Essential 7

Essential 7
The Name I Trust for Quality Essential Oils

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Filling in the Gaps with Freelance Writing

I have always enjoyed writing. As words flow from my fingers on the keyboard, my mind begins to relax and feel less cluttered. Thoughts and ideas that have been rambling around in my head for days, weeks, sometimes months, finally come out and plant themselves elsewhere to make room for more thoughts and ideas in my mental attic. It's a vicious cycle, yet somehow it works for me. If I were to stop writing, my brain would probably be showcased on the next episode of Hoarders!

But writing has not always been a career path for me - at least not one that I took seriously. For the last twenty-eight years, I have been about the business of establishing a family and building a life around my husband, the kids, the pets, and a few precious moments to myself. 

Then in 2004 my husband and I decided to start a business transporting and boarding pets. We named it The Waggin Trail Express, and my husband traveled the country delivering pets while I stayed home and ran our Doggie Bed & Breakfast. As in any business venture, we had good years and not-so-good years, but we always made enough money to pay the bills and raise a family. 
But a couple of years ago my husband fell ill during one of his trips. He thought he was having a heart attack as he limped into his delivery destination 2,000 miles from home. Resisting the urge to check himself into a hospital, he opted instead for a hotel, where he convalesced a few days and gathered the strength to drive home.
He went to the doctor as soon as he got home, and was diagnosed with a severe respiratory infection. It knocked the wind out of his sails for months, and we lost a considerable amount of income while he recovered.
During that time, I tried to turn my anxiety about our finances into productive ideas that could improve our situation. I needed to find a way to make some extra money without leaving the house, as our kids and the other half of our business depended on me.
I am a list-maker, so I sat down one day with pen and paper, and I listed my skills. Writing jumped to the top of my list pretty quickly, but I still wasn't sure if there was decent money to be made as a freelancer. 
Internet research happens to be another one of my passions. (Yes, I am a total geek.) So I searched for some real writing opportunities. I say "real", because most of what I found was a scam. With diligence and determination, I compiled a short list of companies, to which I applied. One in particular, Crowdsource.com, became my meat and potatoes. They offered a writing bonus each week, on top of their normal per-article pay. I made it my goal to meet that quota every week so I could land that extra $50. 

My husband answered phones and watched the kids for three hours each day while I locked myself away in our bedroom with my laptop. I wrote five articles each weekday, which gave me the total I needed to reach my goal. I earned $325 per week on this regimen, and I had weekends free. It got us through a rough time, and I was amazed at how easy it was to accomplish.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that there are some good freelance opportunities out there for writers who want (or need) to work from home. This inspired me to compile a long list of freelance writing companies for home job-seekers like me. 
I published this list, along with some tricks and tips of the trade on Amazon Kindle this year to give others an easier path to making money writing from home. Whether you need to fill the gaps in your budget, like I still do from time to time, or you are seeking a full-time career, there is a company and a project to meet your needs. Check out my book Home Jobs: Get Paid to Write Articles Online and get started "write away"!