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#1 of 51 Old 11-18-2007, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thought I'd start a thread for those of us starting out..

I hope the more experienced mamas will stop by with advice. or at least we can commiserate and celebrate here!

maybe we can list resources here too?

I had a really good lead for an article I 'm pretty I could have gotten, I missed the deadline though for the submission. oops. : anyway at least it opened my eyes to having to be a bit more on top of things.

which brings me to my bigger problem how do those with small children at home find time to write? is not sleeping the only option? I can whip out a couple things for AC throughout the day but can't committ to more than 10 min blocks at a time. ugh. it's hard to go in and out of focus at times. any advice? (I don't have a sitter or anyone to help out with the kiddos currently btw)

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#2 of 51 Old 11-18-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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I started off with 2 - 1hr blocks a week and whatever time I could squeeze in around the edges. It was definitely tough - but I know loads of SAHM who also freelance. As you earn morn money having a mother's helper for 3-4 hours a week isn't a bad idea though.

For anyone starting out I would suggest reading through
writersweekly.com. There are oodles of great articles about getting started. I would also get the Renegade Writer out of the library.

Then decide on an area that you have some specialized knowledge in. Take a class - or work together here to figure out how to write a killer query. Send it until you hit pay dirt. Then do the assignment and repeat. Once you get going you'll have a bunch of queries floating out there at anytime and work on the go on a fairly steady basis.

It's pretty straight forward, but takes commitment to seeing it through. Everyone I know who's made it took about 3-4 months of persistent querying to get going.
Diane
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#3 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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I don't know if you guys are just interested in writing for print media, but there's also tons of work available on the web - ghostwriting, copywriting, writing web content...the best part is that the cash goes straight to your paypal account - no waiting for checks. There are also bidding sites, where you can bid on projects available.

I've built up my own client base in about six months this way(online), and now work completely from home. I primarily find my work in internet marketing forums and by placing ads. I'm starting to cover it on my blog, but it's monetized, so I can't post the link here.

Sandi - Work at home writer mama to Zoe the monkey girl 9/06 and Luna the zen baby 8/08
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#4 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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Naptime, before the kids get up (doesn't work for me...I sleep in), after they go to bed and when they are at a sitter.

If you can afford it, drop them off for 2 hrs or so once or twice a week to really give you time to work. Don't do mother's helper at home-- they'll still be all on top of you, wanting to know what's going on.

You CAN do it.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#5 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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#6 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks mamas for all the info!

yes and any advice on writing a query would be much appreciated!

I will find a copy of The Renegade Writer too. thanks so much again for the tips!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#7 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 04:25 AM
 
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Hi,

This thread is a good idea. I used to write a lot when DS2 was nursing and DS1 was a pre-school three afternoons a week. Now DS2 does not sleep very much anymore and DS1 goes to school. It is little bits of time around the edges of life right now.

Sometimes DH looks after DS2 for a morning or something, but he is really stressed writing something now, so it doesn't really work. DS2 feels that he is stressed and keeps coming running to me.

Working in the evening after I have looked after the kids all day does not work for me right now. I am totally exhausted after a day!

I also notice that how tired I am and how productie I am really varies with my menstrual cycle. Just before I start bleeding, I can survivie on 6 hours sleep, but when I am bleeding, I really need 10 hours a night!

Rebecca

Mama to DS1 and DS2
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#8 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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subbing
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#9 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how would one go about trying to get a newspaper job?

I would really love to write for my teeny tiny local paper (in their health section) it's a very small town paper. It's seriously only like 10-20 pages total (for the whole paper). Oh and it's only published 2x a week.

I'd even do it for very little $ as I just want the experience.

What do you think? How would you go after such a job? I have actually emailed with the editor a couple of times over some letters I had published in the paper last year and he seems real nice.

Could I just email him my AC link? (the majority of my articles are health related) Or would that be out of line and totally unprofessional? (remember it's an extremely small town paper)

any advice?

btw the paper is here
http://www.nogalesinternational.com/front/

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#10 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Hi there - I would email him an LOI (letter of introduction) where you outline your experience (link to 1 or 2 of your best stories that are most closely related) and let him know of your interest in working for him. Then suggest one or two ideas to him (go for one paragraph length outlines.)

Tell him you'll follow-up by phone in a week to talk to him about how you might be able to work together.

Do not offer to write for a reduced rate or for the experience - that will make you sound unprofessional. Instead look at yourself as someone who has something positive to offer his readers.

Keep everything brief, no more that 4 grafs.
I'd be happy to look it over and offer critique if you like.

And btw - Newspapers are really cutting back these days so if it doesn't go anywhere with him, try tweaking it and send it to all the alternative mags in your area (check at your HFS for the various freebees etc)
Diane

Hmm - I just looked at the link. Are the health pages credited to a local writer? Or are they taken from the wire? That will make a difference. Typically you need to see if a pub even uses freelancers. Usually you can tell if the authors name changes regularly or they are called a contributing writer.
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#11 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oops. no I wasn't going to tell them I'd work for next to nothing

Thanks so much for the tips! I appreciate it so much! and I may take you up on your offer to proof read my email! (thank you! )

The thing that made me think they might need writers was some of thier articles were someone else's articles (with no author credited) submitted by a local yoga studio. the health section is only 1 page mind you. I could write other things too so I won't limit myself to just that of course.

As for outlining past articles/experience. Should I include web links of my articles or the actual articles as a sample? or do you mean just include titles and summaries?

I have been asked/suggested to submit a couple of queries for some local alternative mags. I will look into those more this week as well. I just keep forgetting about it, it's not high paying work or anything either, but I really should look into it further!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#12 of 51 Old 11-20-2007, 06:30 AM
 
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I'm just starting out. I've done my research, I've got my ideas and am working on my first query. The thing I'm not sure about is sending the query to more than one publication. Some books say you have to send it out there to wherever you think it might get picked up or you could be waiting forever for a sale doing it one by one, but others say you must not send a query to competing mags at the same time because if two or more want to to buy it, the second one will think it's unprofessional and be annoyed if you'd already sold it.

What do you think or what do you do about this?

Mother. Doula. Writer. Feminist. Activist. 
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#13 of 51 Old 11-20-2007, 01:31 PM
 
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Simultaneous submissions are pretty much the norm these days. I would reslant it slightly for different markets but it's fine.
When it does sell simply send a follow-up note withdrawing from anyone who didn't respond - this gives you a good opportunity to send your next idea.
Diane
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#14 of 51 Old 11-22-2007, 02:56 AM
 
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Subbing!!

I'm starting in freelance but not a mom yet!

Erika SO to *S*: and Aunt to *A*(10), *Z*(9), and *D*(8)
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#15 of 51 Old 11-22-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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also subbing! I'd like to freelance but never finished my degree (incidentally in creative writing). My ds is a high-needs 18m old and takes up a LOT of my time, so I may just lurk a lot on this thread, hope that's ok.

SAHM to my wonderful constellationwild.gif 5/2006 & northern light bouncy.gif1/2009 fly-by-nursing1.giffambedsingle2.gifslingboy.gif
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#16 of 51 Old 11-24-2007, 02:34 AM
 
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lurk all you want! Aren't you in the AC thread too?

Erika SO to *S*: and Aunt to *A*(10), *Z*(9), and *D*(8)
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#17 of 51 Old 11-24-2007, 06:07 AM
 
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No, I signed up for AC but never wrote anything.
Also signed up for Helium, never wrote anything for that either!
I'm better at fiction than non-fiction so I primarily write that.

SAHM to my wonderful constellationwild.gif 5/2006 & northern light bouncy.gif1/2009 fly-by-nursing1.giffambedsingle2.gifslingboy.gif
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#18 of 51 Old 11-24-2007, 06:09 AM
 
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Well you can feel free to still check in on the AC thread!

Beginner Freelancers, has anyone had any luck with using craigslist to find work?

Erika SO to *S*: and Aunt to *A*(10), *Z*(9), and *D*(8)
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#19 of 51 Old 11-24-2007, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found one job (guest writing for a health and wellness blog) through CL.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#20 of 51 Old 11-26-2007, 09:00 AM
 
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How is that working out?

Erika SO to *S*: and Aunt to *A*(10), *Z*(9), and *D*(8)
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#21 of 51 Old 11-26-2007, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well it's web writing so not much $$$ IYKWIM! ( I will get a discount on massage therapy supplies in a few months)

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#22 of 51 Old 11-26-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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Well, I'm certainly new. I haven't written in 15 years, so I'm really out of the loop. But I just finished my first novel, and now have the writing bug. But seriously, I need sooo much help right now!:

Busy Mama to three beautiful girls and loving wife to my hubby
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#23 of 51 Old 11-28-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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subbing. On my phone's browser right now so kind of hard to post.
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#24 of 51 Old 12-13-2007, 07:09 AM
 
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Erika SO to *S*: and Aunt to *A*(10), *Z*(9), and *D*(8)
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#25 of 51 Old 01-05-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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#26 of 51 Old 01-06-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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As someone who has been on staff at a paper, they're always in need of help.

I'm assuming you've got one editor there, since it is a small place? I'd send in an email, letter of introduction. Here's where some beginners mess up: You don't need to tell him you don't have tons of experience. If you have any education experience or any experience that might be good to health, let him know.

(WHy am I saying "Him?" Okay. Let her know.)

Send along a clip or two, make sure they're your best. And then, hit send. You might get lucky and get her on a slow day or you might not. Is it a daily? Weekly?

If you don't hear back in a week or so, call the front desk and ask when is the best day to try and reach the editor.

Most people start out at small places, be it a weekly or the college paper. And, of course, DO NOT MENTION THAT YOU WOULD WORK FOR BEANS. They'll probably pay beans (I'd hope for at least $50/article) but keep your options open, ya know?

Then, once you've really started to get some good clips under your belt and really feel you've got the writing/news/freelance down, go on to bigger markets.

Yes, you can do it. Good for you for setting your goal.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#27 of 51 Old 01-06-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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: :

Apprarently I speak well in emoticon today, but I am also a writer. I'm on AC, but it's been a little while since I put something up there. Maybe next week....

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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#28 of 51 Old 01-06-2008, 02:40 AM
 
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I just checked my helium, and I have made 74 cents. So I went ahead and wrote more. Does anyone here remember Themestream? I made a fortune on Themestream, I wish I could find something liek that again. They'd probably go out of business, too.

In answer to the original question; I wake up 2-3 hours before my kids do.
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#29 of 51 Old 01-07-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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I am a university student who needs to supplement my income (partly for living expenses and partly for debt repayment). I want to do freelance work (almost anything, blogging, writing, ghostwriting, columnist, data entry, clerk, virtual assistant, etc.) I have no idea where to start.

I have joined AC, Helium, and Hubs but I have no idea where to start? Any help for a newbie just starting out and no idea where to start making some actual money, would be appreciated.

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#30 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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I'd love to join this thread! I used to freelance a bit some years ago and haven't had the stick-to-it attitude to write much lately. I'm ready to jump back into the writing scene on a small scale with emphasis in holistic health and women's health from a natural standpoint. Does anyone want an accountability buddy? I tend to get very lazy with my writing but I have a ton of ideas, it just doesn't get done.
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