Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Published ghostwriter wanted $20,000 payment (Los Angeles): Looking for talented writer to Ghost Write a book (around 300 pages) set in 1755. Must be published, either: novel, short story or articles. Please e-mail only RESUME in Word Doc or include in text of e-mail to NO WRITING SAMPLES YET. Just looking at resumes. Compensation: Payments in installments -- $2,000 for outline treatment. $3,000 for completion of 1st three chapters and $10,000 for completion of 1st draft. And $5,000 for rewrite.
(posted 4/26/05)

Quote for Wednesday

I usually have poor to absent relations with editors because they have a habit of desiring changes and I resist changes.

- William Gass

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Editorial Freelancers for Trade Mag. (Chicago, IL): Editorial Freelancers: National monthly trade magazine seeks highly organized, deadline conscious, freelancers to contribute articles and other editorial on a regular basis. Experience in publication writing, editing and production are required. We are located in the northwestern, Chicago suburbs.
(posted 4/25/05)

Quote for Tuesday

The ideal view for daily writing, hour on hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible.

- Edna Ferber

Monday, April 25, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Freelance researchers and copy editors: Star, the weekly, celebrity focused magazine is seeking Freelance Copy Editors and Researchers. Copy Editors are needed to proofread, edit and cut text, rewrite filed stories and write punch, eye-catching headlines. Duties also include checking proofs through various states; log and traffic work coming through the copy department; coordinate with managing editorial and production staff to ensure efficient processing of all stages of the magazine’s production. Researchers need to have at least three years fact-checking/researching experience, preferably at a national weekly magazine. Superior knowledge of electronic based research tools and Lexis Nexis is required. Must be a self starter and able to work well under intense deadlines and is willing to work late hours. Ms. Elayna Bloch,
(Posted 4/22/05)

Quote for Monday

Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.

- William Faulkner

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Freelance Writer for Monster.Com Contribute 1-2 Articles per month: We are looking for an experienced journalist to contribute articles to Monster’s Salary Center. This person will regularly pitch story ideas that would be compelling to site visitors. We are looking for this person to brainstorm and write about: Salary trends, Negotiation, Personal finance, Retirement, Benefits, and other interesting subjects that tie together careers and money. The qualified applicant will have a proven journalism background, an assortment of sample work and a demonstrated passion for writing about money and career issues. This is a freelance opportunity. We are looking for someone to contribute one or two articles per month. There will be a set rate per article published. This person can be located anywhere as long he or she is accessible by phone and the Internet.
(posted 4/19/05)

Quote for Thursday

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.

- Peter De Vries

Monday, April 18, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Freelance marketing writer: Tectura provides software, consulting, and IT implementation services to more than 4,000 clients in the distribution, manufacturing, healthcare, and service-based industries. Through these services, Tectura delivers a clear competitive edge to clients in over 50 countries. Customers benefit from unmatched experience and a solid commitment from more than 1,000 dedicated Tectura employees with offices spanning the entire industrialized world. We are currently seeking a Freelance Writer to work on a per-project basis. This is a temporary contract position. The Freelance Writer works as a part of a communications team to produce effective marketing and/or event related materials based on the strategic plan developed by the marketing staff to meet the needs of global, new business or existing customer marketing. Key Responsibilities Include: • Writing and developing various communication pieces, including, but not limited to, corporate messaging, invitations, brochures, ads, web content and direct-mail letters. • Creatively developing approaches that are consistent with the organization’s overall strategic objectives. • Working with the VP of Marketing to define action plans and creating schedules to implement such plans. • Establishing appropriate deadlines and priorities, in consultation with, and under supervision of the VP. • Proofreading and editing copy, which he/she writes or which is assigned by the VP of Marketing. Qualifications: We require a relevant Bachelors degree and a minimum three to five years experience in direct marketing, advertising or promotional agency writing. Candidates should also possess:• Working knowledge of technology, software and business to business communications. • Ability to adhere to tight deadlines. • Openness to in-house editing. • Strong organizational skills.• Excellent interpersonal skills. • Published work in newspaper or magazine, as a freelance or staff writer required. Location(s): • Candidates may work remotely from any U.S. location. Tectura is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Tectura may require applicants to undergo a drug screen and/or background check as a condition of employment. To apply to be a part of this growing, dynamic organization, please visit us online at and click on the "Careers" tab.
(Posted 4/18/05)

Quote for Monday

I don't want to take up literature in a money-making spirit, or be very anxious about making large profits, but selling it at a loss is another thing altogether, and an amusement I cannot well afford.

-- Lewis Carroll

Friday, April 15, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Newsletter writer, $37/hour, 10-15 hours/week: Paladin is a recruitment firm specializing in marketing and communiations positions. One of our corporate clients located in the far northern suburbs has an immediate need for a marketing communications pro to develop monthly newsletters. This is a contract position that will be part-time (10-15 hours per week) and done off-site (from home). The ideal candidate will have extensive corporate marcom writing exp. including corporate internal newsletters. Previous government regulatory experience and/or healthcare/pharma experience is a major plus. The project is estimated to run from May – December. If you are interested, please forward a copy of your resume and a brief overview of your related experience to:
(Posted 4/14/05)

Quote for Friday

[What to do when a sentence stinks]: Change it. How? Easy. Read a stinky sentence over. Figure out what it means. Now…put the sentence’s meaning in your own words…You may have to expand the sentence into two or three sentences. That’s allowed.

- Bill Scott

How to really make money freelancing

by Pam Baker

On average I sell 63 news stories a week plus one feature story and I usually have a market study, brochure, or speech writing assignment in progress to boot. And, I have the clips to prove it. What’s even better is I have the checks too! So, what’s the secret you ask?

First you figure out how much money you want to make and how many hours you want to work per week to earn that amount. Personally, I rarely work more than 30 hours a week. I don’t believe in living to work; it’s much more fun to work to live!

You must start by calculating your money goal or you are going to be overwhelmed by your opportunities and you will end up working all the time for very little cash. So, do the money part first.

Here’s an example of a formula you may want to use: To gross $100,000 a year, you needto earn about $1924 a week. Assuming you only want to work 40 hours a week the weekly goal ($1924) divided by 40 hours gives you an hourly rate of $48.10. If you only want to work 20 hours a week, your hourly rate must be $96.20.

OK, hold it right there! If you don’t believe you can earn that, you won’t. So get your head and heart straight about that. DECIDE FOR YOURSELF WHAT YOU WANT TO EARN. I’ll show you how you are going to earn that in just a minute. But for now, don’t get all gobblygooked over the pay – think of it only as a number. It is your quota and it is defined solely by you. Now all you have to do is reach your quota.

Next, take inventory of both your skills and your assets as a writer. Do you have articles you can sell as reprints? Or, can you generate new articles with only a simple rewrite from another angle (as opposed to needing all new research and interviews)? Do you have notes from interviews and recent research you can leverage into related but completely new stories? Do you have contacts you can reach quickly to generate fast stories?

List them all. Write your inventory down.

Now list the topics you are most comfortable writing about or that you have “ins” to. Do you know a CEO in any industry? Do you have access to professionals of any kind? (Include your family doctor, school board members, local butcher, and anyone else you can call that is likely to actually take your call). Do these people match the inventory list you just made a moment ago?

If you have a match – great! If you don’t have a match –great! What you have is a good measure of the inventory you have to sell to editors. You have an understanding of your immediate options in turning fast stories and fast bucks.

Each of the people you listed as your contacts know other people in their fields on local, regional and national levels. Each can tell you who to call for your stories within their professional realm, where they are and how to contact them. Learn to leverage everything and everyone you know!

Now make a list of the editors you write for, or have written for in the past. Strike the losers. Don’t judge losers by the amount they pay – but rather how well they actually pay. For example, if an editor pays $1700 an article but you have to move heaven and earth to collect – that’s the loser, not the guy who pays you $30 an article but pays like clockwork.

Ahh, but you say you can’t make $48.10 an hour with a $30 assignment. Yes, you can. Your quota is really the hourly average for the entire week. It is not an hourly quota per se and it certainly is not a per article quota. The editor that won’t pay up will kill your quota. So will writing for clips only.

Start with your cleaned up list of paying editors and look for things in your inventory to pitch that actually fits the pub’s style, tone and audience. Now go pitch it!

But while you are at it, offer to produce sidebars or related short-pieces and cameo articles or teasers…for additional pay of course. Think of it as your version of McDonald’s “Would you like fries and an apple pie with that?”

Now that $30 article has grown to about $65 or more. And it’s really no more work. You are simply breaking the information in your story down into several pieces as opposed to one story. If you are doing this from your existing inventory, it will take almost no time at all to complete and you are well on your way to your hourly earnings quota.

Another good tactic is to let all editors know that you are a “pitch-hitter.” Tell editors via email, postcard or letter that you can “fill-in” for them should another writer (staff or freelance) fail to meet deadline due to illness, car wrecks and other accidents, vacations, holidays, maternity leave, etc. Never, ever put another writer down. Simply say you are a team player and you will be happy to fill gaps as needed for the good of the team.

Congratulations! You just created freelance positions for yourself that didn’t even exist ten minutes ago – and no one is competing with you for those slots because no one knows about them!

When you are done with that, make a list of publications you would like to write for. Study each publication’s editorial calendar (it’s often easier to get the editorial calendar from an advertising rep. You’ll find them listed on every periodical’s masthead and often online as well. Simply order an advertiser or advertising kit, which is always free and often contains sample issues as well. But be prepared to get pitched yourself, that ad rep wants to make a sale too). Look to see where your inventory fits in the editor’s grand plan. Tailor your pitch to the calendar and tell the editor where the piece would fit well according to his own calendar.

At the end of the week, do the math and see what your actual per hour rate turned out to be. Now do the math on the checks you are expecting to receive this month and figure your hourly rate average from that total. Drop the slow pays and really work the good pays. Build each sale into something larger than it was initially and you’re off and running.

But always watch your hourly rate average. If you are working 60 hours a week for an hourly rate average of $1.15, you would be better off taking a job at the grocery store. If you are earning an hourly rate average at or above your personal quota then you would be nuts to ever take a real job again.

By the way, those 63 news stories I told you I sell a week – they come off the wires (PR Newswire, Press Pass News from Business Wires, etc) for free and require minimal editing for “Off the Wire” sections of printed and online publications. It takes me about two hours a day, five days a week and earns me about $1200 a week total.

Find the money, skip the glitz and glamour. Then go live a little!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Converting small assignments into big money

by Pam Baker

Every writer out there is trying to go over the transom and through the spam filters to get to the editor with the big dollar assignments. Less than one percent of the writers trying for those jobs will even get a two-line filler assignment. Yet that is where the dreams lie and the writers flock.

It doesn’t make sense really. Why go down the ego-bruising, rejection-laden path when you can make it big easier on the road less traveled?

The secret works on the same premise as the trick question “had you rather work for a small amount doubled everyday or get a half-million dollar a year paycheck?” The correct answer is take the smaller doubling sum – it adds up to far more in the end.

Instead of pining for the big paying jobs, make your own. For example, if a wire posting assignment pays $10.00 a story (which is the average) most writers will not bother to even apply. So the competition is minimal, relatively speaking. But, if you can take that measly assignment and convince the editor to let you take over the wire posting hassle then you can make a very decent living. By posting 10 wire stories daily (making minimal edits from stories pulled directly off wire services) at that same $10 rate you will make $500 for a five day work week. That’s $2000 a month for very little effort. Yet, all your competition saw was $10 a story.

Another good road seldom traveled: look for people who are required to generate a great deal of writing, yet who aren’t writers. Analysts at research firms are usually terrific at number crunching and making market forecasts, for example. Yet they are typically lousy writers. Fortunately for good writers, the analysts have to generate market studies which are then sold and generate income for the firm. It is easier for the firm to sell studies that are easy to read, well written works then it is to sell cumbersome, wordy technical pieces.

Pitch research firms on letting you write the studies and reports for the analysts. Everyone wins! Typical pay for a writer to write the qualitative portion of a market study is $10,000 to $25,000. In the normal course of things, the writer is paid 1/3 at contract signing, 1/3 at midpoint, and the remaining 1/3 of the fee on final delivery.

The same applies to professors and scientists at large universities, and compliance departments at big corporations.

Start by going after the cheaper assignments like a marketing brochure or a press release, whatever you can get. Once in, start pitching the big deals. Don’t overlook the human resources departments. Often they have to translate legal pieces into easy to read pamphlets and manuals for an undereducated workforce to use. There’s your opportunity.

Once in, look around and then go for the mundane work that pays big. None of this work is ever advertised, yet it’s easy to get as the people stuck with the writing never want to do it. They’ll gladly pass it on to you.

Writing for analysts, professors, scientists and human resources departments has its drawbacks too. Usually you don’t get a byline or credit and you can’t use the work as a clip since its really secretive stuff most of the time – not to mention that analytical firms sell market studies for $6,000 dollars or better a pop. They don’t want you to give away the goods just because you’re looking for more work, especially if you are pitching their competitor. But you can usually get a reference letter or someone at the organization to stand as a reference for you.

In any case, $10,000 a pop or better buys you a lot of comfort while you seek fame for that novel you keep threatening to write.

Freelance Job of the Day

Freelance editor-in-chief: Well established media company in northern New Jersey looking for freelance editor in chief for upscale lifestyle magazine. Will develop edit calendar, assign/edit stories, oversee Please submit resume to
(Posted 4/11/05)

Quote for Wednesday

Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Congress and Public Policy Writer: VoterPunch needs an expert on U.S. Congress & Public Policy to write Congressional vote descriptions for our searchable database of Congressional votes. To see what the job entails, the best thing to do is to visit www.ProgressivePunch.Org, a licensee of ours, and drill down until you actually see paragraph long individual vote descriptions (one click past the 1 sentence vote description summaries). We’re looking for people who are very lucid and succinct expository writers (think magazine writing not theses.) You should also have a very comprehensive knowledge of the inner workings of the US Congress – e.g. parliamentary maneuverings such as motions to recommit, previous question motions etc. as well as a broad command of the range of policy issues confronting Congress and the politics that surround Congressional votes. We’re looking for someone who has this information down cold, not a first year Ph.D. student who’s just learning it. The two individuals who have written the descriptions that are currently posted on the site are PhD candidates in political science at the University of California, Berkeley – one in fact is a second generation Congressional scholar. But you don’t have to be an academic, especially since we aim at a popular audience. Actual Capital Hill experience highly desirable, not absolutely mandatory. Send CV, cover letter & (preferably non-academic) political writing sample to If academic writing is only thing available, send that. SUBMIT WRITING SAMPLE WITH YOUR INITITAL APPLICATION AND COVER LETTER OR YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THE POSITION. An ideal writing submission would incorporate the following elements: a) describes/reviews a specific piece of legislation and/or a floor vote in Congress, b) explains the politics of the matter (e.g. How Republicans are trying to screw Democrats and vice versa), b) demystifies/explains the parliamentary maneuvering, c) explains the actual public policy implications of the legislation, and d) provides the rationales behind both the conservative and the progressive perspective.
(Posted 4/11/05)

Quote for Tuesday

Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.

- Colette

Monday, April 11, 2005

How to find all the freelance work you will ever want

By Pam Baker

You need work fast (every freelancer does) so I’ll cut the chat and get to the chase.

Get a website. Most website services have templates you can use to simplify things.
Put your clips on there and a bio plus contact information. I list email only, no phone numbers, maybe a mailing (not my home) address. That’s because I don’t want any nuts or stalkers to come calling. I can always give out my number after an editor has contacted me by email and I’ve checked them out.

Organize your clips into folders by topic (business, sports, relationships, lifestyles, fashion, news, whatever). Editors are busy people. They do not have time to search all over your site for a specific clip. But also list the publications by title prominently on the web page if you have impressive pub credits, or a long list of publishers. If not, post clips by topic in folders only.

If you do not have clips on a subject you would like to write about, create spec samples and put them in a folder titled only by the topic. Note that it is a sample or spec copy on the actual page, not as the folder title. That will allow editors to judge your work in a new area but you still haven’t given anything away for free.

Now create two to three short email queries all including your new website address (URL). I have one email query geared for copywriting positions, one for journalism, and one for speechwriting.

Next, go to website listings of job openings. Let’s look at for example. 95% or more of the listings are for staff positions. That means 100% of the listings are potentially freelance jobs.

Each job listing is a cry for help. A real need exists and the lister wants to fill it ASAP. All you have to do is explain briefly how a freelancer is a better choice than a staffer (usually because there are no benefits for the employer to pay, that sort of thing) and why you are the better freelancer for the job. You might not get the job as advertised, but you might get other work the employer has yet to list on the site. Call it creative serendipity.

Remember this is a numbers game. The more often you apply, the more likely you are to land something. That’s why you need several email queries of different slants and your resume on hand. Do not put your resume on your website. Remember the crazies out there!

Set aside some time each day to apply to as many job announcements as you can. Sometimes you will need to slightly modify your email message, other times you can use it exactly as is.

I average 15 queries/applications a day, which totals 75 for the week. I net on average 6 new assignments per week. It is what salespeople call “cold-calling” and it works.

I do not track the applications or note where I applied, nor bother to follow-up, unless of course it’s something I really have my heart set on. But mostly, I just play the numbers and wait on the catch. More out, more in. That’s the rule. Do it everyday religiously.

I do the same with sites like Freelance Daily which lists freelance jobs only. Play the numbers, everyday. Apply, apply, apply. Query, query, query. Just takes a few minutes when you have a website of clips, and some easily modified but canned queries and an updated resume on hand.

Check your email regularly. Be quick to respond with price quotes or additional information as requested or with acceptance or a “I pass, but please call again.” But, always, always respond.

Just remember, the only things that really count in the job listing are the job requirements. Can you perform the job? Then answer the ad. Don’t worry about things like “a college degree in journalism needed” or “full-time staff position.” None of that matters. Just show the editor/employer you can do the job and do it well.

Things that do matter are “this is not a telecommuting or freelance job,” “must work onsite,” and “must have x years experience.” Pay attention to those words and act accordingly. Your intent here is to create opportunity for yourself, not just irritate everybody out there (plus that editor may move to another publication but still remember his annoyance with you. That’s a bridge you don’t need to build).

Once you get everything set up, this daily exercise should not take longer than 30 minutes a day. Yet, if done faithfully, the effort will keep you working steadily and profitably for years to come.

Exclusively on Freelance Daily

Syndicate seeks columnists: New U.S.-based syndicate seeks columnists with niche expertise. Columns will be marketed to newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, newsletter publishers, ezines and other content providers. If you have experience writing for niche markets or are an expert in a particular field, please email your name, contact information (including phone number), resume and representative samples to
(Posted 4/11/05)

Freelance Job of the Day

Freelance business researcher: Dedicated freelancer wanted for regular weekly assignment. Responsibilities include research and reporting for syndicated investment column. Experience required: Journalism experience required; business and stock market knowledge preferred. Must be highly reliable, detail-oriented, able to meet tight deadlines and willing to make longer-term commitment. How to apply: Please email resume to
(Posted 4/6/05)

Quote for Monday

I notice that you use a plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. This is the way to write English – it is the modern way, and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch adjectives, kill most of them – then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together; they give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or wordy, diffuse or flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.

- Mark Twain, writing to a schoolboy essayist

Monday, April 04, 2005

Words of warning on Craig's list editing jobs

If you’re an editor considering taking on some of the academic editing jobs, you might want to take a look at this:

“Two weeks ago a guy posted asking for a PhD dissertation editor. He wanted a 10-page sample edit from the middle of his dissertation…It took me a couple of hours to do. I never heard from the guy again…This guy would only need 30 sample edits to get his whole dissertation edited for free.”

Freelance Job of the Day

Freelance managing editor (New York): World Business Media, LLC, based in SoHo in Manhattan, is adding a third title, Low Voltage Contractor, to its growing list of trade publications. Its Web site is This publication is aimed at the fast-growing low voltage contracting segment of the electrical contracting industry, essentially the installation companies and systems contractors that wire businesses and homes for low voltage hardware such as security systems, entertainment gear, video surveillance, computer networking, etc. We are looking for a roll-up-your-sleeves hard-working editor/writer who can help develop a complete editorial vision for this new bi-monthly publication, identify story ideas, make contact with hundreds of industry, government and association sources, report and write several news and feature articles for each issue, pull together the entire editorial product and work closely with the editor-in-chief, art director and production team to ensure that an excellent publication gets to the printer on time. We are looking for a professional journalist for whom this part-time freelance assignment fits logically into his or her other regular workflow. An ideal candidate will have several years of reporting, writing, copy editing, proof reading and managerial experience for daily or weekly newspapers or established trade magazines. A detailed knowledge of the electrical contracting industry is not necessary, but would certainly be a huge advantage. Interested candidates are invited to e-mail Jacob Goodwin at with your resume; one or two bylined published articles which demonstrate your writing ability; a brief description of how such a publication (produced every other month) would fit into your existing freelance schedule; any previous experience you may have with the electrical contracting industry, and your salary expectations. No calls, please!
(Posted 4/1/05)

Quote for Monday

The first essential is to know what one wishes to say; the second is to decide to whom one wishes to say it.

- Harold Nicolson

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Putting a charge in nonfiction writing

by Catherine Franz

You have just completed a draft of an article. It seems flat, even to you. It needs some spunk. Needs to be more alive. Possibly you’re at a loss on how to spruce it up so that it creates an emotional connection with the readers.

A flat fiction character is easier to fix with emotional language than a nonfiction article. Especially if the nonfiction article doesn't’t include a character or an emotional story. Keep in mind that if you have written the article from a personal experience perspective, then there is a chance you have already included some emotionally charge language. Then all you need to do is ask, "Does the article have enough emotionally charged language to touch my readers, to pull them in, to keep them reading, to move them to action or possibly a conclusion?"

Why would you even want to add emotion to a nonfiction article? It’s sure easier not too. Adding emotion to your writing, any type of writing, fuels the reader’s attention,helps them connect with the action. It gives the reader an experience. Experience is why people go to the movies or watch TV. More importantly, it keeps them reading.

"What does emotionally charge mean exactly?" Emotionally charged means using language that stirs the reader in some form. Not to sound flippy, but when and how frequently emotions need to occur depends on what the subject, tone,and angle. Yes, even tone matters in a nonfiction article. Is it to be terse, confident, or are you talking as an expert? Maybe it’s a learning tone? From a previous student now teacher. An informing tone, usually over used in nonfiction, turns off readers if used consistently, like in a column, or multiple articles, on your web site, or in a newsletter.

Step 1: Find the Emotion

Begin by defining what main emotion you want the reader to feel or to understand. Were you peeved about something and it set off the writing of this article? Maybe you see a wrong and want to set the record straight, or to convey a different truth, a truth from your perspective. Is it compassion oriented or spiritually based? Maybe you want to convey an inspirational or motivating tone. Is it love that you want to convey? Love for a topic. Love for a hobby or something you’re passionate about. Your love, someone else’s, the world’s, who’s, and how much love do you want to send out?

You can limit the number of emotions according to the word count. Here’s a common calculation: 1800 three or four. You can choose the emotion you want before the first draft. Yet, many writers, including this writer, prefer to add emotion during the second draft or first edit.

Close your eyes and feel your own inner self on your topic. Find the emotion, the tone, give it one or two words, and then write it in the article’s margin for easy access. I fit’s a personal experience, think back to that time,reconnect with that emotion. Did you feel numb, affection,anguish, excitement, shame, guilt, remorse, violent? How about confused?

One of the many reasons I love writing marketing articles is because I see so much misinformation on the topic and itriles my feathers. When this occurs, I write from this emotion and that language naturally flows into the article. Since this isn't’t the emotion I want to convey to my readers,I rewrite a second draft in the emotion that I truly want to convey. Usually, from a more loving and patient persepective.

What did you hear, smell, touch, see or even taste during the experience? If you personally didn't’t experience what you are writing about, do you know someone who did? Ask them to share their emotions with you. Put words to those feelings. The taste language doesn't’t necessarily have to be food related either. Your lips could be dry. You’re tongue can taste like you just liked a stamp. Relate the taste to something that the readers can understand because they have experienced it as well. We’ve all licked a stamp sometime in our life and remember the icky dull bad breath feeling it left on our tongue. My face is curling up just thinking about that taste.

Another way to find the emotion is to relate the article,topic, to music. Does it remind you of a fox trot, waltz, rock and roll, jazz, R&B, what? It could even remind you of a particular song. Can you access the song, or remember the lyrics? Musically lyrics are great places to find emotional words and language.

Step 2: Connecting

Close your eyes, sit quietly with the article. Sense yourself reading the article in your mind. No, not the identical words but the idea, the vision, the thoughts. If that’s a challenge, read the article out loud, very softly,as if reading it to an angel. Even notice where you take breaths. These are places where new paragraphs begin,commas or periods needs to occur. If you run out of breath,maybe the sentence needs dividing, eliminated, or even combined.

You can even tape record your reading. Listen with your eyes closed. This is also a great way to hear the flat places in the article. Identify the emotion from what you hear. Record all the emotional words you hear or feel in the margins. Every word is right, so don’t miss any. Place all judgment in a shoebox for now.

Step 3: Adding In The Emotion

Review your words. Brainstorm with a thesaurus, synonym finder, or dictionary. Continue your list in the margins. Now its time, before the editing process to add in the emotion. If the first draft is very dry, this is a good time to realize that it’snot uncommon for writers to rewrite the article completely because the emotion conveyed was too far off at the beginning. If this is the case, consider the first draft a brain dump, a warm up session. And now you’re ready to roll. Your hot, the feelings are sizzling.

Step 4: Editing

Usually, editing is to help clarity and tighten. Caution though, it is easy to remove the emotionally charged elements that you painstakingly added. Sometimes, when using an outside editor, someone that doesn’t hold the same emotions as yourself, they remove the emotions. Andsometimes too, there are too many emotions. There is adelicate balance. However, many editors walk this tightropecarefully and with honor.

Most writing needs energy, needs emotion, that convey thestory, the information, so as not to put the reader tosleep. Or even worse, stop them from reading. And yourpassion is what needs transitioning from you to them. Watchthe magic when you read someone else’s material that conveysemotions. See how they use the words. When I’m in theflow, I feel the emotion pushing the pen as fast it canacross the paper. I know, through experience, when this is occurring and I’m writing so fast, I have a tendency toleave words out. I use to stop at the end of everyparagraph and reread and add them. Don’t, let the flowoccur. Trust that whatever is needed will again be therefor you to filling in any missing blanks. Let the magiccome through. Your readers desire it.

(c) Copyright 2004, Catherine Franz

Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internetwriting and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.comblog: Permission for off-line not granted.

This article is reprinted with permission from

Why you don't write your book

by Suzanne Falter-Barns

In the ten years that I've taught people how to get on with their books and creative projects, I've noticed a phenomenon that I'll call "Author's Block." Would-be writers can, indeed,sit down and work when pressed to it. The problem is thatthey're not so sure they want the pressure of being an author. But they do want it. But they don't. And so on.

Ah, the agony of getting on with your book.

Well, I'm here to diffuse that situation with a list of the key reasons we have trouble sticking to our writing or other creative projects. Perhaps this will help the next time you find yourself polishing doorknobs instead of sitting down to work.

Check all that apply to you:

You Lie To Yourself About Why You Can't Write The Book

You think your stalling is about lack of time, or too muchpressure at work, or not enough solitude in the evening. But guess what? Chances are a deeper, darker reason may be at play, like 'I'm not supposed to be bigger than Mom' or 'What if this thing really takes off?'

You Fear The Impact Your Book Could Have

Sometimes when I coach writers in my Self-Help Author's Crash Course I'll ask them what's impeding their progress. And after some probing, it will come out that they're afraid of the big exposure a book can have if it takes off. I'm here to assure you that should that happen, (and chances are your book will notu nleash wild mobs of millions) you will be able to handle it. How do I know? On that deep level where psyche meets karma, you won't create a single reader more than you're ready to receive.

You Think Your Book Doesn't Matter, So Why Bother?

One writer I know put this succinctly: "I've tried getting up at5AM to write, or staying up late, or even leaving my home, but none of it works. I have this tired feeling that none of myeffort is going to amount to a hill of beans." In fact, writing and publication can be an entirely self-determined activity these days. If the publishing pundits don't go for your book, there's always the option of self-publishing paperback editions or e-books and selling them on online booksellers or your Web site. In other words, your book DOES matter, and you really have no excuse. (Acid test: if the book keeps on patiently urging you to sit down and write it for months and even years, chances are you'd better do it.)

You Think You Don't Know How To Write A Book

Guess what? Neither does any other first time writer. And that may be a wonderful thing. As a beginner, you don't approach your book project with a carload of professional expectations and demands from your process. You can just be open, like… well, a nice blank book. All you really need is your intuition to guide you, and the will to write your book as honestly as you can.

You Have No Support

You need someone in your corner, cheering you on, to get through the long and somewhat tiring process of birthing a book. Because writers need a way to show up and be accountable for their progress. They need someone to keep saying, 'Yes, you really can do this," or even "How's it going?" Minds can be tricky and difficult when fully challenged by something like a book. Andsteady external support is the best way around that.

You're Afraid You'll Run Out Of Material

There isn't a writer out there who hasn't had this fear. And I'm here to say that if you just stay loose and open, and willing toreceive the ideas, they will show up. All you have to do iscommit - really sit down, and begin to bring that book intobeing - and the work will magically appear. Sometimes it won't flow that easily, and sometimes it will scare you with its speedand power. But it will, indeed, show up.

You Think 'Who Am I to Write a Book?'

And yet, you are the perfect person to write your book, because you're the one chosen to receive this material. (You don't have to be spiritually inclined to believe this.) I personally believe that books are given to us when we're ready to receive them… and when we do, our lives are changed by that process.

You Fear Uncomfortable Moments

Ah, but that's the most exciting thing about writing your book. You will be given challenges and lessons that just seem untenable along the way. And if you're committed enough, you'll rise above them and so become stronger in the process. This is especially true for self-help books: we naturally write what weneed to learn.

Got a few categories checked off from the list above? Good! Awareness is the first step to diffusing your fears. Meanwhile, PLEASE do get on with your book … despite your misgivings.

Not only do you deserve this work - so do we.

Suzanne Falter-Barns co-leads The Writer's Spa, a week-long, nurturing retreat for anyone with a book on their mind. Taos,NM, August, 2005. Learn more at

©2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC. This article is reprinted with permission from

It's a miracle

by Lynn Colwell

"I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me."-- Anna Quindlen, Living Out Loud.

When aspiring writers tell me they lack time to write, I pose “The Miracle Question”:

Let’s say you go to sleep tonight and during the wee hours, a miracle occurs. When you wake up, everything that has been sucking time from your day and driving you crazy has miraculously evaporated and you have as much time as you want to write. How much time would that be?

What has fascinated me as I’ve asked this of a dozen people, is how little time they ultimately realize it will take to satisfy what they claim to be their heart’s desire.

“Ah,” most muse quietly, not believing, but wanting to, that a miracle could really take place, “enough time to write.” I can hear the smile in their voices. (I mostly coach over the phone). They usually begin by enthusing how, given the chance, they’d start writing and never stop. I question them. “Assuming you’re awake 16 hours a day, you’re saying you want to spend every moment writing?” That usually stops them. “Hmmm, well, now that I think about it, I guess not.”

A little more probing generally leads to the realization that an hour or two a day, perhaps a morning, would feel like enough. If they could devote only sixty minutes out of 1,440 to writing, it would satisfy the itch, make them feel as though they are accomplishing something, give them some control, bring a bit of peace and satisfaction or any number of other benefits. It might not generate a thriving career, but it could certainly jump start one.

My next question, and one I suggest you ask yourself if you’re in this situation, is “On a scale of 1-100, how badly do you want this time? Do you crave it? Is it a hunger? Is it worth sacrificing for?” If it’s a yearning, not a passion, you may need to accept that it is not important enough to fight for. That’s why it’s critical to ask yourself the question and be honest with the answer.

What many of us long for of course, is a real life miracle—preferably one for which we need do nothing more than open our arms and rejoice when it comes to us. But in a world powered by myriad demands, how is it possible to achieve our dreams if we are not absolutely sold on them? If gaining time to write is not as important to you as eating, spending time with friends or loved ones, doing for others; if it is not a healthy obsession, a fire in your belly, an overpowering urge, then you are unlikely to make the necessary commitment, much less stick with it. If writing feels like a preference, rather than a burning, hot blooded craving, it can be all but impossible to find the time, much less justify it to ourselves.

So may I suggest that if you want to write, but haven’t been able to consistently work the time into your life, that you take a few minutes to address these questions:

1. How much time would I need to devote to writing to make me happy?

2. How committed am I to taking this time? (Scales work well for this, try 1-100, 1 being “not at all” and 100 being “I am fully committed.")

3. If I am committed, how will I make time for writing?

4. What will I do if I do not live up to my commitment; who or what can I call on to keep me accountable?

It is as simple as this: If you want to find the time, you will. If not, it is best to accept that this is where you are right now in your life. You can always ask the questions again another day. Who knows, maybe then, you’ll come up with different answers. But at the very least you will act on your true beliefs and will relieve yourself of the burden of pretending that you can’t get what you truly want.

(c) 2004 Lynn Colwell
Lynn Colwell is a life/personal coach and writer. After a career including public relations and corporate communications with hospitals and high tech companies, she decided to devote herself to making a difference in people’s lives. Her complimentary online newsletter has been called, “An inspiring, exciting, fun, pick-me-up.” Sign up for the newsletter or contact Lynn at

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Friday, April 01, 2005

Freelance Job of the Day

Freelance writers for new literary reference works: Experienced, professional, prompt, meticulous writers needed for writing projects starting late April, continuing through summer. Work from home writing reference material (plot synopses, interpretive essays, character outlines, etc.) on major world classics and contemporary literature. Material to be published late 2005 in new reference guides from major educational publisher. Must be able to write engagingly for a high-school audience, meet very tight deadlines. Pay averages $30/page. Send CV and email detailing writing experience to
(Posted 3/31/05)

Quote for Friday

Analysis, reflection, much writing, ceaseless correction – there is all my secret.

- Johann Sebastian Bach