by Nida Sea
As a writer, you’re constantly reading blog posts and news articles, doing research, and of course writing. It’s easy for your creative juices to dry up while you’re drafting and creating fresh content. But when your creativity begins to wane, you find yourself having trouble brainstorming new writing topics.
What’s the answer to this dilemma? Get a hobby.
Hobbies do more than give you something to do. They take your mind off the daily grind, which is especially true for a writer. Hobbies help you to relax, let your mind wander, and reopen your creative flow.
Ready to jump start your creativity once more? Check out the 13 hobbies that’ll make you better at brainstorming freelance writing topics:
Studying the stars, planets, and natural astronomical occurrences improve your knowledge of astronomy, but it can also expand your thoughts on the universe. New topics to brainstorm for popular astronomy magazines like “Sky & Telescope” and “Popular Science,” can come to you while studying stars and viewing them through a telescope.
It’s refreshing to look at a classic (or modern) piece of artwork and critique it. You see what the piece speaks to you and how you can relate to what the artist was feeling at the time. The same concept can be used in your own works of art, such as your writing.
Old article or blog pieces can be spun and given a new twist, and then used for new pieces. For example, a blog post about green tea and its benefits can be spun into a topic like this: “Top 5 (or 7) Best Teas for Curing a Cold in One Day.” Old idea topics aren’t useless, so take out your old articles and blog posts and use them to brainstorm fresh, new ideas.
Working with clay allows you to create something else other than words with your hands. You can be abstract or definitive with the clay, or mold it after a creature you admire.
Brainstorming works the same way. You take something simple, like a keyword and mold it into an article topic or several topic ideas. Simple keywords like ‘dog’ can be reworked into a topic such as “Four of the Best Indoor Guard Dogs for your Two-Year-Old” or “How to Train your Dog to Use the Toilet and Flush.” These ideas are off the top of my head, but you see what I mean.
Clay shapes and forms in your hands, sometimes when your mind is blank. When an idea hits, you shape it as much as possible with the clay. Do the same with keywords to brainstorm new and fresh topics.
Relaxing and interesting, bird watching lets you research and discover the world of birds. You’ll also mingle with other folks who share the same interest about this hobby. Learn about bird facts and myths, and discover cultural stories behind birds in specific regions.
All of this can translate into new ideas for popular bird watching magazines like “Bird Watching” and “Wild Bird Magazine.” You can also gain new brainstorming ideas from fellow bird watchers. Listen to what they talk about and try to pinpoint any frustrations or curiosities they have concerning bird watching.
Making candles is a fun and enjoyable past time. Different scents, colors, shapes and sizes, along with various wicks, help you create unique handmade candles. Plus, you get some awesome custom-made lighting for your votives! Candle making is more than pouring colorful wax into molds.
The process of making new candle designs is similar to how you create fresh article topics. It’s a method of brainstorming and coming up with new colors, designs, and scents before you make your candles. Similar to brainstorming, you select a topic you’d like to write about, review different angles of your potential topic, and do research to ensure it’s going to be worth writing.
Doll crafting is a fun hobby, but also a very serious one. Doll forum members take the hobby seriously by being selective of the brands and types of dolls they craft. The hair to the color and fabric of the clothing has to match, which can take long periods of time to locate the perfect match. And, dolls even have to be ‘connected’ with the doll crafter to be considered special.
Consider how seriously you take your writing. In the brainstorming aspect of it, you consider all the ideas that come to your mind and note them down. Each idea is reviewed and researched, and if it fits, it’s a keeper. If it doesn’t, it’s set aside for later use, or discarded if it can’t be used. Doll crafting can help you perfect your talent for fitting dolls exactly how you imagine them, which is how you would work a brainstorming idea into a fully fleshed article topic.
Plus, like brainstorming, doll crafting is a slow process because you want to find all the right pieces to match.
Cooking is creative, useful, and relaxing. As a freelance writer working out of your home, you have the option of making your own at-home meals. Try new recipes and make your own unique twist on classic recipes.
Cooking not only helps you to develop your skill and create delicious meals, but it can help you to concentrate on piecing together new content pieces. And, if you’re a writer in home and garden, or cooking, you can develop new ideas to pitch popular cooking blogs or magazines.
Exercise is a great way to improve your body and overall well-being. Physical activity also increases cognitive functions, which means you can focus better and withstand challenging activities like brainstorming. Doing a short, 20-minute workout is enough to boost your mind and eliminate any sluggish feeling you may have—similar to how a cup of coffee works!
Plus, if you’re feeling writer’s block coming on, head on outside for a brisk walk. Just walking down the street or around the block can clear your mind. Frustrated with your lame article topic ideas? A quick cardio workout can eliminate frustration easily giving you the relaxed mind you need to rework your topic choices.
The art of calligraphy is a calming and freeing practice. Feeling the pen in your hand, the smell of the Sumi ink, and watching the page come alive with your handcrafted words is stunning and requires a steady, yet creative hand. Calligraphy allows you to create artistic words for poems, quotes, abstract work, or even fancy journaling. You may also be able to pen brief drafts in calligraphy.
Calligraphy is often considered an artistic hobby, but it can help improve your writing by appreciating what you create. You take your time with calligraphy and each stroke is thought out carefully before making it. Like brainstorming, you come up with hundreds of ideas, but your best ideas are reworked several times and researched carefully to make sure they create a stunning piece.
Believe it or not, writing for half an hour each morning about your previous day in a journal can help you find topics. Much of our ideas come from our own experiences. When you look back on a good (or bad) day you had in your journal, you can find new ideas to use as blog or article topics.
Sometimes the best article topics are derived from emotional frustrations or concerns we have. If you notice a pattern in your journal about something you’ve recorded from your daily life, you may find others who are interested in reading about it. Review your journal once every two weeks to find potential topics to use.
Watching TV or Movies
Yeah, some say watching TV is for slobs. I say, whatever. Watching TV not only takes your mind from the present, but it can spark your creativity with certain scenes or phrases, and it can be thought-provoking or inspiring at times, which can trigger your creative juices.
You may find great moments of inspiration from specific scenes in movies that can be related to real life. Or, maybe there’s a good story about certain actors in the movie that prompts you to ask: Where are they now? These are great brainstorming topics to pitch Hollywood or gossip magazines.
Getting away from your office helps de-stress you, which you should be doing once in a while anyway. But, traveling and seeing other places away from home help you relax, and provide you a new perspective for fresh ideas.
Travel magazines love new article ideas for topics about places to see, best areas to visit in certain cities, and most active venues. You may also stumble across smaller historic locations or local-only events that have yet to be written about. It’s a perfect way to brainstorm fresh new perspective ideas.
Test your mind (and vocabulary) with mobile app games like Words With Friends, Crossword, and Yahtzi to open up your vocabulary world. For most online content, you don’t want to use an extensive vocabulary with big words. Online content is usually better digested in small, easy-to-understand words.
But, mind games test your vocabulary knowledge and these games can introduce you to new words you can use in your writing. Use these new words when brainstorming catchy headlines or short social media posts. Poetry writers would find these words ideal to use in their prose.
These are just some of many hobbies you can do to improve and enhance your brainstorming, and give you ideas for better article and blog post topics.
What hobbies do you enjoy that help you with brainstorming?
I would like to thank freelancewritersacademy.com for this guest post. The website can be an excellent tool for any freelance writer, and there is a lot to be learned from it. In particular, I would like to direct readers to check out this post on writer’s pitches after reading through here.
Freelance writing can often be a competitive business, with only so many jobs available and a lot of experienced writers out there knowing exactly what they are doing. This means that you need every advantage you can to get yourself out there and get the jobs you need so you can keep working on the career path that you’ve chosen for yourself.
Technology is likely your best opportunity to try and get ahead in today’s writing environment. In addition to there being a far greater amount of technology related writing jobs available than there are not, if you know how to utilize technology people will notice and pick you over the writer who cannot.
Here are five tips that will hopefully better allow you to use technology to its fullest potential in your freelance career:
Always Stay Connected
Every writer should have an email account, a few social media accounts of some variety (LinkedIn, despite being the subject of many jokes, still has its uses), and a smartphone to communicate online and by phone with potential clients or readers. You should check these often enough and stay in a constant stream of communication with your contacts. Many of them will not like to be kept waiting for any length of time or until you get home.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a social life and always be worried about your phone and feel the need to check every single notification that comes on your phone at the dinner table. It does mean that it is a good thing to regularly check anything that comes in while you’re out so you can decide what can wait and what can’t for either when you get home or so you can decide to step out quickly to make a phone call or write a quick email. That difference in time can be the difference between you getting the contract or someone else accepting better terms first.
Use Tech to Organize
Some writers may like to romanticize the pen and paper as a way of taking care of their scheduling and keeping track of things, but in a technological age, that simply won’t do anymore. You need to be able to coordinate with clients when you are available and many of them use one application or another by default. By the time you’re dealing with a lot of clients then you will probably have an account with half a dozen different organizing websites.
Some good tools to check out for your own organizational purposes are Google Calendar, todoist.com, and some of the apps that might be installed on your smart phone. Experiment a little to find an app or combination of apps that might be good for you.
Protect Your Data
You should make sure that all of your passwords are safe, and try to remember that what you have on your computer is the most important thing to your career. Make sure you use a security suite program on your computer (consider it a business expense), and then on top of this, use extra security protocols for your most sensitive data.
Also, if you go out to a public place and do your writing and/or research on a public network, then you should really take note of the dangers of a public network and how hackers might be able to steal the data that is being sent. If you use these kinds of networks often, then you should invest in a VPN so that sensitive client data or your financial information isn’t stolen by hackers and sold to the highest bidder. That would ruin your reputation and set you back a long ways in your career.
Backup, Backup, Backup
In short, you should find a flash drive and use it. Then you should find a safe cloud storage service and use it to keep a backup of all your old writing (you never know when you might need it for a portfolio). You should verge on the side of redundancy when it comes to making sure that if your hard drive decides to die you don’t lose more than a couple of day’s work at the very worst. Your client may understand, but then again they might not and you might not have time to restart the project from scratch.
Learn the Language
While you don’t need to learn how to be a programmer to become a successful freelance writer, you should try to make sure that any technological term they throw at you is at least something you will understand. Anything particularly complex or detailed you can always research later, but try doing some research on your own and try to understand Search Engine Optimization, the basic logic behind website programming and design, what makes some devices better than others, the more complex ways to use Google, and how to use the most popular websites on the internet to their full effectiveness.
Once you learn those things, you’ll have a better clue about what you might be able to use as something you can specialize in for your writing or something you can talk more in-depth about in your negotiations. It’s getting increasingly more important with the amount of freelance work that is shifting on-line. Try not to worry too much about it, once you’re immersed in it, you’ll pick it up very quickly.
I hope that these tips help you land more and better clients, and remember to keep at it despite any starting difficulty. Thank you for reading.
Caroline is a freelance writer and technology enthusiast. She particularly enjoys writing about practical ways technology can help you and also internet safety and security. You can contact Caroline here.
By Christine Kloser
Have you dreamed of writing a book or becoming a successful published author? Do you have a valuable message that – if put in print – will help grow your business and transform more lives? If you answered yes, but don’t have your book written yet… keep reading!
There has never been a better time to write your book and become an author. The opportunities available for authors in the 21st Century are endless. Yet, the majority of entrepreneurs who say they want to write a book don’t actually do it. Why? Based on more than 900 responses to a recent survey by Transformational Book Coach, Christine Kloser, aspiring authors revealed what holds them back.
Most authors don’t know where to start or what to do first. They are overwhelmed with too much information and not enough action. Sometimes things like fear and doubt creep in. Other times, its confusion, lack of clarity or confidence that can stop an author in their tracks. Another big challenge for authors is feeling like their book has already been written… by somebody else.
Not to mention the maze of information out there about writing and publishing a book. Is it best to self-publish or try to get an agent and sell your manuscript? How important is it to build your platform? What are the first things to do to start writing your book? How can you leverage your book to grow your business? What do you do about “writer’s block?” How much will it cost to publish?
The questions facing an aspiring author can be endless and the answers are often times confusing. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are great people out there who want to help you write your BEST book, who are interested in your message and committed to your success.
And it’s absolutely possible to write your book in a way that is easy, joyful and fun – without wasting your precious time, money or energy going in circles. It’s also possible your book will bring about profound personal, professional, and even planetary transformation. Consider this…
Throughout history, books have played a critical role in impacting readers to create positive changes in their lives. Seeing that individual transformation impacts global transformation – it can be said the books truly do have the power to transform the world. And YOUR book can be one of those books that transforms lives forever.
So, if you’re ready to take the next step with your book (even just a little bit interested in writing a book someday) you’ll want to join me for Christine Kloser’s Transformational Author Experience®. Christine is a transformational book coach and is offering one of the best trainings I’ve ever seen for authors. Her faculty includes New York Times Bestselling authors like Lisa Nichols, Chris Attwood and Marcia Wieder, as well as publishing industry experts like Wendy Keller (Senior Literary Agent), and Marc Allen (CEO and Publisher of Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now”). And that’s just the beginning of what’s in store for you at her f-r-e-e Transformational Author Experience®.
I hope you’ll take a look at what she’s put together for you and join us. It truly is a phenomenal program that has the power to transform your life if you let it…
Click here to learn how to publish your book
Christine Kloser, “The Transformation Catalyst” is a transformational book coach, spiritual guide and award-winning author whose spot-on guidance transforms the lives of visionary entrepreneurs and authors around the world. Her life-changing work has impacted 60,000 authors in 90 countries and is endorsed by many of today’s leading transformational authors, including: Neale Donald Walsch, Lisa Nichols, Sonia Choquette, Gay Hendricks, and many more. Learn more at www.ChristineKloser.com
Writing is one of the few professions where a constant barrage of online harassment is considered just part of a day’s work. We’re expected to accept the fact that anytime we write on a controversial topic, we’re going to be told to eat shit and die, as though that’s totally normal. But really, none of us want to open ourselves up to the possibility of being harassed by dead relatives, or worse, being confronted by real life danger.
So instead, we don our armor and fortify our walls in the hope that we can get through the day unscathed.
In the face of that kind of pressure, it’s no wonder why some of us prefer to keep a strict lock down on Facebook. After all, it’s full of information that could be weaponized against us if it fell into the wrong hands. But by doing that, we’re also missing out on lots of warm and friendly connections with people who mean us no harm.
It might seem like a worthy sacrifice, but it’s not necessary. There is a better way to keep control over your private information and welcome new friendships without fear. Sort your Facebook friends into lists and use them to easily control who sees what.
Handy Lists to Use and How They Work
Facebook lists come in three categories: smart, basic and custom. Each of these give you more power over your privacy by allowing you to group your friends according to your comfort level in sharing with them. When you use lists to configure the privacy settings on your profile and posts, you can be sure that potentially dangerous information is only visible to those you trust.
Facebook already has lists set up for your family, close friends, coworkers and acquaintances. You just need to put people on them. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at how each list behaves.
Lists with a lightning strike symbol next to them are smart lists. These automatically populate based on what your friends have on their profiles. When you claim someone as family, and they approve the connection, they’ll be included in your family list. Friends who claim the same profession, go to your coworker list. If you don’t want a particular person in a smart list, you can remove them.
The drawback is that you can’t add to smart lists without the other person getting a notification asking that they update their profile to match the list you put them on. So if you’re a freelance writer and you want to see your freelance blogger friends on your coworker list, you’re out of luck. To get around this, you can make a custom list.
These include the close friends, acquaintances and restricted lists, as well as custom lists. You can add anyone you want to basic lists without them needing to know about it. They’re just for your sorting convenience.
One of my favorite basic lists to use is the restricted list. People on this list can send messages to your inbox and tag you in posts, but are only able to see your public information. This is nice because when people who aren’t on your friends list try to message you, their message goes to your other inbox where you’re not likely to see it. If you want to interact with some people without sharing anything personal, this is the list for them.
Custom lists are basic lists that you create yourself. These let you group friends based on any category you want. With a custom list of writers, you can easily network with all your fellow writers of various job titles and post updates specifically for them.
How to Use Lists to Safeguard Your Online Self
First Time Setup
Depending on how many friends you have, setting up your lists for the first time may take a while. You’ll need to go through your main friends list and choose a sub-list for each person.
Manage all your lists at once by clicking the friends category header on your feed sidebar. This brings up your list dashboard. There you can create new lists and populate lists in batches rather than having to go to each friend’s page individually.
When you make a new friend, use the drop-down on their cover photo to select a list for them. If you’re sending a friend request, the drop-down is on the friend request sent button, after you send the request. If you’re responding to a request, you’ll find the drop-down on the button that says friends, after you approve the request.
Once you have your friends situated into lists, go to your profile and double check your privacy settings. Make things like your personal email, home address, and phone number visible to only your family and close friends.
Lists in Action
When you make new posts, use the lists to pick who can see them. Posts visible to friends will be shown to all your lists except restricted. The friends except acquaintances option shows posts to everyone except the acquaintances or restricted list. To post something for only your close friends and family, choose the custom option and put those lists in the share with box.
For older wall posts, go through your activity feed by clicking the activity button on your cover photo. From there you can review and revise the privacy setting on past posts.
Check who can see what by clicking the view as button on your cover photo. Facebook will show you how your profile looks to the public and restricted list first. To see how it looks to a particular person, type their name in the box at the very top, above your cover photo.
More Perks to Organizing Your Friends
Not only do you get an extra layer of security by using lists, you also get to enjoy custom feeds. If your main feed is full of updates you don’t care about, lists are how to fix it. Tell Facebook who should show up more in your main feed by putting them in your close friends or family list. To see less of some people, put them in the acquaintances or restricted list.
Get a feed that only includes updates from your best friends and family by clicking on that list from the main feed sidebar. That way you can make sure important updates from your best friends and family don’t slip past you. You can also take it a step further and choose to receive notifications every time someone in one of these lists posts something.
You don’t have to sacrifice potentially meaningful friendships for the sake of safety anymore. Facebook friends lists are a great way for you to feel more confident sharing and making new online connections. They give you the security you crave so you can enjoy a more engaging online experience without worrying about all the dangers it could bring. That, along with the added bonus of being able to filter out some of the noise on your feed, makes them well worth the time it takes to set them up and get used to using them.
It’s time to break free from the fear and stroll confidently through the walls of Facebook. Take an hour or so when you can and make it happen.
Do you trust Facebook when it says it won’t tell?
Lynndee Daniels is the freelance writer with the word on all things green and geeky. When I’m not creating quality unique content for my clients, I’m helping people turn green by sharing the ins and outs of natural living on my blog. To find out more about my services, you can check me out at my online home at http://lynndeedaniels.com.
NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE WRITING BLOG!
Here at Freelance Writers Academy, we are all about helping writers earn what they truly deserve and pursuing their purpose with passion. So, for the first time ever we want to acknowledge the writing sites that truly help writers attain more with their writing career with the Earn What You Truly Deserve Award from Freelance Writers Academy.
We need your help. What writing sites inspired you to action? What sites helped you make more money?
We are looking for the very best. We are looking for writers who spend time and develop relationships with their readers. We are looking for nominations in the following categories: freelancing, writing (all types), blogging, and publishing.
Nominate your choice by posting a link to your favorite writing blog or website in the comments and tell us why they deserve this reward.
Nominations must be received by February 27th.
Winners will be announced right here on March 1st.
And don’t forget to share this post with other bloggers and writers so they don’t miss out!
What writers do you know that push you to achieve your very best?
Freelance Writers Academy had an incredible year in 2014. We were blessed to feature fantastic guest posts bursting with useful information from some wonderful writers:
We also started the Freelance Round Table podcast, sharing laughs and sorting through problems we all face in our writing life. Here is our latest one:
We also added a new member to our team to help transcribe our videos.
Lauren Tharp of LittleZotz.com has already been doing a fantastic job behind the scenes and I am thrilled to be working together with her to provide media for the hard-of-hearing writers.
Our membership community The Kingdom of Paidalot has grown strong and we have journeyed through many quests and member-only trainings. We’ve supported and bonded and loved one another through our private Facebook group, commiserating in our woes and triumphing in victories.
All this to say that Freelance Writers Academy wouldn’t be where it is today without the support it has been receiving from all of you. So with that I just want to express my deepest gratitude for all the likes, shares, comments, and emails you’ve all given me this past year. I appreciate each and every one of you. I hope the information you have received from me has helped you immensely in earning what you truly deserve!
I’m so excited already for 2015. I haven’t been blogging on here as of late because I am working on some huge projects I know you all are going to really love so I hope you will stick with me!
Let’s get ready to rock the New Year!
Recently, we celebrated The Kingdom of Paidalot’s 1st Birthday! What an awesome first year it has been. The citizens have laughed, cried, and encouraged one another through so many challenges and obstacles. We have slain freelance blogging dragons, conquered quests, and jousted our way to victory.
The Kingdom of Paidalot desires to help aspiring writers break from low-paying gigs and launch to new heights in their freelance writing career. This is a kingdom where freelancers rule, and we earn what we’re worth. A kingdom where we join forces to drive out the evil of low-paying, high-hassle clients.
A place where you can throw off the shackles of peasant wages and earn more than the cost of a nightly meal.
We believe that writing is a profession at which we can all succeed and we go out of our way to help other writers.
What Do Citizens Receive In Our Membership Community?
Quests and Member Only Trainings
How to Balance Your Work and Family Life
Working from home does have its advantages: frequent breaks, choice of music to write to, your favorite foods nearby readily available, and little daycare costs. You are able to work when and where you want. However, having the ability to set your own schedule can be a major disadvantage as well.
Well-meaning friends and family members sometimes have different ideas than you on what freedom of schedule actually means. Because you work at home, they may assume you have more free time to talk or go out on social activities. Your significant other may assign you a list of tasks to complete because you are at home and he or she is restrained from getting them done by a typical 9-5 type job. Kids are notorious for constant demands and can wreak havoc when it comes to calls with clients.
Upon completion of this quest, you’ll be well on your way towards taking charge of the chaos.
Business Startup Basics
You feel you are ready to launch out on your own to become a successful writer. That means running your own business. So, how do you begin your new journey? In this quest, we are going to cover all the necessary steps needed to help get you up and running.
Your first steps will be developing a business plan, deciding on how much to charge, and getting the word out about your new book or writing service through the process of sales and marketing.
Upon completion of this quest, you will know exactly the steps you need to take in order to make your business successful.
How to Proactively Manage Your Priorities
In order for your business to be successful, you need to take charge of your business. That means you need to be able to prioritize what you do with your time effectively. Notice I did not say anything about time management. No one can “manage” time. You and I are given the same 24 hours in a day. How we use those hours determines how successful we are. The best way to be successful is to focus all of our attention on what truly matters and spend less time on those things that don’t truly matter.
So in this quest, we are going to focus on figuring out what our priorities really are and making the most out of the time we have been given. I’ll show you the method I personally use to get things done using a combination of strategies I’ve uncovered over the years.
How to Conduct Interviews to Write Profile Pieces
Newspapers and magazines (both online and in print) often publish profile pieces, which basically consist of material gathered through an interview of the person being profiled. Sometimes, you might have an opportunity to profile someone who has never been interviewed or profiled before. Learn tips on how you can make the most of this opportunity.
Creating Characters Your Readers Will Love
When you write a story, it’s important to include strong characters that will keep your readers engaged and turning the pages. Readers most enjoy realistic characters who remind them of themselves or someone they know. Your portrayal of your characters is the only view of them your readers will get, so attention to detail is critical. Your ultimate goal is for your characters to come to life in the minds and hearts of your readers; but first, they must come to life within you. When you are able to view them as real people, your readers will view them that way as well.
How to Land a Client in 10 Days
One June afternoon in 2013, as I was looking at my spreadsheets and making sure I was on track with my revenue goals, it hit me. I was on a plateau. My income that month was roughly the same as my income the month before, and the one before that, and yes, the one before that.
I realized I was becoming a little too comfortable with my freelance writing business, and it was time to step it up. I decided to stir things up. I dared myself to find a fabulous new client in 10 days, not just because I wanted to increase my revenue, but also because I knew I needed to grow as a writer, a marketer and an entrepreneur. (As a freelance writer, you have to be all three.)
So I spent the next week and a half putting myself in front of my target audience. I scoured the job boards, approached potential clients, networked on social media and pretty much applied all my tried-and-tested, client-hunting strategies along with some lessons I picked up from other writing and marketing blogs.
By the end of it all, I didn’t just meet my goal. I exceeded it. Instead of finding one client, I ended up getting five new ones AND some additional assignments from existing clients–all from 10 days of marketing. Ready to find out how you can do it too? Let’s get started!
Making the Most of Writer’s Conferences
One of the best ways to network as a writer is to attend a writer’s conference – and, to get the most out of your experience, you should prepare ahead of time. You’re probably asking what exactly it means to prepare yourself effectively for a writer’s conference, and that’s just what this quest will help you to do.
Crafting Points of View Effectively
When you write a short story or novel, it’s important that you use the most effective point of view possible for the story in question. What works well for one story may not work as well for another, so experimentation can be quite useful.
Developing Your Personal Tactical Strategy in Order to Achieve Success
Young Knight, it is time for you to prepare your battle plans. What shall you conquer this year? What riches will you gain in order to build your own kingdom? Without even the most basic map to direct you, it will be all too easy to get lost wandering from land to land and nothing to show for it. We must not let that happen.
Writing a Manifesto
It’s time to Stop Dreaming, and Start Writing. Do you have a brilliant message to share, but you’re not quite sure how to get started? The content you create is more than your “marketing strategy”. It’s a conversation with the people who believe in and love your message. This mini guide will take you step-by-step through the process of planning an ebook to share your message with the *right* people — and begin to build a thriving community around your Big Ideas!
Hunting for clients is a basic skill for any freelancer. It’s easy once you know how. But if you don’t know how, you’re screwed:
• You waste time looking in all the wrong places
• You send email after email but you don’t know if anybody reads them
• You chicken out in negotiations and wind up working for low pay
• In short, you’re left wondering WTF you have to do to get a well-paid blogging gig
In this quest, you will get all the information and resources you need to be a master of the hunt. Once you are finished with the course, you will have everything you need to earn what you truly deserve!
Researching, Writing, and Reviewing
Did you ever want to write a biography? Learn the ins-and-outs of doing research and finding credible sources for your next writing project.
The arcane arts have a very strong influence in the Kingdom of Paidalot. If you’re to make a name for yourself, it helps to wield the magic known as WordPress. Learning this simple bit of sorcery can make the difference between a plain old castle, and the palace of your dreams.
Perfecting Your Pitch
Nobles are social climbers by nature. They wouldn’t be where they are otherwise. We must be no different. We have to keep introducing ourselves to people who are in a position to pay us what we deserve. In this quest, you’ll learn how to pitch a client, and how to write an effective Letter of Introduction.
Learning how to navigate the conversational waters can be a bit tricky. In this quest, you will learn key strategies in developing friendly and professional relationships with editors.
Google Analytics 101
Special Guest Jeff Mann is a professional web analytics specialist who has done work for numerous clients, including Fortune 500 companies, and who can explain the trickiest aspects of analytics in a clear and helpful way. He is currently employed by NAS Specialists.
Juggling Writing, Marketing and More
This is a member only training for the Kingdom of Paidalot. Special guest is Robert Moore, Vice President of the International Writers Association and host of the weekly podcast, “The International Writers Association Podcast”
Make a Name For Yourself
Every Knight has a family crest, drawn on their patents of nobility and usually displayed in their castle. For a writer, that crest is our brand. This quest will teach you how to effectively build a brand that you can be proud of.
Plus a whole lot more… A new quest is added each and every month.
Free Downloadable Ebooks and Materials
A Writers Bucket List from Dana Sitar of DIY Writing
The-Ultimate-List-of-Better-Paid-Blogging-Gigs from Sophie Lizard at Be a Freelance Blogger
Releasing the Words: Writers on Writing by Rhonda Kronyk and Friends
Client Hunting Handbook from Sophie Lizard at Be a Freelance Blogger
Be A Freelance Blogger Rate Guide
How to Land a Client in 10 Days from Francesca Nicasio at Be a Freelance Writer
Top Deal Makers For Debut Authors from Kathy VerEecke at Get a Book Deal 101
Access to Every One of Our Podcasts and Freelance Round Tables
We reach out to successful writers and entrepreneurs and interview them to glean the best tips and strategies in order to learn how to be masters of our craft. As a member of the Kingdom of Paidalot, you get a free invitation to attend these events and ask your questions live. You get access to the best minds in the industry and the chance to pick their brains on your specific situation and get the help you need. Some of our past guests have included:
Lauren Tharp of LittleZotz.com
Francesca Nicasio of Be A Freelance Writer
C. Hope Clark of Funds For Writers
Carrie Smith of Careful Cents
Joel Runyon of ImpossibleHQ
Peter Bowerman of The Well Fed Writer
Kelly James-Enger of Dollars and Deadlines
Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David W. Wright of Sterling and Stone
Kathy VerEecke of Get a Book Deal 101
Tommy Walker- Online Marketing Strategist and Host of Inside the Mind Podcast
24/7 Access to Our Royal Court Experts
Meet Queen Sophie Lizard:
Sophie is a freelance writer, editor and content marketing specialist whose blog Be a Freelance Blogger shows writers how to make money blogging for hire. She also mentors bloggers one-on-one and in small groups to provide the kind of personalised guidance you can’t get from reading alone.
Her writing has been published on Problogger, Brazen Careerist, Alternet, Lifehack and more than 100 other blogs. She’s often called up to revive limp copywriting, ghostwrite corporate blog posts or edit non-fiction books on topics ranging from archaeology to productivity.
Sophie’s obsessed with neuroscience, prehistory, human nature and getting shit done. She crash tests life at every opportunity and travels the world to meet up with friends and clients, usually with her family along for the ride. To get started on your own freelance writing journey, download her free resource The Ultimate List of Better-paid Blogging Gigs: 45 Blogs That Will Pay You $50 or More.
Sophie generously gives Kingdom of Paidalot citizens access to her Client Hunting Handbook materials ($97 value) absolutely free.
Meet Queen Kelly Boyer-Sagert:
Kelly has over 24 years experience as a freelance writer AND editor.
For four years, Kelly served as managing editor of Northern Ohio’s Over the Back Fence. This magazine, which profiled the art, history, intriguing people and fascinating places along Lake Erie’s shores, was nominated by Writer’s Digest for their “Top 100 Award” in 1998 and 1999. She served as the contributing editor for the Southern Ohio edition of Over the Back Fence as well, and she also edited five trade magazines and numerous business directories, community guides and travel planners for the company.
Kelly is a playwright, with several of her plays being performed in the Cleveland area. She speaks regularly at writer’s conferences and workshops, including at the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conference in New York City, and at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. She also appeared on an ESPN2 program called “The Top Five Reasons You Can’t Blame the Black Sox.”
Meet King Robert Jennings:
Freelance writing is not an easy career choice. I know from experience. Since becoming a freelancer, I’ve hit just about every possible roadblock out there, from lack of clients to lack of motivation. I’ve gotten some good advice, and some no-so-good advice. I’ve been everywhere from Cloud 9 to inches away from File 13, and I like to think I’ve picked up a thing or two along the way.
One of the things I’ve learned is that there’s about a million people out there willing to tell you how great you are and that you’re doing things just fine. But, if you’re like me, that’s not what you need. If you’re going to improve, you need to know what you’re doing wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. I think you’re kick-awesome. But I also believe in tough love, and I’m willing to be the person who delivers it. Praise is wonderful, and it’s great for self-esteem, but it does not foster improvement.
I have had the pleasure of working as a ghostwriter for the novel Rogue’s Phoenix: Thieves and Kings, which is an epic fantasy story — the first in a trilogy of which I’ll be ghostwriting all three books.
My experience as a copy editor transcends employment and spills over into my personal life. I’m “that guy” who gets frustrated when he finds typos in books or on websites. I’ve always had the desire to clean up copy. Now, I have the opportunity.
Meet Queen Valerie Bordeau:
Valerie is a professional freelance writer who has written for a diverse clientele on a wide range of topics. Her areas of expertise include such areas as physical and emotional health issues, home based business startups, social media, music, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and personal development.
She personally knows the frustration that beginning writers have when trying to launch their freelancing careers. Her goal is to help writers reach their goals faster and live the life they have always dreamed of. Please feel free to contact her and let her know what specific help you may need.
24/7 Support Through Our Private Facebook Group
Our citizens often tell us that this is the best part of membership in the Kingdom of Paidalot. This is a group that helps, encourages, supports, critiques, laughs, cries and collaborates together. Citizens create powerful bonds and friendships with one another and help each other grow and develop.
Access To Current Freelance Opportunities To Start Earning Right Away
Plus, we post opportunities in our Facebook group as soon as they occur. Plus, our citizens learn how to create their own popular blog/website. In addition, they have landed guest posts on these popular sites:
Make a Living Writing
Be a Freelance Blogger
Fire Pole Marketing
Free Personalized Battle Plan
If you need help developing your action plan for success, we can help! We will work closely with you to help you develop your writing skills, enhance your website marketing, and take a look at your portfolio in order to map out a specific plan that is right for you.
You will get a one-hour session with Queen Valerie Bordeau as soon as you join. During this time, we will discuss your goals, your obstacles/struggles, and mindset issues that are holding you back. Afterwards, you will get a personalized plan with 10 steps you can take right away in the next 30 days to fast-track your writing career.
We will also work with you to fine-tune your plan as you work through it to ensure that you earn what you truly deserve!
The Opportunity to Become Royalty
We believe in recognizing people for their hard work. When you become a citizen, you start out as a Knight. As you move through the quests, you will move up in the rankings all the way to Prince/Princess. You will discover that your writing pay will reflect the rank you achieve.
Low Cost Business Training
Access to everything we provide can easily cost $1000- $10,000 or more elsewhere. We provide everything you need to get started as a writer for only $25 a month ($300 per year).
Why such a low price?
Because we know you don’t have $1000 or more to spend on business training when you are first starting out as a writer. We want to keep your costs for training as low as we possibly can so you can concentrate on building your career, not fretting over your bank account balance.
What Our Citizens Have To Say About The Kingdom of Paidalot
Here is just a small collection of thoughts that our citizens have about what we offer:
Huzzah! for the Kingdom by Kerry Congdon
Kerry also says: “Well, KOP is just plain awesome. The members are amazing people who support each other in their work and also have a blast together. We are a true community. The nobility are fair and generous rulers, offering so much insight and guidance to their people.”
Come Slay Your Freelance Blogging Dragons in the Kingdom of Paidalot by Lynn Silva
Lynn also says: “There is a saying that I’ve clung to my entire life. “If your heart is not in something, you simply cannot do it.” Valerie, your heart and soul are clearly in helping writers. Those of us that receive your help will be blessed over and over. : ) With KOP I can get help with ANYTHING immediately. There is always someone willing to help answer any question or help work through any problem. The group members are true friends.”
Kingdom of Paidalot Member Spotlight by Nell Curley
Christy Mossburg says: Well worth the very reasonable investment!! She also named us as one of the 14 Best Websites for Writers.
Gina Baksa says: “My strategy session with Valerie exceeded all my expectations. She is warm, empathetic and extremely astute. As a writer who can literally write about anything, I was delighted she helped me to identify the niche where my passion truly lies. Valerie’s empathy and insight helped me gain complete clarity over my new direction and as a result, I am putting the strategy plan she created for me into action with daily tasks. Thank you so much for your fabulously motivating guidance Valerie!”
Want to write for big name companies and websites? We can help.
Want to become a professional blogger? We have the tools to help you do just that.
Want to write your own books? Our Royal Court can show you how it’s done.
No matter what your writing goals are, all are welcome in the Kingdom of Paidalot.
Time to get Medieval!
Click here to pick up your sword and enter as a Knight in a Kingdom where you earn what you truly deserve!
Little did I know that an innocent encounter long ago would profoundly affect my life for the next 30 years. I was in my room when the sounds of a strange accent I had never heard before wafted my way from the living room. Intrigued, I was drawn to check it out.
I ran into the living room, only to glimpse the naked backside of a man on the television set. “What are you watching, Mom?” I asked. Red-faced, my mom blurted out “Moscow on the Hudson with Robin Williams,” before quickly shooing me back to my room because this movie was not appropriate for my 10 year-old eyes.
I did was I was told then, but my curious side wouldn’t let me obey for long. I had never been told before that a movie was not allowed for me to see. My parents let me watch Poltergeist, for goodness’ sake, despite all the nightmares I had for months afterward.
I bid my time and secretly watched the forbidden movie months later. Honestly, I couldn’t see what the big fuss was all about then concerning people in their birthday suits. I had no context for anything inappropriate that might happen if you were naked. But I digress.
That chance encounter in 1984 introduced me to one of the greatest minds that has walked the Earth to date. I discovered him again in his iconic alien role in Mork and Mindy and instantly fell in love. He had a way of making you laugh, no matter what the situation. However, I could tell there was much more to him under the surface hidden under the gaze of his hypnotic gentle blue eyes. I instantly recognized the dark underworld he wouldn’t allow anyone to see, covered up with zany antics so no one would discover it. He was just like me.
Robin figuratively held my hand through my mother’s death just two years later. He lightened the darkest place in my life and for that I am forever grateful. I only wish now I could have somehow returned the favor. I am stunned today by his death, shell-shocked to hear that the man who gave his all to humanity would end his own life too depressed to continue.
His big heart shown through his roles in such movies as Good Morning,Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Good Will Hunting, along with countless other roles too many to list here. His artistic work was a major presence throughout my life.
The tears of a clown are more powerful than people realize. As artists- and especially in our case as writers- we are born with a unique ability to see the world beyond the day-to-day superficiality and make a difference in the world. We are able to see the world for what it truly is, in both its most glorious and ugliest forms. It is a gift that is both a blessing and a curse.
For within this gift swirls a madness that would pull us under if we succumb to it. We must not let that happen. We must move beyond petty differences and competitive jabs and gather together as a community united. We must recognize the unique talents each of us bring to the table and find ways to support one another and lift one another up. We cannot afford to let a tragedy like this happen again. We are all too precious.
The following clip from Robin Williams is one I have taken especially to heart and have quoted myself time and time again. It drives home the point of the importance of how precious life is, of sharing who we are with the world, and of living life to the fullest. Please take the time to watch and take it to heart just like I have. If you are struggling, please don’t fight your demons alone. We can’t afford to lose you.
Your move, Chief.
A few weeks ago, my writer friend and Kingdom of Paidalot Royal Court member Kelly Boyer-Sagert of kbsagert.com fame asked me if I’d play in a writer game of tag — and I thought it would be really fun so I said yes. All I needed to do was to answer three questions and then tag someone to continue the game. So let’s play!
What am I working on?
I am working on several projects actually. I am constantly working on material to help new writers get started in freelance writing here at Freelance Writers Academy and more advanced material for the writers in our membership community The Kingdom of Paidalot. That’s on top of coming up with the writing topics I discuss with my writer friends for our weekly Freelance Round Table.
Recently I have begun working on a few fun side projects. One will be exploring the misfit side of me and probing all the idiosyncrasies, tragedies, and triumphs on my life journey so far that has made me who I am today.
I am also in the beginning stages of teaming up with another writer to start work on a project involving one of my favorite book series and TV shows. We are hoping to delve deeper into the theories and political world interwoven in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and I couldn’t be more excited to get started.
Why do I write what I do?
My number one goal in everything I have ever put my hand to is to help others. We as human beings have so much we can share with one another, and by sharing and uniting as one there is nothing we cannot achieve if we set our minds to it.
I’ve always had a deep respect for writers especially. Writers delve into the deep recesses of humanity, exposing both the beauty and repugnant hidden in all of us. As my friend Kelly once said, “Writers are the gatekeepers of the truth,” and to help others take on that responsibility and be successful at it gives me great joy.
How does my writing process work?
Most of the content I have produced so far for Freelance Writers Academy and the Kingdom of Paidalot has developed from conversations I have had with other writers. They’ve shared their struggles and asked questions. My goal was to answer those questions the best I could as honestly and openly as possible.
For my personal projects, I tend to let that mystical muse take charge. When she has something to say, I put my butt in the chair and let her put the words to paper. Her work always amazes me, so I look forward to when she decides to illuminate her thoughts through me.
Next up: Kerry Congdon at http://www.kerrycongdon.com