Freelance Ponderings and Advice

Shannon L. Buck is a freelance writer and blogger, and she enjoys helping others become successful. Shannon writes short stories and other creative non fiction. She loves nature photography, and walking in her spare time. Her favorite place to work is the park, so that she might experience nature while enjoying her career to the fullest. Skype = shannonlbuck.
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Copyright 2013 Shannon L. Buck: How to Live the Freelance Life

January 13, 2013

An Opinion Blog

Go ahead. Be controversial. People will read about your opinions whether they like what you have to say or not.

People simply cannot help it. Writing on an opinion blog is like gossip. People love it. They crave it. Even if they hate your opinion.

You will certainly attract an audience.

There are a number of topics you can cover, including:

  1. Life circumstances
  2. Family life
  3. Social causes
  4. Environmental issues
  5. Education

Challenge

Write an article about an issue that you are concerned about.

Quick Writing Tip

Write from your heart.

5 Writing Prompts

  1. Blog post idea: Religions compared

  2. Blog post idea: Activism

  3. Blog post idea: Over population?

  4. Blog post idea: Poverty

  5. Blog post idea: Domestic abuse

Quote

Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.

JOHN MILTON, Areopagitica

eBook

Greening Your Freelance Business by Shannon L. Buck

Greening Your Freelance Business is a very helpful book for any freelance career. In it, you will discover many ways in which it is possible to green your business activities as well as your office. So, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, or if you are looking for more greening tips, then this is the eBook for you. With the offered Action Steps in this eBook, you will soon be greening your business with the best of them.

PDF/ $12.95

Special Report

A Freelancer’s Helper

In this special report, A Freelancer’s Helper, I will show you the value of having people to help you with every day tasks while you work. Each person will have different needs, and this report will help you to decide what help would be best for your circumstances.

PDF/ $3.95

Copyright 2011 Shannon L. Buck: How to Live the Freelance Life

                                          Take Care of Yourself

Freelancers go through periods of time where they are so focused on the task at hand that they forget to take care of themselves properly. This usually happens while beginning their career path, but can happen at any time.

This process may last a day, a few days or even weeks. We forget about everything else, such as cooking, cleaning and, at times, even proper grooming. We just don’t seem to make room for much else, starting work on a project as soon as we get up in the morning and continuing until the wee hours of the next morning when we just cannot seem to stay awake any longer.

This is good way to burn ourselves out, however, and we need to remember to take regular breaks – even if it means setting timers for ourselves. We need to be able to give our brain a little rest, and to accomplish other things.

Set a timer for every 1 to 2 hours during the day, and commit yourself to having a good lunch at one of those times, as well as a healthy snack once or twice. Dinner will also be needed, and breakfast should be eaten before starting work in the morning. Use each break to also perform another task:

  • Take 10 minutes to clean each room in the house. Ten minutes PER room, split up by breaks. This will aid you in keeping a healthy home.

  • Spend a few minutes out in the garden. This is exercise during planting and harvesting time, and a chance to relax any other time.

  • Read an article or a chapter in a book. A great way to relax.

  • Journaling is great for mental health.

  • Shower. Clean is healthy, and you won’t offend visitors with odd odors.

  • Run errands. Done on foot or using a bike, this is also great exercise.

  • Exercise, even if just doing three mini workouts a day. Great for both physical and mental health.

  • Return phone calls.

There are other ways in which you can take time for yourself. Schedule them if you must, but keep them in your routine to be at your best:

  • Take at least one day a week off from work. Two would be better. I try to take at least one day off during the week.

  • If no full days can be taken, then portions of days should. I usually do not start work until 9:00 AM or later. I also take a few hours in the afternoon off from work tasks at least once a week.

  • Each morning or evening, shower and pamper yourself a bit. Relax for at least 30 minutes after this.

Quick Writing Tip

Write about what you know. What you live.

5 Writing Prompts

  1. Article Idea: Your spa experience.
  2. Novella: Self-centered man meets all American girl at a spa.
  3. Article Idea: Massage therapy.
  4. Article Idea: Relaxation techniques.
  5. Short Story Idea: What happens when Chris does not take a break from work, other than for a few hours of sleep during the wee hours of the morning, for three weeks straight?

Quote

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

  ~Samuel Butler~

Challenge

Schedule at least 2 evenings a month just for you. No work and no responsibilities.

Special Report

Your Teen Can Help Your Freelance Career

In this Special Report, you will see how it is possible for your teenager to help you out while you are building your freelance career and how much, if anything, you should pay him or her for that help. Teens can be a big help with things like:

* Their younger siblings.
* Keeping up the house.
* Business tasks.

Special Report

A Freelancer’s Helper

In this special report, A Freelancer’s Helper, I will show you the value of having people to help you with every day tasks while you work. Each person will have different needs, and this report will help you to decide what help would be best for your circumstances.

Copyright 2011 Shannon L. Buck: How to Live the Freelance Life

                                             Nurturing Friendships

What do you and your friends have in common? Work? Families? Keeping up with your homes? Life is hectic, and friendships often suffer.

Because I am building a freelance career from the bottom up, I spend a lot of time right now just working. Writing, marketing, promoting… it all takes so much time. I rarely have time for myself, let alone time to be hanging out with everyone I would like to hang out with.

Make it a point to get together with your best friend at least once every one to three months, no matter how busy you both are. I do this. Once a month is obviously preferred, but there is not always time. I try to get together with other important friends at least once a year as well. Of course, we can always keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter and, in reality, Facebook is how I usually do keep in contact with people.

Friendships are important, and need to be nourished. Once in a while, my bestest and I get together for a day and photograph nature. We have been known to scrapbook together as well. Or yard sale. Find something that will help you to nurture the friendships that are important to you. By doing so, you will be giving yourself a much needed break from work once in a while, and you will have a chance to enjoy yourself and some good company.

And who knows… you may come up with some writing material while you are hanging out with friends. If you make a trip to the coast to photograph the ocean and try the local foods, write a travel article about your experience. Alternatively, you may choose to write a review about the place you decide to eat at. Maybe you will do both.

Quick Writing Tip

Friends are great sources for stories.

5 Writing Prompts

  1. Article Idea: Coastal living
  2. Article Idea: Vacation ideas
  3. Blog Idea: Friendship journal
  4. Poem Idea: Friendship
  5. Newsletter Idea: Travel log

Quote

The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend. 

~Henry David Thoreau

Challenge

Make it a point to get together with your friends. Schedule time now for this. Try for at least one get-together a month.

Special Report

Your Teen Can Help Your Freelance Career

In this Special Report, you will see how it is possible for your teenager to help you out while you are building your freelance career and how much, if anything, you should pay him or her for that help. Teens can be a big help with things like:

* Their younger siblings.
* Keeping up the house.
* Business tasks.

Special Report

A Freelancer’s Helper

In this special report, A Freelancer’s Helper, I will show you the value of having people to help you with every day tasks while you work. Each person will have different needs, and this report will help you to decide what help would be best for your circumstances.

Copyright 2011 Shannon L. Buck: How to Live the Freelance Life

                                                     Budgeting

If you are like many beginning writers, you do not have unlimited funds. This makes it necessary to create a budget. In doing so, you will likely find that you will need to cut back in some areas of spending. Look at your income and expenses, and be sure that your expenses are not more than your income. Figure out where you can cut corners. Many beginning writers realize that things they have always considered needs, aren’t. I know I have.

If you are not currently making as much as you need from your writing, and you still have your ‘day job,’ keep it. Continue with the job until you are making what you need to live on with only your writing business. Cut down to part-time as soon as you can and devote that time to building your business as well.

When you are able to quit your ‘day job’ completely, you will not have to work as much on your writing career as you are working with both jobs right now.

Here are some tips to help you to get to this point more quickly:

  • Get on payment plans with all utilities, if allowed.
  • Save your income taxes, or pay bills ahead and bank that money each week from your pay check. Six months to a year of money saved for bills and other necessities will be necessary before quitting your day job. This money is to be kept on hand just in case.
  • Use coupons, preferably in conjunction with sales. Buy things on clearance. Learn what is of good value at your local dollar store. Learn to shop yard sales and thrift shops. Stock up when you can to have 3 months to a year of food supplies, personal hygiene items and household products on hand. Do this not to be a hoarder, but to be prepared if anything goes wrong financially.
  • Learn to cook from scratch. It does not take long, for instance, to fill a slow cooker with food for dinner, cover it and turn it on.

Find other ways to cut corners and prepare for financial fall-backs.

Quick Writing Tip

Keep a notebook and pen with you at all times to record your writing ideas.

5 Writing Prompts

  1. Article Idea: Cooking tips to help you stay within your food budget.
  2. Article Idea: When to quit your day job.
  3. Blog Idea: From scratch cooking.
  4. Blog Idea: Living through a recession.
  5. Newsletter Idea: Working less, earning more.

Quote

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.

~Jim Rohn~

Challenge

Create a reasonable budget.

Special Report

Your Teen Can Help Your Freelance Career

In this Special Report, you will see how it is possible for your teenager to help you out while you are building your freelance career and how much, if anything, you should pay him or her for that help. Teens can be a big help with things like:

* Their younger siblings.
* Keeping up the house.
* Business tasks.

Special Report

A Freelancer’s Helper

In this special report, A Freelancer’s Helper, I will show you the value of having people to help you with every day tasks while you work. Each person will have different needs, and this report will help you to decide what help would be best for your circumstances.

Copyright 2011 Shannon L. Buck: How to Live the Freelance Life

                                                     An Easier Life

Life is hectic. There is so much to do, that it seems we will never accomplish it all. We complain that there is not enough time in the day, but there is if we use it wisely. I am guilty of not using my time wisely.

I am always looking for new ways to streamline my daily efforts at getting everything done, to allow me to do more writing. Here are some things that I have come up with:

  • Doubling up on recipes, freezing leftovers for quick meals on the busiest days.
  • A baking day once or twice a month is helpful. Bake muffins and breads on this day, to freeze and pull out when needed. Bake casseroles to fill the rest of the freezer with.
  • Organize your time by getting paid work out of the way first. By this I mean work that you are paid directly for, not revenue share articles and the like.
  • Cut back on the amount of time you spend on email.

Now that my Zowie is off at college, I have no more children at home. I no longer provide childcare in my home, which was my “day job” for many years. During this years’ spring cleaning, I am going to incorporate organizational methods that will allow me to spend less overall time each day cleaning. This, in turn, will free up time for my personal writing projects.

Quick Writing Tip

Cooking blogs can be fun to create. I run the Frugal Recipes blog, which gives me great joy. It helps many readers with organizing their kitchens, and gives them information about eating healthy on a budget.

5 Writing Prompts

  1. Article Idea: Cooking tips.
  2. Article Idea: Time management for writers.
  3. Book Idea: A unique cooking method.
  4. Blog Idea: Cooking.
  5. Newsletter Idea: Simple recipes for those with little time.

Quote

To laugh often and much. To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To leave the world a better place. To know one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Challenge

Make a list of things you can do to streamline the different aspects of your life. Begin doing these things. Try adding one of the items from your list to your regular routine each week.

Special Report

Your Teen Can Help Your Freelance Career

In this Special Report, you will see how it is possible for your teenager to help you out while you are building your freelance career and how much, if anything, you should pay him or her for that help. Teens can be a big help with things like:

* Their younger siblings.
* Keeping up the house.
* Business tasks.

Special Report

A Freelancer’s Helper

In this special report, A Freelancer’s Helper, I will show you the value of having people to help you with every day tasks while you work. Each person will have different needs, and this report will help you to decide what help would be best for your circumstances.