Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

My Photo
Location: Point Pleasant, New Jersey, United States

30-something Jersey gal working as a freelance writer. Starbucks addict, beach-lover, kitty mother.

Creatively Self-Employed Website

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Freelance Radio Episode 3

The third episode of Freelance Radio, the official FreelanceSwitch podcast is now online and ready for your listening. As always, we cover a huge number of topics, from specialization to blogging, from fee structure to using your company’s clients. I’m a bit biased, but I’d have to say this is another can’t miss episode!

Subscriptions to the podcast are available via iTunes and an archive of all podcasts will appear in the podcast section. We hope you enjoy it!

Click to Continue »

link | posted by Kristen at 8:51 AM | 0 comments

Friday, October 26, 2007

Quick Links

Boostrapper has listed The 100 Best Business Finance Posts of All Time, on everything from funding to spending to money management.

And here's another great post from Women's DISH about "fembots."

"Thanks to www.feministing.com for the heads up about this tidbit that ran on the Today Show a few weeks ago. Apparently, if you don't have kids, and instead, focus on your career, there is a good chance that you are "emotionally unavailable" and therefore a fembot. But, wait, these "working women" (an editor from Marie Claire, a psychologist and a Today Show interviewer), didn't mean "fembot" in a negative way ... huh? While if you really listen, they don't classify "all" working women with no kids as fembots, but you really have to listen to figure that out.

Unfortunately there are too many bad inferences in this piece including the fact that "unmarried" is a mental illness; and that men who don't marry are simply "bachelors," but women who don't marry are either spinsters or fembots? Neither one is flattering. I'll have to admit, after watching this, I'd have a hard time ever reading Marie Claire or watching The Today Show again.


link | posted by Kristen at 12:27 PM | 4 comments

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I started reading this book recently. I know there's tons of hype about the book, and despite the title making me laugh, I spent the $15 to buy it.

Why on earth did I do that? I'm only about 70 pages in, but this guy is dreaming. I think it's great some of his time management talk (80-20 rule? I subscribe!) but the rest is...totally unpractical. Outsourcing my work to India? Why? I love being a writer. And most of my agreements stipulate that I have to do the work. So, no. I won't be going overseas to sub out my work while I galivant in Prague or something.

I'm sure I'll be bringing up more banter about this book in the future. Has anyone else read it? What are your thoughts?

link | posted by Kristen at 1:14 PM | 5 comments

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well, this is just great.

RI, NJ and NY Ranked Worst for Small Businesses
From the New York Post:
New York's punishing taxes give it the third worst business climate of any state, a new report says...

"What I see is that New York has an overly complicated tax system," report co-author Curtis Dubay told The Post...

The only states that fared worse, according to the report, are Rhode Island, which ranked dead last, and New Jersey, which came in at 49th of the 50 states.

For the complete story, click here.

link | posted by Kristen at 1:48 PM | 1 comments

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Besides the FreelanceSwitch.com podcast, FreelanceRadio, I have a slew of other podcasts that I love. One is HipTranquilChick. I hadn't listened all summer, so I'm starting to go back through Kim's weekly shows.

One that I loved was July 7th show, about Tranquility Tools.

hip tranquil chick podcast #89: tranquility tools

Kim lists her Top 10 Tranquility Tools, most are the same as mine.

Here's what gives me balance. Art journaling. Writing. Deep breathing. Listening to podcasts in bed. Savoring good tea--usually from a coffeehouse. Exercise and stretching. Knitting. Beading. Painting. Blogging.

I think these things are so vital to keep us balanced. I struggle with balance so much. Not having enough work or having too much. Having work that zaps me. I need more balance and the thing is that I need to make time to balance myself before I hit rock bottom (a.k.a. too stressed to function).

What are your tranquility tools?

link | posted by Kristen at 10:00 AM | 0 comments

The second FreelanceSwitch podcast is now online and ready for your listening. This week we cover lots of issues, but the highlight has to be Dickie’s amazing strategy for pitching to new clients. All the panelists were very impressed by this one. So if you’re looking to expand your client base then don’t miss this episode!

iTunes subscriptions to the podcast are available here and an archive of all podcasts will appear in the podcast section. We hope you enjoy it!

Subscribe to Freelance Radio on iTunes

You can subscribe on other podcast aggregators by using our podcast feed.

link | posted by Kristen at 9:46 AM | 0 comments

Friday, October 12, 2007


Last night I could hardly get to bed. I had that feeling where I was so excited to wake up and start the day all over again. I wanted to get back to work.

As you probably read in previous entries, I have been making really great changes to my work life. I'm not saying I won't get bogged down or stressed out again, but I think I've mentally come to a place where I respect myself and my talent enough not to deal with toxic or poorly paying clients. Really, it's not about money. It's about what makes me happy.

I used to think it was impractical to just let a well-paying client go. The one that pays decently but treats you--well, not so great. But if you take baby steps it's not so hard. For me, cutting back on work with a client has opened me up to more opportunities, and they are flowing in like rushing water.

I haven't felt so good in such a long time. Like the possibilities are endless and I am refreshed.

link | posted by Kristen at 12:07 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


It was only a couple of days, but my trip up to CT/Mass did the trick. Even though travel can be a little stressful and being up in the middle of nowhere was a little culture shock, it was really nice to get away. We spent the afternoon at http://www.cranwell.com up in the Berkshires. $25 for an all day pass to the spa. A GREAT deal to use the steamroom, sauna, pool and whirlpool. Re-lax-ing.

So now it's back to work. And before I left, I was all eager to make this huge change in my work life. I still am. I wnat to get back to the excitement that I had when I first started on my own. But maybe I'll never quite get there. Maybe it's like a marriage. The beginning is magic but if you learn to appreciate things when they settle, there's real intimacy there. Maybe my career will go to a different level. Still wonderful, like that newlywed phase, but seasoned.

I'm personally working on:

  • Dropping bad clients completely
  • Cutting down working for clients that zap me and treat me poorly
  • Attracting more well-paying copywriting jobs
  • Making more time to focus on "fun" stuff like magazine writing and book writing
  • Stopping the urge to follow up with "next week" clients and trying to revitalizing fizzled relationships
  • More time to focus on marketing
It's a long list. But I'll do it like always and take baby steps!

NEWS: Have you heard my podcast at http://www.freelanceswitch.com? It's also on iTunes and it's called Freelance Radio. Check it out!

link | posted by Kristen at 5:44 PM | 0 comments

Monday, October 01, 2007

How To Proofread Your Own Writing
A Writing Skill You Must Have!

Proofreading is a must! It's also difficult to proofread your own work because you're so close to it--you know what's coming next. These tips can help:

1. Pay extra attention to your word processor's spelling check. It's easy to miss the cues when you're in the heat of writing or editing.
2. Print the manuscript and read it out loud. This slows you down so it's easier to spot errors, and your ear will also pick up things that need to be changed.
3. Put the manuscript aside for at least 24 hours - several days is better. You will see it with fresher eyes.
4. Ask someone else to read it. Make it clear you only want them to spot spelling errors and totally unclear sentences, not their opinion or editing.
5. Read the manuscript backwards, from the last word to the first. If it's too long to do this efficiently, read difficult passages backwards.

Proofreading Tips:
Proofreading should be done after you're finished with editing. It's the last step before submitting a manuscript.

Pick readers carefully. Make sure they know they are proofing only. Well-meaning friends can sometimes cause more problems than you need.

Proofreading is a must! It's not fun, and it's not easy, but it often makes the difference between rejection and acceptance.

link | posted by Kristen at 10:11 AM | 2 comments