A Round-Up of Worthy Links

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I am  a Link Hound, a Research Ho, and I’m going to share with you some of the best links I’ve found on the ‘net the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, there’s something here that will inspire you, help you, or amuse you. If so, please leave a comment on the site you visit, or leave me one here . Enjoy!

Helpful:

A brand new forum of internet marketers, Simple Machines Forum promises to be THE place to be for all things related to getting your business off the ground and running. It’s in the early stages yet, but there’s the potential for a great meeting of the minds and an opportunity to get in on the ground floor. I’ll definitely be picking some brain cells here.

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The New Year – Where Are YOU Going?

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Sometimes, in order to know where you’re going, you need to take a look back at where you’ve been. By the same token, it’s not good to dwell too much on the past — it’ll bite you hard, if you let it. The trick is, to take stock and the lessons learned, and hopefully apply them in the challenging times ahead.

This week between Christmas and New Year’s is a strange one, for me. My brain feels like it’s floating in limbo, I can’t remember what day it is, and it feels like free-fall. Maybe my choice of reading material (“World War Z – An Oral History of the Zombie War” by Max Brooks) or my movie viewing (“Children of the Corn”) has something to do with it – heh!

At any rate, I think I’ll use this time between years to take inventory and get a little more organized. Rest up, because the coming year will present a lot of challenges for all of us. The publishing business is changing rapidly; the economy is in the toilet and in spite of the Hope of Obama, it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. Job markets are shifting, and one of the most valuable skills to have right now is the ability to adapt.

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Happy Holidays

Thanks to all my readers for hanging with me here at Word Webbing. I hope you’re having the best holiday ever! I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your visits, comments, and good wishes.

I participated in something very interesting from the Before I Am Famous blog. Several people provided words/lines, and the owner of the blog fashioned a holiday poem that you can read here, titled “Broken Christmas Carol”. The last four lines are mine, but I bet you could have figured that out without me telling. Heh.

Poetry and the writing thereof is not usually my thing, but I have flashes now and then. What does a writer do? Say it with me, children — WRITERS WRITE.

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On that note, I shall go ingest some sugar and watch a movie. Take care, don’t overindulge, and enjoy your loved ones.

Happy Holidays.

(Frankly, I prefer “Festivus” and really like the “Airing of the Grievances” part. Heh.)

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The Pit of Despair

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Not having such a good couple of days…I knew the holidays would be tough. I miss my momma very much. I realize it’s only been a few months since her passing, but I guess I expected a little more of myself than I have.

Tonight, one of our favorite movies is on — The Princess Bride. I’m watching it for the second time, through a veil of tears. I miss her so much. And that’s all I really have to say.

“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone telling you differently is selling something.”

Appreciate your loved ones. Even the ones that can be a pain in the ass. Especially your momma.

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The Best Laid Plans

The writer, the written and the writing tool
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Like I was saying, making a list (no! please dont’ sing it again!) is a great way to maintain your motivation, work flow and inspiration. However, life can really knock one out of the park when it wants to. Thus, the deviation from my semi-regular blog posting. I have recovered from 48 hours in a coma to drag myself to the keyboard to post, in case you thought I fell into a black hole.

Because I have been keeping a list, I’m only a wee bit behind, and hopefully will be able to catch up and maybe even get ahead. Hey, a girl can dream.

The moral of this little story? Make plans, and the Universe laughs. Still, make them anyway. Amusing the Universe can’t hurt, right?

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My Ruminations of the Week (discuss amongst yourselves):

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Mondays Suck…

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That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, the life of a freelance writer. Doesn’t it sound glamorous? Fun? Easy? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but sometimes it’s none of those things. It’s not like digging ditches, don’t get me wrong, but I’m willing to bet that a freelance writer can expend as much energy and get just as dirty as a ditch-digger.

Can I get an AMEN??

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In my last post, I recommended making a list, checking it twice (go ahead and sing the rest of the song. I know you can’t resist, especially this time of year. You can cuss me out later) but remaining flexible. It’s too easy to lose your focus if you don’t have some kind of road map to guide you.

It will take you a bit of time to find your rhythym, and there will be plenty of distractions along the way. The phone will ring, someone knocks on the door, the kid throws up and has to be picked up from school, YOU throw up…the list is endless. Some things can’t be helped, but there are some factors you can control. (Not the puking, though. Sorry. Beyond your control.)

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Please, Get Me Though This Day!

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It’s a big transition from working for someone else to working for yourself. Not everyone is cut out for it; it takes discipline and Mad Organizational Skillz. A freelancer doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for the muse to hit. We all know she’s a tricky wench, and she’ll take a hike when you have most need of her. If you think freelancing is easy or doesn’t take a lot of time, think again.

Plan your day, but before you do that, determine which part of the day is most productive for you. Are you a morning person? Do you write better in the afternoon, or are you a night owl? It may take some time for you to figure out just what kind of a schedule works, but it’s imperative to recognize your work habits and utilize them to your best advantage.

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The Naked Writer

Night Call, Collect*
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To be a freelance writer, you have to possess the skills of a juggler, the flexibility of a contortionist, and have the thick skin of a rhinoceros. Oh, it’s a circus, make no mistake.

The definition of a writer, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Writer: (noun) One that writes.

That’s it. That’s all it says. It doesn’t mention the hours of work, the gallons of blood, the oceans of tears and sweat. One that writes. It doesn’t mention the fact you have to market yourself, that you have to have a working knowledge of the internet, how to run a blog, how to drive traffic or how to optimize your presence on the web. These all important skills we need as writers in order to be successful writers. (By “successful” I mean making a living. Even Stephen King has had to do book signings and promotional work.)

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Filling Your Basket

Blood Roses
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Today’s economy sucks, and we all know it. The daily news is rife with information about how difficult it is to work in ANY profession, and freelance writing is just one of them. Freelancing as a writer is difficult under the best of circumstances. Situations change on a daily, almost hourly, basis. What can you do to ride the waves?

Two words – flexibility and persistence, my friends. If flexible and persistent aren’t part of the vocabulary, it might be time to think of another profession. Work opportunities will come and go as fast as blinking your eyes. What might be a great paying gig today could be gone tomorrow. The competition is fierce, reliable job opportunities scarce, and staying motivated and focused can seem impossible.

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