Monday, January 21, 2013

The Freelancer's Lottery

Last week was successful in some ways, not so much in others.

I did get another Chicken Soup for the Soul story submitted. Writing these stories always brings a sense of accomplishment to me. Some are therapeutic, like getting through grief. I have a few more ideas for other calls for submissions and will work on them over the coming weeks.

I’d hoped to get another query or two completed and submitted. I managed the basics, an accomplishment in my eyes. The best part of the week was free advice. I love free advice especially when it comes from someone whose career I’ve followed and supported.

I’ve bought her books and used a lot of the information she’s given to freelancers over the years.

Last year I spent money on a freelancing class. It was a good course and after having been out of writing for a few years, due to health issues, new baby and adjusting to being a mother later in life, I felt I needed a refresher course. You know, just in case things have changed. *things change all the time*

Eight weeks I went through the course. I did get some useful advice that I’ve used. BUT one email last week and I received more information than I did in the eight week course.

That is priceless as far as I’m concerned. I hit the freelancer’s lottery last week. :o)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Last Week's Progress

Last week marked the first full week back to the daily 9-5 work grind for me. With it brought the first full week of restarting my freelancing career. I normally launch a fresh start in September when school begins, but in all honesty 2012 was one of the hardest years I’ve had in a long time.

In 2012 I continued to struggle with postpartum depression…I fought to overcome a flare up of my Crohns disease (something I’m still fighting, but winning the battle). At the day job I lost my co-worker of six years. It was to retirement and I knew it would come eventually, but it still hurt. That meant taking on an additional work load. Add to that I was learning two other jobs to help others who couldn’t take a vacation because they had no back up. To say I was overworked would be an understatement. So redoing my freelancing schedule just wasn’t in the cards.

I’m pleased to say that I was recognized at my day job and things are starting to settle down. My boss hired someone to help me and I see relief in sight. YAY

I took the time to map out my first week of work and I had two to-do lists. I accomplished everything on my lists, except to find a primary doctor. It wasn’t from lack of trying. The doctor’s office was very short staffed and having difficulty staying on the line while jumping back and forth to patients. It seems the flu hit the office hard. I decided it best to call back this week.

At five o’clock on Friday evening my to-do list was complete and I had three queries out to editors. I was jumping up and down with the progress. I also submitted a Chicken Soup for the Soul story.

My health is on the mend and my energy levels are coming back up. I see a light at the end of the tunnel and even though a few of the magazines I wrote for on a regular basis have gone by the wayside I’m determined to find new homes to write for in 2013.

13 has always been my lucky number, so I feel the whole year will bring me new luck and new adventures!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dwindling Down Subscriptions

My Kindle Fire bit the dust a few days ago. I called Kindle for support and they were very helpful. In fact, they’re sending me a new one as I write this. They weren’t able to fix it over the phone…being in technology I knew it needed hands on support. Either way I should have a new one in a day or two.

In the meantime I’ve been catching up on my magazine reading. I have a large pile. I subscribe to the large women’s magazines and some other ones. Here’s where the problem begins. As I’m reading them lately I realize I’m skipping half the magazine. Why am I spending so much money on magazines that I’m not reading cover to cover?

Wasting money has never really bothered me before, but suddenly it is…a lot.

Well, I’m not any longer. Two were up for renewal and instead of sending them a check I sent a cancellation notice. I’ve decided I can’t continue to spend money on magazines I’m not reading, even if they are subject to a tax deduction.

There are a few that I’ll continue because I do enjoy reading them, but I’m cutting back in 2013. I’m trying to be sensible – living within my means.

Is it a resolution? Maybe…right now it feels more like a challenge and I love challenges.