Blog Archives

Need Story Ideas? 20 Free Online Tools to Fire Up Your Brain

Find Story Ideas With These 20 Online Tools. Makealivingwriting.com

If you want to write for magazines, story ideas are your bread and butter.

The days when big editorial staffs thought up most of the ideas and simply assigned them out to freelance writers are over. Instead, these days overworked editors are looking to their writers to tell them what’s fresh and interesting out there.

You want to be the writer with a million story ideas, to earn well.

Despite this, I often hear from writers that they’re stymied because they have no ideas.

Let’s fix this! Once you know how to troll for ideas, it becomes a fun hobby. Get out your favorite tracking software, whether it’s an app like Pocket, an Excel spreadsheet, or (like me) just a plain ol’ Word doc, and start developing your idea-finding skills.

These days, you don’t even have to leave the house to come up with a lot of great ideas, because so many online tools can help stimulate your brain.

Ready to fire up your computer and find some great ideas? Here’s my list of creative idea-finding tools (in alphabetical order):

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

An Open Letter to ESL Writers

ATTN: ESL Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

This is a hard letter to write. But I get letters from you every day, ESL writer, and I feel you deserve an answer.

You email me or hit me on Facebook, from Pakistan, or Kenya, or other points around the globe.

You’re not the rare ESL writer who’s impressively fluent, and whom I only learn from in-depth conversation wasn’t born speaking English.

No, you’re a writer who seems to think you’re fluent in English, but you aren’t. Not even close.

Despite your shaky grasp of English, you’ve fixed on the idea that freelance writing for English-speaking clients is the career for you. And you’re writing me because you want me to help you get paid writing gigs.

I’ve been working to spread hope to writers about the opportunities to earn from their craft for 8 years now. But I’m afraid today, I’m the bearer of bad news.

You probably don’t have the skills to earn a living writing in English. And I want you to encourage you to stop banging your head against this brick wall before you starve.

Tagged with: , , , ,

The 10 Personality Traits Freelance Writers Need for Success

Top personality traits of freelance writers. Makealivingwriting.com

After over 15 years as a freelance writer, and many more years writing for a living as a staffer, I’ve concluded that I’m weird.

Seriously!

There are things other people hate that I strangely seem to like.

I’m kind of addicted to taking on seemingly impossible assignments, for instance.

That got me thinking about what it takes to be a freelance writer, personality-wise.

I asked my audience on this blog’s Facebook page, too, and got an earful.

If you’re wondering if you could make it as a freelance writer, consider whether you’ve got these 10 useful personality traits for successful freelancing:

Tagged with: , , ,

Try These Absurd Methods for Overcoming Writer’s Block (That Actually Work)

Overcome Writer’s Block - Makealivingwriting.com

Having writer’s block is one of the most terrifying feelings for a creative person — especially when you have a deadline. There’s plenty of advice out there, but what if the normal ideas don’t work to get you writing again?

Well, that’s the part where you go off the reservation and try some of the more, shall we say, unorthodox methods. Today I’m going to show you 10 absurd strategies.

Keep in mind as I write this that I am of sound mind and body. I’ve used these techniques, and they keep me full of awesome blog ideas. Some of these may sound crazy, but they work, I promise!

Tagged with: , , ,

8 Crazy Nights of Freebies & Bargains for Freelance Writers

8 Crazy Nights of Freebies & Bargains for  Freelance Writers - Makealivingwriting.com

No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, I’m here to make it a festive season for you.

Since I celebrate Hanukkah — which this year, starts tonight — I’ve decide to create my own online festival of light for writers, by bringing you a series of free offers and super-cheap discount deals. There will be a different offer each day!

Hanukkah is a festival of light and miracles…of the freedom to worship as you choose, a theme that’s more relevant than ever this year. Of believing you can banish the darkness, even when all seems hopeless. I’m hoping to enlighten some writers and bring them some serious help over next 8 days. Because when you go from earning peanuts to earning real money…it truly is like a miracle. Right?

While I’m announcing this 8 Crazy Nights extravaganza here on a blog post, if you’re not a subscriber to this blog, you won’t see most of the rest of these offers. They’ll only be going out on email. So if you’re not a subscriber, you might want to sign up now.

Ready? Let’s get rolling…

Tagged with: , , , ,

How I Found My First Freelance Writing Client — on Facebook

Woman using tablet computer social mediaLike many new freelancers, I proudly hung my digital shingle out last year in the hopes of magically turning my love of writing and editing into a full-time job.

Sadly, my expectations didn’t meet the reality. My first six months were underwhelming, as I worked exclusively for family and friends.

I dreamed of expanding my business and finding clients on my own — but I was clueless how to market myself.

Then I got a great break on social media. Here’s how:

Tagged with: , , ,