Tumbleweed Playground Preface

Welcome to the home of the novel, “Tumbleweed Playground.”  It is the telling of the story the character growth of a young boy, into a young leader.  It is not necessarily a happy story, but it goes to show that even the saddest of experiences contribute to the growth of character…if we give it the chance.

It is not uncommon for writers to feel confident when they have finished one of their quality works-of-art articles. Then, at times when income is slow and gigs are few, they may wane a bit in the area of confidence.

If you are a writer and this is not your experience, consider yourself fortunate. You are there!

Writing Confidence

For some writers, like me, words just flow. I don’t generally have any trouble writing something. I sit down with the laptop and it just happens.

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For other writers, it can come easy on some days and not so much on other days.

My husband says I fit in the “power writer” group, with my inability not to have words to write (type). However, I am only one type of writer. Just because you may not be a power writer does not mean that you are not a writer. You have other skills which pertain to your writing talent!

No matter which type you are, you are normal. Remember that!

And, sometimes you can feel like your writing ability has a leak or is spilling out where it isn’t supposed to be spilling. That is normal, too. Go with it! Make it into something!

Cup with a leak

Find where you are already confident and go with that. Then, when you are ready to make money, offer those services. This means that you need to identify your best skills as a writer.

[amazonlargeimage1][amazonlargeimage2]Outliers: The Story of Success Paperback by Malcolm Gladwell[amazonlargeimage3]

Step 1: Identify Your Writing Skills

Remember we mentioned confidence? If we don’t have writing confidence, we want to develop it. If we have it, we want to build on it and use it to our advantage when it comes to making money writing.

So, your first exercise is to write down all of the writing skills you have. For example, it could be that you are excellent at freestyle writing. Maybe you are a born journalist. Maybe you excel at research and summarizing that it an article (not to be confused with academic writing). Whatever your skill, write it down with your notes.

Don’t be afraid to research your skill online to understand it more. Jot down some notes on what you have learned about your writing skill(s).

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Step 2: Enhance Your Skills

Read about how to write and about writing in general. You can pick up some books online or you can even read some blogs about it.

You might even want to expand your skills by taking a few courses on writing.

Don’t forget about joining some groups about writing. I started a community called “For the Love of Writing (and Publishing)” on the Google platform.

Step 3: Write, Write, Write, and Write Some More

Another recommended exercise is to write and write and write. Then, when you are done with that, write some more!

If you are already a freestyle writer, you probably do this. But, even if you are not, it is an excellent exercise to get your juices flowing. It also gives you the practice.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, in his famous book, Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become truly good at it. Now, some have refuted that, but in my experience, he isn’t necessarily entirely wrong. You can take it or leave it, but some practice is good for you 🙂

Step 4: Think Positively About Yourself / Adjust Your Mindset

Think positively about yourself. If you are not already doing that, your clients will catch it (even subconsciously) and it will affect how they view you.

So, repeat positive affirmations to yourself daily, to help you think good things about yourself. One exercise that helps me is the 5 Successes Per Day, which I wrote about on PositivePersistence.com.

Also, realize that with each new writing project, you have an opportunity to grow and learn new things. It may be a challenge, but it is a positive challenge, with an opportunity to prove yourself, as well as improve yourself!

Grow Your Business as You Move Along Your Journey

You may want to start out with reduced rates to get some clients, but don’t go too low. Also, be sure to increase your rates as you bring in new clients. After all, you are gaining more experience and deserve to be paid such, eh?

Check out what Carol Tice has to say in her article The Going Rate for Freelance Writing — Revealed!.

Step 5: Celebrate Success

Celebrate your success. Even with the most difficult (even mean) clients, when you get to the other side, there is that feeling of finality and success! Celebrate it! Let your confidence grow and encourage your confidence to grow!

If you need to, write out positive affirmations to remind yourself that you are growing! Look at step four 🙂

Also, realize that not every client is going to realize how wonderful you are at writing. Shake it off and move on to the next client. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bully clients, non-responding clients, and clients that want high-quality writing for dirt cheap prices. Don’t lower yourself. Walk away and find the true clients that understand your worth!

In Summary

Ok, here are the steps, again, as a summary 🙂

  1. Identify Your Writing Skills
  2. Enhance Your Skills
  3. Write, Write, Write, and Write Some More
  4. Think Positively About Yourself / Adjust Your Mindset
  5. Celebrate Success

Don’t forget that final step. Pat yourself on the back. Know that you did well! You are doing well!

What is JournalismJournal.com?

The Idea

The idea for JournalismJournal.com sprung out of a perceived need for a site dedicated to the news-related articles that I had written.

Oh, I know. Some people post information on their resume or CV. Some people create a portfolio (both the offline old-fashioned type and the online, even PDF type).

I am a little bit more similar to the second group, the online group. And then there is this thing called being a programmer, as well as a professional writer (and a #1 Jazz Singer).

So, what do you get at the end of that? You get an online digital portfolio that is programmed to automatically retrieve all of the articles a person (in this case Deborah Anderson) writes.

The Problem

So, it sounds like there is not a problem, right?

No, not exactly…

You see, when you are speaking about journalism, there is such a thing as the Associated Press style of writing. But even beyond that, journalism is different from your average blog writing.

Just because someone states that they are a blog writer and just because they have managed to obtain a press pass (which I have given out, by the way, at Hollywood events!) doesn’t mean that they are a journalist in the truest sense of the word.

But, the lines have blurred a bit, haven’t they?

Either way you look at it, since this is my site (I cannot stand speaking in an egotistical tone!), I needed to put together something that presented the journalistic talents of Deborah and not just the writing talents.

But, even before I have fully launched this portfolio site, I have failed in that area.

Why? Quite simply, I am writing this post in a “blog style” format. That is my own coined phrase, by the way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if others have also coined it. I’m not here for a competition… But, I digress.

The Associated Press (AP) style of writing is a specific format for writing. It is, informally put, the newspaper style or the journalism style. There is also the APA (American Psychological Association) style of writing and sometimes people get them mixed up, thinking that the AP style is a misprint of APA without the final “A.”

But, AP and APA are quite different. The APA style is more closely related to the style that one would use in writing a University paper. It is the style that I am using in the process of writing my dissertation for my doctorate in psychology. And, if you are referencing academic styles, you would have to include other styles such as MLA. But, now we really digress.

Instead, let’s move on to the solution, ok?

The Solution – Two-Pronged Solution to a Perceived Problem

So, I decided to use this site for its intended purpose, as a portfolio for the journalism articles that I write, but also for a second reason. That is, to include articles on writing, in general. That secondary reason is probably why you are here and is more interesting, wouldn’t you say?

So, with that, let’s get going and move along in that direction, shall we? See you there!