Monday, June 30, 2008

Hired!

I mentioned a few posts ago that I filled out an editing test and sent it to Swimming Kangaroo, a small, independent press. I got the email today, offering me the job! They chose two of us out of twenty-five applicants. How cool is that??? I also got a call from someone who might be interested in private dance lessons...and my brother and his girlfriend want some, too. Whoopee!!

This is good timing, because I think I'm going to throw all my well laid-out and sensible plans out the window and quit this month. The work is becoming unbearable for both of us. We're prepared to work long hours to make it happen, and Michy said she'd coach us. She might have some work for us, as does Beth. We will have to make some sacrifices, but I think we can do it!

I didn't do much work today...one for Sandi. Demand approved the remaining articles I had pending review. They also accepted three I suggested, so I need to get on them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

How am I doing?

I didn't do much work today...one for Sandi and started one for LEG but didn't get very far. Here's my results for the whole week:

Earnings: $239
Payments received: $591

If I could bring in this much every week, I'd be ready to quit my job! However, most of the payments took a couple weeks to earn.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dance all night

I didn't do any writing today except to fix two Demand Studios articles...one their site lost half of it and the other they asked me to clarify a couple of things. I taught a dance lesson and dj'd the dance, and now I'm ready to fall asleep!

Earnings: $50 plus whatever I get for dj'ing...I never know until I get it at the next dance.

Payments received: $50

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Slow day

I had to put together my play list for the dance I'm teaching and dj'ing for tomorrow night, so I didn't do any writing. I did apply for oDesk jobs this morning and Greg wrote two articles for Sandi (I helped clean them up). He also got going on oDesk and applied for a job.

Earnings (Greg's, really, but I'm going to collect them): $16

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Walkers are working together!

Greg is getting pretty serious! Tonight he helped me do a couple of articles for Sandi, on a subject he's not familiar with...always intimidating! Meanwhile, I did two Demand Studios articles and a third for Sandi. I also sent an email to someone on the equine writers' list who is looking for someone to write press releases, and of course applied for oDesk jobs. I also followed up on a lead Michy gave me for Book Rags (sent a resume and samples). Hopefully I'll get some good news soon!

Earnings (including Greg's): $54

Payments received: $20

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday update

I was pretty productive today--I wrote three articles for Sandi and two for Demand Studios.I also came up with a strong idea for one of the big horsey mags and queried EQUUS with it. I received two assignments from Langer Equestrian Group, my new gig. One needs to be done in the next week or so and the other between July 12th and the 15th.

Earnings: $54

Forgot to mention last night that I worked on Jenny's book, which I haven't done in a long time (the one I'm editing in exchange for services for my horse). I feel pretty bad about being so far behind on it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How am I doing?

So, Michy and I agreed that I should be earning about 50% of my goal while working full time in order to be assured that I will fully replace my income when I quit my job. That means I need to earn about $2000 per month, $500 per week, or $100 in 5 days, $84 in 6 days, or $72 in 7 days. Since my income varies so much from day to day, I'm going to start doing a weekly and monthly tally to see how it's evening out. I'm going to start with the past two weeks, which were really good ones thanks to my 1 Magazine assignment from oDesk.

Week of June 15th:
Total earnings: $290 Payments received: $298

Week of June 8th:
Total earnings: $300 Payments received: $250

Not bad, about halfway there. I think the week before that was about $150 earned, but it's hard to tell because I wasn't posting regularly for a while there. Hopefully I'll start getting some better paying assignments soon.

More great news!

Last night I reported that I turned in my first review to Apex Reviews. This morning they emailed me back, and they were so happy with it, they're making me a "signature reviewer"! This means higher compensation and first choice over the available titles. Tres cool! Then, I got a call from The Ultimate Horse Lover anthology, to which I'd submitted "We're Just Going to Look." They've been trying to email me for weeks at my yahoo address and they kept going to spam...I made the final round of submissions! No guarantee, of course, but how cool is that? I didnt' accomplish much today...wrote two articles for Sandi and reposted one of my Helium articles on AC.

Earnings:
$16

Paments received:
$56

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Big day!

OK, I didn't get a lot of work done today (wrote two articles for Sandi and one for Demand Studios, plus my first Apex review--which included finishing the book) because of working around the house and what-not, but a lot happened!

1. I heard back from a woman on the equine writers' email list who was looking for someone to write press releases for shows. Not only did she hire me, but she said she was familiar with my excellent work (in Horseman's News)! Wow! This the second job I've gotten through that list...networking does work!

2. I heard back from the publisher who is looking for copyeditors. She sent me the test they require for hiring, I took it and sent it back. I haven't heard back from her yet, but I *think* I did a good job on it. The pay isn't great, but it's a good foot in the door, and who knows...maybe the publisher will grow and the pay will, too! If they hire me, I think I'll really enjoy working for them.

Ok, just two things I guess, but that's huge! It just goes to show, it really helps to get out there, even on the internet, and talk to people! I don't mind telling you, we've been hurting for money ever since we bought our house last year. This extra income from writing is really helping. We feel like we can keep our heads above water again!

Today's earnings:
$41

Payments received:
$465 (WOO HOO!!! yeah baby)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Grinding away

Yesterday I applied for Demand Studios and was accepted. I also suggested seven topics, which they accepted and I have one week to finish them. They pay $15 per article, with no royalties or page view bonus. I am on the fence about them--in the long run, Associated Content probably pays more on a well-keyworded article, but I have yet to make that kind of money there and the $15 up front is pretty tempting. I'll do it for a while and see how I like it...at least it's something to do when I have gaps in other assignments.

Michy gave me a couple of leads I'm following up on. One is for a copy editor for a newish publisher, which is really exciting, so I sent them a query letter. The other is writing lesson plans for books. I need a resume, which I only have at work, so I'll have to follow up on that on Monday.

Over the past two days, I have written eight articles for Sandi and two for Demand Studios. I could have done more but did stuff on the house instead.

Earnings (two days):
$94

Payments received:
$130 (yeah, baby!)

I'm starting to make enough writing to get caught up on bills and buy stuff we need...it feels really, really good!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

*yawn*

Well, I thought I would have a few days off to get my affairs in order, but Sandi needs more help...yay! I wrote two articles for her tonight (low paying) and will have more to do tomorrow but I'm falling asleep.

I heard back from one of the magazines I sent a letter of introduction to last night...they no longer produce the magazine! Oops...ouch. Karen from 1 Magazine said she was happy with the articles but decided to take the "about us" piece in a totally different direction and I had to rewrite it...no biggee, it was actually easier this time. She asked me to invoice her and I did, so I should be getting that money soon. She also indicated we may be doing some more work together, which would be great.

Forgot to mention yesterday that someone on my equine freelancers list was looking for someone to do press releases about shows. I sent her an email and samples, so we'll see if anything comes of it.

I applied for Demand Studios today. Not high paying at all, but would be a good backup, I think. Better low income than no income, right?

Earnings:
$16

Payments:
$168 (WOO! If I got this 6 days per week, every week, I'd be there!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Introducing Greg Walker!

Greg has been destined to be a writer since he was a child, but like me, drifted away from it by the time he was out of college. I have been trying to encourage him to write for years, but he insisted he was too out of practice and couldn't do it anymore. Well, I got him doing some fiction during nanowrimo and then some Associated Content articles. This week, I talked him into helping me write my car articles for 1 Magazine, because that's something that's so hard to do when you don't know anything about cars! I have to say, he has done an amazing job, and the editors love it! He'll be on his way with these published clips under his belt, and I'm very, very proud of him! He'll be following in my footsteps (nay, passing them!) and building a freelancing career in his own right. Please check out his blog at gregwalker-writer.blogspot.com!

Tonight we wrapped up all of our assignments for 1 Magazine. Now we have some room to breathe! I sent out three letters of introduction for us, saying we work as a team and separately, to Sacramento area magazines.

Our combined earnings yesterday and today: $90

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A quick update for last night...

I completed two articles for 1 Magazine last night...just two more to go!

Earnings:
$90

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Almost done

I completed three articles for 1 Magazine today. They are getting easier to do, especially since I already came up with the titles to give myself some direction (at their request). These were all 400-word articles, which fill up surprisingly fast. I actually completed each one within an hour (OK, Greg helped with research), which means I'm making a decent hourly rate on some of these...if only I had enough of this type of work to fill a day! I could have sat all day and gotten more done, but I chose to help Greg clean the garage...I only have four left, which shouldn't be a problem before Tuesday.

Earnings:
$105

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Churning out the articles

Between yesterday and today, I wrote three articles for 1 Magazine and two for Horseman's News/Pacific Coast Journal. I am hoping to get a little more info to add to each of these (except for one of the 1 Magazine articles, which is definitely done), but they could be turned in as they are now. To be fair, I had started on a couple of these a couple of days ago and I've been working on the PCJ one for a couple of weeks, so it's not like I actually wrote all of these in that time! I did not spend all day writing either day, though. Last night, I ended up teaching a dance class, which was unplanned but a nice surprise income.

All of these articles are due Tuesday...I think I'm going to make it! Only seven to go...

Income over the past two days:
$275 (getting close to what I need my daily rate to be)

Payments received:
$50

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Research, research, research

Well, I didn't do any actual interviews today. I didn't have time earlier today to get some names, so tonight I rounded some up and sent off some emails in hopes they actually answer. That was the majority of my evening! I also sent off the first four articles to 1 Magazine. I have another done, but I figure I'll send four at a time. I started another one.

Earnings:
not really any!

Payments received:
$175 (just need to do this every day...)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Answer your phone!!

This article I'm working on for Pacific Coast Journal is killing me. The show secretary only gave me part of the results, and I'm only supposed to write about the winners from California. Of course, she gave me winners from other states as well, which shortens the list as to who I can talk to...of the ones that are left, I can't find contact info for all of them, or I find a number and it's disconnected or they won't answer! My hourly rate on these pieces is not impressive. It's a 1000 word article and I'm to 600 and something. Oy. So, I worked on that for the past couple of days. I also worked on an article for 1 Magazine and finished it tonight. Submitted an article for Display Only to AC, read it at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/816287/lose_weight_fast_with_the_ultimate.html?cat=5--it's pretty funny.

Earnings:
$35

Payments received:
$25

I'm running out of time on these 1 Magazine articles. I was hoping to talk to some people who live in Denver, but I haven't found any yet! I need to interview some experts in plastic surgery and was hoping for a personal referral. The pieces are due on Tuesday so I'd better get on those interviews. I also need to get photos of some cars we can use in the mag. How on earth do I do that?? One is a Mclaren SLR. There's no phone number on their website. Hm, someone said something about looking for a press kit, so I guess I'll do that tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Things are chugging right along

Over the past couple of days, I have completed four articles for 1 Magazine (part of a contract flat rate), and Greg helped me write a call for content for Associated Content ($3.50...woo). I have sold three letters on letterrep.com this month ($30), with no effort on my part. I apply for two or three oDesk jobs every day, although I haven't had any more luck there yet. I wrote an article for Beth this weekend for the Arabian Horse Association Region Four show program and she's putting an ad in for me as payment ($30). At the same time, she designed my business cards and is going to get them printed for me! She's the BEST. Oh, I also worked at a booth at Horse Expo this weekend and got free passes, free parking, and $25. I guess that's about it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

All kinds of news

I've been remiss in updating this blog, because I've been very busy! Went to another horse show last weekend and various things since then.

1. New game plan: instead of taking a leave of absence in August, I'm going to hold off just a little bit. My good friend and dressage coach, Patience Prine-Carr, wants me to go to Arabian Sporthorse Nationals with her in September, so I'm going to take all the vacation time I have available during that month. I'll write as much as possible and go to Nationals (in Nampa, ID). This will give me a short trial period of working from home, while getting paid. Then, I will go back to work and evaluate the lessons I learned and change the game plan as needed or start gearing up to take my leave of absence in December. I get my year-end bonus in November, and that will come in very handy for paying off a couple of bills so I won't be quite as hard up when I no longer have a guaranteed paycheck. If all goes well in December, I'll quit.

2. I landed my first oDesk job! I have 14 articles to write for a new magazine, 1 Magazine Denver. They're due on June 17th and I have two done so far. I have a number of other bids out there as well as on elance.

3. Apex Reviews hired me to write book reviews. Not a lot of money, but a little bit and free books to read.

4. I have two articles to write for Horseman's News this month (actually, one is for Pacific Coast Journal, a sister mag). I have one well started, because it was supposed to go last month but I got the results very late and had a hard time reaching people for interviews.

5. Today I wrote an article for Beth, for the Arabian Horse Region Four Championship show program.

6. Today I worked at Horse Expo for a small fee but free tickets and parking pass. I spent more than I made!

7. Tuesday I taught three classes at the ballroom ($80). Linda will keep me in mind if she has private lessons other teachers can't do.

Earnings: $25 (plus whatever Beth is giving me)
Payments received: $165