Invest in Yourself

Are you a writer? A graphic designer? Or perhaps someone who is creative in other ways? 

No matter what your creative outlet, it’s important to never stop learning about what you do. That might mean taking classes (online or in a classroom), trying different methods, or even stepping out of your comfort zone. 

No matter how much you think you know, there’s always more to learn. And if you think you know it all, teach a class. Chances are your students will have questions you hadn’t considered. And it may be them teaching you something new. 

As a writer I have spent the last six months learning more about writing fiction, nonfiction, and copywriting. A whole new world has opened up for me now that I have allowed myself to learn more from the experts. I know I have a long way to go, but I will say this: Each day is one of learning. 

I must admit, there are days when it’s information overload. I feel overwhelmed and wonder why I’m even doing this at this stage of life. Then the sensible me steps in and I am reminded life is to be enjoyed. That’s why I am taking the time to learn more; so I can basically work from anywhere.  

Writing is satisfying to me just as it may be to you. I want to spend my time doing what I enjoy and still be able to pay my bills and take vacations. Writing gives me a lot of options, just as your chosen path does for you.  

If you can, spend some time learning more about the things you enjoy. Take a class. Read about it. Join an online group so you can learn from others; and they can learn from you. Don’t consider them the competition but rather an alliance. Chances are you won’t be working toward the same goals anyway.  

Something else you should do is refrain from comparing yourself to others. When we do that, we stifle our creativity and our chances of reaching our full potential. It took me a long time to stop doing just that. When I compared myself to the successes of others it was disheartening. How could I ever achieve those milestones? 

Set goals for yourself. Make them achievable. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to earn a million dollars your first year as a writer (or whatever your chosen vocation). Sure, that might be your dream and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, break that dream into smaller goals. It may take you longer to get there than a year, and that’s okay. 

By breaking your dream into smaller chunks it’s easier to keep the momentum going. Invest the time to figure out what you want from your chosen path, then write it down. Break it into smaller segments which are achievable, whether you go daily, weekly, or monthly.  

I have learned to not focus so much on the dollars earned, but rather the upward growth of my followers, readership and number of views my website gets. I found by focusing on the dollars I was becoming frustrated when they didn’t increase like I felt they should.  

Something else I learned along the way is by focusing on the dollars, my creativity was stifled. Writing fiction wasn’t fun any longer because the sales weren’t there. A person’s mindset plays a big role in how quickly goals are achieved. 

I started investing in myself in September 2019 when I took a course on writing romance. One of the things the instructor stressed was to not compare ourselves to others. Our story is “our story”. It’s a reflection of what we know, how we perceive life and how willing we are to take risks. 

For anyone who knows me, a risk-taker I am not. I don’t live on the edge. I don’t generally go out of my comfort zone and do things on my own. Although, I did take a step forward in October when I made a trip to Calgary’s Imaginairium. I was terrified but I did it anyway. I am very much an introvert so didn’t make as many connections as I could have. That I do regret. However, the experience didn’t kill me and it made me realize I am capable of things I’m afraid to do. 

Since then I have been working toward bettering myself. I’m taking courses, learning how to budget my time better and not concentrating as much on the monetary rewards. When I stopped focusing on the latter, I realized I produced better content.  

I’ll end this post with this: take classes, attend webinars and don’t be afraid to learn from others. And most of all, take time for you. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of achieving your goals, but if you don’t take time to relax and do something fun you’re going to burn yourself out. Get your nails done, go for a hike with your family or get that massage you’ve been putting off.  

Invest in yourself by doing what makes you happy and your creativity will bloom. I know mine has. 

My latest investment in myself: joining The Professional Writers’ Alliance. I have the support of others without feeling as though I’m in constant competition for the same things. We all have different reasons for doing what we do, and accepting that is half the battle.

Writing for Dollars

It’s the weekend and you’re too tired to do much more than watch TV and maybe get caught up on laundry. Wasn’t being an adult supposed to be easier?

We’ve all had the “I can’t wait to grow up” thought when we were young. No one to tell us what to do, or what time to go to bed at night. No more being told to eat our vegetables or there’ll be no dessert.

What happened to that wonderful vision we had? Where did it all go wrong?

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

As kids we see adulthood as something glamorous, and it is in its own right. However, it also comes with huge responsibilities, more rules than we ever imagined, and we no longer get an allowance from our parents.

Some days we just want to be kids again. I know I have days like that.

But since we can’t turn back the clock that far (an hour yes, decades no) we must accept our fate and do what we can to more than just survive in this world.

Some have corporate jobs; others have public service jobs. Some love what they do; others not so much. And then there’s that group that enjoys their line of work, but they can’t quite afford to do the extras they’d like to. (This is the category I fit into.)

Enter the world of words and writing.

Photo courtesy of Canva Pro.

As a writer I can honestly say it’s one of the most rewarding side gigs to have. Whether you want to pursue it full-time or part-time, there is a place for you.

I write fiction for the most part, which is a nice little stream of passive income. I’m not popular enough in the fiction world to be able to make a living from my books though, and to be honest, I’m okay with that.

I have dabbled in writing for clients over the years but mostly through content mills. My piece of advice on them (content mills); be wary. You’ll never be paid what you’re worth as a writer and most will restrict your ability to advance or communicate directly with clients. I’m sure my articles have made clients hundreds if not thousands over the years, while my pay was single digit dollars.

It takes a lot of articles to make ends meet when writing for mere dollars. And time which could be better spent writing for clients who are willing to pay what you’re worth.

There is a better way, which I’m happy to have found. Granted I’m still learning some of the ropes, but I know I have what it takes.

As a writer I love the helping others aspect. I am not an extrovert and prefer not to do the salesy type writing. I would much rather inform and entertain (which is why I love writing fiction).

Not only that, I also don’t like being sold to. If I walk into a store and am greeted by a pushy salesperson, chances are high I’ll leave that store and not go back. Be helpful; not pushy.

And that is my focus with this website and my writing. To help others find their way in the writing world, even if they don’t think they can write. It’s an amazing way to earn some extra money or even replace an income where you’re trading time for dollars.

I have yet to hit the six-figure mark from my writing, but we all need start somewhere. My goal for 2020 is to surpass four-figures and with the guidance I have from some reputable advisors, I am confident I can do just that.

I have only dabbled in content marketing, but I am learning more about it all the time. And based on my research it is not only fun but also in high demand. I like to test my theories so am doing just that on my gardening site. It’s a relatively new site, but one which I am passionate about.

And at the end of the day, when I am earning a passive income from it, I’ll know I got it right.

To follow my journey as a content marketer and what it’s like to learn new skills on the downswing of a century, please follow this blog.

And to follow my journey as a gardener, please click here.

Thanks for reading. If you are interested in my writing services, let’s talk.

The Art of Versatility

Definition of Versatile: having ability in many different fields.

Do you excel in one field or can you manage being faced with different challenges?

I’ll be the first to admit it: I enjoy a little variety. It is perhaps the reason why I seem to have different things going on at any one time.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

When it comes to adding to your bank account (or sock drawer) pursuing a part-time venture in something you don’t normally do is a good thing. Not only does it increase your bottom line, it also helps to avoid total burnout.

Can you imagine spending all day at your job as an accountant, then going home and spending another few hours doing books on the side? Not only would you spend your life working with numbers, the several hours seated at a desk each day is sure to have a negative impact on your health.

Depending on what your day-time job is and where you live, there are many options available to you. If you are at a desk all day and live in an urban area, perhaps you could earn a few extra dollars by walking dogs for people who work late.

Or if you’re a construction worker and look forward to some quiet time, perhaps a sideline business of selling bedding plants is more up your alley.

No matter what you choose, be sure it’s something you enjoy.

My job as a part-time library assistant has me inside for my entire shift, with a lot of that time spent at the computer or shelving books. When I get home, I don’t want to spend more hours at my computer. I like to crochet, read or spend time outside. And if I am on my computer it’s because I’m working on adding articles to my gardening website.

The subject of versatility leads to what your hobbies are. Are they something you can write about? Or share with others?

Getting older doesn’t have to mean staying “stuck” in the same routine. It means doing more of what you enjoy and even making a few extra dollars doing it.

By this point of life most people have had their hand in a variety of jobs, tasks and interests. I know that’s how it has been for me. One thing that hasn’t changed though is my ability to earn a little extra cash whenever I need it. Sometimes it has been by selling digital products I have created; other times it has been by providing a service (such as bookkeeping or childcare). And still other times it has been by operating farm equipment.

My point is no matter what you choose to do, make sure it’s something that’s going to give you what you want and expect.

As I get older, I value my time more and want to have more say in how I spend it. Being a writer (my superpower) gives me the flexibility, and having different interests gives me the versatility.

What’s your superpower?

%d bloggers like this: