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

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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, April 30, 2008

From the lovely Gail McMeekin's latest newsletter...

Success Strategies for Creative Souls #85: Spring Clean Your Creativity

This time of year is a perfect time to take an inventory of what's happening with your creative process. Is it musty? Is it dusty? Is it broken or out of date? Just like in your garden, spring is the ideal time to clear out the weeds and start over or add to or refresh your look and functionality. To help you to get started, here are some tips:

1) Start with the space where you create. Do you have everything you need? It's a great time to replace scissors or get new software or rearrange things so they work better.

2) What can you throw out? A client of mine just tossed an essay that she's been working on all winter as she decided that she was no longer inspired enough by it to go through the magazine submission process. Another client of mine just threw out all her old paint and bought new brushes too. Still a third client is going to get rid of one website and combine it with her main one. Subtraction is a powerful creativity enhancer.

3) What do you want to add in to spark your inspiration? Do you need a book, a class, a buddy, a coach or new materials of any kind? Is it time to write in a cafe for a while or paint outdoors or try a different musical instrument? What do you feel fascinated by today that may be new and different?

4) What limiting beliefs do you need to dig up? I have one client who is trying to draw animals and can't let herself just have fun with it as she feels the first one has to be the masterpiece. No wonder she can't get started! Spring is a time of expansion and a wonderful opportunity to take some risks--so get out of the house and visit someplace new and experiment with your talents and abilities. Enjoy yourself.

5) Celebrate what is working for you and see if you can enhance it. Barbara is working on a multimedia production and finds that surfing the web before she starts gets her jazzed up. Now she is going to add going to a music library to work one day a week to get her even more tuned into possibilities.

Let the seasons guide your creative cycles and open you to new blossoms and growth spurts!

Special Coaching Offer Gail has space for a few new coaching clients and have a discount offer of 3 sessions for $550.00--a $50.00 savings. So if you are ready to activiate your creativity, discover fulfilling work, restore inner balance, and/or grow your business, email Gail with your agenda at Gail@creativesuccess.com and we will help you to figure out What's Next for You!

link | posted by Kristen at 8:31 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Creative Event

The ICON5 Illustration Conference in New York City is coming up from July 2-5, 2008. Visit the ICON5 website for information on the schedule, speakers and more. Registration is now open!! My buddy Von Glitschka along with noted illustrator Keri Smith are attending.

ICON5 will be held in New York City at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. This year's theme, The Big Picture, is more than a slogan, it is the perspective through which we see our future – a future of limitless possibilities for illustrators as thinkers, story tellers and providers of creative content. The conference promises to examine and discuss the current creative and economic forces that our industry faces today.
Got this heads up from the lovely Christine at Sparkletopia!

link | posted by Kristen at 10:27 AM | 0 comments

Credit: http://amyd.tumblr.com/

I have been thinking about my next book. I know, I haven't even gotten through my first signing on Book #2 (new blog for that!) but I just need to be writing a book. It's just that sort of deep desire that I know has come from God. Plus, I love writing books.

Settling on a topic has been so difficult. When I was writing my first two books (and working on a memoir that never came to fruition), these things came naturally. But now, the doors have flung open and every sort of idea has flown in. Thoughts about life in my 30s and even writing a childrens book are in my head. Floating.

Every time I think I have the idea down, I'm not so sure about it. I'm not one to struggle with this sort of thing. It's not that I won't be able to "just write" when I get the idea down--because I will. I never sit around wallowing in the writer's block thing...I'm lucky like that. I just need the idea.

What ideas are floating around in your mind?

link | posted by Kristen at 10:06 AM | 0 comments

Monday, April 21, 2008

Artwork by Marisa Haedike: http://www.creativethursday.com/blog/

I've been thinking a lot about networking lately. And how different it is for creatives. What can make it unique for someone living off their talents as opposed to other business people?

  • We're promoting ourselves, which can feel odd although it's vital

  • We're not sure where to network--industry organizations can get too competitive and we wonder if we can compete with the big guys

  • We are focused on doing everything online--is LinkedIn it?

  • We don't have a solid elevator pitch

  • We tend to be isolated and sometimes shy or all too eager to get out of the house

  • We're still not sure we need networking to help our business

  • We don't care about the business aspect--we just want social interaction

  • We don't want to spend money without a secure ROI

There are no black-and-white answers when it comes to this. How do you know where to go? What will you say? Will you be able to compete against the big guys? There are tons of questions that many creatives have when it comes to this, and I am included. As someone who has done a little bit of networking, I realize its importance. However, I'm not sure I found the right outlets in the past, so I'm on the lookout for new opportunities and trying to seize them. It's hard.

That's why I'm interested to hear what you have to say about networking. How can creatives network despite the unique challenges we face--and what are the advantages?

Sound off!


Snaps to the gals at Startup Princess, now an awesome webzine!

link | posted by Kristen at 10:43 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


First off, I became an aunt today. My dear friends M and B had their first child, Kenneth. I haven't even met him yet but I already adore him. I have been so close to them, especially during the pregnancy. I am genuinely happy for them, and I think that's why they recognize me and Tim as family, and why Baby Whang will know us as Aunt and Uncle. I could not be happier.

Welcome to the world, little Kenneth. I cannot wait to get to know you and see the world through your beautiful eyes.

Then I had a great talk with a friend today about being such a Type A. Being a Type A is good, but then I think about B. As in, I don't know how to just be sometimes.

Then I read Andrea's post today. She was talking about taking time to just create and gosh, I haven't done that in forever. I rushed through beading a necklace last week to "relax." In fact, I usually have to do something in order to relax. I am hardly ever kind to myself when I'm doing nothing, always pushing myself to do more.

My friend reminded me today to be just as loving when I'm not doing much. And that just because my life isn't where I ideally want it, it's still great. And I don't have to get frustrated. And if I do, that's okay, too.

This being gentle with yourself thing is really vital for creatives. Especially ones like me with a habit of beating herself up.

How are you kind to yourself?

link | posted by Kristen at 3:54 PM | 0 comments

Monday, April 14, 2008

Buy this book here.

One of the main gripes of many freelancers is dealing with problem clients. But when you deal with a client who is a creative--and also gives you a problem--it's just kind of...hard. You'd think as creative freelancers, we're all in this together.

Not for all of us.

Case in point: I accepted some work for a fellow creative to edit some of the content on his site. The whole time, in addition to offering a very affordable price, he said he was pleased with my work. When I had other obligations and told him when I would start his project and that I wanted to be honest and upfront before I started about my availability, he said he was fine. Part One of the project had passed and was paid for. Wonderful. He told me about doing more work and I emailed to confirm finishing the first part and about moving on. Never heard back.

I planned on emailing him this week so we could pick up and get back on track but didn't have a chance. Not only had he emailed me to tell me he didn't want to continue--he was rude about it, too. Then everything came out--he wasn't so pleased, he felt he was rushed...all the things he couldn't communicate before when things were going his way.

Sometimes you have to look at the way a client communicates (and in my case, you can then see why their communications need so much help!) to see that they're not someone you'd like to work with. Instead of emailing me to duck in, to see if he missed an email or something, he rudely cut me off. He assumed.

And boy, he made an ass of himself.

I would never treat a client like that, let alone a fellow colleague!

But that's fortunate for you, dear readers. You can learn from my experiences, I hope. Let's just hope that should you deal with a fellow creative, you remember that the lines of professionalism still exist, and you should stay within them!

This guy didn't know a line from...an "m dash."

As for this poor fella, he made a fool out of himself. I was going to refer him to a huge client of mine, but I'm glad he showed his true colors in time. Things have a way of working themselves out like that. Even though I got axed, so to say, it doesn't count if it's by someone rude and unprofessional.

Just goes to show you how you don't want to do business! And it makes you appreciate those out there who are polite, who are respectful and who realize that professionalism is key even when you get to work in your PJs!

link | posted by Kristen at 12:11 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Snaps to Joy!

Her notebooks were featured on a segment on Good Morning America this morning as part of a selections from Grace at Design*Sponge and Domino on Eco-Friendly pieces and going green indoors. Click here and scroll down to "Going Green Indoors" to see the full piece.

Got news on your creative endeavors? I'd love to feature it here!

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

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Creative Success

Congrats to Marisa Haedike, whose designs are now featured by Urban Outfitters. I'm always so proud of "my creatives" when they hit big--and mainstream. While art is a personal thing, it's great to be in business and have it recognized.

Snaps, girlfriend.

link | posted by Kristen at 10:16 AM | 0 comments

A great article on how to do your own SEO by this fabulous smart dude, Chris Bennett. He talks about keyword density versus good copy that utilizes keywords. He talks about meta data and more--but makes it all easy to understand. Article is courtesy of elance.com.

Did I mention I'm addicted to http://www.Twitter.com? Come search for me, my username is acousticgroupie. I'll gab your ear off.

link | posted by Kristen at 8:55 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

it's the release of my book day!
(this is NO april fool!)

buy it here.

link | posted by Kristen at 2:49 PM | 1 comments

In search of new friends on Twitter--my username is acousticgroupie. Find me!

link | posted by Kristen at 10:31 AM | 0 comments