Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Writing for a Living


I recently finished two big projects. It's a good feeling to have wiped the slate clean. There's more time for the little things like not hurrying through a newsletter or spending a few minutes tidying up my office.

On the flip side, I'm on the hunt for a new work project. A billable new work project. My bread and butter is clear and concise writing, such as journalism, copywriting, corporate communications, and other straightforward prose. My style translates well to social media, too. Brevity has its rewards.

Keeping the faith is the most important thing I can do while looking for more work. The actual "looking" part isn't difficult or distasteful, though it can be a challenge to remain optimistic the closer the first of the month and all the due bills inch forward. If you hear of anything, please keep me in mind.

Here are some other going-ons:

First, I feel funny, in a loser-ish sort of way, returning to my blog after such a long hiatus. You know, like I'm a fraud or an amazing opportunity to beat myself up real good doesn't come around that often 
-->  better seize it! That's why I find writers like Linda Menesez and Alexandra Franzen so helpful. Give 'em a click, you also might benefit.
Second, the new issue of Carpinteria Magazine is expected on the streets Nov. 17. 

Read it here if you can't pick up a print copy. Hope you like it.

Birthday cake. 
Third, I had the opportunity to eat cake TWICE today. The first was a birthday party at lunch for a colleague. The other was a retirement party for a colleague this afternoon.

Fourth, as way to keep Orozco Ink circulating in cyberspace I nominated the business for the Seven Day B&W Photo Challenge that is so popular on Facebook. Let me know if you think that is tacky. I'd appreciate it. You can follow my challenge here.

Looking forward to writing more often. Thanks!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer



Here's how I'll be spending the first Sunday of June: 

The Plaza Improv Players will be performing “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at the Plaza Playhouse Theater, 4916 Carpinteria Ave. in downtown Carpinteria. Directed by Tom Mueller, this salute to the season is a one-hour unscripted, unrehearsed show using the tools of improv. Tickets are $10 and available at the box office from 2:30 p.m. day of the show. More info, call Tom at (805) 794-7467. www.plazatheatercarpinteria.com

I'll be performing. Thinking on my feet. Scaring myself to death. And loving every minute of it. Would love to see you there. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

When work is slow

Magazine cover shot by Glenn Dubock. 
Work is slow. Or should I say, "It has stopped."

Carpinteria Magazine just hit the streets. There's a short lull until we start revving up for the next issue. Additionally, there's been some client attrition in my business. It happens.

Today I find myself facing a day of no billable hours. In many ways, a day without deadlines is something to be treasured. In other ways, a day without deadlines is nerve-wracking.

Here are some of the ways I handle a downturn in billable hours:

  • Freak out. Fully and completely. Typically lasts less than a few hours.
  • Regroup. Embrace the huge cache of "free time" to take care of non-billable items such as follow Real Simple magazine's advice on "Easy Ways to Make Your Office Happier" and tidy my email inbox.
  • Hunt. Troll Web sites such as MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, and, of course, Craigslist, among other platforms. The hunting is kind of fun, though it's a lot more fun when I'm not so hungry for work. 
  • Market. Update social media and engage. Send an email to prospective clients about what I do. Attend meetings of professional organizations of which I belong, such Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara chapter.  

My desk pre-organizing. Not too bad, but better now. 

I have been lucky that paying work usually shows up before I've had time to thoroughly enjoy some non-billable time. Today I keep the faith that that will happen again. And it will, as long as I keep up my end by doing what I need to do to get more work and by keeping the faith.






Monday, May 15, 2017

Sustainable Blogging - an idea whose time has come

Here's an idea whose time has come: Sustainable Blogging. This is not my idea and take no credit whatsoever. 

Credit goes to Cooperative Wisdom authors Donal Scherer and Carolyn Jabs, who blogged about it. Click here to read it. 

My takeaway from the post is that we are all so overwhelmed, not only with everyday life but also with the digital bombardment that accompanies us everywhere. Is it really necessary to post for posting's sake? Wouldn't it be better to have something of value to say or share? 

Your takeaway probably will be different, but I guarantee it will be of value. Click here and take a couple of minutes to read the Sustainable Blogging post. 

I liken the idea to the Slow Food movement, which started in response to fast food. Slow Food is about purposefully taking time to make a delicious and nutritious meal and then savoring the effort. 

Pictured above is Ava. I got stuck finding suitable artwork for a Sustainable Blogging post, and Ava fit the bill. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Getting Ink in a Newspaper or Magazine

Carpinteria City Beach in January 2017. 
This probably isn't going to make me popular with people who sell print advertising. I thought it worth sharing, anyway, because I'm frequently asked about how one goes about getting ink in a newspaper or magazine.

Here's part of an email I sent answering someone who recently asked me that question. 

"Regarding the local newspapers, of course, any of them would be happy to sell you space to run an article praising your business. 

The trick is to make the article sound more OpEd-ish and tailor it to the newspaper's readership. Then the paper may run it as editorial rather than advertising. You don't pay and, more than likely, they don't pay you. 

Here's what I suggest: 

  • Create a list of newspapers/magazines/outlets and check the editorial guidelines. 
  • Decide which ones you want to target. 
  • Massage the article to fit the newspaper/magazine/outlet. 
  • Call the editor(s) to say you're sending the article. 
  • Send the article. 
  • Follow up with the editor(s).
  • Pray. 

There's no guarantee that the article will print, but it might. 

If nothing else, you'll have started a working relationship with newspapers/magazines/outlets and a database. You can send news items on a regular basis, such as a second office, you've hired a new salesperson, your product won an award, and so on."

I hope you'll give the above a try. Your business deserves some ink. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Out with the old, and that means resolutions

Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you everything your heart desires.

I'm looking forward to a year filled with enjoying my writing. So, I've decided to let go of resolutions of how I am going to post all sorts of Facebook updates, blog bits, and all other social media stuff.

The pressure is off, which means I will probably get around to doing the stuff. LOL. You know, reverse psychology.

Here a few notes I received this month. I want to share them, not to brag, but to demonstrate how a few sentences can really make my day.




Here's to a wonderful 2017.

Amy