New site for the blog!

I just want to let everyone know that I’ll be posting on the blog at its new location from now on.  Please be sure to come over to www.CreatingMomentum.Info  .   There will be plenty of new content so I hope you’ll be sure to bookmark it or subscribe to the new feed.

If you subscribe to my RSS feed, I hope you’ll be sure to grab it at the new website. 

I look forward to seeing you all at the new address!  P.S. Same thing is happening with my other blog GypsyPoetFool- you’re invited to visit it at its new address: http://www.GypsyPoetFool.com.

Is a Writing Program Right for You?

Writing is like every other trade or art…there are many ways to get the skills you need. Writing is art. Writing is craft. Writing is talent. Writing is skill.  Writing is magic… If you are contemplating taking a program or class, please be sure to check out the article I posted on www.ehow.com about this subject.  

How to Decide if a Writing Program is Right For You

It took me a long time to a: Decide if I wanted to partake in a writing program, and b: find a program that fits my own needs and desires.

Now, I will be doing two  of them over the coming year.  One is a a mentoring program for freelance writers with freelance/ghostwriter Yvonne Perry.  She owns a company called Writers In the Sky. Check out here site at www.writersinthesky.com.  The other program, which I’ve contemplated for at least 2 years, is through a local university, MTSU.  It is patterned after low-residency MFA’s, however, this is open to the public – degreed or not.  Three semesters working with a mentor at a distance.  I start both of these this week so wish me luck. It will be exhilerating, hard work but I’ve never been more excited.   

I’ll be posting about the process with both of these on this site and on my other blog:  GypsyPoetFool

The thing I want to point out is that no matter where a person is in their career, we should always be looking for opportunities to improve our skills- whether it’s the actual craft or art form we work in, business skills, marketing skills, networking, leadership.  CEO’s of big corporations probably have spent the most time and money with personal coaches and continuing education. These people are at the top of their game.  Education is a life-long endeavor to which there is no end.  It  need not cost you your life savings or put you  deep into debt for decades  to come. Look  high and low, far and near. Ask questions, listen with your heart and your mind. Practice, practice, practice.  We’re given life to learn about love and to become the best version of ourselves.  Don’t settle for anything less- but be sure to enjoy the journey.  I know I do!

Just starting out? Here are 5 traps to avoid

For those of you who are busy with new ventures, writing and publishing books, making albums, building freelance careers, creating jewelry or pottery or making independent films- whatever your game is- you know it’s damn hard sometimes to know the right steps. I wrote an article for Associated Content about some of the things I’ve experienced.  Check out my recently published content on AC:

Starting Your Own Business: 5 Traps to Avoid

Designing a Book Cover

Any writer who is looking into self-publishing laments the day they have to decide what to do about designing the cover of their book.  You can read about that frustration at  
http://www.chrisminglee.com/2009/01/05/bullsht-advantages-of-self-publishing/

Let’s not lie to ourselves! After all, we do judge a book by its cover. You want to make the right choice. Either hire someone to do it for you, which is expensive or learn how to do it yourself. 

Tonight I was reading on a site called Hubpages, where I’ve been working on a few posts, when I decided to take a break and look up a writer I met a couple years ago. Taryn Simpson has done some self-publishing and she has a great hub post about this process. I’d encourage you to take a look as she documents an affordable DIY approach using PowerPoint.

How to Create a Book Cover WITHOUT the help of a Graphic Designer!

Whichever approach you decide on, it’s good to know you aren’t the only one ready to rip your hair out or run screaming and naked into the streets!

Start Now

Have you ever read the very popular personal finance blog www.GetRichSlowly.org?   About a year and a half ago, I started following the blog and it led me to many of my other favorites.  J.D. Roth, the blogger extraordinaire behind “Get Rich Slowly” agreed to do a 20 questions style interview with David at www.PimpYourFinances.com

The link to the interview is:

http://www.pimpyourfinances.com/2008/12/20-questions-with-jd-roth-author-of-get-rich-slowly/

 

The 20 questions covered 5 main areas:

1.  Starting a website/business

2. Goals and Passions

3. The Economy

4. What are you reading

5. Lessons Learned

 

My favorite quote was to question 20. 

20. If you could go back in time five years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

 Start now! Whatever it is you want to do, start now.

It’s pivotal.  Maybe you aren’t ready to launch a business or a freelance career, but you can practice your craft, pay a bill, save a few bucks, try a new technique, ask a question. 

I hope when you read the interview you receive a little lightning bolt of excitement.  Every day requires good reminders that we don’t have to be perfect- or even very good- if there’s enough hunger in your heart. Take a chance on yourself- and in 5 years you can be the one granting the interview.

 

Building Multiple Revenue Streams

As artists, we have to find different ways to support our dreams.  I’ve heard it said so many times that you need to diversify when it comes to investments, but you also need to diversify when it comes to creating income. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so they say.  One of the projects I’ve been working on is checking out places online that I can create legitimate income. I’m not into get rich quick scams and schemes. During the past 2 weeks I signed up with multiple article directories and blog sites that offer a chance to create revenue for myself.  Any writers, video makers, photographers, and podcasters who are looking for cool sites should take a look at these. Some were familiar to me, others I never heard of.

I figure I’ll work these sites hard for the next few months then report back on the results. In the meantime, I thought I should share. Half  of these I discovered through  the blogs of fellow writers. It is so important for writers and all artists to network any way possible- build up your resources to draw from.

Two sites which I am excited about are:

1.  Bukisa.com   This is a unique article directory site that gives you the opportunity to earn revenues not only for your own articles, videos,  audio clips, slides and photos (soon) but for content posted by others in your network. If you are interested in learning about how  it is done,  you can follow this link: http://www.bukisa.com/join/3105   That is my personal link so if you do sign up (there are no fees or anything like that), by going through that link you would join my network. It looks pretty cool and the site has a great “Learn More” page.

2.  Today.com    This is actually a blogging site that pays you $1 per original 100+ word post each day.  You also get paid $2 per thousand unique page impressions, so the more traffic you get the more you get paid. Again there is no cost to sign up for one of their blogs.  You just register to become a VIP Blogger.  Follow this link if you are interested: (they offer a $5 referral bonus for anyone who qualifies as a VIP blogger – so you can also refer people to the site and earn a few bucks when you sign up ;-)

 http://www.today.com/ctr.cgi?idx_mem=11394&mode=vip
The blogs are built on a WordPress base but there are Adsense links and different advertising that comes up on your site. You may actually have the option to leave the Adsense off, I’m not sure.   I don’t know about you but I can put out 100 words pretty easily. In case you’re interested, my blog on the site is www.launchyourdream.today.com.  You do have to narrow it down to one category to post for.  Not sure if you can multiple revenue earning blogs through them or not.

The other sites I’m excited  to see results for are: 

www.AssociatedContent.com . I’d heard a little about this site. It appears to be pretty well respected.  There a couple different options to earn through this  site.  And a lot of the writing I noticed was top-notch.

 www.Helium.com  – this  one I’ve looked into many times but was  a little intimidated by. Now I know I’m ready to get serious.

 Others you’ve  probably heard of:  www.ehow.com and www.ezinearticles.com

Do you have sites you use to either earn income from or that  really helps to build your name?  Be sure to post a comment and let us all know.

Lights, Camera, Action

I’ve been very busy the past few weeks. A goal is no good if there’s no action to back it up. Over the years I’ve learned I don’t set aimless goals. When I put it down on paper there will be motion.  When I decided that this would be the last year I work for someone else in a full-time position it meant I better put some muscle in that hustle.  So, I’ve been:

·     blogging more;

·     figuring out how to build a website- because I have 3 of them to build;

·     writing articles and posting to places I’ve signed up with;

·     looking for alternative revenue streams;

·     studying the brand new galaxy of self-publishing;

·     and reading until I’m just about blind. 

 

Eyedrops have replaced ibuprofen as my best friend. And it’s only the beginning.  The drops I use feel so good on my aching swollen eyeballs because they are a gel and they are usually cold.

 

What’s funny is that even though publishing my novels is about 40% of my overall plan, the one thing I have not been doing is working on my novels. Some might say I’m sidetracked or procrastinating but that just isn’t the case. There are times when you have to see the bigger vision, then stay focused on the foundational tasks necessary to accomplish that vision.  The week before I got very busy with these other projects I had a major breakthrough on the novel I’ve been working on. I jotted down a few notes and have not worked on it since. But it is right there in my mind, working itself out, stewing a bit, the flavors all mingling, the chewy bites getting tender.  It’s going to be a joyous day tomorrow when I work on it for an hour or two. 

 

Going from hobbyist to pro is totally possible but it takes work and maybe a little luck.  Mostly, it involves sacrificing time and energy (and occasionally your eyesight) to build enough momentum so that it starts to run on its own energy.  I’ve prepared myself for the fact that I’m going to offend people this year because I’m busy on this wild, exciting, ludicrous adventure (at my desk).  It’s important for folks to get it but if they don’t, that is their issue. I know I sound like a broken record but you just can’t let other people’s fears or issues get in your way. On the other hand, make sure you don’t piss everybody off so you have someone to celebrate the victories with!

 

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