Today I have Christine Rice on to discuss her new book about freelance writing. Most authors have additional jobs, this writing gig doesn’t pay like people think it does so editing, freelance writing or straight up “real” jobs ie. 9-5 in an office is how they keep food on the table and roof over their heads. Christine takes her own experience and helps to make it easier on others
Please tell me about yourself.
My name is Christine Rice. I’m a freelance writer, an editor, and a published author. I write nonfiction pieces. I have four books published: Poetry for the Heart, Essays for the Soul, My Not-So-Ordinary Life, and Freelance Writing Guide. I have plans for publishing three books between 2012 and 2013. I’ve been a freelance writer and editor since 2011. I love to write and do all the other work activities that come with being a professional writer. I spend most of my working time writing books, writing book reviews, publishing on my two blogs, reading, editing, marketing, and networking.
What is your workspace and routine like?
My workspace is pretty neat and organized. I have a good-sized desk, a widescreen monitor, a nice printer on its own table, a comfy office chair, a desk light, and boxes, folders, and portable file cabinets to organize my paperwork. I keep my kindle e-reader close by and I have a bed in my office where I read for research and book reviewing. I also have a bookcase with all my favorite writing books.
My routine is basically: wake up, get a drink of water, turn on the computer, work all day and all night, and go to bed. I love to work. I use email and the Web a lot for my work, and the computer for writing. I don’t write anything out by hand, except to-do lists, and even then I have a to-do list online to keep track of my work with deadlines. When I need a break from the computer, I read.
What are you reading now?
I am busy with other work presently, so I don’t have a book I’m currently reading (which is not typical of me), but the next book I have in line to read is Anywhere but Here by Sherri Moorer. I will be starting it very soon.
What do you like to do when not working?
I like to read for pleasure, hang out with my husband and our cat, go shopping, dine out, get my hair done, read my friends’ posts on Facebook, and other things I’m sure.
What is one thing you know now about writing/publishing that you wish you had known when starting out?
That I don’t have to edit forever, because once I reach a certain point with editing, the piece doesn’t improve much after that, and too much editing could also worsen the quality of the piece, especially when it comes to the writer’s voice. Editing too much can take the life out of a piece. It makes it too stiff. I do edit a lot; I just try not to get too detailed with it, because I can easily be a perfectionist.
What frequent mistakes do new authors make?
Many new authors don’t edit enough. They don’t take the time to polish their manuscripts and it becomes a sloppy finished product. If you can’t edit well yourself, ask someone to do it for you. Formatting a manuscript is important too and writers should spend more time doing it. It allows a reader to glide over the book quickly and understand it more easily. Formatting is really important with ebooks, which are becoming very popular, so all authors should know how to properly format a manuscript to be an ebook.
What would you consider the biggest challenge in that first year?
The biggest challenge in my first year as a freelance writer was putting away my pride and being willing to accept low-paying assignments. I had to work fast and a lot of hours to produce a high volume of articles to earn just a little money. But the good thing is that there are infinite possibilities for growth and making more money as a freelance writer. I started at the bottom and worked hard for my achievements, and maybe someday I will be near the top.
What prompted you to write this book?
After nine months as a freelance writer I was inspired with the thought: wouldn’t it be nice if I had all the information I’ve learned over the last nine months provided to me in a concise book? It would have saved me a lot of time that I spent researching content websites, work-for-hire websites, search engine optimization, writing communities, networking, and other aspects of the career. I thought it would be helpful and convenient for writers to have a reference guide that had tips and resources provided at their fingertips.
I want to help new writers who are looking to take the next step into freelance writing. Wouldn’t you, if you were about to embark on a new career path, like to know what to expect in the future? The first year is especially important, because that is when freelance writers have to absorb the most information about freelance writing and make the most adjustments to their lives.
Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer is available in paperback, epub, ebook, kindle, and pdf from Lulu, Amazon, Smashwords, and CreateSpace. You can often find Christine at these places on the Web: blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. You can contact her by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.