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"Make a Living Writing is the only blog I read religiously. It's always on top of the news and advice writers need RIGHT NOW to earn more from their writing." —Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer

3 Proven Strategies Professional Writers Use to Avoid Creative Bankruptcy

Freelance writer with no ideasI’m afraid of bankruptcy.

I don’t mean the financial kind. I mean the kind where you get an exciting writing commission, and then you can’t deliver.

Creative bankruptcy happens when you have a pressing writing project — and you know you’ve got nothing.

Don’t put yourself in that position.

Here are three ways you can avoid creative bankruptcy and become a more productive professional writer.

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Writing for Content Mills: Did You Pick the Wrong One?

Many choices in content millsMany new writers looking to find that first place they can break in and start earning money from their craft end up signing up for a content mill.

Either that, or they end up discovering a revenue-share site like Examiner or Guardian Liberty Voice, or bidding for gigs on Elance.

Soon after, many of these writers are sending me emails like this one:

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How I Got a Great Freelance Gig After a Royal Screw Up

Frog princeWith a deep breath, I pressed “send” on an email containing months of research and my first article for a trade magazine.

It was done!

But my excitement was short-lived when my editor replied. I’d called her the wrong name. I screwed up before she even looked at my story.

I panicked. Would she blacklist me? Would she even read my pitch now? Did I just cut myself out of a potentially great freelance writing gig?

Turns out, it all worked out okay. One year later, I’m her editorial assistant.

How did I get myself out of this jam and land a great freelance gig? I focused on three E’s.

 

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Freelance Writers: This Will Make You an Instant Tech Genius

Young writer conquers tech problemsIt’s ironic that I ended up finding my greatest success as a writer through a blog-based, online writing business. I am one of the most non-technical people you’ll ever meet.

Technology makes me cry, honestly. I have been known to assume the fetal position and moan softy for prolonged periods when I can’t get some widget to work right.

Or to think seriously about flinging a computer out a window.

So I feel for writers when I get questions like these:

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What to Do When Your Writing Sucks

Freelance writer worries her writing sucksWe all know what it feels like to read brilliant writing. It draws you in, awakens your emotions and leaves you feeling alive with personal revelations. Most of all, it changes you for the better.

So what happens when you read your own writing, and it doesn’t quite rise to that level?

Some writers will say, “I know I can do better.”

But too many will say, “This isn’t good enough, and never will be. I should just give up.”

This is the moment when self-criticism becomes unhealthy and debilitating to your career. Your writing is going nowhere because it can’t get past your toughest critic — you.

As a writer and new blogger, I’ve been there. I know negative thought patterns will always creep their way into my consciousness and threaten to shut me down. In order for my career to survive, I’ve developed a few techniques to help turn my harsh self-criticism into constructive learning and growth.

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Why Hating Your Day Job Won’t Make You a Successful Freelance Writer

Furious worker wants to quit day job.

I hear every week from aspiring freelance writers who despise their cubicle life. You hate your boss. Working for the Man is unfilling. It’s boring. Certainly not how you ever planned to spend your precious days.

So you’re thinking about quitting to become a freelance writer. Maybe you’ve been writing on the side in hopes of building up your freelancing until it’s time to quit. Or perhaps you’ve recently taken the plunge.

If you’ve been in Corporate America a long time, here’s my forecast: You’re in for a rocky ride.

There’s a popular myth that if you hate being a cog in a big corporate wheel, it’s a sign that you should quit your job. Your hatred of the paycheck world indicates you will be a super-successful freelance writer.

But in my experience mentoring thousands of writers, that ain’t necessarily so. Here’s why:

 

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