Veteran Home-Based Freelance Writer’s 3 Tips to Avoiding a ‘Silly Freshman Mistake’

Commentary, Create & Run Your Biz, The Writing Business
November 28th, 2018 1 Comment »

I’ve worked from home since 1989, but rarely have a sweated a silly freshman mistake more than when I recently awaited a Big Check from a first-time writing client. I’d made a verbal agreement on terms with the client’s CFO. I delivered the work, and submitted my invoice.?The next day, he left the company (the cause was never explained to me – nor should it have been, really). But his departure rightfully made me ill-at-ease.

Since I had only a verbal agreement with him – and not his employer, per se – I was over a barrel on the terms and eventual payment of my invoice.

My silly freshman mistake was not getting a signed agreement ?or contract for services with the client, with EVERY client (identified in the contract as a representative of said company – NOT as an individual), every time, at least until the client has developed a track record of timely payment of invoices.

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Living Like a First-Time Dead Head: A Boomer’s Down’n’Dirty Guide to Surviving Four Days Tenting at the LOCKN’ Festival

Soloing, Technology, The Outdoor Life, The Writing Business
August 29th, 2014 No Comments »

Get a first-person glimpse at the annual LOCKN’ Music Festival and what it takes for a suburban baby boomer to live like a veteran festival goer. Join a jam-band music lover and tech columnist at his first festival as he discovers how to survive four days in a tent and life amid the painted and dancing throngs. With a little technology, some online search, copious provisions from Costco, and the insights of fellow festival goers, we learn how to enjoy the festival lifestyle in what could be the start of a new pastime. Sorry, Dear Wife, you can have Celine and Barbra. I’ll be hanging with the Allmans and Mr. Petty and 25,000 new best friends. Come along for the ride…

10 Days on the Road: Sights and Insights From the Home Office Highway

Commentary, The Road Warrior, The Writing Business
June 22nd, 2011 No Comments »

Ten days into three on the open road with my family – and home office technology – in tow…

JZ at Petrified ForestAs a writer, I get paid to observe. This time, I’m not getting paid. But sitting in the New York New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, I cannot help but observe and report.

I am NOT Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Vacation – though being compared to Chevy Chase isn’t necessarily a bad thing – “na-na-na-na-na-na-na”), no matter how many of you may think a family of five spending three weeks in a minivan in search of the mythical Wally World qualifies me as maniacal.

Took my kids to the Hoover Dam. Damn, they weren’t impressed. All I wanted to do was marvel at this engineering masterpiece — and shoot a few pictures with my Nikon. They would have nothing of it. Maybe it was because…

Nevada in June is freakin’ hot. As was Texas, which was also big and flat. The Southwest in summertime is a blast furnace – a lot like South Florida. But it’s a dry heat, they tell us. Tell that to steel melting in a furnace. Texas was like Oklahoma. Ditto for Las Vegas. Never thought I’d say this, but New Mexico was a relief.

There’s something compelling about seeing hundreds of windmills and turbines in wind farms across the West. As for the rest of the country, “Get a clue!”

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7 Secrets of Beating Writer’s Block in the Home Office

Productivity & Efficiency, The Writing Business
March 25th, 2010 1 Comment »

My friend Owen Frager has a simple belief: Writer’s block is fear-based. It’s a feeling, he says, based on an incredible fear of committing ourselves in writing whenever we are faced with a blank page or computer screen.

Fear no longer, he says. Writer’s block can be beaten — every time.

Just realizing that writer’s block is really an irrational fear that keeps us from putting pen to paper is half the battle. It’s actually a fear of the unknown, often coupled with a fear of failure.

We secretly wonder just what exactly is going to come out of this pen / keyboard, and when it does, will we be revealing some kind of incompetent idiot who doesn’t know what they’re talking about?

On the other hand, if we have done the proper preparation, our rational mind knows that we can do it just like we did it all of those other times before.

Fortunately, somewhere along the way I did manage to develop a few tricks to overcome writers block. Some are obvious, others are not. Here are my personal hard-earned practical secrets for overcoming writer’s block…

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