Sunday, September 30, 2012 | By: Karen Bishop

Free for Kindle - Managing a Freelance Writing Business

Fellow writer, and personal friend, Angie Leamen Mohr knows her stuff when it comes to finance. Her book, Managing a Freelance Writing Business: A Writer's Guide to Building a Strong Company (Small Business University eSeries) [Kindle Edition], is a must-read. Best of all, she is generously allowing her book to be downloaded for free on the Kindle until tomorrow. So, if you want to know how to better manage your freelance writing business, run on over (click on the book title above, link opens in separate window), and download your FREE Kindle copy of her book.

If you have a minute or two after reading the book, please think about leaving your thoughts in the form on a review on Amazon. We, as writers, know how each review or comment on a book or an article can help start a conversation, inspire others or help someone. Thank you, now what are you waiting for? Go download the book!!
Saturday, December 3, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Saturday Stumblings - Randomness from the Writerly World

Happy Saturday folks! It's a gorgeous day here in my part of the world. As I rub the sleep from my eyes and chug down a pot, ok two pots of coffee, I send up a silent plea to let me stay upright and not actually trip over my own feet.

I'm in the process of gathering and jotting down ideas for future posts for this blog. I let it languish long enough and want this blog to be fun as well as more interactive for the readers. Over the weekend I'll be busy typing away. I hope to have a weekly feature or two that y'all can look forward to.

In case you haven't heard, big changes are going on in the writerly world this week. Bright Hub has just announced the end of their writer program, summarily dumping writers and editors alike except for a very few. The worst part is along with this announcement, they informed writers they'll no longer receive page view payments as of December 15th. I know quite a few writers who wrote for them and think BH hit everyone with a low blow. The fact they *might* return some articles while hanging onto others and not pay for them is lower than low! In the words of a fellow writer....they pulled a Mahalo on their writers. Way to go BH, NOT!

Yahoo! formerly Associated Content (AC), formerly Yahoo! Contributor's Network (YCN) has now officially become Yahoo! Voices. *phew* Enough with the name changes people. With the change in name, they retired AC forever. I for one will miss that. I think it's safe to say I won't be the only one who will always think of it as AC. There are new submission guidelines in place too, but, at least to me, the changes aren't really anything "new." What I do disagree with is retroactively applying new guidelines to content written under totally different rules. Some writers have literally thousands of articles published. There's no freaking way they're going to go through all of them with an eye on whether or not it meets new guidelines. I think it's crap.

Last bit of news, which really isn't news at all, is about DS, or DMS, Demand Studios, Demand Media, whatever they want to call themselves. They pulled the rug out from under many writers and those who worked in the titling department were blindsided with an email informing them they no longer had a job doing titling work. Fellow writer Amy Brantley over at Freelancin' for $1000 a Week made her thoughts on this move by DS. Read all about it here.

Some writers have no titles or they see titles but don't feel qualified to write them. I'm with that group myself. The "home" titles I won't even attempt to touch. I won't be responsible for the death and dismemberment sure to ensue telling someone how to build a barn or tractor. :-p

Oh....just one more site I got word about was Wisegeek. They're also not going to produce anymore, or very little, content and are letting the majority of writers go as well.

Take a deep breath everyone and let's evaluate where we're at and where there is left to go. We are writers, hear us roar! We'll survive.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

10 Things That Scare Writerly People

Most writerly people -- like you and me -- are brave, fearless and courageous. We sit hunched over our keyboards day after day using the interwebz to dazzle the masses with our razor sharp wit, humor and all-around genius. During those rare moments we interact with other humans, we project a confident, fear nothing attitude.

We have to be fearless to give up a brick-and-mortar job and a regular paycheck for the unknown writerly world where money may not arrive for months. Not to mention our page views look a bit like the world's scariest roller coaster ride ever some days.

It may come as a surprise to know writers have fears just like everyone else. Yes, it's true! Not to worry, I've taken steps to keep the non-writerly in their blissfully clueless state concerning us writerly types. They'll either see a blank page or a jumbled mess followed by a ticking time bomb appearing on the screen that virtually explodes, depending on what browser they're using.

*Disclaimer* The list of 10 things may not be in the order of your own fears and any similarities real or imagined are purely coincidental.

Here's the list of 10 serious, and a couple of not so serious, things that scare writerly people.

10. Running Out of Pens. I'll freely admit that this scenario makes my insides tremble. Tapping away on a keyboard is more common than using pen and paper these days, but we still like to go old school now and then. I have a huge stockpile of pens and I can't stop myself from adding more pens. Maybe I need a pen intervention....or a pentervention...

9. Fear We Really Do Suck. It's quickly closing on three years since I became a freelance writer and sometimes I consumed by the fear I really suck, my articles are crap, but no one has gotten around to being honest enough to say so. I'm sure your insides or your hand trembles a bit, just like mine, when you submit an article.

8. Fear of Fame and Success. It's kind of funny when you think about this one. I've noticed many other writers, not just myself, are a solitary bunch. We write many different things we know are going to be read by thousands, hopefully millions, of people, yet fear being singled out. Being able to become anonymous by donning a pen name provides a layer of privacy.

7. Taking Chances. The world of writing is all about taking chances, confidence, selling our writing and ourselves to other people. I'll readily admit I sometimes--okay most of the time--have a severe lack of confidence in my abilities. I'm scared spitless thinking about putting myself out there to attract clients. There's a deep fear of not being good enough, of being rejected. Sometimes you just have to take a chance or risk losing a lucrative job when you let this fear hold you back.

6. Typos and Other Stupidity. This is enough to make the most confident writer shake uncontrollably with fear. Having work published with typos, and *gulp* even worse, published with one or more sentences that make no sense. There's also sentence tampering which turns perfectly sensible, factual sentences into gobbledegook. The meaning of sentences turned into non-factual stupidity leaving us, and readers, scratching their heads as we try to decipher them. Editors mean well, but if it doesn't need to be touched, don't touch it! When this occurs, go immediately to your email and raise some hell to have your writing restored to its pristine state.

5. Computer Wonkiness and Breakdowns. Computers, mainly laptops, have become the modern-day pen of writers. We use them for everything. Without them we lose access to our clients. The slightest glitch makes us sweat, fearing our trusty computer is going to go to computer heaven. Writers with older computers may also begin to tremble, worry and feel a strong urge to panic. Try to remain calm, retain your composure. Oh who am I kidding! Break down and sob, no one will blame you.

4. Trying to Right the Wrongs and Identity Theft. We know the world wide interwebz is full of misinformation, some of it truly horrific, content wise and the way it's written. The totally awesome writers, like us, pride ourselves on publishing well-written, factual content. We quake in terror of finding our good names on something which says: "He was on the maining with a halberd and did reach for sibilant tupperware." It's called a spun article and never makes sense. Although if you're like me and many other writers I know, you can laugh and have fun with it.

3. Quiet in the Deadlands. A descriptive way to express what it feels like when writers slam into the wall of writer's block, the feeling of a blank mind and wondering why our muse has abandoned us. The ideas for articles typically come from our lives, our interests, even our jobs, past or present. Running out of ideas and writer's block are real fears. I've sweated many moments of writer's block, even as I sit and stare at a huge list of ideas. Try not to panic. Just write something, anything to get things rolling again. Yes, tap out a single word 100 times if that's what it takes.

2. Deadline Pressure. I bet every writer has dealt with the nerve-wracking, sweat inducing fear of missing a deadline for anything. Even a self-imposed deadline such as putting up a blog post. Some writers will begin to obsess about a deadline right from the start. Take heart fellow writerly people, you are not alone in your obsession or fear.

And the number 1 fear of writerly people....

1. Realizing There's No Coffee in the House. This scenario is truly nightmarish, complete with palsied shaking and cold sweats. Affected writers may also turn into slathering beasts, accompanied by lots of teeth gnashing. Some may bear a resemblance to a pissed off Incredible Hulk. Give these writers a wide berth until they've ingested no less than 20 pots of coffee, which will set their bodily systems to normal once again. If you happen to be caught in the same room when they morph, make no sudden movements and leave the vicinity as soon as possible. Run to the nearest establishment that sells coffee, preferably Starbucks, and buy the whole store. Then carefully lure the beast...uh writer, to the store and proceed to pour everything with lots of caffeine in it down his or her throat.

Hopefully you had a few chuckles over the not so serious entries and found comfort in the serious ones knowing you're not alone. Do you have any writerly fears? Be bold, be brave, leave it in the comments, then get back to work!
Sunday, November 27, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Stumbling Sunday - Writerly Thankfulness

Butterfly; yenhoon,
Here I am, once again stumbling about, on this last Sunday in November. The cause of all my stumbling about is due to the enormous amount of turkey and other food I consumed over the past two days. I feel quite like the little piggy my beloved J called me on occasion. *big grin* He'd be so proud of me. I swear I gained another couple of pounds. I sidetracked myself and should've posted this yesterday, but since I didn't, this will be a special "Stumbling Sunday" instead of the usual "Stumbling Saturday Randomness".

In the spirit of the recent holiday, the randomness of the day is all about giving thanks. A few of you out there know I lost my life mate and the love of my life three weeks and three days ago. He was the J to my K. Some may wonder if I can find anything to be thankful for as I stumble my way around in this new, alien life in the midst of my grief.

It's quite an effort some days to see anything good. The holiday is hard without him, but I still have so much to be thankful for. I'm thankful John and I were given one year together. We made every one of those days count, filled them with more love and laughter than some know in a lifetime. I'm thankful he loves me more than anything in the world.

I'm grateful for my four children who mean everything to me. My grandson, my little man, is the light of my life.

I'm thankful I was born with such a great love for the written word. Not only a love for them, but also the ability, the talent, to craft them into articles giving others knowledge or just to make people laugh. I'm also grateful this love enables me to make money and allow me to "work" at my dream "job."

I'm grateful I can still walk, breathe without help and have full use of my arms and legs. Even though this body of mine sometimes betrays me.

I'm thankful I can see the beauty in the world around me, hear the whisper of the wind through the trees and the laughter of children. I'm thankful I can feel...even though at times what I feel most is pain.

Last, but not least, I'm very thankful to have friends who love me, who are always there for me as I am for them and return their love. The support of my online family has helped me get this far and will continue to do so on my not so good days, even when they don't know they're helping me get to the end of another day.

There's many, many things and people to be grateful for. My final thought...find at least one thing, no matter how small, to be thankful for each day. It does help and it does make a difference to think of just one thing every day.

What are you thankful for?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Have You Humped Today?

Greetings on this fine November Wednesday, also fondly called "Hump Day" by people all over the land. I bet you're reading this post right now because you couldn't resist taking a little peek after reading that title. *big grin* Awww, now don't start blushing just because I know what you're thinking. I have the same sort of mind. I wonder if it's because we're writers that our minds are often filled with strange thoughts, vivid images and are able to put a double meaning to almost every word out there?

I don't like to disappoint, so being Hump Day, have you humped today? Anytime in the last week? Have you ever caught someone humping? Feel free to confess all...or not.

The word itself just rolls off the tongue and has a pleasing quality to it when said aloud. Go on, say it. Doesn't that just make you smile?

Since we're on the subject of humping, have you ever known anyone who was clingy and annoying? I've known a few and the two words that always come to mind to describe them, besides the two I just used, are leg humper. Think about it for a minute. Some dogs have this awful, annoying and embarrassing habit of humping the leg of anyone who gets too close and remains still for a few seconds. They cling to your leg, doing a traumatizing thing to you. It's extremely difficult to make them stop and go away.

Leg humpers are the same way. They cling, traumatize, annoy and embarrass the person or people they've attached themselves to. You'd dearly love to kick them across the room or take them to the pound just to have some peace, but kicking them could hurt your foot and the pound only takes the four-legged, furry animals that say woof or meow, more's the pity.

Hump Day is also a good day for humping. Not all humping is enjoyable though. When you have to hump a trunk full of groceries into the house, it just leaves you feeling tired and annoyed. Then you have to get all of the groceries you just humped in put away.

I hope this short interlude has made your Hump Day a little more enjoyable. Happy humping!
Monday, November 21, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Mindless Monday: Be Mindless and Save Your Insanity

Mondays are a little, ok maybe a lot, like full moon nights. The day is full of weird happenings and lots of chaos. It doesn't seem to matter whether the day starts happily or not. Mondays are guaranteed to go screaming downhill at some point. If that didn't happen, why would we all hate Mondays so much? I'm going to singlehandedly tackle this phenomenon and save our writerly insanity we cling to like a toddler clings to his favorite blankie.

*WARNING: This post requires no brain power. You may begin to laugh so hard, people 10 blocks away will hear you, not to mention the "looks" you may get from the furry, and not so furry, inhabitants of your home.*

Ooops! Too late to run for cover now. Guess we'll have to just ride it out.

We writerly types have secrets we keep from the world while we quietly populate the interwebz with our genius.

Hey! *grabs a towel and begins to dry off* Keep the coffee shower on your side of the screen. *grumbles about coffee and inconsiderate writers*

I saw that! Yeah, I'm talking to you Ms. I'm-Still-In-My-Pajamas this late in the afternoon. Now pry your poor little kitty off the ceiling and apologize for scaring her. *tsk tsk*

I hope this will keep you completely mindless for the rest of the day. It's all part of my sinister plan to....*yanks keyboard away from evil twin; gives evil twin the evil eye as evil twin rolls on the floor laughing*

Sorry about that my writerly peeps. She is seriously twisted and loves to make trouble for me. Good thing I came back into the room because I forgot my coffee mug. Pay no attention to anything she says. Happy Mindless Monday y'all! *waves bye-bye*
Sunday, November 20, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Simple Sunday

We often get so busy with our lives we forget the simple things. Our minds are filled with day to day life, writing deadlines, illnesses, and the chaos of life with children. Sometimes we're so caught up in our own thoughts we forget to stop and just breathe.

In an effort to take a minute or two at least once a week, particularly now, when I really need reminding there is a beautiful world out there, I bring you Simple Sunday. Each Sunday, before the hectic workweek begins, I'll post a picture of something or someplace. Below it will be a blurb of my thoughts, feelings or just random daydream imaginings. Post your thoughts on the picture in the comments.

To kick things off, here is today's picture:

Winter frost 3; ivanmarn;
Even as winter puts her touch upon the land, life still survives, waiting for the sun to shine strong again. The beauty of the plant traced by winter frost is colorful and captivating. Life is also present in the fine web woven between the flowers and stems by a spider who is sure to be lurking nearby.