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Last week I submitted a post, Freelance writing: canned or creative,  about this really neat content site, Ad Astra Traffic that I actually stumbled upon by accident. As noted, I applied to do some freelance writing for them and was accepted. Well, they had a contest (the fun started right from the beginning), where the winner would receive a T-shirt. Sadly, I must admit, I rarely enter contests, and what’s even more rare, is to win one.

But, I WON!!! I WON! I won the contest! Take a gander at my new t-shirt:

Ad Astra Traffic T-shirt

Yep - It's mine!

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that since the (short-term) beginning of my association with Ad Astra, it has been great. I have gotten to know some of the people and their personalities through FaceBook, Twitter and other online forums, and I am glad to be associated with these professionals.

To my writer friends–you really should check it out. Who couldn’t use a few extra bucks. The last project I completed was really neat. I loved the subject and I learned so much about it. Because of the parameters set out for the assignment,  at times I actually felt I was a character in the project. Anyway…I will not keep droning on about it. You can see for yourself.

To my other business associates–you should really check it out. The content and services they provide are top notch.

All in all, I want to say that being a winner is much more than winning a T-shirt, even though that was pretty nifty. A winner, technically defined, is someone who is “successful or has achieved something notable; a victor”. We each have the potential of being a winner.

Being a winner is a mindset–really. We are all successful at something and achieve notable feats every day.

I encourage you to take on the mindset of the winner you are today. Achieve your dreams, or at the very least, set out on the path and walk toward your goal.

Another person who inspires me is Alex Fayle, founder of Someday Syndrome. A mentor for the ultimate procrastinator, Alex offers solid advice and sound techniques about getting beyond the “roundtuit” attitude. However, that’s another blog for another time.

Until later, see you around the path!

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Having the opportunity to do freelance writing is cool. Writing, as I have expressed before, is my passion. The passion drives my purpose–opportunity of expression while making a difference in others lives. However, in the world of freelance writing, as is in other types of work,  it is not always ideal. There are times–a lot of times–when we become “content machines” simply pumping out technical, or otherwise, generic information to make ends meet.

With that being said, it is refreshing to happen upon a client where the opportunity to create–really create–quality content is available. This happened to me lately. It was by happenstance I stumbled upon Ad Astra Traffic.

Carson Brackney, founder of Ad Astra had commented on a blog post at one of my favorite sites, The Freelance Writing Jobs Network and I like what he had to say, so I checked out his blog. It was there I found out about Ad Astra and its up-and-coming debut, October 13, 2009. There was an invitation for writers to apply, so I did.

I was very excited to be accepted on the Ad Astra team and found site access for writers very user friendly. Everything you need is there. Available assignments, delivery guide instructions, and invoicing.

My first assignment with Ad Astra was way cool. I enjoyed the topic and the various approaches I was able to take with the articles assigned. Payment was prompt–the next day after deliverables and invoice sent.

As I got into it, I began to realize what an opportunity it is to work with Carson Brackney and Diana Penna, co-founder of Ad Astra.  This Web site content writing site may be new, but the founders are not new to the business.

I just wanted to take time to let my world know about Ad Astra Traffic–seriously–if you need your Web site updated, started, or other promotional content vamped check out the site.

Until later, see you around the path!

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Early morning in AlabamaAbandoning my writings about small town living for a while to pursue my purpose–living my dream–I knew it was time to get back to the small town talk. Small town talk is a part of my passion–dream.

Having moved to a larger city now, the daily experiences of small town America are somewhat removed. Yet, I meander down the path of my memories.

Working as a temp in small town Texas was way cool. A long-term assignment brought me across the path of, let’s call him, Jack.

No matter the circumstance, weather, time or day, Jack always entered the office with a resounding MORNIN’ (say that with a southern boys accent) through a smile as big as Dallas cracking his face.

A self-proclaimed energy drink addict, Jack exuded optimism and of course, energy. Co-workers would be half laid across their desks, moaning about their headaches, woes and general distress about work or life. But when Jack came in most everyone would perk up and shake off the funk over their heads.

I found the whole thing amusing–Jack, my co-workers and the overall dynamic. No matter, I liked to see Jack come in, too.

My point? Jack made the best of things, at least at work. Jack viewed every day as another day in paradise. Whether consciously or not, he wanted to make an impact on the lives of others, and impact he did.

Jack chose to make his choices on purpose.

Long gone from the area and job, I will never forget Jack’s daily greeting, and his impact on my life and others in that small town.

Mornin’

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The Time Trap

“My, how time flies!”  What a familiar adage–time does seem to fly by, especially in a virtual world. If you don’t keep up with your social networks, keep your posts, thoughts and other such stuff moving each day, you can fall off the map of the virtual–albeit now–corporate world.

Having faithfully followed The Freelance Writing Jobs Network since beginning my freelance journey, I have been turned on to some great job leads. While pursuing some, testing and otherwise preoccupied with work, I realized I have not kept up with my virtual world presence recently.

BIG mistake in the freelance business. I may have missed out on my “discovery” by the perfect publisher or company looking for someone just like me. Worse yet, I lose track of what’s happening as far as the latest and greatest in freelancing and the social environments. One saving grace is just as quickly as you drop off the map, you can place yourself back on. The key is consistency.

Even though I am an award-winning editor and journalist (from the past), as the years passed I worked in other areas beside writing and I became rusty.

Being caught up in corporate affairs, dealing more with people and personalities versus writing, put me at a disadvantage. For most people those experiences would only add to their niche, or online personality; but as you can see, I am still trying to find mine.

When I got my first freelance “paying job” I felt like the tin man on the Wizard of Oz. The feeling of being stuck out in the rain and suddenly unable to function in my normal realm. Writing always came naturally to me, but when facing a deadline, I somehow freeze. So I thought freelancing would somehow magically remove the deadline stress from my life. Wrong.

Wrong, if you need to earn a certain amount of money and have to work feverishly to make it and do not have a plan. The stress mounts as each deadline approaches.  It is the same kind of “bad” stress found on a job situated away from your home which caused many of us to make the decision to freelance.

Working at home did not make me “at home” with that vision I somehow conjured up, of wandering around the house, doing whatever I pleased and writing when I wanted too. It can mean that, but it takes balance. Balance and a plan.

Learning to balance your day is vital in freelance work. At first my family and friends thought I was “off work” and at home now, so they could call on me, or expect that I could drop everything to meet their needs. After all, I wasn’t really working–I was just writing online–from home no less.

It can take some time to help family and friends understand that you are at work. It is vital you set work hours for yourself and stick to them, and things will fall into place as it relates to your earnings and freedom. The vision I had about enjoying a morning cuupa joe while listening to the sounds of birds sing is now, a reality.  It can be done. It just takes discipline, balance and a plan.

Best of luck on your freelance journey. Let me know what you have discovered along the way.

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Freelancing for free?

When starting this blog I was beginning a new chapter in my life–freelance writing. I didn’t just put my toe in the water, I jumped in.

After setting up a workstation in my home, researching everything time would allow about how to get started as a freelance writer, I began checking out potential sites from GetAFreelancer to Helium and everything in-between.

I joined every social network I could find that may be a benefit, but I had yet to make a buck. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was spinning my wheels with most residual or bid sites like those mentioned previously and for me, this was confirmed with a recent post on The Freelance Writing Jobs Network, a must see, must follow site to learn the ropes of freelancing, get respectable leads, and engage with some of the fields top experts.

I began content writing for Demand Studios which provides steady work and decent pay for the guidelines, plus they publish my work on some of their sponsored sites, such as e.How.com and LiveStrong.com. However, I didn’t stop there, because I have yet to build my own client base or connect with the right situation allowing me true freedom to freelance and live.

What are some of your experiences with getting started in freelance writing or advice to others launching out on their journey? Let’s talk.

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