Exploring a Niche

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As I stated in my previous blog post Recharging the Batteries, the road trip we took provided some inspiration. Sometimes you have to step away from a problem to come back with fresh thoughts in your head and tackle things from a different angle. A lot of freelance writing advice I’ve been reading suggests that instead of being a jack-of-all trades and having a blog about everything, specializing in a topic is a better way to create writing samples.

Live, work, create

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Being a relatively new mom and part of a spontaneous, adventurous little party of three, why not write about our experiences? We are also fortunate enough to live in Florida, so we’re pretty much always outdoors. Why not write about our outdoor lifestyle? It might seem like a no-brainer now, but this was something I hadn’t considered. They say write about what you know, so I figure I’ll give it a shot. I definitely have lots of content for the subject.

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Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

I tried to rename neurotic305 to familyoutdoorlife, but I can’t do that unless I pay for a WordPress plan and I’d like to develop more of a following before I spend any money on the blog. I’ll keep this one for my random thoughts and the other specifically for the topic. So, if anyone is interested, I’ll see you over on familyoutdoorlife.wordpress.com and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

 

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Recharging the Batteries

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Ah, summer. The time most people relax and enjoy the long days and warm nights. Pools, beaches, tropical drinks, and barbecues. Well, not this girl. I’ve been completely immersed in writing. Whether it’s creating blog posts and articles for the sites I’ve been approved on or researching and learning everything there is to know about becoming a freelance writer, trying to figure out how to make this a well-paying full-time gig has become all-consuming for me.

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Monetizing, affiliate marketing, how to find clients and write pitches, funnels, creating content and trying to find work on more sites…I was quickly becoming overwhelmed and wondering if I hadn’t bitten off more than I could chew. So when the opportunity to take a road trip presented itself, I realized I had to unplug.

view of St. Lawrence River

NY across the St. Lawrence River from Brockville, Canada

We drove from Florida to New Jersey and spent time with family there. Then my adventurous partner suggested since we had already gone so far, what could a few more hours up to Montreal hurt? And once we were in Canada, why not go back down through Niagara Falls?

Oh and we did it all with our toddler.

Although it was a bit daunting since she will only tolerate but so many hours of being strapped to the car seat, we managed. We were even able to sneak in a few easy trails (thank God for our BabyTrend jogger stroller) and saw some amazing scenery. Hiking was something we always enjoyed before baby came along, so now that she’s a little older and was able to tolerate the trip so well, there will definitely be more efforts made to ease back into the hobbies we enjoyed before we became parents.

father pushing baby in stroller

Family enjoyment is written all over their faces 🙂 All jokes aside, this BabyTrend stroller did save our lives!

The trip helped to recharge the batteries, seeing new sights provided fresh inspiration, and experiencing life on the road as a family helped create memories that won’t soon be forgotten. There are definitely levels to the whole work-life balance thing.  I’ll see if I can post more details on the trip and some of the sites we visited.

posing by forest stream

Recharging the Batteries!

Why I Took My Leap of Faith

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Well, I finally did it. I saved up enough money to quit a job that had been draining my soul!

Photo by Katika Bele on Unsplash

Photo by Katika Bele on Unsplash

And I’m using my newfound freedom to explore what has always been in the back of my mind, writing. I actually had to do a search of my old email account to find this account as I remembered, “Hey, I think at one point, I tried to start a blog once.”

Smh.

When I saw my three little entries from way back when, I was disappointed in myself, to be honest. I started something and didn’t follow through. If I would have stuck with it however many years ago, how much further along would I be now? Could I be one of these people who “made it” with their own blog?

Well, shoulda, coulda, woulda, right? No looking back now. This year is all about being positive, moving forward and making the changes I need to accomplish what I want in my life…to write and work remotely. Ahh yes, the dream of being location independent and able to make a living anywhere.

Photo by Fabian Grohs on Unsplash

Photo by Fabian Grohs on Unsplash

Since I’m a newbie in terms of getting paid to write, I’ve already created profiles and submitted writing samples for various (I believe the term is) “content mills”. I’ve read lots of articles from many experienced freelance writers who warn this is NOT the way to go. I get it, the pay is for shit, but at the end of the day, two or three cents per word is more than zero.

I’m just getting started, but I feel inspired and motivated to make my dreams a reality. If I have to get my feet wet writing for content mills, while I build up a portfolio, then so be it. I’ve already had a few blog posts I’ve created accepted and paid, so I’m excited to now be involved in content creation marketing. We all have to start somewhere and so far all I’ve done is sign up for supposed information from experienced freelance writers, which of course always turns out to be some wildly expensive writing course they want to sell you.

Do I want to know the secret of how an experienced freelancer made thousands a month for the low price of $1100??

Photo by Andre Guerra on Unsplash

Photo by Andre Guerra on Unsplash

Well, I’m going to take a guess that you persuaded a lot of people to fork over $1100! No thanks.

I’m going to take a crack at figuring things out my way. Of course, if anyone out there has some valid FREE advice, I’m all ears. Thanks for taking the time to read this and have an awesome day!

Case of the Mondays

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Yep. It’s Monday. My least favorite day of the week.  Spent the majority of it contemplating moving to some Caribbean island and opening a bar.  What would make my bar different though? How would it make money?  And I would need someone to come with me, otherwise I’ll have to do all the work myself and that would probably end up being more work than what I do now….Might have to rethink/shelve Caribbean bar plans for the moment…Especially since I can see myself drinking all of my profits and probably doing way more partying than working.  Hmm…make mental note to revisit Caribbean bar dream next Monday since said dream is actually turning out to be logistical nightmare.  Leave it to me to overthink even that!

 

Take me awayyyyyy…..great, now I’ve got the Natasha Bedingfield song in my head!

Recently a friend of mine shared with me that her job is whisking her away to a desirable city, with a cushy title and even shouldering her relocation expense.  Insert big sigh here.  Of course I’m happy for her, thrilled and plan to visit as soon as possible, but of course it made me take a hard look at my situation.  Do I like my job? Umm…yeah, that’s a big fat NO, please refer to previous blog entries.  And my friend’s promotion just added to the reasons why.  In spite of the fact that I do not like my job, I have a crazy work ethic and can not help but bust my ass.  I always give 100% minimum.  And what has my reward been exactly?  Praise followed by a heaping dose of…more work.  And it has nothing to do with money because I recently had to ask for an increase, given my ever increasing workload, and I got it, but it’s clear to me that no amount of money is going to make me happy here. 

 I think I should find one of those online tests/quizzes to see what is supposed to be your ideal job.  Lemme see….google and bam….983,000 results for career quiz….Fantastic! Ok…trying not to get daunted…Let’s start at the top….Typical, as I’m sitting here  trying to take an online quiz to decide what direction my life should take on my lunch break here comes the Wicked Witch of the West aka my boss with an emergency to bring my escape fantasies to a screeching halt and remind me I am her prisoner. BWAHAHAHA!

Seriously….save me! meep!

Proud of Myself Today

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For not calling in sick 🙂  Not exactly a great achievement you say? I beg to differ!  I loathe my job with every fiber of my being…to the point where every Sunday, the thought of Monday morning looms over my head like an ominous dark cloud (yes, like in the cartoons)…to the point where the thought of my alarm going off on Monday morning starts to interfere with my Sunday night enjoyment of True Blood’s display of Alcide naked torso…seriously disturbing!

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And living in the 305, waking up to perpetually sunny skies, the outdoors always beckons with its siren song.

So I spend all Sunday on my anxiety roller coaster every time I think about Monday and its inevitable ability to to make me question my reason for living.  By the way, this usually results in dreaming about the exact same place that I’m trying to avoid so that when the dreaded alarm does go off, it’s like a cruel joke in that I feel like I was already there!

So today kicked off with several rounds of snooze tag, during which I was actually awake, but engaged in an intense internal debate where I weighed the pros and cons of going to work.

Pros:  Money

Cons: Everything Else.

I tried to calculate the amount of paid time off I have left and do I really want to use it today? (YES!!)  Then I tried to remember how long its been since I last called in sick and was it on a Monday? (Probably…)  Then I started worrying about getting fired because I might be calling in sick once a month.  Why aren’t mental health days standard? I mean we all know 90% of the time we’re not sick, we’re sick of work! 

Of course while I’m trying reverse psychology on myself by listing all the things I should be grateful for including waking up, I start mentally chanting, At least I have a job, at least I have a job…while simultaneously searching Careerbuilder and Monster for jobs near me…in the US…in Canada…in Siberia!!! And of course, there’s nothing.  Because if I quit this job, it’s certainly not to take another assistant position (admin asst, executive asst, legal asst, creative asst) — no mas!!!  And for all of you out there who have an assistant, us assistants around the world know who is really getting the work done so at the very least, be grateful you pratts!

Still in bed, I rescan listings on the off chance I missed something.  Although mentally I’m sure I could be the Director of (insert extremely well-paid title here), on paper…I doubt my resume would be able to convince XYZ company of the same.

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The dreaded alarm goes off once again, I gasp at the amount of time I’ve wasted waffling and since now I’m going to be late, I immediately consider calling in for at least half a day, start practicing my sick voice and then proceed to talk myself out of that as well.  The fact of the matter is that my 6 figure salary boss is extremely co-dependent on me and my 1/8 her salary ability to do her job and whatever I miss on Monday will still be there waiting for me on Tuesday.  That one sterling fact was enough to convince me to get my ass in gear and get over my “case of the Mondays”.

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Let ‘er rip!

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So I thought about starting a blog and received encouragement from my friends to follow through on my much mulled over idea.

Yikes! I can hear the internal groans, “Another blog!!!”  Yeah, I know…well deal with it.

It remains to be seen whether these “friends” will even visit my page or this will end up being like one of those bad 80s movies where this will be an epic failure and then I’ll find out everyone had been taking bets on the blog’s inevitable demise.

This of course makes it sound like I hate my friends, which I don’t people, so relax.  Besides, in true bad 80s movie form, I will learn some sort of meaning of life lesson, get the guy (what guy??), and ultimately have the last laugh while rocking a fierce outfit.

Holy mother! This bitch is batshit crazy! you must be thinking by now (if you’re still reading that is).  But yeah, I might be…and I enjoy that about myself.

Anyhoo, the point is I started a blog. Finally.  After much debate (none of which anyone’s been privy to other than the aforementioned 80s movie scenario).Well, what do I write about? I wondered.  I’m not uber fashion savvy or a make up guru or deeply poetic or a brilliant mind (scratch that I’m plenty fucken brilliant…somewhat…sometimes…moving on).

“Write about your boss!” has been suggested by all and I cringe at the thought.  A blog should be something for me to do for enjoyment, not to reminisce about my passive-agressive, dysfunctional, living in the stone age “superior”.

“Write about your cat!” Yeah, sure, let it be known that I’ve officially become a “cat lady”. And by cat lady I mean single woman with one cat who parties every chance she gets rocking hot dresses and stilettos, hence why my cat’s name is Whiskey aka Sir Jameson. (Yes, that’s really him.)

“Write about…heels? The sad Miami singles scene? Why you’ll never finish school because financial aid sucks? Video games? Your feelings on reality tv?”

Really guys? So far this sounds like the Diary of the Undecided Woman (who may or may not need some type of meds).

But…taken under advisement and I guess these are things I can write about. So I guess this will just be a little of everything and anything rattling around in my sarcastic, neurotic, striving to be optimistic head.  Let’s just see what happens 🙂