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Write at Home Moms - August - Page 2

post #21 of 52
I'm free!!!

I just quit my critique group and I feel so free and alive and able to write and think and be creative again!!! I started feeling smothered about 6 months ago, but I trekked on, thinking I'd be a quitter if I left. Other people love critique groups, so I should stay, right?...

But after the last round of critiques, I knew I had to cut the rope. I usually walk around during the day with one or two new novel ideas rolling around in my head. But for the past 3 months, I haven't been able to think of anything! No new ideas, no new characters, nothing!

So I decided to just do it. FOR ME . I knew it was the right thing for ME to do and for MY writing. I just felt like my book was getting ruined and my writing style and voice were being smothered, distracted, changed, wrung dry...

The moment I drove away from my final meeting, I got a whole new story idea! And I just feel so FREE ever since leaving I want to jump for joy!!! I can start writing for myself again!!!

I want to blog about it, but a few of the members read my blog, so I can't blog about my happiness for leaving quite yet. I don't want to step on anyone's toes. I know some people live by their critique groups. I applaud every writer for doing for themselves and for their writing what works for them. I do.

But I also had to do for myself what works for me. I need to only hear my own voice in my head (and that of my characters). Otherwise I can't do it. For me it started feeling like 'a hobby', casually going through the motions, taking my sweet ol'time... I'll never get anything done that way. I needed to take charge and get back to treating my writing like a career: wake up early, write/edit for two hours, then get to work on the rest of my day.

I did learn some great lessons while in the group - what good and bad writing looks like and what to do about it. But I'm not about having an ongoing conversation about my writing with people who are happy waiting a month or two to meet again. It's maddening! To me, that is

Tomorrow, I start to get back to writing work. No more hiatus.
post #22 of 52
Awesome, MommyHawk! Freedom is always so nice. I was a teacher before being a WAHM, and when I walked out of that high school for the last day, I felt freer that I ever have.
post #23 of 52
I think a critique group would kill me.

Think of me today...I'm hunting down writing jobs.

If I need a reference for web writing, is it appropriate to set up a blog specifically to show some of the types of writing I can do?

rainbowmoon- That FWO site is amazing!!!
post #24 of 52
I have been feeling under the weather the last couple of days so behind on this weeks work already.

heidirk- I think that's fine about the blog being used as a sample.

cograts on your newfound freedom Mommyhawk!
post #25 of 52
I think a blog is perfectly acceptable. I've often thought of starting one to display my web content work, but alas, my best intentions have yet to prove very productive.
post #26 of 52
Hey!!!!!!! Subbing... still trying to revise the end of my story...like a lot of you, I've very little time right now...
post #27 of 52
what genres are we all writing? anyone else writing women's fiction? (at least that's what I think I'm writing )
post #28 of 52
I'm mostly a non-fiction writer. Fiction scares me. LOL.
post #29 of 52
Fiction is scary. That's what my personal work is, that and poetry. Just as scary, I think. I also do essay once in a while. Worked nicely for blogging.

In my day job, I write for advertising, marketing and packaging.
post #30 of 52
mostly writing non-fiction/essays here.

Doing a blog critique/refutation of a pro-punishment book author. little too highly specialised to be good for resumes, tho'.

post #31 of 52

About.Com Breastfeeding Guide

Hi Ladies,

I haven't posted on this thread before, but I used to frequent the older forum. I thought I would post this listing for any of you mamas who do web-writing and are experienced with breastfeeding and have done some health content. I am a Guide at About, been there for just over a year and really happy there.

If you are considering applying, my advice is to apply soon. It just went up today. The way the screening process works, the sooner you get your application in the better. The screening process is rigorous, I will tell you that. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can here.


The Breastfeeding Guide will be someone with professional experience working with Breastfeeding women in a one-one and group setting. Ideal backgrounds for the position include:
- a lactation consultant who works directly with breastfeeding women
- a doctor, nurse or health educator with extensive experience educating and treating breastfeeding women
- a health writer or medical journalist with extensive experience writing about breastfeeding
- a La Leche League leader or someone with similar training who can clearly report on practical as well as medical facts related to breastfeeding

The Guide will be able to discuss all aspects of breastfeeding and will possess a solid, up-to-date grasp of the topic.
The Guide will:
- be someone who is already familiar with and active in online discussions and communities that focus on food allergies
- be an excellent writer and communicator
- discuss complex medical topics using simple layman’s terms and avoid unnecessary jargon
- display an excellent “bedside manner” to help users through what may be a difficult time in their lives
- be willing to have all articles medically reviewed and edited prior to publication
- establish a friendly, authoritative voice
- consistently produce concise, accurate, legible copy
- possess a basic understanding of HTML and Internet use
- establish confidence in the scientific credibility, accuracy and comprehensiveness of About.com content
- keep current with the latest news, issues and events related to breastfeeding
-be willing to maintain the site's navigation, forums, newsletter, landing page


The primary audience for About.com’s Breastfeeding content is women who breastfeed or plan to breastfeed, at least to some degree, for some period of time. The site should answer their questions about breastfeeding and help them make decisions about their breastfeeding goals. The audience includes women of many minds about breastfeeding, not all of whom will be interested in breastfeeding exclusively. Sensitivity to the range of approaches to breastfeeding is required. The Guide should be able to the needs of those who wish to supplement breastfeeding with formula feeding or who are looking for assistance weaning a child.


Please keep in mind that Health channel guides are held to a high standard and all work will be reviewed by an editor prior to publishing.

The About.com Breastfeeding Guide will be working with a site that has content created by a former Guide already in place. Any Guide candidates should visit breastfeeding.about.com to explore what we already have on the site.

The current Breastfeeding site covers the basics of breastfeeding. While the new Guide may choose to eventually update some of the current content, the Guide’s primary responsibility is to build upon the existing base of content. To do so, the Guide should concentrate on the following topics -- this list is not intended to be complete; it represents a suggested minimum of the topics to be presented in the About.com Breastfeeding site:

-What you should know about breastfeeding before your baby is born
-Baby’s first feeding and latching on
-Different positions for holding a nursing baby (images preferred)

Baby’s Needs
-What to know about “scheduling” a baby’s feedings
-Tracking how your diet affects baby
-Information about nursing older babies and children
-Adding in solids or supplementing baby’s diet
-Managing special situations (preemies, special needs children, allergies, etc.)

Medical Advice
-Why breast is best – from what’s in breast milk to the benefits of the act itself
-Dealing with basic problems such as mastitis, blocked duct, engorgement, inverted nipples
-Dealing with serious problems (from abscesses to health conditions that affect mother’s ability to nurse)
-Situations in which a mother cannot breastfeed

-What to expect (from baby and your body)
-Options for feeding after breastfeeding/while weaning

Support for Moms
-Locating and working with a lactation consultant
-Breastfeeding in different situations – at work where there are poor accommodations, when you already have one or more children at home, when you’re traveling, breastfeeding for adoptive mothers, etc.
-Breastfeeding tips for those who feel “shy”
-Advocacy and awareness around breastfeeding
-Soliciting tips and stories from readers that will help others
-Profiles of LLL and other organizations that mothers can turn to or start on their own
-Product recommendations and reviews (written by you and solicited from readers): pumps, soothing products, bras, etc.

Special Considerations:
1) Reorganizing
In addition to writing new content, the Guide should be able to re-organize and “re-package” content that is currently on the site to make it easier for breastfeeding moms to find information and resources related to their specific condition.
This may include any or all of the following:
•Revising categories
•Updating User Paths
•Crosslinking to Parenting and Health Guides
•Creating pieces of contents that are hubs of information about different topics –hubs may include the Guides’ own content, the former Guide’s work and content from other Guides on about.com

2) Connecting to the larger community
The Guide should be a person familiar with online resources and advocacy groups. He or she should actively participate in blogs or other forms of discussion around this topic. We expect the Guide to build relationships with other who are reporting and discussing breastfeeding. This site should grow into one of the respected sources for answers and discussion on the web.

3) Creating sticky content
The Guide should have an eye on keeping readers interested in staying on the site and returning. Some of the most successful methods for doing so include:
•Creating quizzes (What do you know about breast milk?)
•Using images to illustrate and educate (example: what how to do a football hold)
•Building hubs of content – pieces that link readers further into the site by offering more related information presented in a well organized, visually enticing way
post #32 of 52
Genre? Yikes! I'm not sure. And not being sure panics me - if I can't see my potential readers, maybe I don't have any, right? I suppose "mainstream fiction novel" comes closest, although I can't think of a single soul (except me) who'd enjoy reading it...

That said, anyone interested in critiquing? As in, first reader type ("this doesn't work at all!") critiquing, not grammar, spelling, etc... (or excessive use of the ellipsis)...
post #33 of 52
hi! i'm excited to stumble into this section of the board! i'm a freelance writing mama. i'm a playwright by training and passion, but in recent years i've been making most of my money ghost-writing children's fiction (i'm working on my 8th ghost-novel), as well as doing some web content.

i have gotten a lot of work through Guru.com, for those asking where to find work.

i had just started work on my first non-ghost children's novel when i got the gig for the job i'm currently working on. i'm going to try to squeeze my book in, too, but money is tight so the paying gig takes priority, of course.

i have a four month old, so most of my writing happens when he is strapped to me, sleeping, and 4 y.o. DD is out playing with Papa or in bed for the night.

looking forward to getting to know you mamas. for now, i'm heading back to work ...
post #34 of 52
Wow, Joy, how did you get a ghost writing gig? How is the pay?
post #35 of 52
Originally Posted by katiedidbug View Post
Wow, Joy, how did you get a ghost writing gig? How is the pay?
i've gotten all my ghostwriting work through Guru, which is a site where people post jobs and writers bid on them, with samples, resumes, etc. there are a lot of annoying "My life is a bestseller, someone write a novel about me for $250 while I keep all the rights" kind of postings, but when you wade through those you can find some real clients. the pay for the ghostwriting is excellent (with a serious client), much better than content writing or translation.

my family is funny - my parents are very righteously indignant that i'm "not getting any credit." but hey, i'm getting paid up front before anyone else makes a dime for creative work, and i feel like i've gotten a massive education in fiction in the process, to the point where i feel confident enough to write my own fiction now. five years ago i would have told you unequivocally that fiction was not my game.
post #36 of 52
oh great, i joined you all and now i'm a thread killer.

Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
katiedid, I'd be interesting in hearing more about how you've found your content jobs. I did a content writing job for a bit before I was pregnant but they're not hiring at the moment.
i got a great standing content job from Guru.com, and i see a lot of them on there.

Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
So on to my next question... Does anyone know is there is a way to buy health insurance by joining a writer's guild? I know there is such a thing, but forget with what organization. If anyone knows please PM me!
i have access to health insurance through the Dramatists Guild, but it's not great insurance and i just get mine through my husband's work. the Author's Guild (novels) and the WGA (film & TV) both have health insurance, too, if you write in those forms. just from googling, i found this: https://nwu.org/insurance it looks like a freelance writers union, which says they have health insurance only for the state of New York, but are working on a national program.
post #37 of 52
Hey, ladies. Hope your week went well. I made my goals so I'm pretty pumped about that. What about you? Do you guys make weekly goals for yourselves?
post #38 of 52
Not me.

I have managed to reduce my workload (hopefully in a way that is both enduring and incrementally better all the time) for the office, but I'm in overdrive at home. I've made an insane amount of pickles, canned almost enough tomatoes for the year, frozen corn and green beans...and we're almost 2 weeks into Ramadan.

I'm starting to get sad, though. I feel like I am putting off and putting off to achieve everyone else's objectives but mine. Waaah.

School starts soon, though, and I have no intention of going back to work as many hours as I had been working all summer. I have developed two really good kernels of ideas for work I want to do. Now, just need to take the time for them. Soon. Soon.
post #39 of 52
i'm glad to see this thread started up again! genre? well, when i get around to writing, fiction. at the moment, i'm knee deep in writing articles/conducting interviews for a "green" magazine i'm so glad to have found steady work. they don't pay as much as i'd like but it's not horrible. online magazines are the best! some of them pay pretty well and it's so cool to see your work when it's all complete. they demand A LOT though. it's taken me so long to get to this point though. YEARS. has everyone else had a long struggle to get to the point where they feel like they can actually call themselves "freelance writers"?
post #40 of 52
Originally Posted by tjjazzy View Post
has everyone else had a long struggle to get to the point where they feel like they can actually call themselves "freelance writers"?
i've always called myself a writer - usually a playwright - even when i wasn't making any money. i find naming things really important. BUT, it has been a long time of building to the place i'm at where i have steady clients and make decent money and am highly rated on Guru. that feels GREAT. i've just started to feel like if something horrible happened to DH, i would actually be able to support my kids okay. (i have a theatre degree and had previously wondered what on earth i'd do in that situation.)

Originally Posted by katiedidbug View Post
Do you guys make weekly goals for yourselves?
no. but i've never really had to make myself write. right now, with a small baby, the task is really figuring out where to carve out the chunks of time, but i know that whenever i have those windows, i will write.

i'm excited because my 9th grade English teacher and i are going to start exchanging chapters of our middle-grade novels! i'm going to be so tempted to give her a grade.
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