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Posts Tagged ‘Lisa J. Jackson’

If you want to make a living as a writer, there’s one thing you must do – take action.

Take any action that will lead to generating an income from writing.

Stop stalling and do something. Now. Today.

Believe me, I know how easy it is to procrastinate:

  • To plan plan plan so no detail is overlooked
  • To read yet another well-intentioned best-selling book on how to be a successful entrepreneur
  • To organize the office, the desk, and the file cabinets
  • To work toward the moment when you can finally say ‘I’m ready’

It’s incredibly easy to do anything, but take action building the business.

It could be fear of failure or fear of hard work. Who knows.

Take Action!But to make a living at writing, it’s absolutely imperative to constantly – and that means daily – find some task that directly leads toward earning an income and to complete that task. 

It’s absolutely possible to generate money from writing. But you have to work toward it consistently.

Do you want to write for magazines? Then submit queries consistently.

Do you want to write for newspapers? Then pitch ideas to editors on a regular basis.

Do you want to write for businesses? Submit proposals on a regular basis.

  • Make phone calls.
  • Send LOIs (letters of intent).
  • Network with people you want to work with or for, or can help you make those connections.

Just so you know, rejection comes to everyone. Use the rejections to improve the next query, the next pitch, the next proposal, the next phone call, the next letter, the next interaction.

Know that every step you take toward building an income stream gets you closer to your goal.

Take a moment to evaluate your actions.

Are you in constant motion toward building a writing business?

 

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She consistently reaches out to new potential clients for projects of all sizes. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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Wendy, Lisa & Deborah at Bookstock. Event photos by Mark Nozell.

Wendy, Lisa & Deborah at Bookstock. Event photos by Mark Nozell.

On Saturday, Wendy E. N. Thomas, Lisa J. Jackson and I appeared at the Bookstock Literary Festival to talk about writing this collaborative blog.

Wendy kicked the panel discussion off with the story of how the blog started, back in 2010. Live to

Wendy, making a point.

Wendy, making a point.

Write – Write to Live was initially meant to be an on-line writing group, but quickly morphed into a blog about writing, helping newbies and professionals with information and inspiration.

 

Lisa followed with a riff about the mechanics of how eight busy writersBookstockLisa manage to post new content six days a week using a Google Calendar and WordPress.

 

I spoke about how we all use the blog both to teach and inspire other writers and to market our BookstockDeborahown work.

 

 

Here are some highlights for starting a blog:

  • Start with a Good Idea
  • Give value: information and/or entertainment
  • Write short paragraphs
  • Include photos
  • Create good titles
  • Post regularly and frequently
  • Keep posts short, 400-600 words
  • Invite guest bloggers for additional content
  • Spread the word

Our audience was curious and engaged, and followed our presentation with questions we were happy to answer – until we ran out of time.

Afterward, the three of us and Marc Nozell (Wendy’s husband and our photographer for the day) headed off for a fabulous lunch under the tent.

Bookstock is a wonderful, three-day literary festival in downtown Woodstock, Vermont, held the last weekend in July. It combines practical workshops, like ours, and readings by poets and prose writers. It also affords a chance to visit with far-flung literary friends and to make new ones.

After Wendy and Lisa headed back to New Hampshire, I stuck around for a poetry fix. When I finally headed home, I was recharged and ready to sit down to write.

M. Shafer, Photo

M. Shafer, Photo

Deborah Lee Luskin is enormously grateful to be blogging with the seven other women who comprise Live to Write – Write to Live, and to all the readers who regularly read, “like” and comment on the blog. Thank you.

 

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Look out Vermont, the New Hampshire Writer’s Network is coming for a visit!

Don't miss (bottom row l-r) Deborah Lee Luskin, Lisa J. Jackson and Wendy E.N. Thomas as the present at the Bookstock Literary Festival Saturday, July 26

Don’t miss (bottom row l-r) Deborah Lee Luskin, Lisa J. Jackson and Wendy E.N. Thomas as the present at the Bookstock Literary Festival Saturday, July 26

The 2014 Bookstock Literary Festival takes place this weekend in lovely Woodstock, Vermont. This will be sixth iteration of the festival that features, workshops, panels and readings. Panel topics include, How to Get Happily Published, a Young Adult Fiction Panel, and A Story of Writers Blogging Together (more on this in a minute).

There will be food and music and activities for all ages and a used and vintage book sale that runs all three days. You can view an overview of all the events or review the descriptions for each session. All events are FREE and open to the public.

The keynote speakers are novelist Anita Diamont (The Red Tent, Day After Night) and former United States Poet Laureate Charles Simic. But, clearly the highlight of the festival will be the panel at Noon on Saturday A Story of Writers Blogging Together featuring NHNW’s very own Deborah Lee Luskin, Lisa Jackson and Wendy E.N. Thomas*. Here’s the session description:

“Live to Write—Write to Live is a critically acclaimed and highly popular blog about the craft and business of writing. It is written by eight professional writers known collectively as the New Hampshire Writers’ Network, representing a wide spectrum of genres, including literary fiction, mysteries, fantasy, young adult, memoir, marketing, cookbooks, and journalism.Three of the blog’s regular contributors will speak about running a successful blog, working collaboratively, and using the blog to boost their individual writing careers”

You don’t want to miss this!! The panel runs from 12pm to 12:40 pm this Saturday July 26th in the conference room of the Woodstock town hall located at 3 Church St, Woodstock, VT. Most of the events take place on and around the beautiful Woodstock Green. There is limited parking, nearly all of it metered, in Woodstock village. For more information about the event and parking visit http://bookstockvt.org/about/.

If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll come out. Make sure to introduce yourself to Deborah, Lisa or Wendy.

*The rest of the NHWN team will be there in spirit while cursing deadlines and previous commitments.

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Having a plan, goals, and keeping track of accomplishments are all great activities to practice regularly.

As is keeping a gratitude journal.

We’ve talked about all of these things here over the past few years.

It’s something similar to a gratitude journal that I recently discovered and I find it quite powerful.

I do it along with the gratitude journal, but it can be done separately, as part of a weekly calendar, or however you like.

Mantids can turn their heads a full 180 degrees - always keeping their goal in sight.

Mantids can turn their heads a full 180 degrees – always keeping their goal in sight.

It’s a list of items placed under the heading Signs the Universe is Supporting Me Right Now.

A sampling of a recent list of mine:

  1. I have the time I need to work on my business this week.
  2. I have exciting new writing opportunities arriving on my desk weekly.
  3. I have the technology and other resources needed to take my business forward.
  4. I am energized and ready to get my to do tasks done.
  5. My work environment is distraction free so I can focus on my business.
  6. I’m able to connect with the right people who can help me build my business.

That’s easy enough, right? It’s a bit picture way to keep goals in sight.

It’s part “act as if” and part list of gratitude items thought about in a different way.

I challenge you to give it a try — make a list, however short or long, of your proof that the Universe is supporting you with your goals right now.

It’ll be a great way to start your week.

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She believes that keeping the universe ‘in the loop’ is a natural and positive part of life. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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Have you ever had this type of conversation when trying to schedule a meeting or date?

“We need to get together soon to discuss the project.”

“I agree. When? My schedule is quite open.”

“How about next week?”

“Sounds good.”

“How about Tuesday for lunch?”

“Oh, oops, no, I already have plans then. How about Wednesday afternoon?

“Yes, I can do that. Two o’clock?”

“I was thinking more like 4:30.”

“Oh. No, that’s too late in the day. Let’s try for the following week.”

This type of conversation is common and seldom results in a date getting scheduled. It starts off with a vague notion and meanders down a path; always taking a while to narrow in on a date and time. It’s a time consuming way to set a meeting.

Lisa_lunch_meeting

Lunch meeting

To take the lead in the scheduling dance, it’s important to be specific. The conversation can go like this:

“Want to get together on Wednesday at 1 to start discussing the project?”

“I’m booked at 1, but could do 2:30.”

“2:30 works for me. Let’s meet in the middle at Brook’s Cafe.”

“See you then!”

Isn’t that a great way to save time with scheduling?

It’s a great start at valuing your own time and a way to be productive. This can work with business and personal meetings via personal conversation or email.

Agreeing on a location can take time (depending on the circumstances), but at least that part of the conversation happens much sooner once a date has been set.

The method can ease the pain when scheduling something with several people, too. Instead of the open-ended what dates and times work for you? stating one or two dates and times more often than not can do the trick.

How do you go about scheduling meetings in an efficient way? I’d love to know!

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She’s found that more often than not, when she proposes a time for a meeting, scheduling takes less than a minute. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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It’s critical to meet writing deadlines when running a writing business, right? No surprise there.

Also no surprise to know we each have a different way of working.

Some of us work best under the pressure of a deadline. When there isn’t time for any distractions, we can focus on the project at hand and get it done — without sacrificing quality.

Others prefer to take a leisurely approach and need time to plan, outline, draft, edit, rest, revisit, polish, and finally finish a piece — of high quality.

All through school, I could have months or weeks to work on a project, but it never mattered. I’d (almost) always wait until the night before to start, do, and finish the project. I was most motivated by that freight train’s light rushing toward me and could always produce something — never did I feel it was my best work, but I got passing grades.

deadlines

As a business owner, I do work well under pressure and am not afraid to take on rush projects. There’s something highly motivating about knowing there are x number of hours to produce a 2-page report — and so no distractions are allowed.

But my preferred method of working is with a deadline, so that I can be leisurely and take on more projects. By working on something a bit at a time and giving it time to sit and having time to review before submitting, I feel I produce my best work.

And by planning and scheduling my time, I can take on more projects without stressing about how to finish any of them.

How do you work best?

Do you need a tight deadline?

Or do you need plenty of time to produce your best results?

We’re each different and no one method is perfect for everyone.

It’s good to know what works for you. Then you’re able to use that awareness to produce and deliver your best work to your clients and keep them coming back with more projects.

Do you find one way works best for you all the time? Or does it depend on the type of project?

I’d like to hear from you in the comments.

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She works well with the clock ticking, but prefers to have a plan and time to implement a project. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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Meetup.com has been around for several years. If you’re familiar with it, you may only consider it for meeting up with like-minded people for outdoor activities; however it can also be a resource meeting other writers and meeting other small business owners.

Basically, meetup.com (obviously online) is focused on connecting people together within their local area. It’s a way to find like-minded people and actually meet them face-to-face.

From the website: Meetup’s mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.

New_Meetup_logo

The current stats for meetup.com include having 15.92 million members in 196 countries and 142,319 groups.

Anyone can create a meetup group and new groups pop up all the time.

It’s simple enough to create a profile and start searching for meetups in your local area for writing (you can get as specific as you want, too), within a certain amount of miles from your location. There are numerous small business-related groups too. Each group has its own parameters and guidelines.

When I search on “small business,” I find these groups within 25 miles of my location:

  • Businesses Supporting Businesses
  • Granite State Business Resource Network
  • Netlunch! Where Women Connect
  • Southern NH Community Connector

There are numerous types of writing-related groups within my immediate area. There are also groups for website designers, specific development software-focused groups (ie. Joomla, PHP, Google, java), entrepreneurs, investors, marketing, networking… it’s amazing what you can find.

A bonus to meetup.com is that if you’re traveling, you can easily do a search and find people you’d like to meet in person while on your travels. You’ll already have something in common and it’s a great way to spend some time in a new and/or unfamiliar location.

At the least, meetup.com can connect you with new people in your community you wouldn’t otherwise run into.

Why not check it out and see if you find it of any value to your writing goals or your business management aspirations. It’s free to sign up and search. Most groups I’ve dealt with are free to be involved with too. But it all depends on the group owner and the group’s purpose.

Have you connected with any like-minded business individuals through meetup.com?

 

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She enjoys meetup.com for finding local writers, bloggers, photographers, cyclists, and hikers. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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