After having authors and bloggers on the podcast, it’s fun to have someone who’s not only a full-time freelance writer on the show, but also someone who’s dedicated to helping others achieve similar goals – so much so that she not only blogs about making it as a freelance writer, she also runs a paid-membership web site that offers courses and tips on every aspect of the business of freelance writing.
Work-wise, Carol Tice done it all; she worked at a newspaper and as a movie script transcriber before going freelance and managed to blow away her own expectations of success when she started the Freelance Writers Den. On top of all that, she’s a wife and mother of three! Talk about doing it all…
Please listen to this interview, wherein I completely miss the opportunity to quiz Carol about her early work as a song writer (Brill Building Fail!) but find out plenty about what it takes to make it in freelancing.
I’ve been fascinated by Kelly Gurnett’s Quits List since I followed a link (I wish I could tell you from where) to her web log, Cordelia Calls It Quits, a few months ago. Kelly, I just realised, is a lot like Mur Lafferty, in that she writes about her subject of life-change not in the past tense, as a fait-accompli success story, but as an in-the-trenches blogger who’s still working to achieve herself what she’s encouraging others to do.
Do as I say and as I do, because we’re all still working on it.
But though I noticed that she accepts guest posts about quitting things from her readers, I never thought seriously about contributing one of my own until recently.
It took a bit of digging to write, but I’m glad to announce that the finished product is (as of this writing) the latest of Kelly’s Reader QUITs:
Another warm welcome to the readers of Cordelia Calls It Quits! This one’s actually for you.
Vickie and I don’t watch much reality TV. We have little interest in the Survivors and Big Brothers. What “reality” shows we both watch, though, are talent contests. We’ve fallen in love with The Voice, but this year we also found ourselves tuning in for the latest season of The X Factor.
And I’ve started noticing something about the performances.
There’s a lot of talk from the coach / judges about whether and when performers are “feeling” their songs. It was something I kind of understood, but didn’t really get until I started thinking about the life experiences of the performers, especially young Shiane Hawke. This kid is fourteen years old and she’s got one hell of a voice on her. But sometimes she had, for want of a better term, connection issues with some of the material. We could tell she
was singing the material, but not really feeling what it was about – or, more to the point, making it mean something to her, saturating it with her own feelings and experiences.
Still, this girl was fourteen years old, for crying out loud. How do you expect someone that young to be able to sell songs of heartbreak, loss and even cynicism when she’s barely lived herself?
Nonetheless, it was when she found common ground with her own life for a performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colours” that she really knocked it out of the park – she sang to a friend who is bound to a wheelchair and has had a hard time due to it.
But how does each performer in that show find that vein in every single song they perform? And more importantly, how the heck does the performer know that his or her personal experience is going to translate in the trip from performer to audience?
(I might be far too late on this, but: Welcome, all you fine Cordelia Calls It Quits readers! I hope you enjoy your stay! If you want to know where anything is, please ask!)
Changing your career, no matter what you’re aiming for or leaving, is a scary endeavour. Embrace your skills and talent all you like, there are still a heap unknowns that you have to face and a lot of habits and familiar things that make staying where you are a more tempting option.
Freelance blogger Kelly Gurnett has made breaking free of those habits and letting go of the familiar things the purpose of her blog, Cordelia Calls It Quits. In each post, Kelly, in the guise of her alter-ego Cordelia, examines an aspect of her life that she either has changed or is in the process of changing. It’s a phenomenal way of keeping yourself honest; her Quits List numbers twenty-seven, with the most recent having gone up in the last couple of weeks, and she reviews her progress against that list on a regular basis.
By any measure, Kelly has been successful; she’s turned her full-time job into a two-day-a-week job and is blogging on several large life-change web sites. Naturally, this put her on my first List of People I Want As Guests, which made it a double pleasure to interview her about how she got to where she is now – especially juggling the day job with the dream job – and the places she still wants to go!
I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, the annual (inter)National Novel Writing Month, for two years running, and am currently undertaking my third tilt. This blog is my way of keeping myself writing, but not in an attempt to keep myself accountable.
Don’t let the picture of the medieval gent with the sword fool you; Gavin Lucan is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I’ve known him since the late nineties, and was frankly a little envious when I found out he’d parlayed his experience in scheduling pay TV channels into a gig at Australia’s branch of the SciFi Channel.
Shortly afterward, I signed up for an e-mail newsletter in which Gav offers wry observations on the week’s events in genre fiction, from books to comics, movies to television, games to conventions, and now SFtv feature that newsletter as a weekly blog on their website!
Given that he’s a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, my friend Gav is definitely getting paid to play. Join me as I find out how he got there!
Last week, I picked up the reins on Slamdance again. I opened up the private wiki I maintain (using a program called TiddlyWiki) and began crafintg an outline. It’s probably the first time I’ve seriously done it since The Second War of the Worlds for NaNoWriMo 2010.
When I last attempted creatng an outline for Slamdance, I used a system called The Snowflake Method. It looked like a great way to stave off the problem I have with seat-of-the-pants writing: A draft that, because I don’t know where it’s going, goes somewhere I don’t like.
Even then, I kept stalling. I just couldn’t get a decent plot synopsis, at least not one that I liked enough to develop. Something happened at around Step 4, when you take the one paragraph plot summary you’ve written, add the summaries of your individual characters and blend the lot into a one-page summary of the plot. I tried writing what I had, but I kept getting that horrid directionless feeling.
Then last week, a flavour came together, and I put the pot back onto Snowflake Method temperature, wrote the one-line plot idea and got developing. So far, I’m up to Step 5, where I write a one-page summary of each character’s experience of and actios during the main plot. It’s the furthest I’ve ever got!
But what was this flavour, this idea that got me moving?