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The Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries & writing clips

Our Latest Blog Entry

Letter to the Editor, Mooresville Tribune, July 7, 2019, by Deborah Dooley

Every year when the 4th of July comes around, my household cringes. You see, we are an ex-military family - war veterans. Can you imagine how the sounds of the 4th of July affect those individuals who have served in a war zone or were involved in street warfare?


As Americans, no one is more patriotic than a veteran or first responder and their families, and they appreciate the fact fellow Americans want to celebrate their freedom. It's an inalienable right provided us by our forefathers and is undoubtedly a matter for celebration. 


I wonder how many Americans consider those who have given their lives and the many more who placed their lives on the line for that privilege.


Is it fair that a veteran or a first responder must plan to be away from their home every 4th of July to avoid those fireworks that mimic the sounds of war? And if they can't get away, is it fair that those same fireworks trigger a veteran's PTSD, which affects not only the vet but their caretaker(s) as well who must help those injured souls deal with the symptoms?


I plead to the readers of your newspaper to consider the men and women who served in the military and police forces around the country. It was their sacrifices that allowed the rest of the population to experience and celebrate freedom in America.


Do you genuinely need something so loud and earth-shaking? Louder is not necessarily better.

Think about the location where you plan to light off those fireworks. Coves on a lake, cul-de-sacs, and apartment complexes will cause echoes and amplification of sound. 


Not everyone stays up late to celebrate, so consider stopping fireworks at 10:00 pm, so others may settle in and retire for the night.


Give the veterans a break and respect for their efforts. Think big, brighter, and more colorful than your neighbor, rather than louder, more at one time, and longer into the night, and several days before and after. 


You have neighbors who will appreciate it more than you know. 

Freelancer's Guide to Setting Rates

May 27, 2019

As a freelance writer just beginning a writing career, you should be prepared to quote your going rate. Here are a few suggestions to help:


1. Determine your hourly rate of pay by deciding what your goal is for the year, how many hours you want to work each week, then calculate an hourly rate for your works.


2. Another method would be to simply utilize the industry standard of $50 per hour, and negotiate from there. This rate isn't set in stone so you will have the flexibility to start up or decrease it from there.


3. Establish a per-project rate by determining the estimated or known time to complete the project. Using your goal rate per hour you can easily calculate the cost of a completed project for a client.


Again, you may have to negotiate this cost with your prospect, but now you have a starting point.

Finding Work as a Writer

May 28, 2019

One of the challenges a freelance writer encounters when embarking on their new career is where to find work. Once you've decided which writing niche(s) to follow, your next target is to locate markets to sell your talents.


Numerous freelancers turn to guideline directories, i.e., Writers Market, to give them quick resources. Be careful not to rely solely on these directories, as they're limited in what they offer, and other avenues are out there.

Take for instance online research. Put your creative skills to good use by using various search engines for publications, jobs, etc. in your genre. Surprisingly, there'll be hundreds of results from which to choose.


Last, but certainly not least, is the old-fashioned cold call. Send postcards announcing your services or create a marketing letter promoting your services.

Good research and hard work will yield a multitude of markets open to you; they're just waiting for you to make the first move!