Ask Wendy Your Writing and Publishing Questions

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy Wendy Burt

Q: Do you gravitate towards work that you like or do you just go where the work is?

A: I’d like to tell you I only do work I love, but I can’t. I enjoy what I do for a living– freelance writing and editing–but there’s always an aspect I enjoy less than others. The trick is to keep it to a minimum.

After all, if you love writing press releases, for example, but hate to invoice, you still have to get paid. For me, there are a couple tricks I use to enjoy my work more.

First, I’m always on the prowl for my favorite work: greeting cards. If I can do more of these, I can turn down work that I like less and not feel the financial pinch.

Second, I streamline the work I don’t enjoy with templates. For invoicing, for example, I have one standard form that I just copy and paste each time. That way it takes five minutes instead of thirty.

Third, I get ALL the details of what I’m expected to do at the start of a project. This is because I’ve learned that I procrastinate most on the assignments that I don’t completely understand. If a client gives me vague direction, the assignment will get bumped to the next day’s to-do list-several times. See for yourself! The next time you procrastinate on an assignment, ask yourself: “Is it because it’s boring or because I didn’t get enough information on what I’m supposed to do to get started?” Then learn from your mistakes. You’ll probably find that the work you get is easier to enjoy.

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Wendy Burt is a successful full-time freelance writer and editor who has more than doubled her income since leaving her job as a newspaper editor just four years ago. With two women’s humor books for McGraw-Hill and more than 1,000 published pieces, Wendy’s work has appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, The Writer, MSNBC.com, NewYorkTimes.com, Home Cooking Magazine and American Fitness. Wendy teaches “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and still finds ample time to spend with her beautiful children, Gracie and Ben. Visit www.BurtCreations.com to see books by Wendy and her award-winning dad.

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