Category Archives: Business of Writing

Blocked or Lazy….Same thing Really…

It’s been a while since I have written for this blog. Health issues have kept me from doing any serious work and now I am just getting to a point where I can jump back into the deep end of the writing pool. I apologize for my absence.

One of the things that I have been dealing with since my butt hit the chair again in procrastination at it’s worse. Being in poor health taught me the joys of sitting on the couch binge watching television shows that I would not have otherwise watched…Wynonna Earp is really good by the way…. Getting back into the chair has been painful enough with the heath issues making it physically hard to do BUT getting motivated has been equally as tough. I found myself last week declaring to a friend that I was “blocked”…I’m fibbing…I’m just being lazy.

When you have had your writing interrupted from any reason it is often hard to get back into the flow of things. Writing means you have to show up and if you have spent any time at all on a couch in a haze of pain pills and television it can get even harder. The easy way is to tell yourself, “one more week and I’ll be ready” but the long and short of it is…it’s now or never.

My health issues are not resolved yet but the writing is helping me focus on the work rather than the pain. I am still finding myself on the couch but now it is with my computer with the television off. I said all of that to say this…if you have a life issue that takes you away from your writing, don’t allow it to do so for very long because the longer you stay away…the harder it is to get back. If you have to write in smaller blocks but write because it is a muscle that needs to be exercised. As for me…I’m back and I have to tell you…I really have missed you all!


© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Stop Wasting Valuable Writing Time


I, like a lot of writers, am a master procrastinator. There are some days when I will use anything to put off work. Stressed, can’t work. Laundry to do, can’t work. Cat box needs to be scooped, can’t work. It’s sunny outside, can’t work. It’s cold and rainy, can’t work….it goes on and on. Part of my problem is that I work from home, most days alone. When you have no one but yourself to police you…well…let’s just say I can be a pretty lenient boss. The other part of my problem is that I tend to get wrapped up in other projects or small menial tasks. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest….yep…they can all be an issue.

From time to time I also try and convince myself that any writing is “writing”. While Titter and Facebook posting can be fun…it ain’t writing folks. It’s playing, it’s being nosy, and it’s a ridiculous waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to marketing those sites have their usefulness but overall it is best to avoid or at least limit your time on them. I get up every morning allot a period of time to answer e-mails and social media update and then I try and let it go for the rest of the day. I am not always successful but if I am to be honest, I need to get a better handle on it.

The bottom line is this….if we are spending all of our writing time updating Facebook we will never be successful writers. We will be that writer with the Facebook fan page who never finishes an actual book. Don’t be that writer. You must, as a person who works from home and a writer in general, police yourself and make a point to put Twitter, Facebook and any other social media in its place…in the back of the room only to be played with when the rest of your work is done. If you don’t you may well go down in history as a great social media poster but never a published author.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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Book Promo for Passion’s Revenge is Here!

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Posted by on November 10, 2022 in Business of Writing


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New Video!


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I’m an Underpaid Writer – Hey I Resemble that Remark

Okay, here is how it is supposed to work…
1. You get a new client
2. You negotiate a price for their project
3. You do the work
4. You get paid

Here is how it often works…
1. You get a new client
2. You negotiate a price for their project
3. Your do the work
4. You have to redo the work because the client wasn’t clear
5. You have to redo the work again because the client changed their minds
6. You have to redo the work again because the client has changed their minds again
7. You have to start from scratch because the client’s friend had a better idea
8. And it goes on and on…..

I would love to tell you that this NEVER happens to me but…I’d be lying. It’s happening to me right now and, to be honest, it’s a little like watching your own death scene that never ends. I love what I do so in a way I don’t mind the work except that now I have 100 man hours into a project that was supposed to only take 20…I’m now losing money. And the sad thing is…the client will continue to do this as long as I allow it.

The problem with us writers is that we are…well…writers. We aren’t business people, we are calm, writer types who hate to send a hamburger back at Burger King because they left the pickles on when we asked for no pickles. (Admit it, you pull the car over, gripe about the pickles and then removed them still enduring the yucky pickle taste still embedded in the burger….yeah me too) Ask for more money? MMMMMM…nope. We expect the best in people and hope desperately that the client will do “the right thing” and just offer us more money….folks…it ain’t gonna happen.

You, as a writer, have to take the reins of your projects or they will ride you all the way to the poor house. Most clients are first timers who have never actually hired a writer before so they too have no idea how it works; you have to educate them. Set an actual date by which the project needs to be done, if it passes that date charge more. I have been in this loop now for over a month and this project should have ended two weeks ago. I am now into it for about $500 over what I actually charged and it is maddening. To be honest though I have to take some of the blame; I didn’t control the project.

So don’t cheat yourselves folks, control the project so that you don’t look up one day when you are 80 only to discover that you are making yet another change to the project you began 8 years ago. You owe it to yourself and your work to make sure that clients honor you.




© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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A Good Ghost Writer is a Must

You want to write your story but you aren’t a “writer” per say. Lots of family and friends have been telling you for years that you need to get your story down in book form because it is so incredibly interesting. Still…how do you find someone who can help you get that story out? My answer….very carefully….

As a life-long writer I see the importance in story. I believe that we all have one and that everyone should be able to tell that story if they feel so inclined. I also feel that there is absolutely nothing wrong in hiring a ghost writer to help you with that task. It’s still your story…you just need a little good old fashioned know-how. I don’t do plumbing but if I want my pipes fixed I’m definitely going to call a guy who knows his stuff.

Hiring a good ghost writer is important if you really want the story you tell to be yours. I have seen a lot of writers over the years try their hand at ghosting and it is not as easy and one might think. There are some hardcore “musts” that you ghost writer has to have in order to be able to work with them.

  • Time – Hiring a ghost writer who is overwhelmed with other clients is never a good idea. Hire someone who only takes on a few projects at a time.
  • Experience – Hire a ghost writer who has ghost written, not a writer who thinks they can pull it off. Ghosting takes a unique set of abilities such as listening, reporting and compiling someone else’s story without trying to make it their own. Too many times I have heard stories about how a ghost writer came on-board and suddenly the story took off in a different direction. A good ghost writer will tell your story, not their version of your story.
  • Tier payments plans –I am a huge believer in tier payment plans. If your ghost writer has set up their contract write the contract will tier the payments at important points in the project. Part down, part on first 50 pages, part on first draft delivery and the rest on final draft; this way both writer and story teller are invested in the project.

These are just a few of the things to consider when hiring a ghost writer. Something as precious as your story should not be left to a hack or someone who doesn’t care; it needs to be done right. You need to have a connection with the person telling your story…without it your story will not be what you envisioned. Take your time and find the write ghost writer…in the end it will be worth it.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Posted by on September 5, 2022 in Business of Writing, Writing


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I’m Just Too Good to Make Money


I get these emails from other writers from time to time that make me want to gag. They are usually from “successful” writers in the form of a newsletter blast offering various pieces of advice among which is the ever present, “don’t sell yourself short” article. Now while normally I would agree that no one should sell themselves short, that is not exactly what these articles are touting. Instead these articles are telling other writers to not “settle” for smaller writing jobs. Settle? Really?

I take on all types of jobs. I do bios for business folks, I do newsletters for non-profits, I do flyers for small businesses…I do a lot of jobs. Some of these jobs come via other clients but many come from ads I have posted online offering marketing or writing services. I get paid anywhere from $10 - $5000 depending on the job. Those big paying jobs are great but those little paying jobs, at the end of the day, are often my bread and butter and I’m not ashamed to say so.

Many of those who demand that we “not sell ourselves short” are successful and are getting the big jobs now but they have forgotten that we all have to begin somewhere. While I have enjoyed some measure of success too I do the smaller jobs for other reasons though. I like to stay in contact with the regular folks because that is where I get my inspiration from. Sure I could take the large magazine jobs and get the big bucks all the time but those are often research laden and kind of boring. I like the smaller jobs that have character and allow me to get to know my clients. I also enjoy being creative and often times those big magazine jobs don’t allow that.

So before you say no to answering that ad for a ghost writer or a freelance marketer think again. Everyone wants those large paydays but if you spend all your time waiting for those aren’t you passing up the chance to make more money along the way? And when it comes to charging those smaller clients, be reasonable. We are all having a tough time economically so don’t try and gouge them. Word gets around and besides, over charging just isn’t right.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on August 13, 2022 in Business of Writing, Writing


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