Spill It: Do You Unknowingly Waste Your Best Stories?

Tomorrow morning, I’m heading up to Good Commons in Plymouth, VT, for a Revitalize Retreat organized by healthy travel organization Pravassa. I don’t travel (or unplug) often, and I’ve never taken a vacation alone. But I’m looking forward to daily yoga classes, and cooking classes during which we’ll prepare farm fresh meals. I’m looking forward to field trips to nearby sustainable farms. I’m looking forward to soaking in the hot tub, and stuffing my face with s’mores at the fire pit. I’m looking forward to spending quiet hours with my stack of books (Michael Ellsberg’s The Education of Millionaires, Elizabeth George’s I, Richard, and Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves), and to meeting other blissed-out, beginner yogis.

When I told my yoga instructor about the trip, he was all, “Cool! Are you writing about it!?” And then I hemmed and hawed and finally admitted to him that it hadn’t occurred to me.

But this is only half true. Another part of me had thought about it in passing, and had then decided that I wouldn’t be able to come up with a compelling story angle. Or that it would be too much of a long shot to sell a story that wasn’t about sex. And was it worth the effort? Wasn’t I supposed to be having fun? Unplugging? [Read more…]

Freelance Dilemma: Brainstorming New Ideas

For the past six or seven weeks, I’ve been participating in Freelance Success‘s Query Challenge.

The last time I participated, I broke into new markets and gained a whole lot of momentum in my freelance writing career. This time around, I’m floundering. A lot of that is due to the fact that I’m juggling so many different things right now: I work in NYC three days a week, have various copywriting gigs on my plate, and am in the midst of launching my career coaching practice/taking on practicum clients. For these reasons (and because I’m finding that–more and more often–work is coming to me), sending out queries is just a much smaller part of my freelance life at this point.

But the other reason I’m floundering–both in this query challenge and on my blog lately–is because I haven’t been generating new ideas.

[Read more…]