Friday, September 26, 2014

So Many Updates, So Little Time

Other than my last rant post about my inner turmoil, I realized today that I haven’t shared anything since June. That’s just nuts!

So in what will probably be far too wordy a post for most people to deal with (unless you’re awesome of course) I’ll update you on the happenings of my entire summer in one easy to digest package.

Work took over my life, then crushed my soul, then made me realize hope is not lost

Life as a freelancer is going nowhere. And it’s kind of funny but I really don’t care. I mean, sure, having a teeny-tiny "income" was a side perk for a while but I honestly think I’m just over it.

I’m over doing great work with no feedback and no repeat business.

I’m over trying to help companies who absolutely could benefit from my help with their copy but who try to get me to take $15 for 2000 words of heavily researched writing because they saw some ad on a content mill where someone who doesn’t speak the same language as them promises to “write the quality contents” for money that no human can live on in this country.

I’m over apologizing for charging a professional fee for professional work or being outright laughed at for wanting to make a living running a business doing something I have oodles of experience doing and am pretty kick-ass at.

Over chasing people who don’t understand that a contract is a binding document.

Over having to ask my lawyer for help so I can make a measly $140 that was 6 weeks overdue.

Fucking freelancing.

Yup that’s right kids! If you want to run your own freelance writing business you too might be able to be poor, work your ass off well over 50 hours a week and be shunned from future work because you opted to take a weekend off instead of being a slave to your email!

This really is the life isn’t it?

Good thing my husband makes an income too because living on the street isn’t on my bucket list.

But all snarky realism aside this whole tragic dance taught me one incredibly important lesson:

I need to be in control of my own destiny.

And by that I mean realize my talents and put them to use for once.

I have kick-ass writing skills, am a detailed and organized business owner who never fails to deliver on time, over-delivers most of the time, applies creativity to all of my projects and charges appropriately and if other business owners can’t understand why that’s light years ahead of other freelancers then, in the immortal words of Burton Guster, they can just:

Suck iiiiiiiit.

So with all that said it should be crystal clear why my friend Kate and I are launching our very own venture and why I’m so freaking excited about it!

It’s called Blogging Your Book.

This is our “first student” logo, what do you think?

This venture couldn’t be more necessary for both of us.

I’m an author turned copywriter who has taken so many online courses now that my hard drive is probably hedging on max capacity of pdf documents. Kate is a ghostwriter and general web copy guru who is maybe even more tired of the trying-to-land-a-client run around than I am.

Last spring we went to a presentation together and had the biggest light bulb moment of our lives. (If you want to read about that experience check out our Go Team! Page)

We knew we could structure a course on how to promote yourself as a first time author with the most powerful form of marketing available online – a blog.

Since April we’ve been putting this thing together and I have to say that in all my years of learning about blogging/freelancing/copywriting for income, NOTHING has ever made me as excited as the possibilities that exist through this business venture we’ll be launching next spring.

We are dedicated to creating the best product possible.

We genuinely want to help authors get their stuff out there in the world.

We both know it’s time to take control back in our businesses and stop relying on the clients that never come to make our dreams come true.

It is SO TIME to make it happen for ourselves!

So the site is up and we’re slowly starting to populate the blog with content, get our newsletter together and craft some AMAZING module content so we can really give a quality class experience to all of these authors who have no idea what a platform even is let alone how to build one to sell their books.

(By the way, you’d be my new BFF if you’d sign up to get our newsletter which should start running in October sometime. It will have all kinds of great blogging for marketing tips and other stuff so get in now!)

In other news…

This will be happening in the next 3-5 years:

This is one of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s larger plans at 777 sq ft and it’s for their B-53 model. However, it is very likely that Matt will be using things like this as inspiration but designing our new, much smaller, more efficient and more functional house from the ground up all on his own.

I do love our house but after being here for a couple years (as well as being in Phoenix, still having weird sickness symptoms on and off that I attribute directly to this geographic region) we know this isn’t the right place for us for the long term. We have way too much house, way too much underutilized land, and far too big a pool for what we really need.

Aside from the heating and cooling costs to own a home this large in the desert there’s just the overall waste of space that the environmentalist in me can’t justify anymore.

So you can understand even more now why Blogging Your Book needs to get off the ground!

You want even more? Okay!

In late June we went back east to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. She was a beautiful and happy bride, the ceremony was just perfect and we felt so honored to be invited to share that special day with her and her amazing groom. Plus it was awesome just to get a few moments to see a good number of our family and friends we haven’t seen in far too long. The week flew by but we ended it on the best note ever:

You're damn right that's Bianchi's!

I also made this homemade toothpaste recently and it was the first step in living a bit more chemical-lite.

I’m planning to start experimenting with laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, Dryel/Febreze alternates and a lot of other household cleaning products. We already ditched the toilet bowl and bathroom cleaners in favor of vinegar and baking soda.

Matt hates the smell but it dissipates pretty quick and has good properties for killing germs.

And I finally quit smoking cigarettes. I’m only 5 days in but have switched exclusively to an e-cig. I’ve had a pang here or there but not letting it suck me back in. Hello, can’t really live chemical-lite and still smoke now can I?

However there are a few things I’m not going to stop doing that are still chemically based (even though I try to go 3-Free as often as possible) because, well, I just love doing it.

And more still…

This summer was the summer of concerts let me tell you!

I had the pleasure of feasting my ears on some artists who had about 5 people in the room as well as some who had 5000 or more. I was lucky enough to share these wonderful nights and day-drinking days with my sister, her boyfriend, my mom, my step-MIL and her sister, friends, and/or Matt.

Marc Norman, Tony Bennett, Bushwalla, and Mötley Crüe were all touring either local bars or cross-country venues. They were great and all but for the first time in way too long I got to hear and see the live musical stylings of Jason Mraz (with Raining Jane) who are touring a new album titled YES!

The album rocks. The show was so fucking kick-ass I could hardly contain my excitement. I still can hardly contain it! It was a rare appearance for my favorite wordsmith here in Phoenix and it was great to have a chance to be in the crowd. 13th row at that. Boom!

Saw a few ball games, bought our season tickets to the Coyotes (13 days!) and got to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary on the shores of California with Matt for the 3rd year in a row.

We spent time chilling with family, drinking with friends...and vice versa.

As ranty as my last post might have been about the way I go off the deep end sometimes, this summer is a perfect example of how much awesome there really is in my life.

I’m truly a lucky gal.

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Launna said...

Hey Jenn... I'm happy to see you posting again... you are such a great writer... I wish I could afford you as I'm well aware that you are a great writer. I'm joining up to your new blog for the news letter.

I hope this venture works out for you... I'll put this all over my social media too :-)

Have a great weekend :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Launna you are the best ever, thanks so very much! I hope you can find some use in the tips and tricks we offer, even if you aren't planning to blog as an author sometimes stuff like that can be universal :-) Thanks for stopping by my friend!

#1Nana said...

I never enjoyed the business side of freelancing...and I liked having to pay self-employment taxes even less. Now I write on contract and my employer pays social security and employment taxes. I admire all that you have accomplished in the past few years.

Could you really live in a tiny house? We just came back from 10 days in our RV. It's comfortable and has all the necessary comforts, but it's nice to be home and have some space.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks Jann, sadly the struggle right now with freelancing - realizing that the time spent chasing everything makes it not worth the time - has swayed me away.

We're not talking tiny (I couldn't do 400 or less sq ft permanently like some people do, that's way too small!) but a right size home would definitely be ideal. We don't have much and I plan to incorporate outdoor space as a big part of the home.

Rob-bear said...

Oh, Jenn: been there, done that, have the scars. Self-employment is not for the faint of heart.

But I'm glad you had a good summer, and I'm excited about your new prospects. (I'll even sign up!)

Ideal house, I'm told, should have about 800 sq. ft. But, well, whatever.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Rob-bear said...

I've heard it said that a place of about 800 sq. ft. is ideal. Ideal for whom, I'm not sure.

And for what it's worth, I signed up for your newsletter. I can read it while I'm getting ready to hibernate — which should come fairly soon.

Blessings and Bear hugs!