Category Archives: Career

I’m still up….


and therefore the day isn’t over for me and this post is not late. 🙂

I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now, from working on the new book and trying to get my book signing set up, to regular client work and helping someone get their business idea off the ground.  And in the middle of all that, I’m working on my taxes.

I was looking at my bank statement and I noticed a direct deposit that I could not identify. It wasn’t a huge deposit, but it was enough to make me wonder where it came from. I looked through my client list, my mystery shopping clients and my one-off work list…no match. I had no idea where the money came from.

I let it go, figuring the mystery would solve itself. I was taking notes on an essay I’m writing for the book, and it hit me; I hadn’t checked my book sales recently. So, I hopped over to Create Space to look. As I was looking at the sales, I saw the “earnings earned” field. Lo and behold, the amount in the box was the same as the direct deposit.

I earned royalties on my book?

Holy crap, I EARNED ROYALTIES ON MY BOOK!

I wish I would have realized it sooner, I would have spent the money on something more fun. To be honest I think it became grocery money. However I spent it, my book created income for me. And that’s totally cool!

One of my goals is to write books that people enjoy and that will pay my bills. I feel like I just placed the cornerstone. I’ve got something to build on. And that is awesome!

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Channeling My Inner Peter Gibbons


For a while now I’ve not been happy with my career trajectory.

And by “awhile,” I mean several years. Heading into a decade actually.

Now technically, I am a writer. I write words. I get paid. I write more words…

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The problem: I don’t like the words I’m writing.

The other problem: I don’t like what I’m getting paid for the words I write.

The third problem: I don’t like the crap I have to deal with while writing the words I write.

Not liking what I write + Not liking the pay for what I write + Dealing with crap while I write =

A PETER GIBBONS MOMENT

I hope that most of you get the reference to the guy who was the hero of all cubicle dwellers in the early ’00. But for those of you who are not familiar with the guy or the movie in which he appeared, check this out:

This is the attitude that greeted me this morning. It’s not the first time, but this go around it was accompanied with a declarative statement:

I’m done.

I’m done working for peanuts.

I’m done writing about stuff I don’t give a crap about.

I’m done with being too tired to work on writing I WANT to do because I have to work on so much of the crap to make ends meet.

I’m done dealing with clients who do not appreciate what I do for them.

I’m done feeling guilty for crocheting, chainmailling or just watching a tv show and not working at the same time.

I don’t like working for peanuts, for people who don’t appreciate what I do for them anyway so I’m just not going to do it anymore.

I’m. Done.

So here is my plan:

By the end of next month, I will have my book completed (“From the Minds of my Family” is the tentative title. I also like “Words with Skip and Mary,” but that might be limiting.) and a solid first draft for my online dating book. No idea what I’m going to call it.

I have two clients that I will continue to work with because I actually enjoy working with them. I will seek new clients, but I’m going to be picky.

I’m going to go back to my first love, which is feature writing.

And finally, I’m going to crochet and chainmaille more, hang out with my granddaughter and watch tv….without feeling guilty about any of it.

Life is about to get more interesting because I’m finally going to, you know, LIVE IT!

🙂

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46(?)/46/46 – Day..um…


Okay so I’ve been sick and therefore I have no idea what day this is supposed to be. I’ll figure it out tomorrow and adjust accordingly.

Today..ahem…this morning I want to talk about caving to the collective. But before I do that, a confession:

Hi, my name is Kim. I’m a writer who doesn’t like word games.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

I know that as a writer, games such as Scrabble(tm) and Boggle should be my favorite games ever…

Yeah, not so much.

But when you have 800+ Facebook friends, and 700 of them are writers, you get a lot of game requests.

A lot.

Most of the requests are for word games. For the most part, I ignore the requests. But after a while, it begins to feel impolite, and if Mary Belle taught me anything, it’s that you should never be intentionally rude.

So, I caved and added a word game….

image

It’s really the only game I can tolerate…don’t know why and it’s probably best if I don’t try to figure it out.

I used to play this quite often, but then I quit. Not sure why, probably another candidate for “don’t ponder too much.” It seems many of you were waiting for me to take my turn.

My bad.

Anyway, I’m now playing a word game again. You can can stop with the disapproving stares and take down the petition to have my writer card revoked. Mea culpa…I am officially one of you again.

You’re welcome.

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46(?)/46/46 – Day #9: I’m not a feminist, I don’t even play one on tv…


I was watching The Big Bang Theory tonight and it reminded me of something I wanted to talk about.

First: Sheldon…awwwwww!

Now, onto the topic at hand: Feminism.
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting announced she was not a feminist. She stated in an article that she liked taking care of her husband by doing things such as cooking for him.

The Internet lost its collective mind. Good ‘ol Twitter, the yardstick by which everything that matters is measured, was especially active, with tweeters stating that Kaley should be ashamed for not being a feminist since she is benefitting from the sacrifices made by feminists that went before her.

*sigh*

Seriously? Because women generations before me decided they wanted to put career before family, get in the trenches with the guys, and open their own doors I also have to ascribe to those exact beliefs?

Get outta here! By that logic, no women should ever become a teacher or a nurse (two professions that were acceptable for women), cook, clean or get married. Hell, we should all hate men!

Don’t get it twisted though, I AM appreciative to the women who came before me and made my life so much easier than theirs. But what ever happened to personal preference or choice? I thought feminism was about women having the choice to do what they want? If a woman chooses to compete for the CEO position in a corporation, then she has the right and the playing field should be different by 23 cents equal. If a woman wants to own a business, she can do that. But on the flip side, if a woman wants to stay home and take care of her family, then that’s her choice. Kaley has just as much right to not be a feminist as other women have to be feminists.
Choice, people. That’s the key here.
I’m growing weary of the line in the sand people are constantly drawing. You’re either…or. There’s no gray area. There’s no “and.” Either you’re a feminist and think all those old fashioned things like taking care of your family and the laundry are wrong, or all you are is a housewife and mother with no ideas or thoughts of your own. No one with a completely functional brain is that extreme in either direction, and it’s ridiculous to think women or any human being should be.
So, all you feminists out there, lay off Kaley already. Feel free to jump on me, though. I’m sure I didn’t garner any points with this post, but I did warn you.  If you feel I’m wrong, feel free to set me straight in the comments.

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46(?)/46/46 – Day #6: It’s Monday


That’s the best thing I can say about it. It’s been a long day, I’m cranky and I feel like I am receiving karmic retribution for every stupid, mean or obnoxious thing I’ve done in the last decade. Oh well, this will pass.

But I’m tired of feeling like I’m sitting around, spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I think I’ve made changes that will correct that, but I’m impatient by nature and want it fixed now.

Yesterday actually.

Well, I’d love to stay and chat about any number of random or mundane things, but I have deadlines. Lots of deadlines. Yeah.

FYI – I’m not complaining about having too much work, I’m complaining about  the work process. That’s all I’m going to say. Sometimes the process sucks. Sometimes it’s awesome. It’s like any other career. Some days, you wake up, smile, sip some coffee and get right to work. Other days, the last thing you want to do is string words together in any cohesive order. Today would be one of those latter days.

The thing is, although I don’t want to write today, I’m blogging about not wanting to write.

The humor of the concept is not wasted on me.

Later peeps!

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First Day of the (Work) Week, First Day of the Month and a Blog Challenge


I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging, but just could not figure out how to squeeze it in. But since there’s another Ultimate Blog Challenge, and the first of October falls on a Monday, I figured it was the planets aligning to allow me to jump back in. So, here I am.

No idea what I’m going to write about to fill 31 days, but I’m sure things will come to me when they need to. Lord knows, my friends on Facebook and Twitter provide me with enough fodder, not to mention my um, entertaining family. So, I imagine this month will be a hodge-podge of things. Hopefully, at least some of it will be entertaining.

I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire (even more than usual *yikes*), so I doubt there are going to be a lot of long, rambling posts, but I will strive to post something every day, even if it’s more of a “Dear Diary, today I fed the dogs and cleaned the oven,” kinda post than something more meaningful. Of course, I hope to provide more entertaining fare, but sometimes, you get what you get. 🙂

And with that, I’m going to sign off. Got work to do, lists to make, blog post ideas to conjure up…

See you tomorrow.

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Yeah and Meh…


The last few weeks have been challenging, and I’m not sure why.

I’ve pared down my client list to three clients I love, so work isn’t really a chore at the moment.

I’m making progress on my “Quest for National Publication,” so that’s good.

I don’t have any pressing issues, obligations or major things to worry about…so yay to that.

And yet…here I sit, uneasy about it all.

Maybe things are too easy…they’re going too smoothly.

I’m not used to smooth. I’m used to craziness, chaos, bedlam.

That I can do — I thrive on that.

But this…this is foreign to me.

Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Be glad it’s going smoothly, and enjoy it.” And, I know you’re right — I should be…

But I can’t. And I don’t know why.

And that bugs me.

But not enough to make me feel better.

And if you followed that, well, I don’t know whether to apologize to you or applaud you.

What does it say about someone who can’t be happy when things are going well?

Ok – that’s a bit of a reach. I’m happy…just uneasy about the happiness.

That doesn’t really make it sound better, does it?

I’m just more comfortable with chaos. I know what to expect with chaos.

I’d like to get comfortable with things going well…

I guess it will take practice.

Until then, I’ll just stress out about not being stressed out. That always makes me feel better.

Again — apologies and applause. 🙂

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New Directions


For the last few days, I’ve been contemplating my career and where I want it to go. As a writer, there are many avenues available to you — provided you are willing to do the work and learn that particular part of the craft. In my almost 20 years in this biz, I’ve tried my hand at fiction, journalism, article writing, column writing, copywriting, general writing (business plans, marketing plans, grants, white papers, etc.), content mills and web writing.  In other words, I’ve pretty much been there, done that.

Except for plays, movies and television scripts. But it’s on my list.

I’ve published a book, I’ve written an award-winning column and I’ve written things that brought me praise and criticism galore. I’ve written some things that make me cringe, and I’ve written things of which I am extremely proud. I have enjoyed almost every minute of my writing career.

But now I feel as if I’m at a crossroads. I love writing for a living, I really do…

But I don’t want to do it anymore. At least not how I’ve been doing it recently.

A friend gave me The Renegade Writer as a gift this past Christmas. I’m not a huge fan of how-to or self-help books — I’m a firm believer that the only way to learn to do something is by doing it. No book can replace the knowledge you gain from the “Nike” approach. The book has been sitting on the corner of my desk since the day I unwrapped it — but for some reason I picked it up and starting thumbing through it yesterday.

In each chapter, there are sections called “Break this rule.” I started reading those because, well, I am a rule-breaker.

It turns out that a lot of what they advise I’ve been doing instinctively for years.

Now, you’d think this would make me feel better. Make me feel like I’ve been on the right path.

Nope. It really made me sick to my stomach.

Cuz, the last few years, I’ve been ignoring my instincts in exchange for making a decent living. And now I wonder — if I had stuck to my path all those years ago, where would I be now? Would my byline be in Forbes, or Women’s Day or Inc.? It’s not even about the bragging rights — it just made me realize that as a writer, I could be so much further along than I am, and it’s hurts like hell that I’m the reason I’m not where I could be.

But that all changes tomorrow. I’ve still got a couple of steady clients that keep food on the table and a roof over my head, but I’m done chasing after more of their ilk. If I’m going to do this, I either need to go big or get the hell out of the game.  The publication studying and query writing starts tomorrow. My goal is to make it into a National magazine before the end of the year, if not sooner.

I’m going for the big time, folks. Wish me luck.

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Revisions and Deadlines and Edits…Oh Crap!


Sorry I’ve been away for a few days, but I’ve been slammed with, well, the title to this post. It’s the by-product of having almost too much work. And it’s an even bigger factor when you’re dealing with clients with whom you have never worked. One new client relationship is a challenge.

I’ve got five.

Yep. Five new clients, which means five new relationships to tweak, guidelines to learn, deadlines to get used to, yadda yadda…

January was a rewarding and challenging month. But I muddled through and here we are in February, and although I’m past the muddle stage, I’m still trying to adjust. Part of that adjustment means figuring out where this blog fits into it all.

I really enjoy writing this blog. I like talking about my life, writing, and anything else that falls from my gray matter to my laptop keys. But there’s only one of me and 24 hours in a day, so sometimes things have to get pushed aside, and since this blog is a labor of love and not an actual income stream, sadly, it gets bumped.

But unlike previous blogging attempts, (and there have been several), I missed blogging this time. They say it takes 21 days to create or break a habit. Well, I blogged 31 consecutive days last month, so it’s a habit, plus 10 at this point, and I don’t see myself ever going 21 days without blogging again, so it’s safe to say, even if I don’t blog every day, I will blog often.

But for now, I need to get my clients are straight and comfy and in love with me, and I need to do the same for them. Because I’ve decided that if I don’t love the gig, I’m not going to keep it. Life is too short and there is way too much work out there for me to suffer through work I don’t enjoy. But I will save that conversation for another post.

OK — just wanted to check in before you decided I had fallen out of the blogosphere. I’m still here and I’ll be back.

Oh, and if there is something in particular you’d like me to talk about, explain, or offer my opinion about, hit me up in comments or Email me.

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The End of the Month


The first month of what some think is the last year of our lives is coming to an end. I spent the day invoicing and finishing up some last minute work for clients. And I thought about some of the goals I made for this year.

So far, not bad.

I’ve retained my better clients and dropped the dead weight. I still need to gain some new clients, but that’s always going to be an ongoing process. For the first time since I started my writing career, I had work for at least one client every day of the month. That’s pretty cool.

My goal for next month is pretty much the same as my goal for January. Keep looking for the meat and the lobster, avoid the peanuts and smaller potatoes. I feel like I’m on the verge of something great — for the first time I’m on the path I’m supposed to be. I’m excited about the future, which is a really good feeling.

I’ve also kinda got addicted to this blogging thing, so I think I’ll keep doing that, too. Hope you guys stick around for the ride. Should be interesting.

Oh, and as for the end of the world stuff — my theory about the Mayans: Their calendar stopped at 12/21/2012 because they ran out of room on the wheel.

See ya next month!

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