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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Writing From the Heart: A Work of Love

Proofreading (something I never do, but should, for myself) is a natural progression/extension for a writer. Like most writers, I've done it several times. This week, a friend's third book is ready to rock the World; I was asked to proofread.

First of all, I assumed, wrongly, that editing and proofreading were the same things.  Secondly, like Latin, I'm learning all there is to know about writing-- through proofreading. This is TOUGH.  Wow!

For instance, I never understood why we sometimes use one hyphen (-) or two (--).  Now, I realize, duh!, it's for the reader to know whether you are combining words to make them stronger (think: compound) or if you are sharing qualifying words (like parentheticals). Obvious? Sure, but so much so, I never got it.

I'm challenging all writers out there to proofread a serious book (and you can return the favor when your manuscript is complete); by doing so, your work will become more serious in return - and that's worth it's weight and more in gold.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Working, working, working.

Nothing spurs you on to work hard more than the need for money. Right? Yet, working for yourself is a bit different than picking up an hour or two here and there: the gratification is often not instantaneous. Even a 9-5 job that pays per hour each two weeks is often more reliable. But we did choose to work from home, right? Why did we do this?

Answering "WHY" is important. If you need money fast, working for yourself is not always the best option. If you need money and have time to obtain it, it's a perfect option and can possibly earn you the needed money and keep you from a future need of money (because you'll already have it via your business). If you simply want to work from home, for whatever the reason (I personally did not have kids so others can raise them), then, duh, working for yourself is more than ideal.

Here's my personal deal - we are military and were told my hubby is deploying to a scary place. We made plans, we made decisions, and we put all my businesses on hold (writing, victim's advocation, ChaCha researching, and AtHome America consulting) until he left.  Except, nearly $8,000 later, they changed his assignment (many times in the course of two months) and left us hanging.  We don't WANT hubby to leave, especially to be in such a dangerous position, but we would have NEVER EVER made the decisions we made, in particular the financial decisions, nor had me stop my work if we had known there was even a 15% chance he'd be deployed as planned. If we thought there was any possibility in having his orders changed, we'd have waited and made decisions accordingly.

Now, we need money.  Now.  We have not only lost our entire savings and reserve, but we have four unexpected high payments to make before the end of the month; last month, with company, an 18th birthday, graduation, and seeing our son off to college, we were already at the end of our rope.

Putting this into perspective, I know it'll pass and we are not going to die from the lack of money.  This fact alone pushes the stress level way down.  Still, writing is lucrative in general, though the time and money ratio is extremely off balance in a negative way... I simply don't know when the money will come in, as each publisher is different.  So that's out for quick monetary relief.

Since being a victims' advocate costs us money, we cannot even consider pushing it harder.

AtHome America is the practical and obvious money maker.  But... no one is booking at the moment in Hawaii. Dang it.  The best I can do is beg a few mainlanders to host online parties in exchange for bonus free homewares, which will take at least two weeks to host the party and close it, but if I do, I can have an immediate 20% cash back reward (AtHome Specialists earn more than 20%, but for immediate money, that's the highest amount, the rest is delivered via direct deposit).  

That leaves me to my only other option:  ChaCha!

ChaCha pays when you have earned a minimum of $150.  It's also direct deposit; I won't even have to wait for mail or the bank.  I guess you have it.  I'll be working ChaCha as much as possible.

What do YOU do when you need fast cash?  Do you sell things? Do you babysit? Do you pick up the slack on your home business?  I'd love to hear from you, though if I plant the seeds right, I'll be sowing enough green cash to make sure we're never in this predicament again.

By the way, if you'd like to be a part of my ChaCha! team, follow the link, fill out the application and be sure to let them know referred you.