Category Archives: Freelance

It’s Official: I’m Self-Employed

As I’ve mentioned before here, the library desk job I had maintained since early December of 2013 was not at all the end-all-be-all I figured it would be at the start. Being my first full-time benefitted job, it served me well for many months, but as more time passed I simply found myself underpaid and seldom stimulated. By summer, I was seeking alternatives to kickstart my writing career and to help me move in a direction more conducive to my skill set.

I started writing for Blogmutt and Textbroker in July, sometimes from home and sometimes while at work, as a temporary location change made multitasking in such a way very easy. Realizing the potential income and the freedom I would see at selecting my own hours and meeting my own quotas, I began planning my exit strategy.

The original plan had been to hold out through the end of December, when I would quit just shy of my holiday trip to Scotland. Upon my return, I would dive into working from home full-time.

But, as plans sometimes do, everything fell apart just a few weeks ago. My car, a pathetic 1991 Honda Accord with over 250k miles on it and a slew of problems, fell gravely ill. The repairs were due to cost me almost as much as purchasing the car had. With a near 20 mile commute in an hour’s worth of traffic each way, I was left with no other option: I had to quit.

So I pushed forward with my plan as best as I could. After a few torrential weeks of trying to get my ducks in a row, finishing up everything I had at my desk job, I’m now in the writing game as my primary means of income. And let me tell you: It’s working pretty well thus far. With what I made in brief stints over summer combined with my projected income from this week alone, I already have half of my bills covered. I have the energy to do the things I enjoy, like reading and writing for my own creative edification. I get to spend the days with my boyfriend, sharing meals where I would usually go without eating. I get to take breaks whenever I need or want them, the only phone I answer is mine, the only person I have to answer to is myself, and the work is all mine. I never have to go above and beyond for no recognition, I never have to stay late against my will. I don’t cry when I wake up in the mornings, and I don’t dread every weekday.

In all, though my freelance career has just begun, it’s been one of the most effective changes my life has ever seen.

It’s only a matter of time before the routine establishes itself in the most efficient way, and I’m so excited to begin balancing freelance work with writing my novel. Now, I may actually finish it just after returning from Scotland in January.

The pay cut is intense, but eliminating the expenses that come with having a car will certainly soften the blow. And for what it’s worth, I’d rather be happy and make just enough to live than keep making money I can’t spend due to crippling depression.

So don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible. Writing as a career isn’t easy and it entails a lot of strange sacrifice, but money doesn’t necessarily mean leading an enriching life. Do what excites you, what fuels your passions. Life isn’t worth living if it’s all about leaping from one money-maker to the next expecting one to finally lead you to joy.

And if you or anyone you know has a small business and is looking for quality site or blog content (on literally any subject; I’m a very fast learner), please contact me. My rates are reasonable and flexible!

And to the rest of you: Happy writing!

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Free eBook Covers for a Limited Time!

Graphic design has always been a little hobby of mine.

Recently, I’ve put my Photoshop skills to use in designing a book cover for my upcoming NA Fantasy, “Relic,” and have volunteered to create eCovers for a few others in a handful of Facebook writing groups. I do it because it’s fun, I can justify to myself that I’m doing something “productive” for my craft without actually having to write or edit anything, and it gets me connected to authors and stories I may have otherwise not known of.

But with enough praise and demand, I thought maybe I could start charging. I’ve seen others shell out creations for $25-$50 a pop, but I just couldn’t stomach charging up-and-coming writers so much for something I’ve been doing for free for so long. So, I thought I’d start at $2. That’s right. $2. Of course, that’s for “the basics,” but my maximum price is $15 for two complex covers to choose from. Sound too good to be true? My hope is that enough people will feel that way to really give me a wave of business to ride. If not, then I’ll hopefully make a few bucks with another very-part-time hobby. Not so bad.

And while I build my portfolio a bit more, I’m still offering one FREE basic cover to new customers. So what do you have to lose?

If you want an eCover for your latest novel, or for your very first Wattpad creation, or anything in between, why not give me a shot? And tell your friends! I’m no professional, but I think the work speaks for itself. Check out my Facebook Page for more information.

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“Relic” Finally Has a Face — Er… A Cover

It’s been ages since I’ve updated the ol’ blog, but between my constant loathing for my day job and trying to build upon this platform of mine, I’ve been busying myself with writers’ groups, discussing my manuscript with beta readers, and occasionally procrastinating the “writing” part by supplementing with other creative endeavors somehow related to my novels.

My most recent adventure has been in learning new techniques in Photoshop to create a wholly unique (e)Book cover for “Relic” free of all copyright-infringement worry and hopefully eye-catching enough to spark an interest in the content. I share this now with you!

relicmark8.5.14

Obviously the watermark won’t remain after publication (should that ever happen), but it’s just for my sound of mind, now.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

And if you’re interested in having a cover created for your project, please don’t hesitate to contact me. As with my freelance writing, I’m flexible with pricing based on your needs.

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It’s Not Easy Being Free(lance)

I’ve been officially employed by two fantastic freelance sites for two days now.

All around, just for writing a handful of blog posts and other content, I’ve pocketed $24 with more on the way. Already I’m seeing this as something that qualifies as a viable option for work-from-home employment while I continue writing and revising my novel, though I’ll wait to quit my day-job until I’m a little more financially secure: just in case.

$24 may not seem like enough of a motivating factor to justify leaving a full-time job to work from home, but somewhere between this moment an six months from now, that’s precisely what I’ll be doing.

BlogMutt and Textbroker both offer creative and professional content for a multitude of clients covering a wide range of subjects. In two days, I’ve become a flash-expert on grassroots software, baggage locks, color trademarks, the prices of medical imaging diagnostic tests, and the best ways for insurance brokers to create and maintain customer loyalty. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be doing research to compile professional blog posts covering any of these interests, much less such a spectrum over so short a time. But here I am, batting five-for-five.

Inevitably, rejections are on their way. But here are a few tips I’d offer anyone else looking to make a little extra cash this way:

Do your research.

Freelance writing doesn’t entail the kind of “creativity” I imagined. It’s a different animal all together. You must be able to work with very little information to essentially build something out of nothing, all while maintaining the illusion that you are a well-trained professional in that field. This is not sunshine and daisy work, this can oftentimes be a school research project on steroids. So, if you don’t know what you’re doing but you still want the assignment, be ready to dedicate yourself to some intensive reading and data collection. If you aren’t capable of doing so, expect more rejections than acceptances. The companies hiring content writers are often in a very specific field– and if you can’t do it, someone else will.

Quality, not quantity.

Though some seem very adept at pulling all sorts of money from the nooks and crannies of Internet writing, it may take a while for you to get into the swing of things. So don’t rush. If the site you choose has the option for a little networking (forums, a Twitter account, a blog, etc.,) utilize it! Take tips and tricks from seasoned writers, read your reasons for rejection carefully, and apply all of the advice you see to your next piece. Cranking out one solid assignment will do much better for your confidence and your wallet than spilling word-vomit all over your clients in hopes that one chunk of it will be bearable. And when you find your niche, stick with it for a while! Or at least keep it as a reliable stand-by.

Don’t be afraid of a challenge.

On the other hand, you can’t be too terrified of tackling something new. You might just surprise yourself at your innate understanding, or at the very least you’ll be broadening your horizons in many new realms. On some sites, you may be able to find more work simply being skillful at digging into subjects which intimidate your competitors.

As I continue to trudge through this process, I’ll post periodically with tips for my fellow writers out there.

If you’re looking to have any writing done for yourself or your company, or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here, or find me on Twitter @srmeisinger. For now, I’ve gotta get back to the grind I so dearly want to put behind me.

Counting down the days.

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