My Vacation in a Series of Tweets and Pics

I’m a dork, I know! While I was on vacation in the beautiful Dominican Republic (Punta Cana), I didn’t have any access to the Internet, which for someone who is addicted to social media, you can only imagine how weird it was. And wouldn’t it just figure that when I don’t have Internet, I think of all those clever little things I would have tweeted or put up on FB. So I tried to remember them. Here is my vacation in a series of what would have been tweets, FB updates and pictures:

Why do I have to be behind a screaming child on a 6:50am flight? Makes me question whether I want kids or not.

OMG, it’s hot here!

Our room is 10 feet from the pool. Wow!

pool

Swim up bar, yes please!

swb

It’s so hot here – the pool feels like bath water. Heading down to the ocean for some cooler water.

Yep, may have mooned the whole beach when I lost my bottoms in the ocean. Lol!

I can see my feet, even in water that’s up to my shoulders. Awesome!

ocean

So sunscreen that is SPF30 doesn’t really work against the sun here. Both of us are burned 🙂

Yum, mango may be my new favorite fruit. I wonder where I can buy it in Ohio….

Buying more sunscreen for tomorrow. It cost $17 per 4oz bottle. Yikes!

Just walked 4 miles down the beach to a flea market.

Apparently Ohio is known around the world because of LeBron James. This according to the flea market vendors.

Surprisingly karaoke in languages I don’t understand is quite amusing. The music videos are the best!

Wow, people from Portugal really know how to party.

I can’t stop drinking Mango Mojitos.

I wonder how much weight I have gained from eating a soup, salad, appetizer, main course and dessert at every meal.

They make their dessert look so cute! How can I not eat it?

dessert

Debating whether or not to join in the sand volleyball game….

A monkey just jumped on my husband’s head. Crap, I didn’t have my camera!

I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with the ship wreck. Can’t stop taking pictures of it – it’s kinda like Pirates of the Caribbean!

sw1

sw2

Figured out how to work the timer on my camera. Sweet!

us

It’s storming and the hotel just lost power. Kinda weird. At least it waited until 3pm so we still got a full day of sun.

Napping so we can make it to the Disco tonight.

All glammed up and ready for some dancing!

us

Goodbye paradise, hopefully I’ll see you again next year!

vac2

vac1

beach

Getting Back in the Groove

beach

I’m back from vacation and I must admit, not really caught up on everything, but I wanted to add a quick post as I work to get back in the groove of things. Our vacation was absolutely perfect and so needed. For the first time in I can’t remember when, I actually went for very long periods of time without stressing about work. When I did think about work, it was more big picture thoughts and more positive, I’m so proud of what I have accomplished thoughts. I also had a lot of time to think of other big picture items, but more on that another day.

For now I just wanted to say I’m back, well rested, refreshed and ready to dig in. The beach as you probably know is a very inspirational place and I am bursting with new ideas and renewed energy. I missed my computer (lame as that sounds) and my writing (not lame because it’s what I love). I actually did not write a single thing, so I am looking forward to getting back into things tomorrow. I also have realized that I am so fortunate to have a job that I actually miss and one that I’m really excited to come back to after a vacation.

More later, I’m off to finish unpacking.

Vacation Here I Come!

For my loyal readers and friends, I know I haven’t posted in a while. My sincere apologies! I have been so busy, which is a great thing. I guess you could say that currently this is a peak time for me. I have taken on several new clients and have been given additional work by some current clients and I could not be more grateful.

As some of you know, I have also been planning a vacation. I leave in a couple of hours and will be gone for a week. I’m very excited, but also a little bit nervous about leaving my writing business for a whole week. I’m sure it will be fine, but everything is still so new and I’m still getting into the swing of working for myself that it’s just hard to take a break right now. On the other hand, as busy as I have been, I think a break is much needed and considering this is the first vacation I have taken in four years, it is definitely needed.

I am told that I will have some internet access where we are staying, but I have ultimately decided against taking my laptop. So if by chance I can tear myself away from the pool, the beach and the fruity cocktails, I will try to check in – if not, again, my apologies.

Try not to miss me too much. I’ll be back before you know it. And when I am back, I plan to devote more time to this blog. Have a great week without me!

Hire Me Please

Thumbs upHave you ever come across a job ad that just screams your name? You know what I am talking about, that job ad where every word is just dripping with a description of you and your talents. I’ve came across several of those seemingly perfect jobs before and I just came across another one today in my daily writing job search. The most frustrating thing is to just know you are a perfect fit for a client only to apply for the work and not hear anything back. Well, rather than immediately writing the client a “hire me please” note begging to be hired, here are some tips to actually help you hear back from that client that you really want to work with:

Apply for jobs that you actually qualify for.

Okay, okay, I know that a lot of my fellow freelancers will tell you that you have to apply for many, many jobs in order to land one. And I’m all for that, but the real truth here is that you have to apply for jobs that you can actually do. While it is impressive to apply for 25 jobs a day, are you really completely qualified for all of them? It makes much more sense to take your time and apply for a handful of projects that you are sure you qualify for rather than rushing through and applying to tons of jobs that you don’t necessarily qualify for and really couldn’t do even if you got the work.

Follow the directions.

This should really be common sense. We are taught from a very young age how to follow directions, so why some people still can’t do it is beyond me. Really, the concept is simple: a client writes an ad for what kind of work they have and what you need to give them to be considered for the project. Make sure you give them everything they ask for in the way that they ask for it. If they say don’t send attachments, then don’t. If they say to send three samples, then send three samples, not two. Seriously, what are you saying about yourself and your work ethic if you don’t even follow the directions when applying for the project?

Use a conversational tone.

One thing that I have found in my months of looking for freelance writing work is that email, the Internet, blogging, Twitter, Face Book, all that changes the tone of applying for freelance work. Back when I used to apply for full time jobs (and I have applied for a lot!) it would be with a formal, by the book cover letter, a resume that was also straight out of career services and that would suffice. But with the boom of social media everything is more casual, especially in the world of freelancing. Many clients these days are looking to hire a contract worker that can communicate in a functional way, not necessarily by writing Dear____ and signing off Sincerely _____. Be friendly, give the information they ask for and do it in a conversational way.

Don’t be overly friendly.

Okay, this might seem a little contradictory, but there is a line. Don’t cross it. You don’t need to tell a potential client that you sleep until 11 A.M. every day and work until midnight, or that you need to make some extra cash to take a trip. There is just no need for this. Tell them what they need to know in a nice way that doesn’t cross that delicate line.

Be clear and concise.

In my early days of applying for freelance writing jobs when I was asked to provide a rate I would give one rate for a blog post or I would give a flat rate for a project. But silly me, I forgot to include what that entailed. Now I try to be very clear. If I quote a flat rate for a project I say that it includes an x number of rewrites or a certain amount of interview time. For blog posts I now quote my price based on the number of words.

Ask for feedback.

I’ll admit that this is a little tricky. You can’t ask for feedback on every job that you apply for – chances are you don’t hear back from all of them. But I’ll bet that you have heard back from some for possibly clarification on something and have still ended up not getting the client. In this case I always wait a few days and then send a quick email asking for feedback on my resume – or my portfolio web site which I now use, my clips, my correspondence, etc. On a few occasions I have had responses that were very nice and most importantly very helpful in making me more efficient at applying for future freelance work.

Did I miss anything on this list. What do you do that works when applying for freelance writing work?