Basic Writing Tips

WritingWriting seems to be the only profession in which amateurs expect immediate success. But if you want someone to buy what you write, you need to take the time to learn how to do it right. Here are some of the most common problem areas I’ve encountered as I have critiqued and edited manuscripts.

I love to sing, and my voice sounds delightful when I’m alone in my car with the radio blaring. But I wouldn’t dream of asking someone to pay to hear me sing! Not without having a professional singer critique my voice and taking some serious singing lessons. [Read more...]

How Do You Define Freelancer?

freelancer-make-moneyOccasionally, you may see ads for freelancing positions that require the person to work “full time in house.” You may wonder, If a person is working full time at the company’s location, how can that be considered freelancing? Here are the key factors that determine whether a worker is a freelancer (a.k.a., independent contractor) or an employee.

The key factor that determines whether a worker is a freelancer (a.k.a., independent contractor) is, who has the right to control how the work is accomplished?

The Internal Revenue Service has developed twenty common factors that are used to determine, for tax purposes, whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. [Read more...]

Writers’ Conferences: Are They Worth the Cost?

cost-per-print-breathing-color-596x396I attended my first writers’ conference in 1988 at Biola University. It was the first time I’d heard that writers weren’t all people who had degrees in creative writing and were working full time for publishing houses. When I realized that a lot of authors wrote in their “free time,” before work, after work, on weekends, etc., I decided to give it a try. And to my great surprise, I actually started getting things published!

I’ve attended several writers’ conferences since then, and they’ve been a great boost to my writing career. (They’re also incredibly fun! Christian writers and editors are the best people in the world to hang out with.) But since I started doing professional editing for a living, I’ve also found writers conferences to be great ways to market my business. [Read more...]

How Much Should I Charge?

Question-Mark-placardsRates are one of the most often-discussed threads on the Christian PEN e-mail loop. Should I charge by the hour? By the project? Should I post my rates on my website? Experienced Christian PEN editors step up to the plate and answer questions with grace.

I gleaned more than twenty pages of comments while shuffling through the online archives! [Read more...]

My First Year in the PEN

thechristianpen4-285x300It has been one year since I joined Kathy Ide and her great group of editors. Kathy’s vision of mentoring editors and seeing a ministry come to fruition has proven to be a definite fulfillment in my case.

Finding Your Own Niche

I remembered Grandma using the old crank telephone when everyone else had rotary dial phones, and like her, I was content to let the high-tech world pass me by. But Mother kept nagging me, so in 2003, I went online for the first time in my life with a machine I didn’t know how to use. [Read more...]

How I Became a Freelance Editor

Kathy IdeI’m often asked how I broke into the business of freelance editing. I first considered the possibility after being laid off from my office job for multiple tendon injuries. But my Workers Compensation rehabilitation coordinator told me that my dream of making a living as an editor was “impossible.” Praise the Lord, God specializes in things we think are impossible!

“If you could do anything for a living, what would it be?” my husband asked when I lost my office job due to tendon injuries.

“Write,” I answered instantly. I’d been writing in my spare time and had sold some articles, short stories, and play scripts. “But I can’t make a living at it…at least not yet.”

“What would your second choice be?” he asked.

Almost immediately I responded, “Helping other writers.” [Read more...]

Want to be a Freelance Editor?

editingpicI’ve been working as a full-time freelance editor since 1998, so people often ask me how they can get their editing business off to a good start. Based on my experiences, here are a few tips for those who are considering this exciting career. [Read more...]