Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Feature Article

April 2, 2010

What if My Whole Writing Career Has Been Wrong?”

Beth Ann Erickson

I’ve been writing professionally for nearly 15 years. I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs, triumphs and disasters.

As an industry, freelancing has transformed more times than I can count, the big-wigs of yesteryear have been replaced and today’s big-wigs will invariably be a fond memory someday.

Overall, freelancing has been good, helped me achieve many of the objectives I set out to achieve.

One thing I didn’t expect, however, is how easy it is to fall off track. I share this story with you in the hopes that you don’t fall into the same trap(s) I did.

Back when I was working with my Creative Mindset Group, I always emphasized the importance of Polaris. If you’re unaware with this concept, here’s a quick explanation: Sailors worldwide could navigate earth’s vast oceans (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) because they fixed their heading based on the position of Polaris, our North Star.

Polaris is positioned directly above the North Pole. This means that despite the earth’s continual rotation, Polaris is the only star that doesn’t appear to move across the night sky. Instead, it remains fixed in its position, allowing reliable ship navigation.

So, theoretically speaking, no matter where you are (in the Northern Hemisphere), if you can’t find your way, all you need to do is look up, find Polaris, and you’ll be able to navigate your way back on track. Cool, eh?

Now, time for my quick story.

I begin my writing career with a message in my soul and a song in my heart. Along the way, I discovered that making a living as a freelancer was a little more challenging than I expected. Turns out, I’m not only expected to know how to write, I must spin a great yarn, I must persevere in a tough profession, and most horrifying of all, I must learn to sell my writing.

It’s a tall order.

So, setting my ultimate dream (my Polaris) aside, I embarked on the long process of perfecting my craft (still have a ways to go on that count, I’m sure), keeping my mindset strong, and mastering various components of the persuasive process, i.e. marketing, just to name a few challenges.

That’s about the time things started going a bit amok for me.

While I rather enjoy exploring these techniques, they are mere tools to propel me towards my ultimate goal… my Polaris. However, none of them are my “official” Polaris.

Sadly, for far too many years, my life rotated around these exact activities. I studied writing, I immersed myself in mindset issues, I lived, breathed, and ate everything I could get my hands on when it came to mastering marketing techniques. In fact, I even became a professional copywriter for a time.

Ah, the incredible detours we take.

Bad part was that my ultimate dream, my Polaris,languished, patiently waiting for me to come to my senses.

And here’s where it gets really interesting.

I firmly believe that we’re born with in in-born navigation system, a way we can instantly know when we’re on a path contrary to our Polaris. Whenever I’m working on a project that is in harmony, something that is leading me closer to my ultimate goal, I feel great. I’m in the creative zone. I love it. Challenges hardly feel like challenges because I find the whole process so invigorating.

When I’m working on a project that isn’t in harmony with my Polaris, I feel a resistance, an annoying niggling feeling that makes it hard to write. I have to force myself to the computer to get moving. The whole process has a dark pallor about it.

When I experience these negative sensations, I know I need to reevaluate the project and examine whether it will enhance my ultimate goal, or whether I should pass the project on to another writer who may find joy working on it.

I know. Easier said than done.

It’s hard to turn down projects. It’s only the daring who have courage to run after their own dreams, especially when you’ve got a few dollars at stake.

My theory is that talented people are capable of a lot. However, just because you have the ability to do something doesn’t mean you should. We have a finite amount of time per day. How will you spend that time; writing something truly heart felt and empowering, or slaving over a project you took on for the sole purpose of earning a few bucks. The old adage is true: You earn every cent when you take on a project solely for the money.

Somewhere along the line, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll follow your personal Polaris, your life purpose, or allow yourself to be side tracked by the myriad of possibilities that could, in essence, be valuable, but may leave you wondering at the end of your career, “What if my whole writing career has been wrong?”

~~~

Beth Ann Erickson is the “Queen Bee” of Filbert Publishing. She’s also the author of numerous titles as well as the Creative Mindset Newsletter. Pick up the first seven copies today here. She’s also a busy copywriter, speaker, and publisher of Writing Etc., the free e-mag for writers. 

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Hear Ye Hear Ye!

October 29, 2009

As of the end of August 2010 you will be able to purchase a copy of my novel called: The Nightmare Project through Amazon and Author House, and here on the web, just to mention a few places. I will compile a list as soon as I have that information. Also in celebration of my new book as we get closer to the publication date I will be hosting a contest where you can win a signed copy!

Awesome new site!

August 8, 2009

For those of you who are considering writing children’s books, here is a wonderful site for you! It’s called the CBI Clubhouse. They are loaded with valuable information, videos, podcasts and even a writing course that is free when you become a member. Membership is very inexpensive – about the price of a latte – $4.50, that’s all, ever! Why not take your story to the next level? Com’on and be the next fighting bookworm!

http://www.cbiclubhouse.com

You won’t regret it!

 

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Writing opportunity

July 28, 2009

Hello everyone.

For those of you wanting to test your writing wings here is a good place to get started. If you are familiar with Twitter there is a tweet called tweet the meat that offers a chance for publication and pay!

They give you the theme and you write a story in 140 characters or less for your shot at publication.

Good luck to all, and see you at tweet the meat!

www.twitter.com/tweetthemeat