Showing posts with label objectives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label objectives. Show all posts

A Balancing Act: Mother and Writer



            How to Begin a Freelance Writing Career at Home When You're a Mom

            You love your kids and you love to write. How can you do both?

Whether you have small children, middle-sized children, or big children – moms have a lot on their plates. We’re great at multi-tasking but usually it is for others and not ourselves. 

I’ve been a mom for 30 years and counting. With a 17 and 11 year old at home (and homeschooled) and my tendency to write only when inspired, I’ve learned it is imperative to work consistently if I am going to have a home-based, freelance writing career.

Once you have made the decision to be purposeful in your writing and have identified your yearly goals and weekly objectives, here are some tips for busy moms:
  • ·   Scheduling
There’s no doubt that the kiddos come first. But that doesn’t mean you cannot find time to write. Even very young children can learn to respect mom’s time. Of course, life happens and there may be interruptions to work around. But if you do not have a designated time scheduled for writing every day, it won’t happen. You have to have a target to aim at or you will not hit it.
  • Space
You need a writing space. That doesn’t mean you can’t sit on the couch with your laptop while the children are nearby. But your writing space will be one spot to keep your supplies and a place to go when you sit down at your designated time. It also makes you feel more professional. I fit a small desk in my bedroom. It immediately took my writing from casual blogging to writing magazine articles with a purpose. 


  • System
If you don’t buy the groceries this week you won’t be preparing any meals! Rarely do things go well when it’s hit or miss. This was my difficulty. I am very organized and efficient when it comes to managing my home but the writing kept falling through the cracks. That's because I only wrote when inspired. I learned if I sat down at my designated time, inspiration would come.

Choose certain days for specific tasks. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I check the freelance job boards for assignments and apply. Once a week I write an article and submit it to the 3 magazines I'm interested in. Twice a week I research various topics I need to learn such as keywords, driving traffic to my site, etc. The internet is bursting with free courses!

I also bought a composition notebook and keep a "diary" of my daily writing accomplishments. It really helped me stay encouraged when I had an off week due to sickness, interruptions, and appointments.
  • Sanity
Let’s face it, moms are in demand! Yet, it’s alright to communicate to family and friends that you are unavailable when you’re working from home. 

If your children are very young and an hour a day is all you can manage, make that hour count. Plan on writing in the morning before the children are up, during naps, or after they go to bed. Or provide a quiet activity for your children while you write.  If your children go to school then designate 2-4 hours each day and stick with it. 

If you don’t treat your freelance writing seriously, no one else will. It’s a business that will provide an income and that’s serious stuff.
  • ·  Successful
Since joining an online writing group, I have learned to believe I can have a freelance writing business from home.  If you are a stay-at-home mom, you are used to working and not getting a paycheck. To think you can actually get paid for a writing assignment or publishing a book seems out of reach. 

I’ve got great news for you: it is within your reach.

However, it’s going to take patience and work. Don’t discount submitting one magazine article each week to an article directory or taking a resume writing course and begin offering resume writing services – it all counts. Just keep plugging away and don’t give up. 


Even if you have a goal of writing a book or a becoming a regular contributor to a magazine, you have to start somewhere. Dream big, but don’t forget to make it happen with earning money from writing projects that will help develop your platform, develop your writing skills, and get you where you want to go.

Do you have any ideas to add? Please share them!

                                                          ~



Kathleen Moulton lives at the foothills of the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in Upstate NY. She is a 25 year veteran homeschooling mom, a member of the Working Writer’s Club, and monthly contributor to Heartbeat the Magazine. You can find her passion to encourage at "When it Hurts" - http://kathleenmoulton.com
 


“Writing Down Goals and Objectives Can Keep You Focused,” by Mayra Calvani


I have kids, a husband, pets, a house, and many errands to run on a weekly basis. So how do I find the time to write? Well, first of all, I donfind it. I make it. You know why? Because if you wait for the perfect time to write, itll never come: there never is a perfect time to write.

One method that has worked for me is to, first of all, 1) be clear about my goals and objectives and 2) write down my goals and objectives each day before I start working. I learned this powerful trick from Suzanne Lieurance, founder of The Working Writers Club.

After my kids are off to school and my hubby off to work, I go to my office with Amigo, my adorable golden retriever, and I sit down at the computer. Before I start working, however, I open my spiral notebook and write my schedule for the day. I use Google calendar for all my weekly and monthly goals and objectives, but I also like to keep this spiral notebook for my daily schedule. There is something extremely powerful about writing your goals and objectives each day before you sit down to write.

First, I write my 3 major yearly goals at the top of the page. Then I write down the objectives that I can take today in order to bring me closer to those 3 major goals. My goals are usually very broad, and my objectives very specific.

For example, if one of my 3 major goals is “to establish myself as an author,” then one of my objectives is:

9:00-11:00 AM  work on my novel.

Unless something unexpected comes up, Ill usually keep this objective from Monday to Friday month after month until I have a complete manuscript that is ready to be submitted. If, for whatever reason, I cant write that morning, Ill try to allocate those two hours in the afternoon or at nightthough not often, as my mind is fresher in the mornings.

A typical writing day will include one objective for each major goal, for a total of 3 objectives. Each objective must be related to its goal. If it isnt, then I discard it. This is extremely helpful to help keep you focused and prevent bright shiny objects to stir you away from whats really important.

Of course I already know what my goals and objectives are, but the secret lies in writingthem down each day before I start working. This really helps keep me focused and productive. I love to tick items off as I complete them, so at the end of the day I usually feel like Ive really accomplish something and that all my projects are progressing and getting somewhere. I started using this system this January and the results have been excellent.

If youre feeling unfocused, unproductive and unmotivated, I encourage you to try this method!

About the Author:  Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer,Writer’s JournalMulticultural Review, andBloomsbury Review, among many others. A reviewer for over a decade, she now offers online reviewing workshops. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Visit her website at www.MayraCalvani.com, join her mailing list, and automatically receive the free ebooks, Reviewers Talk about Their Craft and the first lesson from my Slippery Art of Book Reviewing Workshop.




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