Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are You Always an Asshole or Is It Just When You’re Online?

A couple months ago I joined a few groups on Linked In as a way to promote my work, get to know some other freelance writers (networking!), and possibly connect with people who (I’ve been told) frequent those groups looking for writers to hire.

I wanted to make sure I was in the right places if I was going to spend time in online communities chatting. It needed to be worth my while because I wanted to give the most benefit to the most people by sharing my experiences.

Weeding down to the basic groups that applied to my current position seemed like a smart idea. Groups geared toward freelancers, journalists, writers, etc. Everything was going great.

That is, until I started posting helpful articles.

Because as soon as I started sharing my experiences ofpersonal development as a freelance writer, the jack-assery started to fly.

Of course I want people to hire me but what I was sharing had little if nothing to do with asking people to do that. Quite the contrary, I really just wanted to help other writers. Because we’re all in this together even if what we do is a solopreneur enterprise most of the time.

I wanted to help struggling freelance writers see that it was okay to struggle, that it was normal to have questions. And then I wanted to help by giving my story of breaking into this industry as personal accounting for the answers to those questions.

But apparently some people don’t really want answers. Apparently many of the people in these groups spend little or no time reading the content and show up to do nothing more than attack the poster. It isn’t just my links, I’m seeing these same people belittle everything that’s posted.

They like to battle the advice, not in a challenging way that opens debate or engaging conversation. No. They simply set out to be mean.

And I just do not get it.

The reason it makes no sense is because those same people pose questions and they appear to be looking for answers. They ask how to break in, what kinds of things you need to do to break in, how to be a better writer. Then they stomp all over the people who provide those answers because it appears the advice wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

Sorry to disappoint but there is no magic formula to get rich overnight as a writer. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that you’d actually have to work for a living. And work hard. That there are things you need to learn how to do before attempting to freelance for income online.

Now I’m not saying I think I have all the answers, I’m not that egocentric, but I have been doing this for a while, have found some clients and made some decent money from my efforts. I thought that’s what they wanted to know how to do too. You know, since they asked.

But apparently their main goal is to waste their own time and everyone else’s by being an asshole. I’m just glad I don’t have to live with these people. If that’s what you’re like online is that what you’re like in life? Yikes.

Maybe you should take some of that snark and channel it into a book or a blog post. Perhaps that’s your voice and you’ll find a few freelance clients who love to pay combative people who already have all the answers to the questions they asked in the first place.

There’s my free advice of the day to all the trolls who find it fun to battle those who came before you - Use your aggression in a more productive way.

Though I highly doubt you’ll take the advice if past history is any indication.

Go ahead, bring on the evil comments. I can take it because in the end my skin is thick enough to shake my head and sigh. Then smile because I’ll be helping the writers who want the help and both of us will be padding our bank accounts with client work that pays while you waste hours you could have been writing for money by being an evil online troll.

Sucks to be you.

I won’t stop posting my advice and suggestions because there have been a few people who have seemed to genuinely benefit from what I’m putting out there. But I won’t engage with people who feel it’s their duty to be a tool just to look like a big shot.

This isn’t grade school people, it’s the internet. Get over yourself.

And now I’m going to get over myself and get back to doing what I do for a living. Writing for writers who want to make money. Just like me.

• • •

I'm Jenn, a Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger for hire and owner of Copywrite That. I can write your blog posts, articles, emails, newsletters, web copy and more. Contact me today: info[at]copywritethat[dot]com

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Year Over...

When I created our cards this year my main focus was to share a little bit of everything we did throughout the year. I didn't want Christmas card specific, more of an overview instead of just holiday. And man, did we ever have a busy 2013!

Some other people made it onto the card - we were in two weddings (1 each, Matt and me), had family and friends in town multiple times, traveled, started some home renovation and even waited so long for a table at a restaurant the baby occupying it started to grow a beard. Or something like that.

2013 started out great, we celebrated the New Year with some friends and had a nice quiet night with food, fun and a champagne toast. In February my aunt came to visit and we found ourselves at a Coyotes game in our short sleeves. Gotta love Phoenix!

Spring brought more fun stuff. In March we went to a spring training game where I got to see Terry Francona coaching the Indians and Matt got to enjoy his favorite sport in a cool ballpark. April was jam packed (a trip to Cali for Matt's birthday, touring Arena, The Run for Boston initiative, the Bruins made the playoffs...) but the biggest event was D&D flying across the country to get married at The Grand Canyon. It was amazing, a perfect spot for a wedding. A perfect wedding for a perfect couple! In May Matt's mom came out to visit and the three of us plus my mom went up to Sedona to explore and take pictures.

June was a milestone for me - I got to celebrate my 40th birthday! What a surprise it was for me too. After seeing a movie and hanging out all day with my mom & Wendy we came back to the house to find a back yard full of friends from Phoenix and Tucson and then I heard a first roomie, Keith, was somewhere in my house. His voice was coming through a speaker. And then he announced there was a surprise guest. My aunt Sue walked out my backdoor. I lost it. It was too much! So much love, so many people showed up to share my special day I couldn't have asked for a better fortieth birthday if I tried. Matt pulled it off...complete with graffiti and all.

July was pretty slim, we mostly just hung out in the pool all month, but Wendy came up a bunch of weekends while dealing with an out of order air conditioner. We all got to spend the weekend of her birthday together as well. And enter bearded baby.

The end of summer brought the beginning of us tearing apart the house - tile up, fireplace and wall down. That was about all we did in August. It's still going but getting closer to done.

In September we saw the Tucson Botanical Gardens and we did the Walk to End Alzheimer's. Plus we spent a good chunk of time in California. For our anniversary in September we went to see Dave Matthews Band in Chula Vista. Never a bad time at a Dave show - I danced my ass off all night long.

In October we headed out to another wedding when my sister's close friends got hitched right on the beach in Laguna at sunset. Ah-mazing! October also saw me increase my client list and start making a real income which was awesome. And we had all our drain plumbing replaced, which wasn't as awesome but certainly makes it more functional around here now.

Matt rounded out the year of weddings in November when he stood as a groomsman for one of his oldest friends. We were on a plane and back on the east coast in Washington D.C. for that one. Met so many amazing people, made some new friends and even got to spend some time with family while we were in the Maryland neck of the woods.  Matt & Wendy's boyfriend both went ice skating for the first time and Wendy & I both got on skates for the first time in the better part of a decade. That was fun! Having Thanksgiving with my mom, Matt, my in-laws and my Step-MIL's daughter and family was so much fun and a great way to end November.

December so far has been a great month for bringing closure to another calendar year. Between home improvement store shopping and installation of flooring and a brand new guest bath we've seen tons of Christmas lights, taken a trip to Tucson and I've helped my mom prep and paint her house.

By the time January 1, 2014 rolls in we'll have also been to another hockey game and toasted with a rendition of the Boston Pops on TV.

I had a great year, so much fun, family, friends, food, travel and adventure its hard to believe it all squeezed onto a tiny 4" x 8" Christmas card. But the back really says it all about 2013:

I can't wait to see what 2014 brings! Have a safe, festive and Happy New Year everyone!

• • • • • • • • • • •
Content Marketing Strategist and Blogger for hire, Jenn has over 12 years of freelancing experience. Let her write your next webpage, blog post, article or newsletter. Get in touch with her today info [at] copywritethat [dot] com

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How Cute are You Thinking I Have Time for Personal Stuff!

I swear, if I start one more blog post talking about how I don’t have time to blog, read blogs, comment on blogs I’m just going to…


Probably do nothing because I don’t even have time to turn this car around.

And I just became an old person from the '80's. Super.

So how has your month been? Mine has been recoculously busy. But you knew that since I’ve managed to fall off the face of the blogosphere. Again. Or Still. I’m not sure which applies here. Maybe both.

Anyway, I’d obviously know how all of you are doing if I got my ass over to blogger every once in a while to read stuff. And I miss all of you. And I’m sorry I had to let something slip when work picked up. And I’m sorry that was this blog.

Because want to know a secret? I enjoy writing over here and reading about everyone’s everything far more than any of the work I’m doing right now.

Okay so it wasn’t really a secret. I guess the real secret is to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

I wished I could make money blogging and writing. And poof! After only a year of head pounding and 5 years of pushing myself to the breaking point I finally make enough to buy groceries every month. (Sometimes.)

Hooray right?

Uh, not so much. I should’ve been more clear.

What I’d really like is to be making enough that, I don’t know, I could actually live on it without having to go on the welfare or learn how to spin around a pole to financially survive.

You know, a real living wage would be nice. Like a lot of the writers I know or bloggers I read.

They’re doing it every day so I can too. Right? I can make a living blogging. Right?

Which, of course, brings me back to this blog.

As much fun as this blog is to write, as much enjoyment I get out of reading up on everyone’s lives and keeping in touch, no matter how much I love to rant and rave about whatever randomness crosses my mind there’s only one Tucker Max in the world and I ain’t him.

AKA - I’m not getting paid for this shit so spending my words over here when I could be cold pitching someone that might help me pay my bills won’t cut it.

AKA – Client work has to come first.

AKA – I love my job but I’m not doing what I really love for my job right now.

AKA – Lots of things have changed and I have to roll with it.

I feel the Catch-22 actively happening every day where I’m standing on the edge of some kind of career success but then I miss my old life where I could write over here and keep up with everyone but then I realize doing that didn’t pay the bills but then I remember how fun it is to write on this blog all the time.

And I spin out of control until I convince myself I should just focus on this for another 6 years without being able to support my family.

And that’s usually when I pull myself back, don’t let myself pursue my career ambitions and allow myself to fail so I can blame it on a million other things than my own fear of success.

But this time I’m not going to do that.

This time I’m going to let all of this fade away if necessary so I can push forward. If I find there’s time (like this morning) I’ll pop in and write a little something. (Not a bunch of crap about how I don’t have time to write/read here anymore, that stops now.)

But if I find that client work is eating up all of my time I’m not going to stress if you all take me off your reading lists, stop connecting and tell me to pound sand…

“You want us to read you and you can’t even read us? Uh, suck it, Jenn.”

Because life has changed. A lot. Things that used to be important can’t be important in the same ways anymore. Things that used to suck my time and energy have had to fall off the back end no matter how much fun I had doing them. Because I have to be responsible for my business ventures.

And right now my business is growing.

It needs water and love and attention and all that other crap that I’m usually not very good at but have to learn how to do.

So I’m not shutting this blog down or anything but don’t be surprised if my writing here is sporadic at best over the next 6-12 months.

If you want to stay in touch you can follow me on twitter.

Or feel free to friend me on Facebook because, although teens have decided the site is so last decade, I’m apparently getting closer to their target age demographic every day.

• • • • • • • • • • •
Content Marketing Strategist and Blogger for hire, Jenn has over 12 years of freelancing experience. Let her write your next case study, press release, blog post, article or webpage. Get in touch with her today info [at] copywritethat [dot] com