, reviews and my personal reflections.
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
When I joined WDC in 2007, I set up my blog to provide readers at WDC with reviews of websites, products, or information I thought might be helpful. Now that I have made personal connections with many of the wonderful and talented writers at WDC, who have been so kind with their reviews of my writings, I feel comfortable including more personal entries. I hope you will also feel comfortable replying to them.
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September 13, 2007 at 2:58am
September 13, 2007 at 2:58am
I've been remiss in adding blog entries, but not because things haven't been happening. Just when I thought that it was time for me to to go back to work, I sold two articles to two online magazines.

When I moved to Washington from Austin, Texas in January, I left a very lucrative job at a law firm. I loved the people I worked with and hated to leave, but my fiance had almost died when he fell twenty feet off a ladder and decided that he wanted to be near his family. My only daughter is living in Las Vegas with her fiance and I miss her terribly. My fiance told me to take some time off and write, which is what I have always wanted to do but never could. I joined WDC in March 2007 and Helium in June 2007.

As an experienced legal secretary, I've never had a problem finding a job, but I wanted to get out of the legal field that I've been in for over twenty years. When I arrived in Washington, I applied for two jobs that were close to where I live and was not called for an interview, so it was pretty devastating for me. But then today, after going to a third job interview, I came home to find an e-mail telling me that two of my articles had been sold.

I got to thinking that maybe I'm not getting these jobs because I'm supposed to be writing. I know it sounds trite, but maybe I'm on the right path by pursuing what I really love to do for the first time in my life. So, I've decided to stick it out and continue writing and see where it takes me. Who knows, maybe I'll finish the two novels I'm working on, or maybe I'll keep writing articles. All I know is that I love to write and unless someone offers me a job I can't refuse, I will continue writing.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has experienced a similar epiphany.
August 13, 2007 at 3:16pm
August 13, 2007 at 3:16pm
Monday, August 13, 2007

I have been so remiss in adding blog entries, but I've been busy writing articles for Helium Marketplace. What a great way to make some extra money! It's much easier than writing articles at www.constant-content.com.

A couple months ago, I had read in someone's blog about constant-content so I visited their site and signed up. I wrote three articles and it took about 10 days before they rejected them one by one. If your format isn't just right, they reject it, you make your changes, re-submit and wait. It was very frustrating for me, but I'm sure there are experienced writers who have succeeded. The problem is that you are competing with many more writers than you compete with on Helium. Granted there are more public requests for writing at constant-content.com than at Helium, but I believe writing for Marketplace is much more rewarding. The pay for articles at www.constant-content varies anywhere from $15-$150 and some articles pay more than $150, but each article goes through a screening committee first before constant-content approves them.

I'm not bashing constant-content.com in any way. It was just too frustrating for me as a beginner, but I will probably return to writing articles there one day. All I'm saying is that I think Helium Marketplace is much more rewarding. In fact, I was notified by Helium a few days ago that one of my articles was accepted and if everything goes well, it will be published.


May 31, 2007 at 2:38am
May 31, 2007 at 2:38am
Friday, May 25, 2007

Last night, I accessed a link for EasyWritingBiz.com while I was on WDC (probably an affiliate link). I ordered the download and read the entire 125 page manual. If the spacing and large type had been normal, the manual would have been half the size. It was informative as to sites to go to for freelance work, what the going rates are for your writing and links for various sources (with a little information about each one, which anyone could probably find by performing a search in Google or Yahoo). The author also provides the ins & outs and dos & don'ts of the business. Curiously, her marketing letter purports that with very little time, you can make a lot of money; but her manual drives the point that without a lot of work and research and time, you won't make a living or be able to pay your bills.

The download price was reduced to $39.97 (100% money back guarantee within 8 weeks), which they claim is usually sold for $99.97. You also get a free download of Camera Dollars, which tells you how you can make money selling your photos and imagery and provides you with links to various sites (with a little information about each site). I guess for $39.97, I got my money's worth, but I urge you to think twice if it ever goes to $99.97. With a little footwork, everyone can pretty much find the sites they list and do their own research on those sites for nothing. In addition, EasyWritingBiz provided me with a user name and password to access their Member Site, but as of yet, I have been unable to get there. I have written to their customer service e-mail address to find out why.

I did go to a site elance.com where I checked to see how many people are offering editing and proofing services. You can browse each person's portfolio to see what kind of writing services they provide, what they charge, how they bid and what the winning and losing bids were. That was an interesting site and you might check it out if you're interested in freelance writing, etc.

As for FanStory.com, I like this WDC site much better. It is easier to navigate. FanStory.com does have a free trial membership, which basically allows you to read and review, but you can't post your portfolio until you upgrade and pay a membership fee. They promise at least 3 reviews for each item in your portfolio.

May 31, 2007 at 2:36am
May 31, 2007 at 2:36am
Friday, May 30, 2007

Reading a newsletter today regarding self-publishing reminded me of a something that happened last year. I received an e-mail from someone who claimed to be a great author and just came out with his recent "best seller," a gripping mystery. He was giving me the opportunity to purchase it at a discounted price before it came out in the bookstores. At the time, I was working in a law office and not pursuing my writing career; and I had not visited WDC so I wasn't informed. I was naive, so I purchased his book. As I read the first couple pages, I was amazed by all the grammatical and spelling errors, but I read on. The story was very weak, but I couldn't get past all the errors. I finally ditched the book and immediately replied to the author's e-mail. I told him about all the errors and he replied saying that he had relied on his publishing company's editor to catch all his mistakes. I wondered. Having read the newsletter today, I think that he probably had the book self published and the company he went through probably wanted him to pay extra for editing. His marketing idea was great and he probably made sales from it; but he lost this reader and many more, I'm sure, because he didn't have it edited, or at least proofed.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if anyone decides to self-publish, my suggestion would be, "Don't rely on the publishing company to fix your errors." It should be the author's responsibility to do it, unless, of course, they pay additional monies for editing and proofing.

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