Ghost Writing or Byline

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It was a shock to my system – like cold water spilled on you in a nice warm bed. I’ve been writing content and articles for companies over the last couple of years – some refer to it as ghost writing - which I knew were sold without my name adorning the work. The companies have been putting the work on the internet through press releases, their own websites or other avenues. Today was the first time I saw my work with someone else’s name.

I’ve had friends that would ghost write an eBook or report and then would get it as an offer from one of the forums that they were on. It is not unusual for something like that to happen to a successful ghost writer. You stumble over your content that isn’t really yours. Today was the first time that it has happened to me and I was a bit surprised at my feelings.

There is no reason for me to be hurt. As a ghost writer I knew that I wasn’t getting a byline and I was paid relatively well for the article. But there is still just a twinge of disappointment that my name wasn’t below the title.

This empty hollow in my stomach now has me wondering if I should be sending my “children” off to be on their own without any connection to me. Is it worth the paycheck to see my work with someone else’s name? This was so much easier before I had to see it face to face.

What are some of the benefits of ghost writing?

    1. My name isn’t on it. As much as I hate to admit it, if I’m not getting a byline then I’m not quite as meticulous as I am when I know my own name will be stamped on the top.

    2. I get to write outside of my expertise. No one in their right mind wants to know what I think about cars, or computers or anything else that isn’t baked, diapered or alive. I’m NOT mechanically inclined, but I can play someone that is on the internet through my writing.

    3. The jobs can be easier to find (and sometimes you are even compensated for NOT getting a byline). There are so many companies, individuals and groups that are looking for help to fill their website with content.

Ghost writing is a great way for me to earn a few extra bucks each month with out the added pressure of being responsible for the work. I will continue to do ghost writing – only now I intend to avoid following the links that I know will lead to ghost content so that the emptiness can be replaced by my trip to the bank to cash the check.

Proverbs 31 Women Have no Thorns

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Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman means that I have to find a way to get it better than Paul got it. Sure, he may have written a large portion of the bible. Paul may have spread the news of Jesus Christ all over the known world. But Paul couldn't handle something as simple as a splinter the way the Proverbs 31 woman handled it.

Paul talks about a thorn in his side and scholars have debated over what it might be for years – probably even since he first wrote it. Tonight I think I uncovered what it was. It was a thorn ;). It was an irritant that if left alone would just fester, get infected and cause more trouble than should be possible.

The Proverbs 31 woman had no thorns or if she did she simply removed them and then cleansed the area where the thorns were located. It seems rather obvious that Paul either left the thorn alone and tried to ignore it or else he simply kept getting back into the same sticker bush time and again.

I faced my thorn tonight. It was just a minor irritant, but I can see how it could get bigger if left to its own devices. The idea of it being a thorn didn’t even cross my mind until I was recounting the evening to a good friend.

After I said the words “it’s just a thorn” I began to think about how my son’s splinter got infected because he left it alone and now he’s having trouble bending his thumb. At the same time his brother let us pull the thorn out of his hand that he had gotten and then that brother just washed the spot and it’s fine.

Ways the Proverbs 31 Woman Stays Thorn Free

    • Being a Proverbs 31 woman means rising before sunrise which give you plenty of time to spend with God. Time with God means it is easier to hear directions and avoid the thorns in the first place.

    • The Proverbs 31 woman was always busy doing something for God. Spending time doing the things that are suppose to be done means there is no time to do the things that shouldn’t be done (which is where you will find the thorns most of the time anyway).

    • It takes wisdom and understanding to know how to deal with thorns and the Proverbs 31 woman has more than enough of that to go around because she developed a personal relationship with God.

Avoiding thorns is not always possible, but the Proverbs 31 woman is proof that with the right words and the right understanding it is possible to get rid of any thorns that you do encounter and live thorn free.

Freelance Writing in 5 Steps

Freelance writing is not for everyone, but it is possible for anyone to be a freelance writer. It may sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t really. Like any self employment opportunity, becoming a freelance writer takes some specific gift, talents and personality traits that might not be necessary when working in a salary position Read More …

Balancing My Day

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This morning started crazy – which goes along perfectly with the post that Jodee has on Freelance Writing Jobs about maintaining balance. She suggests that it’s not possible to keep things balanced all the time because unexpected things happen. I actually posted that my goal was to stay ahead of schedule so that the unexpected couldn’t knock things off.

Man oh man was I wrong.

Life is NOT perfectly balanced – and anyone who tells you otherwise is having a really good day. Wait and catch them on a bad one and see what they think. Finding perfect all the time is never going to happen. What I need to do is to find some ways to help me manage to stay on the rope without falling off. Here are some ideas I am contemplating to help me keep from falling on my face.

    1. Deal with the problem. I’ve tried ignoring situations in the house, but they don’t seem to go away no matter how many long, hot baths I choose to take. The kids will not stop fussing until I intervene – especially if my hubby is also choosing to ignore the situation. It is better to take several minutes to sit them down and talk to them than it is to let the trouble escalate.

    2. Know my down times. I personally function better in the morning (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the rest of my house is asleep). It is better for me to jump into my writing projects when I am fresh and my brain isn’t cluttered with chaos. Working with the boys running through the house is possible, but it takes more concentration and way more editing! I have a friend over at I Can Write for You that chooses to work in the dark of night after everyone else has gone to sleep. Learning when you are at your best – or your worst – and scheduling around that will help you create a balance in your work and in your life.

    3. Give it a rest. Juggling life in the home with the family ALL day can be tough. We get under each other’s skin. It’s a good idea to separate for a few days each month. Schedule time for you to be alone and for each of your family members (especially any older kids) to have time away with friends or grandparents. It may not alleviate all of the frustration but at least you will feel refreshed.

    4. Mix it up. Too much of anything is a bad thing – and that goes for work. Have you noticed that if you try to pack in the same type of work into one day it becomes painful? Spread out those short articles through out the week. Mix up your writing to keep it fresh. You may find that writing one article gives you a fresh idea for a complete different project.

    5. Clock in to work. Working at home often means working at odd hours or in small bits and pieces. Keep a record of the time that you actually spend working and then adjust your schedule when you notice a waste or lag. Surfing the internet may be an important part of your job but maybe you should keep a record of just how much time you spend in work that pays and work that prepares. Think of it as your time budget. Once you know how much time you actually need for work you can better schedule that time.

There is no easy answer to life. The best thought I have is to “always be prepared” – my kids have joined scouts. This means you need to know how you are spending your time and spend it in the wisest ways possible. Then you can schedule your days in such a way that the unexpected doesn’t knock you to the ground and maybe it only causes you to totter a little instead.

Keep Going to Find Writing Success

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The going often gets tough along the way, but the only way to climb out of the tough parts into success is to keep going. Giving up can not be an option. Push through even if it’s just a little bit at a time. All it takes is one small hole in the dam for you to break through to your success.

The first query that I sent in was like my child. I had cared for it and nurtured it and I had done it all on my own. It was an object of pride for me and I had lifted it to such an elevation that I was certain I would be overwhelmed with requests to write all because of this one query. It was rejected and it felt like I had been rejected as well. Two weeks later I was at my first writer’s conference still recovering from the wounds that rejection had left.

I came home from that conference healed and more determined to push my way to writing success. I re-wrote that query and submitted to the exact same magazine. It was only a few weeks before they asked to see the manuscript. I didn’t sell the manuscript, but I did sell the idea which is where the rejection had happened earlier. I could over come.

What are the obstacles, hindrances or situations that are holding you back from reaching the success that you desire?

    • Have you been rejected? Re-work the proposal, the query or the manuscript after reading the magazine, publisher guidelines or critiques (over and over and over). If you believe in what you are doing then keep doing it, tweaking and perfecting along the way. Steven King, John Grisham and even Dr. Seuss all received multiple rejections but refused to give up on their dreams and purposes in writing.

    • Is time getting away? It is so easy to get too busy to do the things that allow for purpose and passion. The static of activity clouds the brain and it is hard to remember what should be done or what needed to be done. Work out a schedule that allows for time away from the chaos, put it on the calendar, and then work it into the family plan. It may also be time to stop doing many of the things that are hindering your path to writing success.

    • Are the finances an issue? The economy is rough right now and few people are doing anything without thinking about the money. Tax time is a great time to set aside some funds that can help lift you up as you step out in the new writing endeavor. Keep in mind that what ever you are pursuing, you will need around three to six months of household payments to help secure that pursuit.

    • Does fear block the door to writing success? It can be hard overcoming the concern of what other people think, the what ifs that surround new goals and dreams and so much more. Just two days ago, I watched someone eavesdropping on my conversation about being a writer. The contempt that came over the face was unmistakable. It did change some as I listed the projects I was working on, but what if I had been just starting out? Fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real. The world will not end if you get rejected or ridiculed. Have a first aid kit of some positive articles, letters, or even your first published piece (chocolate can also administer quicker recovery) for just such occasions.

There is nothing to keep you from your success if you have passion for your purpose and if you continue to push through until you reach your goal. Make today the day that you determine that the noise of the world will not stop you from becoming the successful freelance writer that you are striving to become.