Keeping In A Forward Motion

Hi kids and Happy Memorial Day weekend. Before anything else, I want to take a moment to recognize all the men and women who have given their lives for their country. My daddy was a veteran of Vietnam, and though he was fortunate enough to come home, he brought parts of the war home with him. I thank all of the families, from the Revolutionary war to our present day, for their bravery as well. God bless you all and God bless America.

Now, let’s see what we’ve done to keep ourselves moving forward. I’ve restructured my “writing” environment. I was doing quite a bit of my work on my Kindle, but hey, guess what. That doesn’t work so well. You can do some things, but in the end, the laptop is much easier. So, I got the laptop off the kitchen table and have made myself a sort of “writing space” in my living room. Now granted, it would be great if I had a nice quiet home office where I could go and do my thing without any distractions, but I don’t have that luxury. I live in a very small house with my hubby, a grandbaby, 3 dogs, and a cat. Space is limited.

However, I am a lot more comfortable in my new little space. And though the hubby thinks this whole writing thing is nonsense (he’s a gear head), I;m actually closer to him so he can’t say we never spend any time together. I’m sure there’s a lot of other ways I could make this work, but I’m pretty okay with where I’m at. I have good lighting and a nice writing space, (I do a lot of writing with pen and paper), I have a little table for my laptop, and I can still keep up with what’s going on in my house.

Another thing I’ve done to make things easier is….cut my fingernails. Now, anyone reading this is going to think “what the heck is she talking about?”. I’ve been working on speeding up my typing skills and I found that most of the mistakes I was making was due to the fact that a couple of my fingernails were hitting the keys above the ones I was aiming for. I’m not the kind of woman who goes in and spends a ton of money to have my hair and nails done. I don’t do the acrylic nails or even paint them for that matter. But my nails grow at a fairly rapid rate and I have to keep them trimmed up to type efficiently.

And finally, I got back into checking out Google+. Seriously, I rarely used that platform as it was too cluttered and chaotic for me. With that said, it’s also a great place to find some really good information. And that’s my goal, to find out all I can and get myself back to writing for money again. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to write–paid or not–but it would be nice to get back to at least where I was 5 years ago.

The last time I really put forth any effort, I got really frustrated and gave up. This time, I’m taking each step as a win and a push in the right direction. I have to remind myself that it took me nearly 10 years to get to where I was, and I’m not going to get there without some work again this time. Hopefully it won’t take another 10 years, but I have to do things correctly in order to be seen as a serious writer. And it will happen again.

Happy Writing:)

Building My Writing Portfolio

Hello all, so what did we learn today?

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading the past few days. As I keep looking for ways to keep myself going and coming up with new ideas, I’m finding that one of the main things I need to do is have an active writing portfolio. Now with all the writing I did back in the day, you’d think I’d have a nice little page put together filled with links to all my previous pieces. Well,  you’d be wrong.

Here’s the thing. All my previous work was published under my former last name. Now, I need to start building my portfolio under my current sir name. Easier said than done. I have to figure out how to get some new pieces written, but how.

I’m thinking about going back to where it all started all those years ago and start writing for a couple of those mass blogging/mass article sites. Now I know those sites are all geared toward getting people to click on the Google ads, but it’s also a great way to get a few things published so bigger companies can see what it is that I do and whether or not I’m right for their needs.

There was a time when I was a member of about 10 or 15 of those sites, but I  don’t even know if half of those sites are still up and running. I’ve stopped by a couple others, such as Squiddo, but they’ve been bought by another company and I can’t access my work.

Rather than thinking that I might be beat, I’m going to just start over and get a few pieces published at the sites I know I can get into. I’m not expecting to make a lot of money in the process, but if I do happen to make a little here and there, I’ll consider that a win.

My only obstacle now is to come up with some new ideas on which to write. It will depend on which site I write for as to what I end up writing. I might do something about raising grandchildren for one site and ways to use Pinterest to come up with ideas on another. Now to find right sites.

Happy writing. 🙂

 

Easy On The Eyes

So, if you’ve ever stopped by, you’ll notice that I’ve prettied up the site. I’ve been looking at the sites of other bloggers, more successful bloggers, and the one thing I noticed was that their sites were bright and cheery. Mine was kind of drab and boring. So, hopefully this site will be a little more attractive to those stopping by. What do you think?

I’ve also been reading a lot of sites that are all saying the same thing; use more photos in your posts. Yeah, well this is where I suck!! I’ve tried in the past to add photos to my blogs, but for some reason I just can’t seem to keep it up. I’ve found some really good sites with free stock photography, but it seems to take forever to find the right pic for the right post. I also just bought myself a new Canon camera. Spent a lot of money on it, but I’ll bet I haven’t even used it a dozen times yet.

I have been thinking about doing more with taking pictures, but I’m not very good at it. I know a lot of people in my local area who have taken up photography as a way to make more money, but I’m not a photographer. I need to do a little more research about selling photography online, sounds like a good way to make money. But I need to make sure I know what I’m doing as I have a bad habit of getting myself into trouble over things like that.

I’m going to keep doing whatever I can to make this site more appealing to the public eye. Whatever it takes to bring people in and get myself going again. I’m very happy that I’m finding real inspiration again and the ideas are starting to flow instead of me trying to force it out. I’m loving life again. Here’s to the future.

The Work At Home Wife

So, in my pursuit of finding my way back into writing, I came across a site that might be my new favorite place. It’s called The Work At Home Wife and it’s full of ideas on various ways of making money online, including a great article on How To Create Writing Samples.

Here’s the thing though. I know a lot of this information, I’ve done all this before. Being reminded is a wonderful thing, but knowing I have to start from scratch is still very intimidating. What really gets to  me is that there is a ton of my work online from days gone by, but it’s all in my former name. Can I still consider them as part of my working portfolio? I don’t know. Not even sure I’d want to use them. Guess I need to find an expert in that field to tell me yes or no.

The best thing about this site, for me, is that there is a lot of information. I haven’t gone through the whole site yet, but just from what I’ve seen so far, I’m sure there’s got to be something in there I can use to my advantage, something I didn’t know before or some updated information that will help me on my quest.

The site has a 7-day Find Work From Home email series that I made sure to sign up for. I’m sure there’s a newsletter attached to it, and I’m fine with that. I’m kind of excited to see what kind of information this site will be providing in the days and weeks to come.

The one thing that does bother me about this site is that you cannot leave a comment on any of the articles. I guess I’m just spoiled from reading too many blogs, but it would be nice to leave a comment on something that I really enjoy. I don’t leave comments on posts I don’t like, or just to do the whole “Hey, look at me” thing. I hate that. But I would like to leave a real comment on an article I find useful and informative. She does have a contact page, but unless I need to speak directly to the site owner, I won’t use something like that.

So, we’ll see how this goes. I’m pretty sure I’m going to like this place, but if something should happen that changes my mind, I’ll post it here. Here’s to the future.

Getting My Blog Noticed

Okay kids, it’s time I get serious and start working on getting this blog noticed by someone other than the one or two people who accidentally land here looking for something else. So, where do I begin?

The first thing I thought to do was jump on Google and type in “Free Blog Promotion”. Yeah, don’t do that. There’s a ton of pages to sift through and the ones that do actually jump out are so outdated that many of the sites for blog promotion don’t even exist anymore. I scrolled through and even clicked on other recommended search terms. Still no real luck. Then I thought, “What about Pinterest”.

Now I do have to say, I am a Pinterest junkie. You can usually tell where my brain’s at by what my latest pins look like. I’ve got a board titled “Make Money”. I’ve had it for awhile, but it doesn’t have much pinned to it. However, I did notice that there are a lot more options out there now than when I first started that board. Sure enough, I found a ton of pins on blogging, starting a new blog, how to create a profitable blog, and so on. But what I want to know is how do I get people to start visiting my blog.

Granted, I’ve been blogging since the days when it was a relatively new thing. But a lot has changed over the past 5 years. And just like getting back into the writing game as a whole, I’ve got to learn all this as if I were new to the game. The fact of the matter is that I’ve been working this blog for a couple years now, so it’s made it’s way into Google’s database. Just not in a way that has anyone wanting to come back for more. That’s got to change.

The main purpose of this blog was to keep me writing and to give me a space to call my own. Now, I need to start making this a real spot where others can come and find useful information. But how do I do that???

One of the first things I came across was a lot of “experts” say to plan out your posts. Make a blog binder and fill it with ideas and which days you’ll be adding those posts to your site. Okay, that’s cool but I still have a real world job (for now) and I’m raising a grandbaby. I don’t have a ton of time to just sit and think about what and when I’m going to blog. I write when I can, between work, laundry, dinner and dishes, and all those other fun things a normal person has to do in life. Besides, I never know what inspiration will strike me or when it will happen. A blog plan is a great idea, but not very practical in my situation.

I also read that you must have great content to present to the world. Well, duh!!! That much I already knew. And for as hard as it was for me to find those ideas a few months ago, things are starting to come a little easier. But it’s still not my top priority.

As for promotion ideas, most of what I’ve read says to use your Facebook page. Um, no. I know I should but there are people on my page that have no idea what it is to be a writer, nor do they care. That’s where I keep up with family and friends from around the world, find things to make me laugh, and that type of thing. I’m not the kind of person that posts their personal stuff on Facebook, but I don’t want to bore my loved ones with this.

I’m not a huge fan of Twitter. I’ve used it, I have an account and check it out now and then, but it’s not a place I hang out. I find it boring. I’ve used it in the past, it has its ups and downs, but I just don’t have that much time. And as for Instagram, I’ve never even been to the site. I have no clue how to use it, what to do there, or anything of the sort. I know that’s probably a downfall in my quest, but I’m old and set in my ways.

Then there are the sites that say “Become an affiliate pusher” or something along those lines. Been there, done that, hated it. I worked in retail (real world) for many years and I could sell ice water to the devil himself, if I’m there eye to eye with the buyer. But I suck at it from the online world. I’ve tried, several times, and it always came out the same. Never sold a damn thing.

So I guess I need to keep trying and find ways to promote my blog and keep myself moving ever onward. I have to say, so far, Pinterest has been the best place I’ve come across to find answers to my questions. I don’t know why, but it seems easier to say “nope, not what I’m looking for” or “yep, that’s what I want”. And the quest continues.