Your Creative Business: 2015 Discount Code

Is 2015 the year YOU launch your creative business? From the messages I receive, I know that many of you are taking the leap. Kudos to you.

Here’s something that will help.

Until January 15, here’s a discount code on Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into Profits. You can start the coaching at any time in 2015.

Here’s the code: 0MH63UGY

We’re looking forward to writing with you. :-)

 

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writers’ Burnout: Relax, and Create

I’ve been helping writers to create publishing schedules for 2015. Several writers are very ambitious, which is wonderful. However, you need to be aware that your energy is a finite resource. We often discuss writer’s block, but we don’t pay enough attention to burnout. If you try to do too much, and push yourself, you run a very real risk of burning out.

Today, writers write a lot. You’ve got 101 balls in the air, and you need to keep them spinning. Sometimes, for the sake of your health and sanity, you need to drop some balls.

What’s burnout? You’ll know when it happens to you. Over the years, I’ve had a couple of episodes, and I never want to go through it again. Here’s a rundown on the symptoms.

Relax, and create: always be relaxed when you write

You need to create, and to relax. Most of all, you need downtime each day:

“To help relieve pressure, schedule daily blocks of downtime to refuel your brain and well-being. It can be anything from meditation to a nap, a walk, or simply turning off the wifi for a while.”

Relaxing is a real challenge. It helps to get up from your desk every half hour or so, and stretch. Take a couple of deep breaths. Shake out your arms and shoulders.

If you’re a full-time writer, schedule your downtime. I go for a walk at least once a day. I also take Honey, my Jack Russell terrier, out to play several times a day.

You’ll find that when you take breaks, your energy lasts longer, and you get more done.

Do what you CAN do: be ambitious

Yes, I know it’s paradoxical. I’ve pointed out the dangers of burnout, and suggested that you build in downtime. I’m also suggesting that you extend yourself, and become ambitious.

I’d say that at least 90% of the writers with whom I work aren’t ambitious enough. They don’t have a real perspective on their skills, and on the current writing environment. They set their goals too low.

You can accomplish more than you think you can.

Make 2015 the year you stretch yourself as a writer. Go for writing jobs you think are just beyond your reach. Send out more qeries and proposals. And if you’re writing ebooks, publish more.

Writing more than you think you can won’t lead to burnout if you’re excited and challenged. Write what excites you, and scares you, too. Go for your writing dreams in 2015. You CAN do it. :-)

 Have you checked out our Happy Holidays Package?

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Freelance Writing 2015: What Challenges YOU?

Freelance Writing 2015: What Challenges YOU?

2014 is winding down. You’re caught up with shopping, parties, getting your home ready for visitors… A thousand one and one things need your attention. Although you’re busy, take a few minutes to think about your hopes and goals for your freelance writing career in 2015.

The Big Changes for Writers in 2014

Here are the changes I saw in 2014. (They’re in no particular order.)

1. Self-Publishing Got Bigger

Yes, there are challenges. Many authors are complaining about slowing sales; there are reasons for that. I don’t think we’ve even begun to tap self-publishing’s potential.

2. Content Marketing Took Off: Brands Are Publishers Now, and Many Companies Are Developing Content Strategies

“Organic” traffic took a hit in 2014, along with search engine rankings. Google isn’t handing out free traffic. Companies are realizing they need to pay for traffic. This presents its own challenges, so email marketing is important again.

Content marketing has jumped into the “pay for it” basket in a couple of ways: companies are taking content seriously. They’re hiring journalists, editors, and are developing content teams. They’re also paying for native advertising, and sponsored content.

3. Everyone’s Getting Their Head Around Social Media

Social media’s growing up. Companies need big data applications to make sense of ecommerce and social media data. You hear terms like a “360 degree view of the customer” thrown around.

Writers are wary of spending too much time on social media, and rightfully so — we’re all busier than ever. However, I think 2014 shows that writers need to pay attention to social media, or get left behind as their clients’ needs change.

4. Blogging Is STILL a Way to Develop a Home Business Without Any Capital Except Your Sweat and Determination

Bloggers like Pat Flynn show that it’s still possible to turn your skills into a business of which you can be proud.

All the nomad bloggers blogging their way around the world show that people will follow bloggers who tap into their own aspirations. Mommy bloggers and foodie bloggers continue to do well.

(Please let me know what changes you saw, and experienced: send me an email message, or contact me on social media.)

What challenges YOU in 2015?

My biggest challenge is time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or week.

I’d love to know what you find challenging, going forward. Please leave a comment here, or send me a message using the form below, or contact me on social media. You’ll be helping me to make this blog truly useful for you in 2015.

There are huge opportunities for all writers now. We’re spoiled for choice. :-)

It’s the holidays… check out our Happy Holidays Package.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

2014 Freelance Writing Review: Social Media

2014 Freelance Writing Review: Social Media

We tackled the blogging review for 2014 a couple of weeks ago. Let’s look at the social media freelance writing review.

In February, we looked at using images in social media. In 2015, images will be bigger than ever. What does this mean for you? Basically, it means that you need to pay attention to images.

If you’re an author, start a Pinterest board for your book as soon as you get the idea — pin images of your characters, or images related to your topic.

We talked about building your platform with social media. The money quote was:

“Please don’t worry about how many followers you have, or don’t have. And never focus solely on getting followers. You’re a writer, not a social media specialist. Your income comes from your writing, and opportunities.”

Staying with the platform theme, we looked at Pinterest tips for writers.

Social Media Can Be a Goldmine for Writers (but Only if You Use It)

In May, we looked at social media opportunities for writers. The big benefit of social media is that it makes you visible. It can also get you writing jobs. Your followers have value to the people and publications which hire you to write — they’re busy building platform too, and are very happy to borrow yours. :-)

In June, we discussed Google+, and said:

“Once you’ve signed up for Google+, get a Google Local page. Many of your clients, will be local — that is, in your country, if not in your state or city. A Google+ listing can help you to become more visible.”

In October, in our five tips to get social, we said:

“… it’s not enough to write. Anyone can write. Nowadays, to achieve your writing’s goals, you need social media. Many writers drag the chain on social media, moaning, why, oh why… Face it. Social media is the new reality. You create content (any kind), and you promote it on social media.”

Also in October, we talked about Medium, which has a strong social media component.

Social Media in 2015: Facebook and LinkedIn

Social media is vital for writers, and it’s challenging. Going through the blog’s archives, I saw that we haven’t paid any attention to Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ve added a note to the editorial calendar, so that we give those networks some coverage.

Writers can use these two networks in various ways; Facebook groups, for example, can be useful for promotion, and of course, there’s Facebook advertising. LinkedIn is growing, and has great opportunities.

Have you started using social media? How? Tweet me, or plus me, and tell me what you’re doing.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells… Check Out Our Happy Holidays Package

It’s holiday time, which means it’s time for our Happy Holidays Package. Check it out, and enjoy.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Fearlessly: 5 Ways to Courage

Writing Fearlessly: 5 Ways to CourageAll writers are anxious about their writing. That’s completely normal; it’s the way your brain works. Even so, you can change your relationship with fear: writing fearlessly is possible.

In my first couple of years of writing I was a wreck. I’d sit down at my wonderful IBM Selectric with tears running down my face. My hands shook as I rolled paper and carbon paper onto the platen. All these years later, I can smile at my younger self, but at the time the experiences were far from funny.

Here’s how to develop courage, effortlessly.

1. Breathe Deeply, and Focus on Your Feet

Yes, I know it sounds odd, but it works. It stops you running away. Do this when you’re sitting at your computer, and:

  • You don’t want to write now, you’ll do it “later”, because:
  • You don’t have enough information, you just need to ______ (whatever — contact the client, call someone, Google it…) Breathe, instead;
  • You don’t know what to write about;
  • You think your current project is useless…
  • And so on.

In other words, whenever you’re afraid, sit and breathe. Feel your feet in your shoes, resting on the ground.

Then write.

2. Meditate for Ten Minutes a Day (or Even Five Minutes)

Meditation works. I’ve been doing it off and on for over 30 years. If I skip meditation for a few months, my productivity drops. A few months more, and I lose confidence. Ten minutes a day is fine; even five minutes makes all the difference.

These instructions are excellent. Set a timer.

You’ll feel the results immediately.

3. Walk, Don’t Run: Plan, and Chunk Everything

Writers often ask me how to format an ebook before they’ve written it. Cart before the horse, right? Make a plan. If you were writing an ebook, your entire plan might be: “write an ebook”, but that wouldn’t be very helpful.

Write at least a page about what you want to achieve. Then develop a plan from that.

After you’ve created a plan with four steps or more, and a timeline, you’ve created a project. Next, chunk everything in the project down into small tasks. A task should take you no longer than half an hour to complete. (A task is something you can do in a single session. A project has several or many tasks.)

Your initial chunks/ tasks in your project may look like this:

  • Spend ten minutes listing topics for an ebook which I could easily write, and have fun writing;
  • Choose a topic;
  • Spend 15 minutes on Amazon researching books and sales stats in that topic;
  • And so on, and so forth.

Adjust your tasks as necessary. You’ll add more tasks, and will eliminate some as you progress through the project.

4. Sweat: Exercise Removes Adrenaline, and Relaxes You

Fear spikes adrenaline, and the answer is aerobic exercise:

Aerobic exercise is the key for your head, just as it is for your heart. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. Endurance athletes commonly experience the restorative power of exercise, and this has been verified in clinical trials that have used exercise to treat anxiety and depression.

You don’t need to go running; go for a walk. Even ten minutes regularly helps. A side benefit: you’ll get ideas for your writing when you walk. Take a pen and notepad.

5. Focus on the Practice of Writing, the Results Don’t Matter

True story: the happiest-ever days of my life were the four days after my editor at Macdonald Futura told me I had a book publishing contract. The operative words in that sentence are “four days.”

Writers write every day. Over time, you realize that your major successes, while their light doesn’t dim, aren’t as important as the pleasure you get from writing every day.

It’s the practice that matters. Writers write, bakers bake, bricklayers lay bricks. You do what you do. Look on your writing as just something you do. If you can develop that perspective: I write because that’s what I do, you realize that your successes, while wonderful, aren’t important in the context of your everyday life. And neither are your failures. Tomorrow is always another day. :-)

You may have a wonderful writing day today. Or not. It doesn’t matter. You’ll write tomorrow, and the day after that. And success or failure, it’s just writing, and it’s part of your life.

If you take these ways of developing courage on board, you’ll write fearlessly.

It’s the Holidays: Here’s This Year’s Package

It’s that time of the year again: holiday time. Each year, we create a Happy Holidays package — here’s this year’s package.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing for Money: Happy Holidays Package

Writing for Money: Happy Holidays Package

Writing for money has never been so much fun. You can achieve your goals more easily than ever before. However, there’s a catch. As with every other trade, you need to learn the writer’s trade. And you never stop learning.

It’s time to get ready for 2015.  I hope you’re satisfied with the way 2014 went for you. If not, 2015 is just around the corner — a brand new year, with new goals, and a new you.

As you know, every year we offer a holidays package, so here we are, ready to end 2014 with material which will take you into 2015 and beyond.

5 Programs, a $500 Value

What would we include in our Happy Holidays Package for 2014? I asked Julia to do a poll of coaching students, to see where their careers were, and what they hoped to accomplish in 2015.

Finally, we narrowed it down to five programs.

1. Kindle Romance Writing Course

Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances is a complete course in writing romance fiction.

2. Money Blogger Blogging Course

If you want to quit your day job, and become a full-time blogger, this program will help.

3. Nonfiction Superstar: Write and Sell in 24 Hours or Less

Bbooks have been the mainstay of my writing business for over 12 years. I know that once I complete an ebook, I can sell it for years. I’ve been writing and selling ebooks and other information products since 2002. Both before and after the Kindle, I continue to sell ebooks on the Web, because it’s profitable.

The big challenge? Developing a process. This program gives you a process which works.

4. The Piggyback Process

And speaking of process. :-)

What’s your dream? Maybe it’s developing a full-time writing career. Maybe you just want to earn a little extra money. Everyone has dreams, and if you have dreams related to your writing, I promise you that you can achieve them. Proactivity and piggybacking are the sure route to success.

5. Our Write to Sell System: Build a Powerful Platform for a Six-Figure Income

In the brave new world of writing, you’ve got an immense advantage. You’re no longer at the mercy of editors, publishers and clients who may or may not buy your work. You’re in charge. This program shows you the immense number of markets for your writing; then it helps you to build your platform.

At 181 pages, it’s a long ebook. If you work your way through this, you’ll become a professional writer who makes money.

This Package Contains Must-Have Information — Apply It

Whether you’re a new writer, or are established, these programs will make a big difference to your career. You’ll not only be able to grab fresh opportunities, but you’ll also be able to build your own opportunities.

Have fun with the 2014 Happy Holidays Package. It’s available until December 24.

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$47

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Questions? You can contact us using the form below.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.