Gifts for Your Career: 10 Things Writers Can Give Themselves for a Prosperous 2002
What would make your writing life a little easier? A little empathy? A lot more assignments? A little organization? Here are 10 things you can give to yourself or pass along to somebody else to simplify, expand, and increase the growth rate of your writing career.
Need a lift or encouragement? Give Yourself:
1. A Writing Buddy. That’s right — not a friend, spouse, or editor that reads your writing — but a bona-fide writing buddy to share writing, heartache, and encouragement with. You can post or answer ads for legitimate writing buddies at http://www.writerbuddy.com/classifieds/ .
2. Writing time outside of your normal environment. Off the computer screen and out of the house. Go sit in a quiet spot and write with a pen and paper. Go to the mall and sit in the food court. Or, if you’re not productive in that kind of chaos, get thee to a library!
3. Inspirational writing books. Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul. The Well-Fed Writer. Get them used and cheaper at Half.com.
4. The electronic poetry kit. An online version of the magnetic poetry kit, free! http://prominence.com/java/poetry/
Need More Work? Give Yourself:
5. Time to market yourself, seriously. Send out ten email queries a day. Go to yahoogroups.com and subscribe to every writing-job-list out there. Check your email every morning and respond to the jobs you want as soon as you read them.
6. A network. Join the local Chamber of Commerce or email the web design firms in your area. Let them know what you do and how you do it. Tell them you would like to set up a referral network in your area. If you know a client that needs programming or website expertise, you’ll refer that client to them. Ask them to do the same to you. Forward them leads for their business that you come across online and let them know you thought of them.
7. Books or eBooks with markets for writers. (I have one I’ve written, you can scroll down to get the details– but any book will do!) Go through them and pull out specific places you’ll seek out jobs and gig. Don’t buy a book and procrastinate — send your queries and resumes out, ASAP!
Need More Organization? Give Yourself:
8. Tax know-how. For US writers, April is much sooner than we think. Prepare yourself with the Writer’s Tax Guide at http://foolscap- quill.com/wptg2001.html. Writers in the UK can go to http://www.ukbizresource.com/article1006.html for general tax information for small businesses and Canadian writers can get general tax information here: http://www.writersguildofcanada.com/members/members_bulletin.html.
9. Office supplies. Special pretty pens and pencils. A lot of writers are office supply junkies at heart. Go to your local office superstore and invest in things you might need. Get those filing cabinets you’ve been wanting for years.
10. Submission-tracking software to keep track of queries, manuscripts, and replied to job postings that you have sent out. The software may seem a bit pricey, but you can try it out free at: http://dolphinsoftware.bc.ca/software/writers/
Melissa Brewer is a freelance writer specializing in online content.
She writes articles, tutorials, and online training materials for
corporate and small business clients. She has taught classes on web
writing in the past and recently published an eBook for writers: The
Writer’s Online Survival Guide, containing over 230 writing-specific
job sources for writers online. She hosts a website for writers, the
Web Writing Buzz, at
and publishes a corresponding newsletter with tips, resources, and
jobs for writers at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webwritingbuzz/.