Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trying Something New

This little girl's been keeping me pretty busy lately, too! This is Juno, our 4-month-old chocolate lab (she's gotten much bigger since this picture was taken!) She is sweet, super smart, loves to cuddle and play, and has energy to spare!
Besides being a great primer for parenthood, having a new puppy makes for excellent writing material. I'm in the process of researching pet and animal markets, brainstorming ideas, and putting together a few queries for some of my better ideas. The timing couldn't be better--most of my writing has come from trade publications, but it's nice to branch out into something a little more broad once in awhile. I'm looking for new spins on many of the topics I've written about extensively already--careers, dating, and history top the list--so she came around just at the time I was itching for an entirely new topic.

I'm completely enamored with this girl, and I look forward to all of the time we'll get to spend together. She's brought so much to our lives already!

What about you? What new elements of your life have inspired your writing lately?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Art of Cutting Back

An unexpected (but much welcome) full-time temporary job, a flurry of revisions of my graduate school project, and squeezing in writing assignments I just couldn't turn down kept my nose to the proverbial grindstone since the beginning of the year. Something had to go on the back burner, and unfortunately, it was my blog.

Since I didn't have time for every single new project that came my way, I had to take a hard look at my writing workload and make the conscious decision to scale back. For the first time ever, I turned down an assignment (but it's a regular feature of a magazine I write for frequently, so I'm on track to write it for the rest of the year), and I made the difficult to decision to drop three regular projects. My “cutting back” criteria was simple: I cut projects that were either low-paying or not enjoyable. Hopefully, by dropping some of these clients, I'll free up enough time to take on projects that pay a bit more or are just more fun/interesting. To that end, I've started seeking out a few new pubs and sending out queries again—admittedly, my query-writing skills are terribly rusty since most of my work has been with trade pubs—and hoping to fill in the gaps of the clients I dropped.

My primary writing assignment at the moment is my graduation capstone project, which I am diligently trying to finish. I'm not even sure what I hope to achieve once I get my goal right now is just to finish!

What about you? What have I missed? What changes have you made to your productivity and/or writing routine lately?