Beware the Content Mill!

Since I began freelancing full-time, I have found some truly fantastic resources both online and offline.  Someday, I hope to have the time to put them all together, categorized neatly, up on my website for all to see.  In the meantime, here is an article from a newsletter I subscribe to called Make A Living Writing created by Carol Tice.  All of her advice is extremely valuable and I highly recommend perusing her site.  Her most recent post regarding online content mills is absolutely vital reading material if you are a freelance writer.  I have run into too many individuals slaving away for pennies doing this kind of work.  Don’t fall for the trap!



Reflections – On Deciding to Become a Full-Time Writer

Hello all!

Please check out the below link to my guest post on the WOW! Women On Writing Blog.  I’m so excited they picked this week to post my little essay because this is my birthday week!  Wednesday was the day, and I am so pleased to be featured on such a great site.  Check out all they have to offer on writing advice, contests, and online courses!


For anyone following along, I left off with Istanbul day 8.  We have a whole week to go over of our stay in Istanbul, so never fear, the trip details and pictures are far from over.  I apologize for not getting day 9 up sooner, but it is going to take me a long while and two posts to go through all the crazy things we did that day.  That the day we took a 12 hour tour, which was extraordinary and easily one of the best parts of the whole trip.  I simply haven’t found the time to sit down and write it all out.  So, it is coming soon, I promise!

In the meantime, I posted some more of my writing for anyone’s enjoyment.  I added a section on the site called Poetry and all my posted poems are listed under there.  Most, if not all of my finished poetry, came from taking a poetry workshop in college.  I was coming off the misery of wasting a year and a half in Chemical Engineering.  Yes, the best years of my college life were spent slaving away in classes like Organic Chemistry, ugh.  Once I allowed myself to admit that I wanted to write again, I applied for a poetry workshop just to get my feet wet.  This was my first experience in the academic writing world and I had a very mixed time in the class.  On one hand, I was finally allowing my creative side to have a say and it was starving for air.  It was like a dead limb was coming back to life.  On the other hand, it was a gruelingly lonely experience.  I was the odd man out, constantly asking the wrong questions (how will this be graded? – its poetry, just go with it?  Sure.), I had no friends in a program full of people who already knew each other from lower level English courses, and I was still balancing a work load in Mathematics (I graduated with a double major in Mathematics, emphasis on Statistics and English, emphasis on writing -what was I thinking?).  I tried to reach out and make friends, but mostly ended up feeling foolish.  Had I made the right choice getting back into writing?  I hadn’t done it in so long, was I really any good at all?  If so, was it a degree worth pursing?  But mostly, why do I keep saying dumb things and making everyone look at me like that?

In the end, it was the right decision to make.  I broke free in that class in ways I hadn’t known were possible.  I wrote up some decent poetry too, I think; some of it is posted on my website, so you may judge for yourself.  I learned so much about myself.  Poetry is not my preferred method of writing, but I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone out there.  I got my feet wet and got the courage to jump all in, joining a creative writing workshop the following semester with a fantastic professor.  Truthfully, I never gained the acceptance and friendship that I yearned for, I think they sensed I always had one foot in another door (Mathematics), but I got my limb back.  Turns out, I needed it as much, if not more, than I needed the security of a degree in something more “grounded” and “worthwhile.”

At the end of the poetry semester, our professor arranged for us to have a reading on campus.  When I stood up in front of the small crowd of friends and relatives of mine and my classmates’ and a few curious students, I read my work with total pride and luminous joy.  I held in my hand something pieced together from nothing, a creation wholly mine, and that was a feeling I never wanted to give up again.