Category: writing


I have decided to move this little blog over to one that is easier for me to use.  I have lots to share with you, so I hope that you will follow me over there.  Tomorrow, January 1, I will be posting my December earnings, which are much higher than November’s, so I hope you will pop on over and check it out over here.

Advertisements

Reading and Writing

For me, there seems to be a direct correlation between reading and writing.  It is my love of books and reading that led me to want to write, so I guess this is only natural.  Now that I have started to write, I am noticing that the times when I am writing, I am craving reading and am devouring books every chance I get.  It seems to work the other way as well.  When I stop reading or am only reading a bit, my writing goes down or stops completely too.  It is like the passion for one spurs me on in the other.  Also, when I am reading a book that is extremely compelling or well-written, it inspires me to want to learn how to improve my own writing.

Now that I have made this observation about myself, I am wondering if others have noticed this correlation in their lives between writing and reading.

Ideas

I have no shortage of ideas when it comes to what to write about.  The problem is that these ideas come to me in the shower or while I’m driving or just before I drift off to sleep at night.  In other words, these ideas come to me in the moments of my life when things are quiet, when I can think.  With seven kids, these are really the only times my brain can think.  Unfortunately, my memory is not a good one.  It lets me down regularly.  Even when the ideas that come are so exciting, so good, that I tell myself not to worry, that surely this one I will remember.  And then I forget.  It is frustrating.  I tried keeping a notepad and pen by my bed.  I wrote down one idea.  I don’t know where it is now because one of the kids took the notepad.  Another of the kids drew on my bedroom wall with the pen!  I think I need a tape recorder permanently implanted in my arm so that when I am in the shower or falling asleep or driving down the highway and these moments of great insight come to me, I have a way of recording them.

Time

Time seems to be my enemy lately.  I can almost hear it faintly mocking me!  I thought that once Gracelyn’s health was a bit more under control, I could concentrate on some writing, but then I got sick and lost a week of my life!  Now I am playing catch-up and feeling like it may take a week to get back to where I was at two weeks ago.

Today is gone, the hands on the clock seeming to spin faster and faster as days end approached and no writing was accomplished.  “There is always tomorrow”, I tell myself, thought I know that tomorrow will be filled with more busyness than today had and the next day holds two important appointments, the following day a conference, and then the week will be gone!

I am determined to at least write a few articles this week though and maybe get back to the book.  We shall see!  Time keeps going by and seems to leave me behind, chasing after it with my laces untied!

My Bukisa Earnings

I had publicly declared that my September earnings for the online articles I have been writing would be 25 cents and I was able to make that goal one day ahead of schedule.  I know that one quarter in three weeks is not impressive, but I am actually quite pleased with it because I only wrote on three days in September, writing a total of 19 articles.  I am still earning residual income on the very first article I wrote for them.  As the articles get more clicks, they move up higher in search engines, so I am actually noticing a momentum happening with some of the earlier articles.  As I am writing this on October 3, I have made 9 cents already this month with only having written one additional article.  Still, we are talking about very small change here BUT…

I realize that I made a mistake by announcing my goal of making 25 cents for September.  The number of clicks an article gets is not in my control, therefore, the amount of money I earn is not in my control.  What is in my control is the amount of articles that I write and therefore, I will be making my goals based on that moving forward.

Last weekend, I set myself a goal of writing five articles on Sunday.  My husband had taken the kids to church without me (we were all running behind that morning and I would have had to go in my pyjamas otherwise!) so I was here in a very quiet house, giving me the chance to write.  I wrote three articles that are what I would consider informative and fairly well-written and then my family arrived back at home so I had to put the computer away for awhile.  That evening, I was determined to reach my goal so I wrote another article that was certainly not prize winning writing, but not a bad topic.  I still had one article to go to reach my goal.  It was late and I was out of ideas.  I wrote “Clean Knock Knock Jokes for Kids” just to fulfill my goal of five articles for the day.  Amazingly enough, I have made a few pennies on the article already!  You just never know what things people search for!

For October, my goal is to write an additional 20 articles.  This will be a tough goal to reach as this is going to be my busiest month this year, but I like a challenge.  I do expect that my earnings will continue to grow and that within a few months, I will be speaking in dollars instead of in pennies!  I will do an update to disclose my October earnings.  If you want to see your writing transform into pennies too, click here to join for free and start writing.  They do accept articles that have been previously posted online, so if you are a blogger, you can even start by turning some of your blog posts into articles and see what happens.

First Time Being Published!!!

The mail came yesterday and in it, a magazine that featured one of my articles!!!  It was so exciting to see my words in print and to see my name in a magazine!

A number of months ago, I wrote a blog post and was contacted the next day by the editor of a small magazine.  She had read my post and was wondering if she could publish it in the next issue of “Earthen Vessels”.  You can read an on-line version of my article here.  It looks way cooler in actual print though.  The thing that makes me the most excited is that the subject is one that I am passionate about and I welcome the opportunity to spread the message of making a difference for orphans.

Online Freelance Writing

A few weeks ago, I announced that I had taken a risk and applied for an online freelance writing job.  Apparently, they never consider unpublished authors, so I did not get the job.  It was not a complete bust though as it led me to look for other opportunities.  I stumbled upon this.  For this, there is no experience or skill required so I took it as a chance to experiment with some ideas and practise writing articles.  I like that the earnings are residual, so an article I write may still be earning me pennies a year from now.  Over the first two days, I wrote 11 articles, a few that I think are actually helpful, such as the one I wrote called “Supporting the Adoptive Family” and then I wrote some just to test how different articles would do.  I wrote anything from a recipe to a ridiculous anecdote to scrapbooking tips to product reviews.  It’s been really interesting to see what people are clicking on.  I have not promoted the articles myself and after those first two days, have not had time to add any articles, but I am slowly getting reads on some of them, while others remain unread.  As the pay is on a per read basis, promoting myself would increase my revenue, but for now, I am using this as an experiment and just trying it out.  It is very interesting to see which of my articles have been read and which have not.  The ones that has been the most read are my “Mommy Guilt” one and one that I wrote a product review on a homeschool game that is useful in working with kids who have autism or Asperger’s or in helping kids who are learning English as their second language.  When I wrote that product review, I wrote it quickly (five minutes at most) and was hoping that someone might find it useful.  It is something that has really helped me with Josiah (my eight year old son who has Asperger’s) although I bought it to help my kids from Ethiopia improve their English and it has been somewhat handy for that as well.  It is interesting that strangers have been reading the article though and makes me think that perhaps “autism” or “Asperger’s” are tags that are searched for frequently.  Some of the articles that I thought would be more popular have had no reads at all.  I think that it is a trial and error thing and if I were to spend some time each day and write a few articles for them, I would start to see some patterns emerge.

The money – the big question is how much money have I made, right?!  I have made a whopping $0.14!  Yes, you read that right!  I have so far made only 14 cents.  Considering that payment transfer happens only once you reach $10, it may be years before I see any money EXCEPT that I only wrote on two days and have not written since then and the pennies are continuing to come in.  If I were to write a few articles a day or even several articles a week and if I were to get better at knowing which topics are the most popular, I actually could make a little bit of money with this.  There are certainly writers on this site who have written thousands of articles and who are sitting back and getting residual incomes of hundreds to thousands of dollars a month.  I researched before I started writing with them and people are making money doing this.  For now, I am not writing for money, but I think that I will try to set a goal for myself of writing a certain number of articles per week and just seeing what happens.

One of the best things about this particular online writing site is that they allow you to reuse articles that you have already written.  What is great about that is that you can take a blog post and turn it into an article and possibly make a bit of money on it and it doesn’t take any extra effort.  So we’ll see!  I’ll keep you posted.  I plan on posting an honest summary of my earnings at the end of every month.  Who knows?  Maybe if I get busy and write a few more articles, I may be up to a quarter by the end of September!!!  If any of you decide to try it, make sure you let me know how it goes.

Excuses, Excuses!

In my new plan to commit to my writing, I have given myself no room for excuses, no matter what, but I think I am going to give myself an exception for the past two weeks.  One of our daughters suffers from a severe lung condition and she has been getting worse for the past four months.  The past month, I have been making twice weekly trips with her to her Pulmonary doctor and once weekly visits to the Emergency Room.  It has been scary and exhausting.  Even under those circumstances, I was managing to find tiny bits of time for writing.  I was able to do this because I am a night owl and my kids have an early bedtime.

Last week though, Gracelyn was admitted to the Children’s Hospital for the week and I stayed there with her the whole time, so obviously, this is one excuse that I will give myself leniency for!!!  She is home now and doing considerably better, but I am giving myself this week to catch up on a few things and get some sleep before I put the writing expectation on myself again.

I did manage to write a few online articles before she went into the hospital and I will post about that experience in the next few days.

Taking another risk

Today, I am applying for an online freelance writing job.  Part of me really wanted to wait until something of mine had been published so that I would have a better chance of being chosen, but I have decided to be brave and apply anyway, reasoning that I can always reapply later if I get rejected.  For this application, I need to submit a sample of my writing in the form of something that could be a magazine article.  I have decided to rework an old blog post of mine called Mom Guilt.  So, wish me luck!  I am off to write and re-write and re-write and then second guess myself three million times before I click “send” on the application.

The Book So Far

At the end of the first week in March of this year, I sat down at the computer and began to write.  I wanted to make a record of our experiences leading up to, during, and after the Canadian adoption agency we were using went bankrupt last year while two of our children were stranded in Ethiopia with only three days of food left.  That was a very emotional time and in the days and weeks that followed, time seemed to move at lightning speed, so I wanted to get down on the page what I could before the memories started to fade.

In the beginning, I was writing the story for Elijah and Sedaya, a record to them for the future of how far we were willing to go to save them, of the depth of our love for them.  When I had written most of the story, I began to realize that perhaps this was something that I could get published.  There were only two other books in the market specific to Ethiopian adoption and there were so many families eager for more reading.  I thought that I had completed the book in April, but when I thought about having it published, I quickly realized that I would need to include chapters about our time in Ethiopia, about what we experienced of our children’s birth country.  I have added three of those chapters so far with one or two more still to write.  Most of what is written is edited, thanks to my Auntie Judy and my friend Ruth.  I also plan to add an Epilogue.

With just three chapters left to write, I am close to the end of that process, but now have a deadline for when those need to be completed.  Three weeks from now, there may be publishers asking to see the complete manuscript.  I am both incredibly nervous and excited by this possibility.  It will be an enormous challenge to complete what is left of the book in just three weeks, especially given that one of our daughters is struggling with health issues that have consumed almost all of my spare hours the past three months.  However, I tend to work well under pressure so I am facing the opportunity to knock over this barrier and get the words on the page.  I am trusting that God will help me find the words and will create pockets of time for me.  I am counting on a few sleepless nights between now and three weeks for now, but am anxious to say that the book is complete.  I’ll let you know how things progress.