What’s the difference between developmental editing and copy editing?

Image what's the difference between developmental editing and copy editing?

Unless you spend a lot of time in the editing world – or you spend time around a lot of editors – you might not realize there’s a difference between developmental editing and copy editing. Even authors who have been around a while might not know exactly what each round of editing accomplishes. If you count yourself in that category, this primer is for you.

Developmental editing

In a nutshell, a developmental editor is there to make sure your book is structurally sound, and it’ll make sense to readers. This is often a collaborative process with the author. The developmental editor will read through your manuscript and provide an editorial brief or notes that outline any structural issues that need to be addressed.

What can you expect from a developmental edit? Your editor will provide notes on:

  • marketability and whether the project meets the needs and expectations of the audience
  • plot holes or areas in a nonfiction book where more explanation is needed
  • areas that need to be smoothed out or reworked … and why

What are some things to consider when working with a developmental editor? Author Katherine Pickett put together some tips on publishing guru Jane Friedman’s blog.

Copy editing

When most people think of the word “editing,” they’re thinking of copy editing. This is the nuts-and-bolts correction of grammar, spelling and syntax. This is where it matters whether you use a serial comma or not (and I obviously lean toward AP Style!).

Copy editing should not be confused with proofreading – which is a whole other conversation. Proofreading is the very last look after the book has been laid out. Copy editing happens before layout.

If the details are a bit much to keep straight, just remember a developmental editor is not going to check your spelling or grammar, and a copy editor is not going to tell you about the gaping hole in your plot.

If you’re looking for developmental editing or copy editing, check out editing services and reach out to talk about your project.

Writing advice: What would you say to your former self?

The internet doesn’t forget. But sometimes you forget the essays or articles or assignments you take on … and years go by, and suddenly you get an email one day that says something along the lines of:

I know you wrote this a lot of years ago, but I’m wondering how this turned out because I’m facing a similar situation. Was there a light at the end of the tunnel? What advice would you give your former self?

It doesn’t happen often (to me, anyway), but last week I got just this kind of email.

It was about an essay I wrote in 2013 — a full five years ago. I had honestly forgotten I wrote it. Luckily, the person who emailed me included the link, so I went back and re-read it. Talk about an out-of-body experience! Was I the same person who felt and wrote those things?

Well, duh. Of course I am.

But it was still strange. Maybe because so much has changed. Back then I was still struggling to be “a writer” — three years before I wrote that essay, having never written anything beyond a few film scripts and having settled into a comfortable, good paying job as a librarian, I tossed my career and everything else into the air and moved 1,100 miles to pursue an MFA.

It was scary. For many reasons. You can probably relate.

I am a big believer in documenting your life. Not because there’s anything inherently interesting about any of our daily minutiae, but because it’s useful for measuring time and progress. I’m the kind of person who has those five-year, line-a-day journals, and I actually use them. At a glance I can see, oh, two years ago I was working on X project … wow, things have changed!

Your mileage may vary, but I’ve found it’s very easy to get lost in the moment and feel like who I am right now is who I’ve always been and always will be … and to a certain extent, yes, that’s true. Not to get too Zen about it, but who you are in any given moment is who you ARE.

But, really, we also choose to change over time. It’s this beautiful thing called personal growth.

And sometimes we miss the forest for the trees.

So, I went back over that essay to put together the best answer I could for this person. Because obviously I understand what it’s like to give up a career and a safety net to follow a dream. It isn’t easy. And it doesn’t always feel like it’ll work out.

I get it. 

But so. Many. Things. Happened. between the time I wrote that essay and the day this person emailed me — not least of which, my father died, and I’d loved and lost, I connected with a person who helped me heal a lot of garbage, I bought my first house and drank coffee and wrote letters in a cafe beside the Eiffel Tower on my 40th birthday. I ghostwrote a book and became an editor and did a lot of things I didn’t even think were in my plan.

How do you condense all that into a message to your younger self?

For me, it came down to this:

No matter what choice you make, there are always hints of, “What if…?” That’s human nature. But, to me, it was always more important to try the new thing. To have the new adventure. And for that, I’m grateful to my former self.

You always know what you left behind. And you can be 99.9% certain if you stayed where you were at, it’s going to look and feel about the same. That’s great if you love it … not great if you don’t.

I don’t think it was coincidence that the day I got that email was the same day I co-host a monthly freelancing workshop downtown, and I drive by the old library where I used to work.

Every time I’m downtown I am so happy in my heart — so happy remembering the excitement of making plans to move to Boston. So happy remembering the day I found my apartment and got everything settled up north. That was a magical time and incredible experiences grew from my life there. I didn’t always feel that way when I was IN it, but I thank my former self every time I drive through downtown, because there is nothing but gratitude for taking the leap.

For me, everything was worth it. And yes, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn’t just a light, it was the life I imagined for myself when I was slumped over that dirty pile of laundry on my bathroom floor … wondering if it would ever work out the way I hoped. I tell that person thank you for sticking with the bigger vision.

You give up a lot of security to chase a dream. You go through a lot to take a chance. There are rough weeks and months as you muddle through … but there are rough times regardless.

Finally, I said something that someone once said to me:

This year is going to pass just the same whether you're sitting on a couch watching TV or doing things that stretch you ... the only question is, who do you want to see in the mirror a year from now? Click To Tweet

Whether it’s your career or your personal life, what is the most important thing you’d tell your former self?

How much should I charge for freelance writing?

image states freelance writing: how much should I charge?

The most frequent question I receive by far, and I mean by far, is what to charge for freelance writing. And to show you how long I’ve been answering this question, check out How Much is too Much (to Charge)? from 2012. (Just kidding, don’t read that one. Read the post you’re reading right now!)

Okay, there are two ways to calculate your freelance rate. One is quick and easy. The other takes a little math, but will be tailored to your business goals.

The short answer is to check freelance writing and editing rate guides like the ones published by the Editorial Freelancers Association and Writer’s Market. These are extremely useful and will give you ballpark estimates. You may even have clients who pitch these rates to you, and that’s great.

Two caveats:

  1. In my experience, if it’s a new client (or that client is small or just starting out), they may balk at the rates. Depending on the circumstance, you may want to work with them to meet their budget, or you can be glad you avoided a low-paying gig.
  2. If you’re highly experienced, or doing specialty work where your expertise can (and should) warrant higher rates, make sure you factor that in. An example would be if you’re a licensed professional working on a copywriting or content job where your expertise is being leveraged. Or if you’re writing on technical, legal or medical topics where you’re using knowledge you had before you took the gig.

For the over-achievers in the crowd (or if you have income-specific goals or you want to make sure you’re covering your monthly expenses), here’s a quick and super simplified rate calculation you can do:

Add up your monthly expenses. Yes, all of them. If you’ve read the 2012 version of this article, you know that also means your cold medicine and Kleenex!

Now, take that monthly expense and add in anything you’d like to include that maybe you’re not purchasing right now. For example, if you want to put aside a little money for retirement or a vacation and you haven’t yet been doing that….add that amount to the total.

Let’s say your total comes to $3,600. Awesome. That’s your break-even number. You want to do more than break even? Feel free to up your game!

Divide that amount by the number of days you’ll be working in a month. If you want some work-life balance, keep it around 20. Give yourself weekends off, right?

$3,600 divided by 20 is $180 per day. That’s your day rate.

Most freelancers only have about six billable hours per day (what, with marketing, networking, pitching and administrative tasks…not to mention emails to answer…), so divide your day rate by six.

In our example, that gives us a $30/hour rate. Use that number accordingly to bill for your services.

When you’re setting a project price, don’t forget to factor in your research time and any interviews you’ll do with the client to collect information. Here’s a little trick you can use: instead of breaking it down by hour, break down larger projects by day.

For example, let’s say a project is going to require a couple of subject matter expert interviews. You’re putting together a rate quote, but you don’t know if it’ll take two hours or four. However, you figure it’s a safe bet the interviews will take half a day.

In our example, what’s your half-day rate? $90. There you go. That’s the interview part of the project.

If you’re quoting a client on a total project cost, make sure you’re factoring in all your time. I can’t stress that enough.

Too often, I’ve seen writers quote a rate that only includes their time writing, then the bill goes out and they’ve added in research time, editing time, etc., etc. and the client is understandably upset. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve also seen writers screw themselves and basically work for free because they didn’t bill for the five hours of phone calls the client ate up giving 27 rounds of notes from 14 different stakeholders.

Quotes are an art more than a science, really. That’s why I’m a big proponent of flat-rate project pricing. (That’s a post for another day.)

But, setting your rate isn’t as hard as it seems, right? It just takes a little prep work up front. Once you know your minimum rate, you can figure out how many hours it takes you to work on whatever project you’re working on.

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Yes, you can … build your writing confidence

Last week I was at a gathering of freelance writers and editors with varying levels of experience. There were the seasoned pros who’d been around the block a few times and were waxing philosophic about the changing industry from the comfort of their semi-retirements. There was the overworked editor who had the frazzled look of a woman on deadline. And there were more than a couple of people with fascinating day jobs (totally unrelated to writing) who were getting their editorial side hustles on.

Writing, as a general rule (and especially if you make it your career), can be an isolating endeavor. It’s easy to get in your head and decide nothing you’ve ever written is good enough.

And if you surround yourself with people who can’t understand why you’re choosing to follow an interesting story over a nice, comfortable employer-sponsored 401K … then you’re really in for some mind-bending family gatherings as you struggle to explain why you’re compelled to spend years putting ideas to paper (instead of doing something “safer”).

Just ask my parents.

But, here’s the thing, when you have the courage to do what you’re called to do, you encourage everyone around you to follow their own dreams, too. Your courage creates a ripple effect for everyone around you. Remember that when you’re in your head about whether your career choice is valid or not.

Case in point:

My friend quit her job last week. She did exactly the thing I warned about in the post about knowing when you’re ready to leave your 9-to-5 … she just got fed up and quit.

And we’re not talking about a new grad in her first job. This is a well-seasoned professional with two kids to support. Come to think of it, a few months ago someone else I know did the same thing … with a kid in college to support.

I know there are people reading this who will think, that is so irresponsible!

Is it, though? That second woman revived her solo PR company and is fine. My friend has already had two interviews with firms paying almost twice what she left behind.

Would it really be better for them to stifle themselves, and to be angry and resentful in work situations that didn’t work for them? (Please note, they had complete confidence they’d have other work lined up before their two week notice was even up—and they did.)

Everything in life is a calculated risk.

Do you stay at that job? Do you buy that house? Do you have that child? Do you launch that business?

Do you finally publish that book?!

Here is what my friend’s story did for me: It reminded me of all the times I’ve been brave in the past and how well things worked out in the end. For me, personally, watching other people be brave and live the full truth of who they are gives me courage to take steps toward my dreams, too.

If your dream is to write, or to inspire others through your book or blog or speaking engagements, then I say, own it.

Be inspired by the people who forged the path ahead of you. Be motivated by the people walking alongside you. And have confidence that your journey and your experience matters.

Also, have confidence you can do it! Writing is a constant revision and learning process. Build up those skills and contacts.

Whether or not you keep your day job, it’s not really about the job. It’s about having the courage to say, “Hey, I’m going to move in the direction that’ll make me happy.”

Then do it.

Joining a group of freelancers and entrepreneurs helps, because it’s easy to lose motivation after the 50th writing rejection of the month. It’s easy to start thinking what you’re doing doesn’t matter. In that group of freelancers, it felt invigorating to share stories of nightmare projects and fascinating assignments and new apps and gadgets to make writing easier.

We’re all in this together, and it helps to remember that when you’re sitting in front of a monitor by yourself most of the day.

Other writers get it.

Your journey matters, so embrace it. By following your dream, and believing in yourself, you’re helping all of us move closer to where we want to be. Now, go to it!

Here are some places to connect with other freelancers:

How to know when to go full time as a freelancer (or not!)

Quote: don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

Full confession: I was a full-time freelance writer and editor for seven years (supporting myself solo, even!) until 2014. Since then, I’ve been doing my side hustle while working staff jobs on newspapers and magazines.

The choice to make the switch was a tough one, but changes in health care plans in my state (and things like trying to buy a house) necessitated some employer-sponsored benefits and W-2s….

It was a big adjustment. But, you know, so is making the jump from a traditional full-time job to working as a full-time freelancer. I’ve done both, and I can tell you freelancing is a million times more challenging, anxiety inducing … and ultimately rewarding.

I’m working with a woman who’s in the middle of making this choice right now, and she’s making some very calculated choices to make it happen. Like living lean and putting half her salary into savings to prepare for the transition. She’s also launching a marketing campaign for a product line she developed … on nights and weekends.

If you’re like I was ten years ago, you might jump in without thinking about pesky things like emergency savings (yep, I did that).

Or you might be on the other end of the spectrum talking yourself out of it because you don’t have six months of living expenses saved up (I’ve been there, too).

No matter where you’re at in the decision-making process, freelancing is a roller coaster. There will be lean months, and if you haven’t planned for them, you will find yourself very, very stressed out (and probably pretty hungry).

Taking some cues from my client—and from personal experience—here are some things to consider before you make the leap into full-time freelancing:

Do you have savings? 

I have a bank account that I established years ago that I affectionately call the “in case sh*t” account. I put a little bit aside every month in case sh*t happens.

If you don’t have a savings account, start one. Commit to yourself that you’ll put a little bit aside every month to help cover you during the inevitable lean months … or that one summer when your car’s air conditioning dies and there’s a record heat wave (true story).

You want to read a good book about how freelancers should ideally handle their money?  The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers and the Self-Employed changed my life. Seriously.

Do you have clients/projects lined up?

No brainer, right? Except I have seen people up and quit jobs without having anything lined up. The argument goes something like this:

“If I quit this boring, dead-end job, I’ll have tons of time to go out and find clients! Within a month I’ll have plenty of work!”

That may or may not be true. Everyone’s network is different. Everyone’s potential client base is different. What I DO know is that’s a huge gamble. Line up a few clients before you go full time.

But what if you were laid off and didn’t have time to find clients?

I have been there!

Reach out to everyone you know as soon as possible, letting them know you’re available for freelance work. Which brings me to the most important consideration (in my opinion):

Are you ready to network and market yourself?

So many writers and creatives get uptight about talking to people and the business of writing. I know. I hear you. I see it. I get it.

Common things I hear include:

  • ”I don’t like selling myself.”
  • ”I’m not good at business stuff.”
  • “That’s not really what I do.”
  • “I don’t know where to start.”

All valid opinions!

Now get over it, because if you want to actually pay any bills, you’re going to be out there talking to people about what you do. This is especially true if you want to break into top-tier writing markets or land higher-paying clients.

Don’t think of it as selling. All you’re doing is confidently letting people know how you can help them with their writing needs. Marketing yourself is really about solving people’s problems, not making sales.

Have you ever heard that saying, “don’t quit your day job?” Listen, some people really shouldn’t. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with freelancing as a side hustle! It doesn’t need to be a full-time thing.

It takes a tremendous amount of persistence to be a full-time freelancer. Weigh these considerations before you decide to take the plunge. Click To Tweet

I have a friend who has been freelancing for 20 years and she says she’d never work for someone else because she’d lose her “hunger.” She says the hustle gives her passion and drive.

If you thrive under pressure and you live for a challenge—and you have a handle on your finances—full-time freelancing may be a good pace for you. One final piece of advice: Find a supportive group of freelancers to tap for advice and inspiration. It’ll make a huge difference.

Celebrate the writing wins, even when they’re not your own

I got a really great email today, and I don’t think the sender would mind my sharing the story.

So often when we’re writing, and especially freelancing, life becomes focused on the hustle. It’s easy to feel down on ourselves for the latest rejection or the latest gig that ended or fell through.

We’ve all been there. Some months more than others!

That’s why I’m a firm believer in celebrating the wins—no matter how small, how seemingly insignificant, or who may have achieved them.

Now, back to the email…

I met this woman at a job interview. She applied for a part-time reporter job, and she was our top candidate, but funding for the position fell through.

There are actually two great stories in this story, because instead of being annoyed or disappearing when the position fell through, she reached out to freelance and became one of my best and most reliable freelancers—able to turn around a story on short notice and deliver with sources when I found myself in a bind.

Lesson number one: she didn’t have a bad attitude after the disappointment (well, we all have bad attitudes after a disappointment, but she checked it at the door and asked for freelance work). She asked for advice on how to be a stronger writer and really hustled.

When I left that publication, we stayed in touch, and I sent her name to other editors any time I came across open work. (Yes, that really happens.) But she really wanted a full-time writing job. She applied everywhere. And she kept sending out pitches and fielding feedback and refining her freelance work.

Today, she finally wrote to say she’d landed that coveted full-time reporting gig—and not just anywhere, she landed a job covering a prime beat with a major metro newspaper! It happened to be a beat I used to cover myself and LOVED.

I can’t think of a more deserving or hard-working person for the job, and I know she’ll go on to do even bigger things as a writer. Why? Tenacity, thick skin and a drive to ask questions and consider all feedback. She’s got grit.

This is obviously a big win to celebrate—and even if it isn’t my personal win, as writers and freelancers we know the road is long and the victories are few. So, when they’re here, we’ve got to make the most of them and cheer each other on.

It was so affirming to see her succeed after so much hard work. Hey, I feed off that stuff!

My personal writing victories of late have been taking the time to write this blog and wrapping up this month’s editing work. Getting the magazine to the printer on time and following up with my own marketing ideas and plans. Not huge, life-changing victories, but the quiet work of “getting sh*t done.”

Sometimes there are only the smallest of small victories...but all wins are worth celebrating on this writing road. What writing wins will you celebrate this week? Click To Tweet

How to keep writing goals: Your future self will thank you

Accountability. It’s not everyone’s favorite word, but it is the key component if you want to get a project finished.

Here we are, more than ten days into a new year (although really, isn’t any day the start of a new phase of our lives?), and how far along are you in your writing goals for this year?

In this month’s editor’s column for the magazine I manage, I wrote about how abysmal most of us are with setting and following through with goals. In fact, 41 percent of Americans make resolutions each year, but only nine percent feel they are successful with those resolutions.

Being one of the 91 percent who often find myself looking at my annual “wish list” of goals and wondering why I didn’t make more progress, I’ve developed a couple of tricks for making and keeping goals — particularly writing goals.

I’m all about cheap and easy solutions (that don’t require a lot of thought), so maybe you’ll find these three steps to keeping your goals useful.

1. Make a list

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Make a list. How basic does it get? And how many of you (like me) have tried every cool, gadgety task management app out there (and then abandon them after a couple of weeks)?

Author Umberto Eco once wrote, “We write lists because we don’t want to die.” I’m not sure I’d go that far, but I certainly understand the appeal.

Skip the fancy middle men and make a list on a piece of paper. Keep it simple. I like to write down some “easy wins” along with big dreams and things that may seem too pie-in-the-sky to achieve. Then I post it next to my desk where I can scratch things off and add new things as the year goes on.

2. No judgement

I cannot underestimate the “no judgement” clause to goal making and keeping. We’re human. Things happen. The beauty of being alive is there’s this great thing called a sunrise that signals a new opportunity to start over again, even if you fell short of your dreams yesterday.

Sometimes shame can make us quit before we even start — or shame’s cousin, guilt.

The no judgement clause says no matter what happens, aim to do better tomorrow. You don’t want to make excuses day after day (or week after week), because that’s how a book DOESN’T get written….

But, if you’ve been writing every day for a week, and you miss a day because your kid was throwing up since the crack of dawn and you’ve got an annual report due this week and oh, by the way, here comes the flu…

If you miss a day of writing, get a good night’s sleep, take care of your health, pick yourself up and start typing again tomorrow.

If you miss a writing goal, don’t waste time and energy being down on yourself. Click To Tweet

3.  Be accountable—keep your future self in mind

Every goal-oriented book and article I’ve ever read has said accountability partners increase your odds of success by 65 to 95 percent, depending on the study.

If you set an appointment with someone — and have a specific goal you have to report on? You’ve just set yourself up for a 95 percent success rate, my friend. It’s important.

Speaking for myself, having accountability partners has made a huge difference in my life. I wouldn’t have launched this website, bought a house, or finished a book without the people I touch base with on a weekly and monthly basis.

I have friends who swear by mastermind groups — and they have the results to back up those accolades.

So, what if you don’t have a partner or group you can be accountable to? Be accountable to yourself!

Check out FutureMe.org, a website where you email letters to yourself to be delivered in the future. I started sending myself annual “progress reports” and reminders/cheerleading two or three times a year. At first it was kind of weird and awkward, but now I look forward to seeing an email pop up from a year ago. It feels good to see and measure how things have changed in a year (or two).

If your goal is to publish a book, or become a full-time freelancer, or even just write down some stories for your own enjoyment, the first step is making time to write. Set your writing goals, then use these tips to follow through.

If you happen to want an official writing coach, that is one of the services I offer. You certainly don’t need a coach to achieve your goals, though!

Tiny goals are better #tinygoals2018

photo of small list of goals

A funny thing happened when I tried to set goals for 2018. A tiny bit of backstory: I’m the person who makes 47 goals every year (starting all the way back in October, like I did today…) and I’m also the person who gets maybe three of those goals done by the end of the year, and I’m left sighing over the other 43 things I thought I was going to get to.

My friends have learned this about me. They have sat through my sighing and feelings of disappointment and melancholy. So they do their best to keep me from jumping after every shiny goal that seems fun and entertaining–you know, the ones that are completely unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

“Stay focused!”

“Is that a SMART goal?!”

“Get out your calendar and let’s set a date to circle back for an update!”

“Is this shiny new idea going to get you closer to your most important goals?!”

Thank you, goal-keeping friends! (I have zero ability to focus without an accountability partner.)

So, I whipped out the iPad during coffee with a friend this morning to sketch out my ideas for 2018. A whole new year! Fresh opportunity! A hundred ideas to play with!

As my friend would say…. “No, ma’am.”

Narrow that sh* down.

There will be no melancholy sighing in 2018.

So…I narrowed it down to three (I think achievable) things:

  • improve my health (ye old cholesterol is a bit high)
  • finish the online courses I’ve been putting together, and
  • finally self-publish a book I’ve been working on forever

Hey, I figure three is the number I have historically been able to manage in any given year. This is manageable. And yes, I will make them SMART.

So, I wrote my notes on the world’s most expensive notepad-slash-coloring book and emailed myself the note to print when I got home.

Yay, technology!

Except….

When I got home and printed it, a tiny image came out. Adorable! But not at all helpful. I sent my friend the photo from this post to show her how tiny my goals will be next year–literally.

And thus was born…the year of tiny goals. #tinygoals2018

Keeping it small. Literally.

Because, as I’m sure you already know, and I’m learning this in many areas of my life right now … it’s not really about the goals. It’s about the journey getting to them.

Cheesy, yes, but true. So, maybe goals should be tiny. Maybe tiny goals are easier to reach, because there’s not as much pressure. They fit in the palm of your hand–look how adorably tiny they are!

Should we ever have more goals than would fit in the palm of our hand? Click To Tweet

It’s always good to have some direction, but it’s worth remembering the goals we set are such a small part of what we achieve each year. It’s the day-to-day living and the relationships we build–and the friends we’re accountable to–that make each year memorable.

Each new year brings a lot of change, regardless. For me, it means working on a house and re-learning what it means to cohabitate after a long stretch of living solo…and there’s a lot going on with everyone.

Maybe we should all keep our #tinygoals in perspective in the coming year.

The five freelance writing job sites you need to know

Freelance writing is a constant hustle, so it’s a good thing there are websites out there that specialize in freelance writing jobs. Get ready to create some new bookmarks on your bookmark bar–these five job sites are updated regularly and all feature paid writing jobs.

There are other job search sites out there, of course, including just typing in “writer” at general job search sites like Indeed.com and on LinkedIn. These five, though, have all yielded me paying gigs at one point or another, so these have become my go-to resources.

Mediabistro Job Board

You’ll find every kind of media job at Mediabistro–from sales and publisher jobs to writing and editing jobs in traditional publishing as well as for PR and multimedia companies. Job listings tend to be heavy on NYC and San Francisco offerings, but you can filter your search results by state, job category or duration. Filter by “freelance” or “contract” to find temporary and long-term freelance assignments. You can also sign up for job alerts.

 Journalismjobs.com

Any journalism grad worth their salt peruses this j-jobs website, and this is the go-to job board for newspapers and traditional journalism employers. Most of the jobs will be staff positions, but you’ll also find the occasional stringer and part-time position. It’s also a good source for finding out which publications are short on staff. If you’re familiar with an area and a publication, send a letter of introduction and ask if they hire stringers or freelancers. You may end up with an assignment or two.

 Freelancewriting.com

This all-around useful freelancing website culls the internets for writing jobs so you don’t have to. They also have a newsletter that will deliver a handful of selected jobs to you daily. While I frequently scan the newsletter, I admit I’ve never spent a lot of time on the website. There are lots of useful articles and tips there, though. Many of these jobs are culled from places like Indeed and Craigslist, so there may be hundreds of applicants and some jobs are closed by the time the newsletter goes out. None the less, there are some freelancing gems here if you apply early and often.

Ed 2010 

Ed 2010 is heavy on internships and entry level jobs in magazines and traditional publishing. It’s a great resource for students and people on the coast who are close enough to work in NYC. However, it’s still worth checking out because every now and then there will be remote and contract positions. This is one of the most useful sites to find out about major magazine internships and opportunities. Their Twitter feed is worth a follow, too.

Freelancejobopenings.com

Freelance writer Brian Scott maintains this free job board, and it’s free for both applicants and employers. In order to be included, all jobs have to be paid positions. You’ll find a wide range of writing jobs advertised here–from blogging to technical writing to calls for fiction submissions. Scott also runs Online Writing Jobs, which is a combination of original job postings and culled listings from the internet.

Tips from a self-published author: Roxanne Knott

Roxanne Knott is the founder of Grace Filled Waiting, a ministry devoted to helping couples through their infertility journey. As a leader in several faith-based support groups, Roxanne has been candid about her own 20-year infertility struggle, including the ups and downs of myriad procedures and doctor visits. She and her husband, Tim, provide encouragement to others on the infertility path.

In 2016, she wrote and self-published her first book, 30 Grace-filled Days: Finding Grace in Life’s Journey. The devotional provides daily scripture and thoughts to inspire self-compassion during difficult times.

Roxanne and Tim are currently co-authoring a new book, a memoir written from both their perspectives about their experiences with infertility treatments.

I watched Roxanne go from inspiration to publication in less than a year–and it was a bumpy ride! She sat down with me for a little Q&A to talk about her experiences as a first-time, self-published author. (Full disclosure: Roxanne is not only a good friend, but she was kind enough to choose me as an editor on her first foray into self-publishing.)

Roxanne, why did you decide to write a book?

I have had the desire to write a book for several years. I just didn’t have the confidence to get started. I didn’t know if I could even do it or not. Then I met a friend who kept encouraging me to go for my dream. She gave me some tips on how to start and I took the leap. She helped keep me accountable and I crossed the finish line with my first completed ebook. She also happens to be my editor today. (Laughs)

What was the most difficult part of the process for you?

Every.Single.Part! From coming up with the devotion ideas, to making writing a new habit in my life, to working through all the technical difficulties and processes to self-publish.

I can attest to the technical difficulties–getting everything formatted and exported properly was an adventure! What’s the most unexpected thing that happened as a result of writing this book?

The fact that I am now writing my second book. Even after the highs and lows of writing the first book, as soon as I completed it I immediately felt compelled to start writing again. That was very surprising and unexpected. I kind of thought it would be one and done. Instead I have found that I really enjoy writing.

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

That there would be days where the words flowed onto the page and days that you struggle for every sentence. It’s OK. Be patient but consistent in your writing and with yourself during the process.

I know you scheduled time each week to write, and that’s when things really started to take off. What has been the biggest help in the writing and self-publishing process?

Getting involved with a writing group and partnering with another author to give me regular critiques of my work. It is good to surround yourself with others who have done what you are trying to accomplish so that you can glean from their knowledge and support.

Anything you think new authors should consider before getting started?

Writing a book is both challenging and rewarding. I have found for me that writing has had to become a part of my life on a regular, consistent basis. I have had to schedule regular writing times into my weekly schedule in order to stay on task and make it a habit. I have now come to really enjoy and look forward to my writing times.

Are you willing to make it a priority and lifestyle so it’s more of a habit for you? Either answer is OK, it’s just best to know what your goal is before you start so you can set realistic expectations and goals.

Setting realistic expectations is so important. If you’re not able (or willing) to schedule dedicated time to write each week, it’s not realistic to think the book will be done in a year. I speak from experience, as you know!

Thank you for sharing your experience, Roxanne. I’ve enjoyed watching your progress, and I look forward to reading your next book.

Roxanne’s devotional is available from Amazon or her website.