Proper Client /Writer Etiquette-7 Simple Rules We Learned in Kindergarten

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I’m a freelance writer, but it isn’t as simple as that. I also spend time advertising and marketing my skills. The purpose of writing this article is for an informative and kind reminder to the client who is actively seeking a writer for a job they cannot or simply do not wish to tackle.

I would like to discuss the importance of proper client/writer etiquette. How important is it to practice proper etiquette between the two parties involved?  I’d have to say it’s as important as eating, proper hygiene, and having enough water to drink.

Proper client/writer etiquette is not difficult. As a matter of fact; the premise for these basic rules was taught by the time most of us reached the age of five. I am not being sarcastic by any means, I am simply making a valid point.

Here are the 7 basic rules of etiquette that should always occur between client and writer:

  • Use good manners-Being polite goes a long way, and is the first rule of thumb in establishing a positive business relationship.
  • Don’t be grumpy- A smile and a positive attitude means everything. After all-who likes working with a person who’s grumpy?
  • Work together-Two brains are better than one. It’s never all about you, and shouldnt be. Team work should be essential for a productive outcome.
  • When someone talks to you-be courteous and answer back-This is very important concerning both parties. How can you establish a business relationship if you aren’t returning phone calls or you’re ghosting the other party?
  • Dont be mean to others-In the wonderful world of grownups this means to treat others with respect, and absolutely do not allow others to walk all over you like a door mat.
  • Play nice-It’s always best to be fair and while this isn’t a childs game the same rule still applies: be a good player and practice good sportsmanship.
  • Share-This is one of my favorite rules of etiquette.The grownup term is comparable to “Pay it Forward.” It’s seems that some folks forget where they came from. Does this mean accepting a job for pennies or paying  for more than your budget allows? No-but it goes back to the simple rule  of playing nice.

So, there you have it. These are the simple  7 rules of etiquette we all learned in kindergarten. Remember… If at any time a potential client does not follow these rules; I am no longer available for their writing needs. After all, if a client contacts me it is because they are not able, or not willing to tackle the writing project at hand. Oh, and those 7 rules also apply to me. I always do my best to practice all 7 rules-these same rules my kindergarten teacher taught me so many years ago.

~and that’s all she wrote!

Until next time….

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Thoughts on Writing my First Eulogy

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A few days back my phone rang-it was a client needing my services. This wasn’t a surprise as I receive phone calls quite frequently inquiring about my freelance writing provisions.  What made this phone call different was the type of article needed…a eulogy. Although I’ve advertised  these services as part of my writing portfolio, I never thought of the impact it would have on me emotionally.

I spoke with the gentleman briefly by phone as I explained my fees and how I could help him. I understood the dynamics of what he was going through. His father had passed away due to a battle with cancer. The gentleman was grieving, and if you’ve ever stood in similar shoes you also realize that the death of a loved one(especially a parent) can be emotionally traumatic. If you are the one giving the eulogy the day of the funeral, writing how you feel may not be an easy task. Not only are you busy preparing funeral arrangements, but trying to prepare those final words to say in front of the deceased family and loved ones can be overwhelming.

I have experienced loss, but I wasn’t prepared for this assignment as both of my parents are still living.  But albeit, my folks are both 87 years old, and I am well aware that their time here on earth is limited.

I spoke with the gentleman one more time as he poured his heart out. His father was not only his best friend, but he was his hero. How do you write a eulogy about another person you never met? Where would I begin? I asked God to guide me and I sat down and meditated in a quite room. It was in those quiet moments  that my thoughts came together. I didn’t want to think of my own parents moving on from this life, but I knew the only way I could accomplish writing  an effective heartwarming eulogy was to force myself to feel all the emotions I might feel if it were them.

What if it were my father who has passed away? How would I feel? I squirmed as the pain inched its way through every vein in my body. Then I moved on to my sweet mom, now both of my parents were gone and the pain was unbearable. Even though my reality was that my parents were not dead, it hit close to my heart. If I could feel half the pain this client was feeling, I could now write his eulogy, and  so I did.

I began typing and the words flowed like tears on a grieving son’s face. The client called with a warm felt thank you for writing such a beautiful eulogy. We spend over 30 minutes on the phone as I tried giving him encouraging words. I told him to get some rest as I wiped away my own tears falling silently down  my cheeks.

I’ve been freelance writing for years, and nothing prepared me for this. Would I do it again? The answer to that question is…YES!  While it was an emotional assignment, it was also rewarding.   Clearly, writing eulogies isn’t for everyone but someone has to do it, especially if the grieving family member is unable to perform the task at hand. Who knows, maybe I will need to hire someone to perform this  same task once my folks pass away.

~and that’s all she wrote!

Until next time….

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What’s in the Mind of a Writer

 

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So here I am in bed, with chills running up and down my body. My body aches from the tip of my toes to the top of my head, and do you know what I’m doing? My mind can’t rest so I’m busy writing blogs in my head.And If that isn’t enough,my mind spins in 5 different directions to my next book and the two I still haven’t found publishers for. Mind you..I’m aching, I want chicken soup and some whiskey to knock me out. But my mind can’t quit.

My minds next stop are the deadlines that must be met by anxious clients. I’m a day behind, and if I did have a chug of whiskey I would pass out and be even more behind. So I chalk this one up as…living life and oh well-whining won’t help. Besides, I don’t have any cheese to go with that whine anyway. Get the picture?

The mind of a writer is like a roller coaster that never ends. Ideas come when cooking supper. Stories are written when you’re on the royal throne. Entire books are branded in my brain through a dream the night before. I never run out of ideas. In fact-I’m on overload in that department.

Someone once asked me how I got my ideas for writing a story. I was simply amazed at the question itself. I guess I am a true writer at heart, for my response was, “There’s a story in everyone.”

In fact, anything can be fashioned into a story. Maybe it’s my acute worldly observations. Nothing goes unnoticed, that includes the homeless person looking for food in the dumpster, to a swarm of fireflies dancing to the beat of their own tune on a hot summer night.

My mind rarely rests. If you could see the inside of her, it would probably look something like this: Here I am sitting in front of my computer typing furiously, with an editor by my side. My publisher is frantically pounding the pavement wondering when I’ll finish the job. In the background is a ten-year-old boy wanting his supper, while all 7 pets are demanding theirs as well. The phone rings and I miss the call. Someone knocks on the door and the dogs can’t stop barking. My publisher(who is actually me) decides that we all need a rest and sits down to a good home cooked meal. She grabs her son and relaxes on the couch to watch an action movie. It feels good to chill …even if it’s only for a minute. Something triggers her mind while watching the flick and guess what? The cycle repeats itself all over again.

~and that’s all she wrote!

 

Until next time….

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Welcome Everyone!

 

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Welcome to my website!

Please feel free to view samples of my work and my website showcase. What are your writing needs? Perhaps you’re interested in trying your hand in the wonderful world of freelance writing. Whatever brought you here is reason enough, so let’s get started. If you need written content you’ve come to the right place. Take a moment and click on the links provided to view samples of my work. If you’re a writer just getting your feet wet, I have provided some insightful articles just for you! Please feel to free to contact me anytime for a quote or if you have any questions.

 

Mission Statement:

It is my goal to provide you with quality written articles for an affordable price. While your needs may be time sensitive, my first priority is to provide captivating and informative articles. I strive to meet all provided deadlines within reason. Please be advised that you may not be my only client. I will try to complete all projects in an agreeable time frame. When it’s all said and done I want you to be satisfied with the results. I am always willing to negotiate within reason. I want you to know just how important you are to me and I’ll continue to give 110% in everything I do.

 

Sincerely,

 

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A Letter to a Client-Walking in my Shoes

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I was thinking recently about the challenges I’ve endured as a freelance writer.  When I began earning money for writing in 2007, I had not yet realized  the difficulties I would face trying to find work as well as trying to be paid a decent wage for my skills. In the beginning all I wanted to do was write, so if someone offered me a mere $4.00 for a 600 word article …I took it. After a couple of years of trial and error I learned some things along the way. During this time I honed my skills and my writing improved. When people ask what I do for a living they seem rather impressed. What comes to mind when you think of a writer? For most people they envision someone who write’s novels and earns a handsome living from  their recently published New York times Best Seller. I only wish that were the case with me. I’m not complaining by any means because I have the option of doing what I love for a living.

There are moments when I wish  the potential client on the other end of the phone could really see what it’s like to walk in my shoes.  First and foremost, I love to write. My father is a writer/story-teller, so I guess you can say it’s in my genes. I never take my gift for granted and I thank God every day for the ability to type with my aging arthritic fingers. But here’s the down low on what I have to do to obtain those writing gigs. After you read the following paragraphs stop and ask yourself: could you do what I do?

It all begins with trying to find writing jobs. As I scour the internet and WAH sites I realize just how competitive the writing field is. there are thousands of people just like me who have the ‘gift’ and spend hours scouring the internet trying to find a way to make money. For the past 9 years, the majority of my gigs have been granted by way of Craigslist. In the beginning, I was promised the moon and I actually believed it would be lassoed  down to me. It took time, but I finally learned how to weed out the scam artists and read between the lines. I’ve been scammed out of money a few times, lied to, and left behind like dust in the wind. I’ve spent as much as 5 hours a day trying to find work with little or no success. I’ve had to take trips to food banks because Mother Hubbard’s cupboard was bare-try explaining there is no food to your 8-year-old son. I began with a spoonful of confidence and had to fake it until I made it. I had to borrow money, and ask for help because the work either wasn’t there or I just didn’t know where to look. Here I am 9 years later and although I still face some challenges I have not given up hope.

If you’re thinking about hiring me on as a writer, here’s what I’d like you to know. I’m not fresh out of high school, so please pay me my worth. I’ve worked for people who had servants and it was like trying to take a lollipop from a baby to try to get paid a decent wage. I am not greedy by any means, but I am the lone ranger here with a family to support. Ask yourself; would you work for what you’re asking me to work for? If you don’t have the time or cannot make those words shine and you need to hire someone, then you need me that being said please understand this is how I make a living! When I scan CL under writing gigs and see someone offering one cent per word my body goes into a funk. Really? So… you are unable to do the job but you expect me to write a 300-word article for $3.00? I apologize if this seems rude, but after the research involved and the final edit, I’ve just been paid less than a migrant workers wage. After spending 16 years in school and earning a BA in teaching I think I deserve more than $3.00 per hour, at least I would think.

I understand times are tough, I’m living proof of that. If you walked in my shoes you would see the footprints of a hard-working mom. If you walked down my path you would feel my stress as I scoured the internet trying to make ends meet. If you tried my shoes on you would spend countless hours trying to negotiate  fair fees with clients, many of whom still try to pay you minimal wages for an exuberant amount of work. On a positive note: I have been blessed with some great clients who have seen my worth and they have paid me handsomely. I am grateful for all those clients and never take the hands that feed me for granted.

 

Lastly…here’s something I would like you to know. While freelance writing is a competitive field, I’m still in the game. Why do you ask? After nine years of ups and downs, I still have hope. After nine years of scouring CL, I still find jobs and have had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people. The only difference between now and a few years back is I’ve learned a thing or two. I’m sitting in the driver seat (more or less) and I determine how much I need to make for what I’m going to deliver. I’ve gained some confidence and it has been to my advantage. I also want you to know before I write for a client I ask the Lord to  slow my mind down long enough so I can convey my words valiantly on paper (or the internet). My heart goes into everything I write, and for that reason alone is why I decided to write this ditty.

Thank You to each and every one of my clients who have helped put food on my table and provided for my family’s needs over the years. I am grateful for your patronage and look forward to providing you with more services in the future. I’ll leave you with this:

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”

To Kill a Mockingbird

Until next time….

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Spiritual Food for Thought…What if We Became Spiritual Gypsies?

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The Sadhu Indians are spiritual gypsies who live in peace. What if we all decided to lay everything down …all of our material possessions to be true spiritual gypsies? What do you think would become of this world? Perhaps greed would no longer exist as we know it…it would be smashed and those still choosing to be money mongers would eventually fall because this would no longer work for them. What if our energy and light could affect an entire community causing an entire shift in the world as we know it? There would be no more poor,no more rich…as we know it. We would care for those less fortunate and pay it forward. Doctors would treat those who had no money for free, and the elderly would be revered as holy and thus respected and treated as such. What if we could rid our system of money? The single mother would never have to stress over unpaid bills or how she was going to feed her children? Eden was taken away …but what if we all worked together so we could no longer simply co-exist, but we could co-inhabit together in a world that was meant for us all along? Is this possible? In a world that has brainwashed most of us…probably not anytime soon. Our children have come to believe it is necessary to own a computer and the latest android phone. Even we, the adults cannot fathom living without a car or enough money for the pleasures we have come to know over a span of many years.

This cycle could have been prevented had the white man not invaded my brothers land and took it from under their feet. The Indians traded for what they needed, they lived simple lives that didn’t depend on money.They took care of their own people and were very spiritual people. Greed came and changed the world as we know it! The gold rush brought white folks to these mountains and the love of money became more important than the love of people. The president signed an agreement to take my people from their homes where thousands walked to their death.

Nothing is permanent …what you think is yours …is not! For when you die someone else  will take what you thought was yours. We live in a world that has been brainwashed by TV, social media,and movies. This is an illusion. We are living an illusion, and the only way to break free so we can create a garden of Eden is to leave our old selves behind. Even Jesus talked about dying to oneself. The  Sadhu Indians speak of this same thing: dying to oneself , allowing for a re-birthing.
This is a great video…I urge you to watch this short documentary about the Sadhu who live in peace!

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152743620704485&set=vb.157642574484&type=2&theater

Until next time….

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Setting the Standards…Bringing Home the Bacon

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Freelance writing is my world, this is how I bring home the bacon. As a freelancer, it is up to me to find my writing jobs. This means I need to be a ‘Jack of all trades.’ I need to be well versed in sales and marketing, as well as writing. I need to market my talents and be able to sell my skills at any given time. This also means hours of searching for writing gigs on the internet. When I find something that interests me; I need to market myself, get on the phone or send an e-mail that stands out from the rest. Is it easy? Not in the least?  Here’s why:

Let’s begin with the popular Craigslist shall we?

All too often the jobs are bogus or people hiring refuse to pay even minimum wage. After 11 years experience in the field, I have set my standards. When an individual places an ad for hire and they are only willing to pay out one dollar per one hundred words, that tells a story. The story shows they must not have high standards! Most writers (even some beginners) will not waste their time replying to such an ad. For those of us with whom the good Lord has graced such talent, this is a mere slap in the face—OUCH!

It takes persistence on my part, but after a few days of hard searching, I finally land a gig with a client who is willing to pay me what I’m worth. I am fair by all means, and I will always give a fair price to someone who is interested in my services. Here’s my burning question to those of you who are not setting your standards high (referring to those wanting to hire writers like me).

What are you looking for in a writer?

Do you want someone to throw something together,or would you prefer a writer who takes pride in what they do?

Okay…that was two questions, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Setting your standards goes both ways! If you are only willing to pay pennies,that’s what you’ll get in return…a penny’s worth of work. Writers have families to feed and children to clothe. This is how we make a living. It’s time for writers to earn some respect. Do not settle for less than minimum wage. If you settle, then it makes it more difficult for other writers like me to earn what they deserve.

As for those hiring…if you could do this you wouldn’t be making the effort to hire someone else. Stop throwing bread crumbs at talented writers and pay up! You’ll be glad you did in the end, and your website will show for it!

Until next time….

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You Get What You Pay For

I  have been freelance writing for 7 years and it’s been quite a journey. When I first started out I was making a mere $7.00 per hour,  and I typed until my fingers ached.  Today I have experience under my belt and I have learned that my writing skills deserve much more than minimum wage( or less than minimum wage). Time and time again I encounter potential clients who do not wish to pay me my asking fee. What happens? Those who wish to pay less or hire locals ( who may not have the experience or skills required) to do the job, end up eating crow and losing money in the long run. How do I know this? The phone rings three months later with an unhappy client telling me they were  not pleased with whom they hired,  leaving them to spend countless hours doing re-writes.

If I said it once I’ll say it again…YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

If you hire someone with no experience you may not get what you want. But then again if given the chance someone might be able to prove themselves. Here’s the deal…I will not work for pennies! I have a family to feed and clothe just like you. However; my fees are fair and you will always receive nothing but quality written material from this queen! Taking the easy way out will cost you in the long run, so why even waste your time and money?  With that being said…I am here if you need me to pick up the pieces. But remember this…I  will not work for pennies. If you want quality work…YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

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So You Want To Be a Writer?

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There are all kinds of writing to do and stories yet to be told. I am a story-teller by nature.  There’s nothing I love more than to tell a good story. Some years ago my life changed when I stumbled into a freelance writing position. I had just separated from my husband and needed to earn money. My son was homeschooled, so working outside the home was not an option for me. Suddenly I was writing descriptions for oil fragrances and the rest they say is history. I was able to control what I made and be paid without having to leave home. I went on to do copywriting work for an online luxury bed and linen company until they went out of business, and after a couple of years decided to go out on a limb by going into business for myself.

After a few days, I had my website up and running and the ‘Queen’ was born! How do I sum everything up in one sentence? Well…if the truth be told- I can’t. I am going on year number 12 and the first three years was a learning curve. I had so much to learn and the only way to learn was through trial and error. Allow me be the first to inform you there were many errors! I learned that you can’t fake it till you make it because people can see right through you. Sometimes it’s better just to tell the truth and admit you’re new to the wonderful world of freelance writing. I had to showcase my skills per se, that’s where a website can come in handy! I also learned that a little confidence isn’t such a bad thing and can go a long way- it can land you a gig and put you in the driver seat.  In time as I polished my writing skills, I was able to polish my business skills. After a few times of being burned, I learned that if a client likes what I have to offer he/she will pay what I ask and pay a retainer fee. I have also learned the art of negotiation and that being fair is equally as important.

Is the life a freelance writer easy? If you are looking for easy street then you might wish to reconsider this career. While I’ve heard it can be lucrative I’ve yet to see dollar bills flying from the sky. There have been times when I wondered what in the world I was doing! Be prepared to hear comments from family members and friends who may not see your vision. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “Why don’t you go out and get a real job”?

I had to bite my lips while thinking, “Do you think I’m being paid monopoly money”?

Here’s the thing: you will struggle to get writing gigs and it won’t be easy. But if you persist and continue to hone your writing skills, you will succeed! I have had difficult times when work was slow and other times when the green rolled in. Remember: you are a freelancer and this is the life of a freelance writer. You have chosen this path for a reason…your love of writing.

How many people do you know love what they do for a living? How many people do you know are using their God-given talents to earn an income? At the end of the day, I may not have much money but I can truly smile and think to myself… “I love writing and I am grateful every day that I have the ability to make a living doing what I love-using a gift God has blessed me with to help others.”

~and that’s all she wrote!

Until next time….

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