Happy Birthday Blog! [I’m 2!!]

MniS 2 year
This is 5 days late because WordPress only told me today, but my blog is two years old!

Good times.

A lot can happen in a year…

The first steps into freelancing I mentioned taking in last year’s birthday post have become my full-time job! You can read about quitting my day job here. That was fun! And terrifying!

The flash fiction series whose glacial progress I mentioned last year have gone virtually nowhere! But honestly, I will do more soon –  a friend bugged me about it recently, so there’s more to come, promise.

‘The novel’, from which only a cryptic segment was ever posted here, is currently with the (other) judges of a wonderful literary competition called Ink & Insights. The judges (including me!) provide detailed feedback on the first 10,000 words of novels for budding authors. That’s a lot of words and you get a lot of feedback! Anyone with a novel sat stewing, throw it I&I’s way, it’s a great competition and entries are open now!

Other than that, I’ve just been working pretty much. I’m very lax about when I get up but that does mean I have cool dreams and I’ve started writing about them – check out the dream lessons tag for those.

Oh, and holidaying. I give myself a lot of holidays – Luxembourg, Sweden, Scotland, Italy… life is too short to work all the time, even when you love what you do!

And that’s that. Like last year, I was on holiday for the actual day but today I am working (next mini-holiday’s on Friday!) and I must get back to that. Much love, fair readers!

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Happy Birthday to Blog!

We are one year old today! [Cue confetti]

Some reflections:

This blog started out (EXACTLY one year ago – I’ve matched the time and everything) as a place to let out Skylance – the ‘wild, imaginative creative part of me’ – and for the most part that’s just what it’s been. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to let out, but it turned out to be a lot of flash fiction and poetry (I would link to them but they have their own categories anyway) alongside little pieces of songs, ultimate, and the straight up, ripped-from-my-younger-self’s-head fantasy I had in mind when I first began. One-off pieces like that proved a lot easier to write than any part of something more substantial, hence the glacial progress of my two flash fiction series and the only-once-ventured tie-in to my in-progress novel (way too many hyphens there!).

A big shock for me was the reception given to some of my posts about real life. I didn’t think anyone would be interested to hear about my own trials and tribulations, though admittedly, when a lot of them were about Tinder, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Another thing that’s really struck me is the community here on WordPress. I’ve met (well, virtually met) a ton of great people with so much interesting stuff to say, and I’m genuinely touched when, after a long absence from posting, I rejoin the WordPress world and am welcomed back so warmly. I couldn’t possibly list all my brilliant friends here, but Jane Basil needs mentioning for almost always being my first like, comment and welcome whenever I’ve returned. Big and warm shout-outs as well to Nurse Kelly and Lotte Lubach who have been my other most prolific commenters and readers. To all the rest, I love you all as well! I really enjoy it when I get a chance to sit and scroll through all the blogs I follow on my Reader, including many of my talented friends.

And where am I going next? Hopefully continuing to build a readership here and share my work as widely as possible, alongside my recent steps into starting as a freelance writer. Exciting times indeed!

That’s all, really. I’m on the last day of my holiday at the moment, so I’m going to go enjoy My Name is Skylance’s first birthday – have a great day!

Finding my dream writing job on Upwork

Upwork – My Latest Venture

Evening folks! I’m excited to tell you about a step I’ve taken towards the dream of actually legitimately being a real-life paid-up writer person: I’ve signed up as a freelancer.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out for me, and hopefully I’ll be able to share some tips and pitfalls along the way that might help anyone else out there wanting to do something similar. So a quick breakdown:

Why
I want to be a writer. I’m currently an engineer. It pays well, it can be pretty interesting, but it is not what I love. I love writing. I’ve been looking at writing jobs and, unsurprisingly, employers want professional experience, so I’m going to get some.

What
Upwork is a site that connects freelancers to projects all over the world. There are fields for programming and web design and blah blah but more importantly writing! From editing and technical copy to poetry and blogging, there are people everywhere who are willing to pay me to write. Oh my.

How
Signup is simple, and free, and pretty quick. I set up my profile – picture, short bio, list of skills – last night and have started looking at jobs today. When you find something interesting, you message the project/owner/employer/tasker and if they like you, you get the job! You agree a rate, do the work, get paid. Apparently.

So what have I done so far?
Wrote a bio.
Added my skills  – for me that means fiction, blog writing, poetry, editing etc
Chose a nice cheerful photo.
Added some work details (about my irrelevant engineering job, and how that has helped me communicate with barely-literate, scientifically-minded people) and about the student magazine I edited at uni. Gotta start somewhere!
Set my hourly rate
^^ What?? This really threw me – I’d just signed up and was expected to state how much my time was worth. I had no idea and agonised for a while, but in the end just went cheap (I’m not doing it for the money after all) for now and for each job you agree on a rate anyway.
Took a creative writing test! Upwork has a ton of tests to cover all the skills you can list on the site. The prospect terrified me a bit but it looks good to verify your skills so I went for it. This test was 40 questions, multiple choice, about publishing, plot, characters etc. I did pretty well thankfully (in the top 10%) so that will look good.

and lastly…

Applied for some jobs! Within a few hours of joining the site I was invited to apply for a job writing short stories about green tea and Korea… neither are areas I know much about, but I explained that in my application (why not, hey?) as well as my passion for writing, my low rates and my willingness to research green tea and Korea and make a decent hash of it! We’ll see where that goes. I’ve applied to three others as well (applying costs credits called Connects of which you have a limited number each month) to which I wasn’t invited (being invited means a free application!) which are proofreading, a rewriting of a novel into natural English (from a non-native author) and short story writing for an online magazine startup. Not heard back yet, but I’ll be sure to check in here when I do, and I’d love to hear from any of you who have tried similar endeavours!