|One Smart Cookie:
As we're talking community in this month's edition of Word Nerd News, I thought it only fitting to grab some words of wisdom from uber-talented community manager Ryan Paugh
. As the founder of Brazen Careerist, he's the one who initially got me involved in the fledgling social network and, now, he's rocking the house with the brand-spanking-new Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC
). Ryan has this to say about finding success as an entrepreneur / business owner:
"Give up on your dream. What I mean by that is: don't start a business with the expectation that things are going to go exactly how you plan them to go. Successful businesses rarely match up with the founding vision.
Whenever I think I am becoming stubborn about a change that needs to happen in my business, I remember all of the really cool, failed business ideas I have seen come and go over the years. Changing something you feel attached to is difficult to do, but the alternative might be losing it altogether."
Tweep To Cyber-Stalk:
. As a total book nerd, I love following my favorite independent book shops on Twitter, and McNally Jackson (located in NYC's Soho), regularly tweets about fantastic lit events and new, exciting books. Which are your favorite book shop tweeps?
Other Can't-Miss Content:
I've talked a lot about diversifying, and how it can make your business even more secure. Even better? You don't have to start from scratch. Over at Copyblogger, Carol Tice provides 12 ways to turn your blog archives into cash.
Meanwhile, over at Men with Pens, James Chartrand challenges us to imagine a world in which we couldn't compete with our rates, but could only attract clients with our awesomeness alone. How would you stack up?
And on Freelance Folder, Laura Spencer created a highly bookmarkable list of the 50 questions you should ask yourself after six months of freelancing... I think you should reevaluate your biz every six months!
Wondering why your professional site is underperforming? Smashing Magazine may have the answers in their list of five copywriting errors that can ruin a company's website.
Moving on, if you've been using HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to find story sources, you may be interested in reading about the service's newest features.
Speaking of nifty resources, I was fascinated by this article on a college journalist who created an iPad app for recording interviews.
FINALLY, because you probably need to get out more anyway, here's an entrepreneur's guide to coffee shop etiquette.
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Hey there word nerds. Have you been taking advantage of this beautiful, summer weather? Have you??? (Okay, there's been an unbearable heat wave, but still.)
Last night, I was at the launch party for a tantric meditation CD (don't ask) when an ex-porn star (don't ask) asked me what I did for fun. "Well, I write..." began, and he interrupted me. "I didn't ask what you do for a living," he said. "I ask what you do for fun!"
The thing is, my professional and personal lives are closely tied together, and I have fun paying the bills. I know the same is the case for many of you, too. But he had a point. Was I missing out by not doing more? Was I lacking in story-worthy experiences because I spent my days in the condo, hugging my laptop to my chest while in the fetal position? Was I limiting myself by — gasp! — only socializing with Word Nerds!?
Oh calm down. I love you guys. And it really bums me out that you don't live closer. If you did, we could totally be reclusive together!
But the other day, I wrote a post for Ebyline on the importance of meeting more people, and it seems I haven't been following my own advice.
So this past month, I really pushed myself to experience more, and to befriend more (non word-nerdy) people.
I visited the Trojan Vibrations Truck when it was stopped in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and met sex educator and activist Logan Levkoff, plus a handful of other promoters of sexual health awareness.
I went to a BBQ thrown by a food blogger friend of mine and ended up deep in conversation with a documentary film producer, and also made plans for a traveling potluck dinner with another foodie couple.
I went to a wedding in New Hampshire, met someone who still worked full-time in book publishing, and also caught up with an old college friend who now has a thriving business creating custom furniture.
I went to a Debbie Gibson / Tiffany concert (don't judge!) with a woman I had previously only interacted with at my hoop dancing class. She does work as both a clown and a hoop dance instructor for children, and I'm pretty sure we're going to be BFFs.
I interviewed cancer survivors for an ebook I've been ghostwriting, and may have cried from inspirational overload.
I went to the aforementioned CD release party and met some pretty interesting folks, got invited to a sex party, and learned about some great tantric yoga workshops happening around the city.
So what does this have to do with you and your writing business?
1. Step away from your laptop at least once a week, and try something new. 2. Develop at least three story ideas based upon that one experience, or that one nifty person you met. 3. Send out those queries, dammit. 4. Land some fabulous assignments. 5. Collect a ton of money and immediately spend it all on books and handbags.
Well. If you feel as if your writing has gotten stale lately, it's probably because you haven't met anyone interesting lately, or experienced anything new and exciting.
Because lord knows, there's only so much writing mileage I can get out of that handful of sex parties I attended several years ago.
What I'm trying to say is:
If you're not living and experiencing life, you won't have anything worth writing about.
But before you go...
If you could use some help developing those stories ideas, or accomplishing anything else related to your freelance business, click here to purchase one of my one-on-one coaching packages.
Hugs - Steph :)