Where Are They Now? – Rebecca Garland

It’s time to catch up with another former regular contributor (from this blog’s days as All Freelance Writing). This week’s guest is Rebecca Garland. Rebecca covered not only issues related to being a work at home parent, but also grammar and ESL topics thanks to her experience as a high school English teacher in her full-time job. Rebecca has been writing for clients for 11 years now. Even

From Struggling Writer to Solid Writer and Beyond

As an English teacher, I have a strategy that usually works for struggling and reluctant writers. If they claim to not be able to write something, I ask them to tell me the story or response to address the prompt. Then, after they tell me a sentence or two, I repeat it back to a student and tell him to write it down. Kid says,

Copywriting for Other Countries and Cultures

I received an interesting message the other day about some ideas on writing in other countries. Normally you think of “Western” copywriting – predominately American, Canadian and UK copywriting. English speaking readers are the typical target or niche, but what about readers in other nations in the world? China is poised to become the largest commercial market in the world if it’s not there already

3 Cardinal Rules of Working with Kids at Home

There is not much easy about our job unless you compare it to something like digging ditches or building a skyscraper. But that at least wears out your body rather than your mind. At the end of a day wrestling obligations to kids and careers, my brain is tired. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels mentally split almost constantly throughout the day.

Redefining Your Writing: Cleaning Up Your Career

Your personality, preferences and skills influence all of your decisions, and that includes your writing career. Most of us who have our own careers in writing would have a hard time living with a set income again. If I need some extra cash, I take on an extra project, for example. You can’t do that if you’re salaried. Jenn’s recent post on her ambitious goals

Breaking All the Writing Rules

Pop quiz, hot shot! How many of the old, conventional writing rules do you break on a daily basis? You probably know the ones I’m talking about. These are rules like: Never start a paper with a question. Never start a sentence with “and” or “but.” Never end a sentence with a preposition. Paragraphs must be a minimum of five sentences. There are countless more

Making Big Adjustments as a WAHM

It’s that time again! The kids are going back to school! This means my house will in an uproar for a few weeks while we try to get everyone and everything settled again for the school year. While you might expect me to celebrate my kids going back to school as a sign that I’ll have more time in the day to write, I am

Forum Marketing 101: Getting "Easy" Jobs

It’s not exactly old news – I believe Jenn even has an entire ebook on the concept – but the best marketing is the sort that brings your clients directly to your door with the minimal amount of effort on your part. Sounds lovely, right? I won’t lie to you and tell you it’s as easy as clicking a button or signing up with some

3 Ways to Kick Into Writing Gear NOW!

It’s amazing what a three-day weekend can do to your morale when it comes to picking up that virtual pen and getting back to work on Monday. I won’t lie to you – my schedule sucks sometimes and this is definitely one of those days. My day started at 6 am, I was in a meeting on a Monday morning at 7:30 where I learned

Freelancing Makes You…Cocky?

Those of us who have found success working in freelance writing or freelance anything are bound to have at least a little bit of arrogance. After all, we’re the ones who’ve figured out how to make the system work for us. We’re not cogs in a giant machine anymore – or if we are, it’s by choice. We’re successful business owners. Ah, independence. Declaring Arrogance

Messy Subjects and Verbs

This morning, as I worked with my kids at school, I realized just how often subjects and verbs get complicated and mismatched. This happens most frequently when you have more than one noun in the subject in the sentence. Consider the following: One of the boys jump over the fence. One of the boys jumps over the fence. Which one is correct? Let’s dissect them

So, You’re a Working Mom?

There was an interesting comment in a recent article of mine that made me think. Another mom-who-happens-to-work-at-home mentioned that she “just can’t call herself a WAHM.” It made me smile for a couple of reasons. One – I smiled because I suspect I know exactly why that particular title makes her uncomfortable. And – Two –  because I use that particular term on purpose here

Idiotic Idioms

While we all love a good colloquialism, there is most certainly too much of a good thing at times. Idioms, or those charming expressions that don’t make any sense to anyone outside of your area, can be overused. We’ve done a bit on the more offensive and odd slang in the (American) English language, but there are plenty of more polite, if occasionally idiotic, expressions

Yay! It’s Yeah and Yea!

This is driving me crazy. I just got an email with the subject, “Yeah a Birthday Baby is Born”. I’m not sure the sender (who is not known for her grammatical prowess) meant to sound as sarcastic as the teenagers we teach, but to someone who knows the difference between “yeah”, “yea” and “yay”, she did. And just what is the difference? If you don’t

What Your Writing Says about You

Nobody’s perfect, but most of try to get as close as possible, at least in our writing. Over the years, I’ve developed a laidback approach to the grammar and spellings of others, probably because I’m bombarded with bad spelling mistakes and grammar choices on any given day. Unlike many other writers, I also feel there are markets for all sorts of writing – including the

Writing Mistakes I See Too Often

Typos are a way of life and even reviewing your own work can be tricky since you tend to read what you meant to say rather than what you actually said. Then, there is an entirely different kind of writing goofs – these aren’t accidents from your finger slipping on the keyboard. These are blatant errors and if you’re making them, you’re getting on my

Tricky Words: Past, Passed, Except and Accept

In the last week, two tricky word patterns have made it to my attention. This is particularly interesting since I’m not in the classroom over the summer, where I usually am assaulted by word problems. Here are my most recent scenarios: Scenario 1: The Email for Past and Passed I was asked via email about the words “past” and “passed.” The writer wanted to know

Running into a Wall (And Crashing Through)

I’ve had an insane lifestyle long enough to recognize how insane it is and to simply anticipate periods of time when I feel like punching walls and throwing up my (then bruised) hands in despair. Fortunately with great responsibility comes great wisdom as well as great amounts of stress for good measure. I often use my great wisdom to find ways to reduce my great

The Trouble with Bedtime: Working Mom Woes

While I love most things about having two jobs, the time I dislike being a double-time working mom most is at bedtime. Throughout the day I push, push, push to get everything done. And now that the day is winding down I want more than anything to just relax and enjoy myself. Unfortunately I can’t sit down and finish up a quick job just yet

Working the Summer Months: Working at Home with Kids

If you’re used to sending your kids away to school and working, you’re in for a rough ride – summer is almost here! Of course, those mothers who are insane like I am don’t have to worry too much about this. In fact, the summer months are the most relaxing months for my career, simply because I’m on summer vacation as well. My mornings won’t

Shhh….Mommy’s Working Now!

I’m doing something crazy today. I’m working on this post while my children are awake. It’s crazy – I know. I’m used to working in the still of the morning now around 4 am, but yesterday about 2 o’clock my body decided that it was done carrying me through my crazy schedule and decided to develop a sore throat and general yuckiness. As I finished

Working Mom Sagas: Mornings or Evenings?

I’ve been working nights for years. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I wasn’t already working days and mornings, too. I’ve mentioned a few (dozen) times already, but I have the two kiddos to get up and out of the house every morning, while I get up and out of the house as well to head to the school where I teach at-risk teenagers.

The One Writing Rule That Will Help You Lose Unsightly Stomach Fat while Earning $3,276 in One Week!

I had every intention of writing you a nice, long sales page full of random lies and musings. I was hoping that I could create a really cool, (imaginary) expert name for myself like Dr. Rebecca Frankenfurter, M.D. so that I would have instant credibility through my fake letter when I went to sell you some aspirin in a pretty bottle I colored with my

Super Money-Saving Tips from a Super WAHM!

I’m obviously totally awesome at what I do because I’m not completely burned out yet although I do get very, very close at times. In fact, I admire my productivity and economy so much I thought I’d share some real-world tips for saving money while starting up a freelance business any moms just breaking into this madness. This is, after all, a very, very serious

Resolutions for the Working Mom

We are a special breed, yet we often divide ourselves up into groups – presumably so that we can defend ourselves by putting down the others. I’m a working mom, so I’m obviously better than the mom stuck at home – unless she’s a work-at-home mom. Then she gets top billing because she’s able to work at home, make money and teach her children three

Today I Am a True Work-at-Home Mom and It’s CRAZY!

As regulars might know, I’m a work-at-home mom and a work-away-from-home mom, too. I normally teach during the day and then get two boys to bed before settling down for three or four hours of writing most nights at the computer. It makes for a full day, but it’s so nicely organized and routine now it works for me. Today though, in honor of my

Help! I Is Missing Again!

At lunch the other day, a group of English teachers were laughing about some of the things we find funny in student papers. Note that we weren’t laughing at students, but at how often we see the same mistakes, and one of the funniest is that we often have no idea who is writing a paper. I fully understand why this would only be funny

Signs You’re Working Yourself Too Hard

Anyone who properly cares for children works hard. It’s a world of sacrifices and rewards, but there’s very few mothers who don’t sleep well once the angels are tucked into bed. I’ve never lain around wishing I’d been busier on a particular day. But there does come a time when you realize that having a freelance career, and in my case a daytime career, on

The Six Biggies in Writing

There are six key strategies I teach students as they improve their basic writing skills. As a writer, it’s interesting to me how well these six elements still translate to improving my work at a professional level. When you’re paying attention to these areas of your work, you’ll start to see ways to tweak your work to make it more readable. Learning more about how

The WAHM Survival Guide to the Holidays – Thanksgiving

It’s that special time of year again! Orders are up slightly, time is decreasing dramatically and best of all – the kids are home! Having the kids home is both a blessing and a curse. The days are great fun filled with ornament making and breaking and dessert-face-stuffing, and the nights are filled with work to make up for the lack of time during the