A Spooky Book Project Just In Time for Halloween

MJ Crane’ short story “Letters’ gave me the jitters during a night-time edit last week.

Last Sunday, I edited the short horror story “Letters” by budding author MJ Crane. Sitting in my home office a few feet from my wife who was checking out winter clothes for the Twin Miracles, I was expecting to get sucked into plot, but that’s exactly what happened, to the point where I had to remember a time or two that I was supposed to be editing this thing, not just reading it.

With about three pages to go, and the main character inches away from her confrontation against the creepy character who had been terrorizing her throughout the prose, my wife spoke my name to ask me a question, causing me to bounce a good four inches off the seat of my chair.

“Letters” isn’t up for sale just yet, but keep your eyes peeled on MJ’s website – there’s more to come, I know, because I’ve already gotten the call for the second short story!

Advertisements

The Adventures of Freelancing Dad: A Real Kick in the Budget

superheroOne of the greatest upsides of freelancing is that you can spot a job listing, inquire about it, get interviewed be hired, and start working on really cool, high-level projects within a matter of hours.

One of the worst downsides of freelancing is that it can all be over in that same short period of time.

Last week, I took a real double whammy of economic reality when one of my most lucrative, long-term contracts kicked me, and another writer, to the virtual curb because of “a change in the company budget.”  I got a six-hour severance bonus, which was nice, but I couldn’t help briefly thinking, “Hey, what about all that hard work I did for you?” before remembering the nature of the beast.

A few days later, a new position I took that allowed me to do some really fun, really creative sports copy editing went up in smoke for exactly the same reason. I’d become good email buddies with the writer at this job, and his boss dumped the responsibility of letting me know my services were no longer required on him.

While it’s easy to get attached to jobs and projects, the fact remains that we’re hired guns, and no matter how qualified, talented, and essential we might be to a project for a given amount of time, the honeymoon is going to end at some point.

I moped for about an hour about my loss of cool jobs (and income), until the next business day rolled around, and with it new opportunities, possibilities and business relationships. By noon I was writing a resume’ for a US Naval officer, punching up copy for drug rehabilitation facilities and proofing Powerpoints for a major software solutions conference in San Francisco.

Freelancing forever!

 

The Unexpected Benefit of Raising Your Freelancing Rate

OpportunitiesQuite recently, I decided to raise my hourly rate on the major  marketplace where I cultivate a majority of my freelance work. Unless you’re independently wealthy, the early times when you decide to start freelancing often involve beginning with low-paying jobs and then slowly building up to a more favorable rate of pay as your name and your reputation grow online.

With a particularly strong surge thus far in 2014, I felt justified in testing the waters at a new price, reasoning that if the work dried up or everyone was turning down my offers, I could always drop it back down.

What happened next took me completely off guard, although after a couple of days’ worth of critical thinking (usually in 20-30 second bursts between working and taking care of the Twin Miracles), I was able to come to a surprising, but extremely exciting conclusion.

What happened? The number of people wanting to interview and/or hire me for work has gone up considerably since I raised my rate. I’m not getting every job, but I’m getting considered for a lot more than previously, and often without having to lift a finger to promote myself.

Why is this happening? Because just like one subset of potential clients has a price maximum, another has a price minimum, a number they look for as a baseline for the quality of freelancer they can hire – either because of personal conviction or  because of what their company says the budget is for said project.

By moving my rate up, I now fall squarely into their search parameters, whereas before, no matter how good a job I could potentially do at a lower rate, I wasn’t even on their radar. It has been a serendipitous revelation, not only because I’m hitting and exceeding my weekly goals on a more consistent basis, but also because I’m making contact with more and more high-end clients, with the potential for repeat, long-term work.

Are you undervaluing your work? If so, stick your toe in the pool at a higher rate. You might be surprised how nice the water feels.

 

 

The Plunder from Down Under

static.squarespace.comOne of my favorite perks about being a full-time freelancer is meeting people from other parts of the world. Of late, some of my best clients have come from Australia, a part of the world I previously associated largely with Mad Max, Crocodile Dundee and my Greek third cousins who somehow wound up over there in the 1980s.

 

Fortunately, my former turn with a UK publishing house has me well-versed in the Queen’s English, and that has allowed me to do some fun work for a host of clients, including Flapjack Media, which has let me not only edit, but now write and start designing a style guide for one of its publications; writing an article about security systems for restaurants for a Perth-based magazine; and editing a large travel guide for international students studying in Australia, which has introduced me to a ton of cool Aussie places, most notably South Redwood’s absolutely amazing looking Hungry Hippo Board Game Cafe. Where was that place when I was young and staying out all night?

Thanks to all my amazing Australian clients. We might not ever be online at the same time, but your generosity and willingness to hire me is greatly appreciated!

Motherhood in Training Pants

tmelogo1.jpgAs any reader of Twin Miracles Editorial’s blog knows, family is the biggest part of my life (hence, the Twin Miracles). It’s always a pleasure to work with someone else who is so committed to family that they’re making a career out of it, and that’s exactly the case with my client Karen, who is building herself a website while also blogging and writing a book about the trials and tribulations of motherhood, with great, simple advice about some of the biggest problems out there today when it comes to child-rearing.

 

If you have a child under 5 and would like to check out the first chapter of Karen’s new book – Motherhood with Ease: 5 Tips to Creating the Foundation to Effective Discipline, More Laughter, & Amazing Memories – do  her a solid and fill out the following survey, it won’t take but 10 minutes of your time. The survey closes July 29.

 

 

Moving Up in the World – Mixed Media Arts Magazine

Exciting days for me, as I’ve been promoted a second time at Mixed Media Arts Magazine to editor of the whole production. Started this job last November proofreading articles, then got bumped up a couple of months ago to doing an editorial review of all the pages, and now I get to edit, proof, come up with headers and tags and just about everything else.

 

MMAM 13 cover

Really exciting to have an expanded role in a magazine again, and really cool to be able to do it remotely. It’s a cool thing, this Internet of ours.