The Greatest Things About This Freelancing Gig

I’m a teacher. I chose to be a teacher, and I continue to teach because I enjoy the challenge and the rewards of the profession. But there are always downsides, and in this season of assessment testing and stress, I was thinking today about my other job. I’m a freelance writer. I chose to start writing and to continue this career in addition to the

Shifting Schedules (Again): How to Tell When It’s Time

As any work-at-home parent knows, your schedule is at the mercy of your family. The exception might be those who have a babysitter or daycare lined up, but for most of us, we have to plug along as best with we can with holidays, changing sleep schedules, summer vacations and the rest of it. Over the almost eight years I’ve been working from home, I’ve

Soft Skills of a Professional Writer

I’m not going to split hairs about what makes a professional writer different from a full-time writer or different from a freelance writer or blogger or any other industry distinction. When I talk about being a professional writer, I could care less what you write – I’m referring to how you treat your clients and your business. There are two elements to being a successful

Freelancing Tricks: Find a Comfort Zone

One of the hardest things to do as a freelancer is also one of the most critical. You need to find a comfort zone in your professional life. If you don’t find a happy medium where you’re driven to succeed without overwhelming yourself with projects and obligations, your professional life will quickly bleed over into your personal life – and soon you find yourself trapped

When Working Conditions Are Never Right

There are those among us who can only work when the conditions are just right. They must have the right music or show on in the background. They must have their ergonomic chair positioned just so and their office door opened exactly three inches to allow for cross ventilation while blocking 93 percent of all regular household noises. I’m not that person. Nor is any

The Small Joys of Working Online

It might be the hours I keep, but there are some things about this business that just strike me as funny at the most unusual times. I’m sure it’s not a condition isolated to this working-mom-freelance-writer-person, so let’s see how many of you have the same random bits of humor that I do: I’m a Mystery to Advertisers Everywhere I don’t know why, but it

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

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

Working with Kids: Boosting Productivity

I’m split at times about how kids affect my working life. In many – okay most – cases I feel very limited by having kids underfoot or in the house when I’m working. But other times I wonder if I’d be as effective as I am if my children didn’t already have me so well trained. It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to

Freelance Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I am so very not perfect. I would never claim to be the best writer around, the best mother around or the best teacher around. I do like to think I work hard at all of my various life choices, and I have some nice successes to show for that work. But even if you’re an amazingly awesome writer coming into this career or you’re

If You Worked for Free…

If I were going to list some favorite movies, Princess Bride would be near the top. Forrest Gump would be up there, too. But the movie that really defined where I am now is Office Space. I spent my time in a cubicle with a boss who would peek in over our heads to see what we were up to. I even had a consultant

Lead by Example

I am many things on a daily basis, like all of us here. At any given moment I’m wearing my hat as a mother, teacher, writer, business woman, friend, wife, public servant, what have you. It’s exhausting, of course, but then life should be for the most part. What’s the point of waking up in the morning and not using the day to its fullest

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.

Dear Parents, Please Don’t Write Your Child’s Paper – You Might Embarrass Yourself

Let’s pretend for a second that I’ve heard tales of a child who was home-schooled for years and just joined a high school last year. So long as we’re pretending, we should also pretend that his mother is trying to “help” him graduate at 16 so a very close, practically inseparable, friend of mine now has a 13-year-old freshman. It’s a good thing y’all are

The Most Burning Questions Asked of a Freelancing Mama: “How Do You Do It?”

It has been my experience that as soon as “regular” people, or those that don’t have their own online businesses, find out what I do, they always want to know two things: “How do you do it all?” -and- “Can you show me how to do what you do?” Usually the second question is accompanied by some information about how great he was at writing