4 Tips for New Freelancers

Happy Monday!

In this blog post, I will be sharing 4 tips I recommend to new freelancers. Whether you want to be a freelance writer, editor, photographer, or website designer, these tips will be applicable to you.

In the next week or so, I have EXCITING NEWS regarding my own freelancing to share so make sure you are following me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

I believe I began my freelance journey a year or so ago when I was at the end of my grade 12 year. I went straight to websites like Fiverr and Upwork and got a few gigs, but they were not exactly what I was looking for and I felt they didn’t benefit my portfolio. Since then, I have refocused my freelancing vision and have written for newsletters for local companies and the MS Society, published articles in my school’s newspaper, The Martlet, and so much more. Now, I am a freelance writer at Flanelle Magazine where every month, I pitch articles and they are published on the website. As a freelancer, I know the ups and downs of the business like the back of my hand, which is why I am dedicated to sharing my own advice.

Here are my 4 tips for new freelancers.

1. Take Advantage of FREE Resources

As a new freelancer, you will not make much money right away which is why you want to keep your expenses at a low cost. However, there are some things every freelance just needs and it differs depending what type of freelancer you are. For example, I need a laptop, I need an application to create graphics on for social media, and I need a website. Some of those things are costly, but others are not! While I cannot get a good laptop for less than $500 or a website domain for less than $100, I can get necessary and helpful tools for free!

Check out my blog post on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS because I include 3 helpful tips and a bunch of cheap or free resources for you to use. These resources are for everything from photo editing and design to SEO and writing related tools. I highly recommend checking it out before spending money you do not need to spend.

2. Become a Pro Networker

Your best opportunities are going to come from personal connections you have made through putting in some effort and networking. They are not going to come from websites like Upwork or Fiverr because there are so many other writers and editors and photographers that have a bit more experience than you. Instead, focus on finding people through past colleagues, family members, friends, etc and the people you meet online. LinkedIn is a great resource for this. Not only can you network with other professionals in your field who might be looking for the work you offer, but LinkedIn also offers a free 1 month trial for their LinkedIn Learning where you can develop a bunch of essential microcredentials like navigating Excel, editing, proofreading, and more!

Here are 3 tips for networking:

  • Be Personable and Personal – Be friendly when you message someone and also make it a personal message. Express your interest in their company or their work and share your own story. Don’t copy and paste the same type of message to every writer or editor or photographer you find on Instagram.
  • Be Active on Your Social Media – When networking, it is essential to be active on your platforms because after reaching out to people, they are going to check out your social media. You want to ensure you have recent posts and content for them to browse through and it shows you are dedicated to your work and brand.
  • Have an Elevator Pitch of Yourself and Your Services – Whether you are networking to meet other likeminded creatives or find a job, you must have an elevator pitch of you and your services ready to go. Here’s an example: My name is Zoe Mathers and I am a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. I have been writing creatively and on my blog for over 5 years. Now, I offer copy editing, proofreading, manuscript critiques, social media content creation, and copywriting services on my freelance website.

3. Be Your Own Cheerleader

When freelancing, you do all the work. You produce the content, you market yourself and your services, and you organize interactions with clients. It is tiring and challenging, but you have to be your own cheerleader. You have to constantly shout about your services and market yourself on your social media platforms. It is especially important to be a super-star cheerleader the 7 or so days leading up to your business launch and the two weeks proceeding your launch. This can get tedious and tiring which is why I recommend scheduling posts in advance and reposting posts you have already created about your services. For some scheduling tools, check out my blog posts on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS.

4. Always Be Willing to Learn and Grow

Even though I have been writing and creating content for years, I am learning new things every day from the people around me and my own experiences. I also am constantly learning because I take Coursera and LinkedIn Learning courses on social media, marketing, writing, editing, and more. These are skills you can always improve and grow, and there are so many free resources you can do this through. You can also learn and grow by just creating and doing so constantly. Get experimental with the content you create and only post things you are proud of (to an extent). The freelance journey means you never know what you are doing and you are always learning. It is one of my favourite things about it!


Those are 4 tips for new freelancers from me and I hope they were helpful! If you are a freelancer and have some more advice, please leave it in the comments below. I will definitely post a part 2 to this as my last tip indicates, I am always learning and growing so I will have more to share in the future.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post: 6 Books I Want to Read This Summer

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6 Books I Want to Read This Summer

6 books on my summer reading list and 4 tips to help get out of a reading slump

Happy Friday!

***Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to shoutout my Patreon that I recently launched. You can check out all the goodies I am offering HERE, or scroll down and click on the Patreon icon at the very bottom of the page. Thanks πŸ™‚

This summer has been a looong one for all of us. I mean, I was supposed to finish school at the end of April and have a 4 month summer (which is very long in itself) but because of COVID-19, summer will be almost 6 months! You think with all that time, I would have read dozens of books by now. It has been 3 1/2 months at this point, yet, how many books have I read? 9!

I have not finished a book since the beginning of May, but I am over halfway through Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. I am happy to report that I will definitely finish this YA fantasy and I am hoping it will encourage me to get back into the swing of reading since the annual Reading Rush is coming up and I want to participate in that (I will be sharing my TBR on Instagram so follow me @zoeiswriting).

And since I have been doing so many writing and creative entrepreneur-related blog posts, I realized it is time to talk about books! Even if I am not reading a lot right now.

Here are 6 books I want to read this summer.

1. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King, by Cinda Williams Chima | Fantasy books, Fantasy ...

I am in the mood for some good ol’ fantasy, so when I was at the bookstore, I decided to pick up The Demon King. I know this is a spinoff (?) series in the world that another one of her series takes place in but you can read this series without reading those other books. However, I realized I own The Warrior King (the first book in that other series)! Maybe I will give that a read after The Demon King because for whatever reason, The Demon King is calling out to me. Do I know what it is about? Nope! But nonetheless, I am excited to dive into it sometime this summer. Let me know if you have read this book, or any of her others books in this world, and what you thought about them.

2. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

Vengeful: Schwab, V. E.: 9780765387523: Books - Amazon.ca

One of my goals this summer is to find Vicious, the first book in this series, and buy it because that is one GOOD book. I also want to pick up the long awaited sequel, Vengeful because I know it will be just as good, if not better. When I think about Vicious, I get chills. It is one of those books that even none readers will love so if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

In the first book, we follow Victor and Eli who are college roommates and both intelligent and ambitious characters. In their final year, they become fascinated with near-death experiences and supernatural events after experiencing some odd things in their own lives, and realize they have the power to give each other extraordinary abilities. But no one human should wield this type of power, and it is no surprise when things go extremely wrong. The book then jumps 10 years into the future and we follow the fight between Eli, who wants to be the only superhuman in the world, and Victor. Who will survive and whose ability will become their undoing?

3. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: The Final Empire: Sanderson, Brandon: 8601419297900 ...

To be honest, I cannot even tell you how long this book has been on my shelf. I know it is time to finally read it, not only because I have heard nothing but good things about it, and also because I need to get around to reading a Brandon Sanderson book. One reason I have put off reading this book is because I own the mass market paperback edition (it was super cheap, okay!). However, I have glasses for a reason! It is time to buckle up and dive into this long book. Once again, I have no idea what it is about, but I am very excited for some classic high fantasy.

4. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: 9781524798642 ...

I know, I know. I’ve read this book two times already THIS year, but it is just so good. Also, I had no idea it was becoming a TV show! It already has a cast too and I am in love with it. Ever since I found out this exciting news, I have been itching to re-read it. I would have done it sooner, but I leant it to be boyfriend a few months ago and couldn’t get it back until I went and visited him 3 weeks ago. But now I have it back and it has been very tempting to re-read.

Daisy Jones and the Six is written in interview format and follows the rise and fall of a fictional band from the 70s (it is based off of Fleetwood Mac). If you are a music fan, especially a fan of rock from the 70s/80s, I highly recommend this book.

5. A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1) by Rebecca Crunden

This is a book I’ve spoken about in the past because I was given it for review about a month ago. Since I’ve been in a reading slump, I haven’t gotten around to it yet unfortunately, but I want to get to it sometime this summer. This is a dystopian YA novel and takes place a thousand years in the future where humanity lives behind the walls of a totalitarian Kingdom.Β This is a genre I haven’t read in a while. I hope I love this book and it gets me back into re-reading some of my dystopian favourites since there hasn’t been too much dystopian releasing lately!

6. The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell

The Devil's Thief (The Last Magician, #2) by Lisa Maxwell

Back in April I read the first book, The Last Magician and I loved it, so I am looking forward to finally reading the sequel, The Devil’s Thief. This series takes place in New York during the 1920s, which means the atmosphere is amazing. There is magic and morally grey characters and deception…some of my favourite things to read about. My local library is opening back up in August which is very exciting and I hope that they have this book for me to borrow!


Before I can dive into this books, however, I have to break out of my horrible reading slump. It is like I am rising out of it slowly, because I feel that desire to read deep down…but I am getting distracted by other things too easily.

Here are some things I am doing to get myself out of this reading slump:

  • Make time to read a little every day (15-30 pages)
  • Abandon books I don’t want to read and only reading what I want to
  • Not pressure myself to read
  • Do other things I enjoy like writing, working out, and listening to music

Those are all the books I want to read during these last 2 months of summer and before the school year begins in full swing. Let me know in the comments below what books you want to get read in July and August, because I would love to know!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts and Patreon below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post:Β 5 Tips for Writing a Novel

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5 Tips for Writing a Novel

Writing a novel isn’t easy, but here are 5 tips to help you out

Happy Monday!

Writing a novel is hard, which is why I have put together 5 tips that will make writing a novel just a little more easier.

Of course, there are the basics that go into writing a novel such as outlining before writing. Outlining includes creating 3D characters, mapping out the world your story takes in, knowing your plot points, etc. However, I will be covering novel writing aspects that you might not think about as often.

Here are my 5 tips for writing a novel.

1. Dedicate a Time & Place for It

This is a basic tip, but it is one of the most important tips out there. If you do not dedicate a specific time and place for writing. In order to write a novel within a reasonable amount of time, you must carve out a certain time to write it and be consistent with following it. For me, my mornings are for writing. That is when I sit down and know it is writing time. I do not sit down only one morning in the week either, every morning where I do not have to work, I use that time for writing.

It is also helpful to have a writing space, or even a few. These are spaces where you sit down and feel inspired to write. Having these spots trains your brain to know that when you sit down there, it is writing time! For me, this is just my desk but I have a nice setup going there with my candle, laptop, and lo-fi music.

2. Know EVERYTHING About Your World

While you do not need to know everything about your plot, it is essential to know everything about your world and characters. You do not need to share everything about your world or characters with the readers (at least, not right away or even ever), but it is important for YOU to know that information. Even if it never gets included in your book!

However, here are 3 things your reader MUST know:

  • Where are the places your story takes place? Describe them for your reader; make it vivid and descriptive
  • How does your world work? Who is in charge? What type of government is it?
  • What are the rules of your world? (This is especially important for fantasy novels)

3. Think of What You Want (or Wanted) to Read and Write It

Think back to when you were younger, or to whenever you pick up a book. What are the things you were hoping for within it? What did the book not have that you wanted? These are things you should think about and write down and then, when you are outlining your plot, include them.

This is why I read lots of books that are similar to my own during the outlining phase. It helps to warmup my mind and prep me for creating a plot that will hold my own attention first, which is crucial when writing a novel!

4. Welcome Surprises and Twists Within Your Story

It is important to follow an outline, but sometimes your story has a mind of its own. These are the times when we have to let our story go where it needs. Often, this makes the story more exciting too. The times where my plot has deviated from the outline created a more thrilling story overall. Those are scenes that felt more natural and less plotted out compared to the scenes I did map out. However, both are important!

Of course, your outline is there for a reason, but if you want to add in a new scene because it feels right, don’t shy away from it!

5. Hold Yourself Accountable, but Don’t Be Too Harsh!

It is nice to have a few friends who can hold you accountable for you writing goals, but I think it is also important for you to hold yourself accountable. Like anything in life, we cannot always rely on others. However, that is not an opening to be harsh on yourself! Be flexible and realistic with yourself, just like you would for a friend that YOU are holding accountable.


Those are 5 tips for writing a novel and I hope they were helpful. If you have any more, leave them below in the comments so we can help each other out!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

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How to Save Money When Starting a Business

Your easy guide to saving money through free resources and conscious thinking

Before I get into this blog post about saving money when starting a business, I wanted to announce that I now have a Patreon! If you like my blog posts and want to support me, it would mean so much πŸ™‚

You can check out my Patreon HERE

How do you save money when starting a business? Isn’t it expensive? What if I don’t have much money to spare and put towards my business?

If any of these questions crossed your mind, don’t worry! You don’t need buckets of money to start any business. Sure, having some is needed and how much really depends on what type of business you are starting. However, I have created this guide to help you save money where you can.

This guide is for anyone who is thinking about starting a business, is in the midst of planning their business, and those who already have a business.

Here are 3 tips on how to save money when starting a business.

1. Write Out an Expenses List

You must write out a list of all possible expenses when starting a business. If you don’t know what you have to spend money on, how can you save any? Include everything from domain hosting costs to shipping. These are things that you will most likely not be able to get out of paying, or find a free alternative. But knowing how much money you will need will give you a good idea of how much to save before launching your business or continuing on with it.

Have a number in your head of how much your first month and first year might cost you. This way, you will know how much you need to make back for this to all be worth it.

2. Connect with other Business People

Connecting with other likeminded business people will not only help you create relationships that can benefit your business and theirs, but it can save you money. These are people who are going through what you are, or have. Maybe they have already launched a business or two and have valuable tips and pieces of advice that could save you time and money. It is really worth scrolling through Instagram, finding people who are in a similar field as you, and then reaching out to them with a friendly message. Compliment them on their progress and explain your story.

If you are having trouble making meaningful connections, YouTube is a great resource…and it’s free! So many YouTubers who have started business are on there, posting videos of the Do’s and Don’t’s when starting a business and how to avoid this and that. Here are my recommendations:

3. Do It Yourself!

Do as much of the start-up, planning, and creation yourself (if you can). If you have to create a website, take the time to watch YouTube videos or reach out to friends who can help. Don’t spend money on ads until you are financially able to, instead, focus on being active on social media because it will be way more effective!

Don’t buy anything you don’t NEED right at the moment either. If you don’t need a business plan on your website right away, or don’t need a premium MailChimp plan till later on, hold off until as long as possible. By the time you really need them, hopefully, you have saved up more money and it is easier to fork out!

Basically, be cheap!

12 FREE resources that will save you SO much money.

Design

Canva – This is a great beginner design tool that offers you so much for free. I highly recommend Canva because you can create images specifically for blog headers, Pinterest pins, Instagram stories, and more

PicMonkey – I used to use PicMonkey and I still think it is a great resource! I know it is good for making YouTube thumbnails, so a good tool for any YouTubers out there too

Courses

Coursera – I paid a lot of money for a membership but that is because there were a lot of specializations I wanted to experience that I can’t at my university. However, there are so many amazing free classes and you can audit any class for FREE

Pivot, Passion, Profit Workshop – I am an intern for Gypsy Journals who created this lovely workbook and playback for any creative entrepreneurs looking to thrive in their passions. I highly encourage you to take a look and explore her other courses with Ouiwegirl.com too!

Social Media Organization

HootSuite – This is a social media post scheduler and with their free plan, you can connect 3 social media accounts and post 30 posts a month. That is good enough for me, and it is super easy to set up and use

Later – Another social media planner that I used to use, but switched to Hootsuite just because it was more of what I needed. However, the layout of Later is great and is super helpful overall

Email

MailChimp – MailChimp is SO easy to use and the free plan is so far, all I need. When starting out, building a email following is essential for any business and including a newsletter will help to grow that. Which is why I use this handy tool

SEO & Writing

Google Keyword Planning – helps you find keywords that are popular and will lead people to your website/posts

Nibbler – gives you a popularity and effectiveness report on whatever website you enter

Grammarly – if you are writing lots, you have to have Grammarly. Especially if you are doing all the writing yourself! Grammarly ensures your writing is grammatically correct and consistent

Invoices

Invoicely – A free invoicing tool for small businesses and not to mention, it is simple to use! With invoicing, I look for simplicity which is why I like Invoicely

PayPal – I love PayPal and sometimes use it depending on the client, however, its free plan isn’t the best for businesses. It is still good to have free account with them though

When starting a business, it is important to be thorough, conscious, and critical. Not all businesses make their money back right away and you need to keep that in mind. That is why when starting a business, it is good to keep your expenses to a minimum until you are seeing progress.

When you finally start making money back, that is when you can spend it on premium plans and tools that will make your life easier. However, until then, the free options are here for you and honestly, they are pretty great!


I hope you found this post helpful and that it will save you money in the future. If you have any other free tools and resources, drop them in the comments below please!

And don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

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July Writing Goals

My June reflection and writing plans for the month of July

Happy Monday!

I cannot believe it is already time to talk about my July writing goals, but here we are, only 2 days away from finishing up with June.

June was an interesting month. No a single word of creative writing got written, but I was pumping out the blog posts, Instagram posts, and whatnot. So, it was an incredibly productive month, but for July, I really want creative writing (specifically my Aztec novel) to be one of my main priorities. Especially since it will be Camp NaNoWriMo!

Before we jump into my July goals, let’s reflect back on June.

  • Finish Re-Typing: I did finish this today actually, so yay! A checkmark for me. My goal deadline was June 12 which was quite a while ago, but I got it done before July and that is all that matters. This project was challenging, but a lot of fun because I got to read this person’s story and learn a lot. I cannot say anything about the story or its author because of legal reasons, but hopefully I can sometime in the future!
  • Finish Writing Act III of The Obsidian Butterfly: This is my Aztec novel idea and I’ve been working on it for over three years but it has changed a lot structure wise over the years. I really wanted to finish outlining Act III in June, but I decided to scrap my outline and re-start. Fingers crossed I get it done in the next 2 days…
  • Write 10,000 Words of The Obsidian Butterfly: Ha, this did not happen.
  • Write 2 Articles for Flanelle Magazine: I didn’t write 2, but I did manage to write one article about this hair product called Wetbrush. I don’t think it is on the website yet, but I’m glad I was able to contribute something this busy month.

While I didn’t achieve every goal, June was still productive and I am proud of it. Things change and goals have to be adjusted due to these changes. I still like to set some goals each month, however, because it helps keep me on track during the month. Now, let’s discuss my July goals.

JULY WRITING GOALS

WRITE 25K DURING CAMP NANOWRIMO

During Camp NaNoWriMo, I want to at least write 25,000 words for The Obsidian Butterfly and get back on track with this project. I only have 2 months left before school, and since I plan on doing a full course load AND working part-time, I want to go into the school year with a good chunk of this novel’s first draft written (even though technically, this is like the fifth draft). This is still a lot of words, especially since I am working and interning in July, but I think it is doable.

WRITE 2 ARTICLES FOR FLANELLE

Once again, I am bringing this goal back. I have written a few article ideas out, I just actually have to sit down and write them. Like I mentioned before, I enjoy writing for Flanelle because it allows me to write things I wouldn’t post to my blog such as how the film industry is impacted by this pandemic and how art is as well. If you want to check out my articles, here are the links:

COVID-19: The importance of keeping art alive in quarantine

5 Ways to stay creative during quarantine

COVID-19: How is the entertainment industry adapting?

Post One Book Review to Blog

About a month ago, I was given a book to review and I really want to get that up on my blog this coming month. I haven’t done a book review since House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, so I feel like it is time to write one up. The book I will be reviewing is A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden so stay tuned!


I decided to keep my July goals short and sweet because I know I have a lot going on. It is important to not expect too much for yourself when setting your monthly goals, or really, any goals, because that is setting yourself up for failure. Well, most likely. I hope you enjoyed hearing what I have planned for July, and make sure you comment your goals for July if you have them planned already!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post:Β Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur

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Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur

5 essential tips and tricks for beginner and experienced creative entrepreneurs alike

Happy Friday!

What is a creative entrepreneur?

A creative entrepreneur is someone who uses their creative skills to make money such as vlogging, freelancing, writing, etc.

Since I freelance write and edit, and am always doing side projects for some cash, I am what you consider a creative entrepreneur. Are you? Or is a creative entrepreneur the type of job you aspire towards? Whatever the answer is, I will be sharing crucial tips and advice for new creative entrepreneurs, experienced entrepreneurs, and those of you who want to become a creative entrepreneur and make money doing what you LOVE.

DETERMINE YOUR REGIONS OF CREATIVITY

It is important to determine the creative regions that you want to focus on and grow into a successful business. The wonderful thing about being a creative entrepreneur is that you do not have to stick to one creative pursuit…you can be known for many! For example, Kristen Martin is a vlogger, business coach, writer, and I am sure there are a couple other titles thrown in there too. When you are a creative entrepreneur, you have the freedom to be creative and aspire to the careers you want.

If you are just starting out, write down 1-3 creative careers you want to work on. For me, that would be freelance writing and editing. Those are still my two main ones that I am constantly growing and spending time on. It helps to keep my “eyes on the prize” so to say.

5 TIPS FOR CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

1. WRITE DOWN SHORT-TERM & LONG-TERM GOALS

One of the first things you must determine about your business is what are your short-term and long-term goals. What do you want achieve? Whether it is something small like reach 10 clients by the end of my first month or something big, like collaborate with Nike by the end of my second year (I don’t know, something crazy like that!), you must carve some sort of path you want to take your business down.

When creating these goals, include DEADLINES and STEPS THAT OUTLINE HOW YOU WILL REACH THEM. Otherwise, your goals might not go anywhere.

2. CREATE A FUND & BUDGET

Drop everything right NOW and set up some sort of system (bank account, jar, etc) that allows you to put money towards your business every week, month, or whatever works best for you. It is also crucial to curate some sort of budget. It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate, but make a list of possible fees and expenses you might come across in your business journey. This is especially helpful in the beginning of your business.

If you find that you are able to launch your business for only a small cost, use whatever is in your fund for a cushion or emergency funds for your business.

Do not think that you have to pour bucketloads of money into your business fund every month. Look at everything you have to pay for like bills, food, utilities, transportation, etc and figure out what you have left to spare. For me, I only work 2 times a week so I only contribute $40-50 a month. However much I end up putting into this account, it is nice to have money that is specifically for my freelance business to use if I want to run ads or update my WordPress plan.

3. BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media will be the best place for you to share and grow your creative business. Depending on your business, different social medias will be the best choice for you but try to focus on no more than 2. If you attempt to be active on more than 2, you will stretch yourself thin and quickly burnout. You want to create new and fun content for your followers and the less accounts you must do this for, the easier it will be.

2018 Social Media News - Lyketil - Digital Creative Agency ...

What Social Media is Best for YOU?

Writer – Instagram, Twitter

Artist – Instagram, Pinterest

Crafter, DIYer – Pinterest, Instagram

Vlogger – Instagram, YouTube

Blogger – Instagram, Twitter, WordPress/Wix/etc,

Business Coach – Instagram, WordPress/Wix/etc, Twitter

However, you choose where you think your platform will flourish! These are just suggestions.

4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT NOW

Whether you are a part-time creative entrepreneur who still has a job, or a full-time creative entrepreneur, your time management skills will make or break your business.

When you are working another job, it is important to not let your creative side hustle take over the job that makes you money! Starting out, your profit as a creative entrepreneur will be small and slow. That is why having a main source of income is necessary. Ensure you don’t get too caught up in the excitement of starting a new business and forget to focus on the job that pays the bills.

Excellent time management is also important for full-time creative entrepreneurs because you need to define the line between work and life. I know for me, when I am working on projects I love such as freelance writing and editing, I get so caught up in it that I forget to take breaks and live my life. At the beginning of your business, this isn’t the worst thing, but as your business settles into a steady rhythm, you have to know what hours of the day are spent on your business and what hours are spent enjoying life.

5. TOOLS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR

There is a LOT of behind-the-scenes work that goes into being a creative entrepreneur. From posting on social media, keeping track of your goals to creating content, there are so many tools at your fingertips that will make your life so much easier. Here is a list of my favourites!

Hootsuite – This is a tool for scheduling social media posts. The free plan allows you to connect up to 3 social media accounts to the site and create posts through there.

Trello – Keeping all your content ideas, goals, and notes in one place saves SO much time when you are doing everything for your business which is why I love Trello. You can create boards for different projects and add to-do lists, notes, pictures, etc all in one easy-to-access place.

Colorpick Eyedropper – If you are creating content on Canva, Photoshop, or some other application, this tool is super helpful. If you want to know what colour something is when browsing online or admiring the profile of another creative entrepreneur, Colorpick Eyedropper allows you to find out what the colour is. It’s super easy. You just click it (it is a chrome extension so you have to download it) and hover the cursor over what colour you want to receive the code for.

Wordtracker – This is for SEO and finding out what words/phrases are being searched up. If you write blog posts, captions, bios, etc, this will help drive traffic to whatever you create. There is a free version, however it is pretty limited. This is something that would be a great business investment!

Canva – If you want to create your own ads, social media posts, Instagram stories, etc, Canva is a MUST. It offers you a user-friendly place to create eye-catching graphics…and it’s FREE!


Those are all my tips and pieces of advice for starting and developing your creative business. I hope they were helpful and inspiring! If you have any others, share them in the comments and spread the knowledge.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post: Beginner’s Guide to Greek Mythology (part 2)

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Beginner’s Guide to Greek Mythology (part 2)

Your quick guide to the Greek titans and the Underworld

Happy Tuesday!

My Beginner’s Guide to Greek Mythology post has been blowing up recently, and when I looked back at it because it is at least a year old, I realized there was so little information that I must do a part 2!

If you haven’t read the first one, I recommend checking that out HERE because it has a list of the major gods and goddesses which I will not be going deeply into in this post.

Stay tuned for a Beginner’s Guide to Aztec Mythology because I love Aztec myths and legends, and think all you history buffs would too!

QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE OLYMPIANS:

THE 12 OLYMPIANS

Zeus – King of Gods, god of the sky, lightning, and thunder, married to Hera, brother to Poseidon and Hades

Hera – Queen of Gods, goddess of marriage and birth, married to Zeus

Poseidon – God of the sea, earthquakes, and horses, brother to Zeus and Hades

Hades – God of the underworld, the dead, and riches, brother to Zeus and Hades

Artemis – Goddess of the moon and the hunt, twin to Apollo

Apollo – God of the sun, healing, and archery, twin to Artemis

Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty, married to Hephaestus

Athena – Goddess of wisdom and battle strategy

Ares – God of war

Demeter – Goddess of harvest

Dionysus – God of wine, winemaking, and madness

Hephaestus – God of blacksmiths and fire, married to Aphrodite

There is your little cheat sheet/recap of who the gods and goddesses are, as well as their relationships. Now, let’s dive into part 2 where I want to discuss the titans. The titans are even more ancient than the gods, and are important to know of.

A 10 year war waged (known as the Titanomachia) between the Olympian gods and the titans when Zeus tried to overthrow his father, Cronus. Eventually, the Olympian gods won but it was a long, hard battle against the ancient beings.

THE 12 ORIGINAL TITANS

Titans (mythology) | Villains Wiki | Fandom

The titans came before the gods and were the children of heaven (Uranus) and earth (Gaea). Their father banished them to Tartarus (the deepest part of the Underworld) however, and the titans with Cronus as their leader, rebelled against him and eventually won power.

When the titans created the Olympian gods, a similar thing occurred. Zeus, son of Cronus and Rhea, banished his father and the other titans to Tartarus after their 10 year war.

Cronus (or Kronos) became the “king” of titans and married his sister, Rhea. Together, they birthed 6 of the 12 Olympians: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus.

Some of the other titans were:

Oceanus – Titan god of the river Okeanos, physically represents the sea

Coeus – Represents rational intelligence

Crius – There isn’t too much info on them!

Hyperion – Father of the sun god, Helios, the moon goddess, Selene, and dawn, Eos

Iapetus – God of craftsmen and mortality

Thea – Mother of the sun, moon, and dawn gods

Rhea – “Mother of gods,” wife of Cronos/Kronos/Cronus

Themis – Personification of divine order, fairness, natural law, etc

Mnemosyne – Goddess of memory and mother of the 9 Muses

Phoebe – Mother of Leto and grandmother of Apollo and Artemis

Tethys – Goddess of freshwater and mother of over 6,000 children with Oceanus who became rulers of rivers, streams, lakes, etc

Titans and Zeus

THE UNDERWORLD

The Underworld is ruled by Hades and is where all souls go to after death. However, depending on how that person lived their life, where they end up within the Underworld differs.

Rivers of the Underworld - Greek Legends and Myths

When a person dies, their soul is carried down the River of Styx (river of hate) by Charon, the Ferryman, who brings them to where they will be judged based on their life. In Ancient Greek times when someone died, their family would bury them with coins (drachmas, Ancient Greek currency) so they could pay Charon for the ride.

There were many other rivers in the Underworld, all with different purposes and punishments. There were 4 others (excluding the Styx) to be exact:

  1. Acheron – the river of sorrow
  2. Cocytus – the river of lamentation
  3. Phlegethon – the river of fire
  4. Lethe – the river of oblivion

Regions of the Underworld

There were 3 places a person’s soul could end up in the Underworld and it all depended on how you lived your life. Whether you lived a heroic life or committed crime or were nothing out of the ordinary, it all determined your afterlife.

Elysium

Elysium - Elysian Fields - Crystalinks

If you were a hero, you would end up in Elysium which is basically the heaven of the Underworld. This was paradise. Those who resided here in their afterlife did not have to work or stress. It is considered the ultimate paradise and is the place every person strived to gain acceptance into.

Tartarus

God Tartarus/Ξ˜Ξ΅ΞΏΟ‚ ΀άρταρος|Greek Gods/ddesses| | Pagans & Witches ...

If you were a criminal or an overall bad person, you were destined for Tartarus, which is also where the titans ended up. As Elysium is thought of as “heaven,” Tartarus is “hell.” One famous figure in Greek mythology who ended up here was Sisyphus. If you’ve studied English Lit, or attended a high school English class, this name may sound familiar. Sisyphus was a thief and cunning person when he was alive and even cheated death twice. Because of his poor life choices, his own personal, eternal punishment was to push a large boulder to the top of this hill. However, once he reached the top, the boulder would roll back down and he would be forced to start all over again.

Fields of Asphodel

Greek Mythology - Underworld: The Fields of Asphodel Showing 1-1 of 1

Now, if you lived an average life and did nothing to spectacular or brave, you ended up in the Fields of Asphodel, or the Asphodel Meadows, as a soul aimlessly drifting. You have no purpose and wander the fields not searching or looking for anything in specific because they would have drank from the River of Lethe (river of oblivion/forgetfulness), and have forgotten who they were when they were alive. This is where the majority of people ended up.

*DISCLAIMER* None of the photos used in this post are mine


That was a lengthy introduction, but I hope it was helpful and extended your knowledge of Greek mythology. There is a LOT to learn about Greek mythology and the topics I’ve skimmed over today. To dive even deeper, check out the resources below. They are concise and easy to navigate while being incredibly informative all at once!

Britannica – Greek Mythology

Greekmythology.com

Ancient History Encyclopedia – Greek Mythology

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post: Self-Care for the Creative

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Self-Care for the Creative

A guide to practicing self-care as a creative

Happy Monday!

Do you struggle with taking time off and away from your work? Do you often feel overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious? This guide on how to self-care as a creative will help you lead a better balanced life.

This guide includes tips, practices, and advice on how to incorporate self-care into your busy schedule, and how to ensure you implement it into your every single day. This is your reminder that self-care is the key to your success, not the downfall. Working 10 hours straight will only bring you to burnout.

Trust me, I would know.

Why Is Self-Care Important?

Asking yourself why self-care is important is like asking why we eat and drink. It’s because we need to! We need self-care to replenish our bodies and minds after a long workday.

A lot of people misunderstand what self-care is. Not that it is a difficult concept, but no, scrolling on your phone is not self-care! Watching a movie or TV show can be, but only if you are not multitasking while doing so. If you are unsure if what you are doing is self-care, then ask yourself if it is benefitting you. Will it relax you? Re-energize you? Entertain you? If any of these are a yes, then it probably is!

Just make sure you are using your designated self-care time to practice self-care. Do not mix it with some other activity because it is the time where you will focus on you and how you feel.

3 Tips On Self-Care for the Creative

1. Self-Care Time Must Be Scheduled In

Just like any activity, it is hard to practice self-care if you do not enforce a designated time for it. How you schedule it in is up to you! It can be broken up into portions throughout the day, like an hour in the afternoon and an hour in the evening. Or, it can be one, long unwind session at the end of your day. Personally, that is what I like to do. I do what I can to finish before it is too late in the evening and spend the rest of my night taking a bath, reading, watching a TV show, and just relaxing. No work-related tasks, including social media like Instagram and Twitter! I’ve scheduled it into my evenings, and you must do that to!

2. Combine Self-Care + Bettering Yourself

Reading, listening to Podcasts, and working out are 3 examples of how you can combine self-care and bettering yourself. They still tend to your body and mind, but improve your well-being and overall self. It doesn’t matter if you are reading a YA fiction novel, or listening to a true crime podcast. It all educates you one way or another. Self-care doesn’t always have to be about bettering yourself, but it is nice to incorporate this kind of it every once and a while.

3. Create a List of Self-Care Activities

If you have a list of things you can do during your self-care time, it ensures you won’t waste time trying to figure out what to do. I have a bullet journal page with all my activities on it in separate categories: body, mind, soul (which is inspired by the info graphic above I found on Instagram!), and I think that is a fun way to create your list. Have anywhere from 5-10 activities per category and you will be set for your next self-care session.

10 Self-Care Activities for Creative

  • Read a book! Need recommendations? Check out THIS blog post
  • Go on a walk
  • Spa night (bath, face mask, candles, etc)
  • Listen to a podcast! Need recommendations? Click HERE to check out my 4 podcast recs for creatives
  • Binge the Harry Potter movies! Or some other nostalgic series
  • Journal
  • Create a playlist or two
  • Buy a colouring book and colour!
  • Workout
  • Re-decorate your workspace

Those are all my tips, tricks, and advice for practicing self-care for the creative, and I hope you found them helpful! Remember to carve out time and enjoy it. Focus self-care time on self-care.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and all my social media accounts which are linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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7 Tips for Conquering Camp NaNoWriMo

Your in-depth guide to achieving your goals and winning Camp NaNoWriMo

Happy Friday!

Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, which is why I will be sharing 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo this July.

What I like about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you get to set your own goal. Instead of a word goal, you can have a page goal or even an hour-related goal. It allows you to really tailor it to what you can honestly achieve. Don’t feel forced to try and reach the 50,000 words in one month goal. Do 20,000 or even less if you want!

Even with a flexible goal, it can be hard to make the time to write. Especially with everything going on in the world right now. I recommend using your writing time as you hour or two in the day to escape. While it is essential to be present during some of the crises we face today, it is important to know when to take a breather. Channel all the anxiety, fear, and anger you are feeling into your writing and enjoy your absence from our crazy world for a little bit.

Read on to explore the other 7 tips I have for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo.

1. Spend Time Creating an Outline

Having a guide to what you are supposed to write, and where you are supposed to take your story is one of the main things you MUST do in order to win Camp NaNoWriMo. Even if you are like me and consider yourself a pantser, try and write out the main points of your story and characters in some tangible form. That way, if you don’t feel like writing or don’t know where to start, you will be able to turn to that outline and feel comforted that at least past you knew where the story must go.

If you don’t enjoy outlining, carve out an hour each day for a week or so to spend on your outline. Include an Act I, II, and III with at least 5 major events that occur in each one. Spend time thinking about your characters too. Who are they, what do they like, what are they afraid of? (Check out below for some key questions to ask your characters!) You can make outlining fun too. Put on some music or a podcast and break out your stash of coloured pens and highlighters. I love colour coding when outlining because when you look at your outline during a writing session, it will be easier to find what you are looking for.

2. Install Writing Triggers

Writing triggers are great for getting your mind and body in the writing zone. A writing trigger can be anything from a certain beverage you only drink when it is writing time, or a playlist that you curated specifically for writing. They ensure that when you drink them or smell them or hear them, you will feel obligated to write and hopefully, have a good writing session.

My writing trigger is any lo-fi music, but I do enjoy the Chilled Cow the most. Usually I will just plop my headphones and listen to the Spotify playlist, but sometimes I will play the YouTube videos. They are relaxing and a nice background noise to ensure my mind doesn’t wander because this is the biggest problem I face when writing!

3. Complete a Trial Week of Writing

Before July, take a week the month before to test out your writing schedule. This will show you if it will actually work in your day-to-day life, or if you need to choose a different time of day. Make sure you spend 7 consecutive days testing out your writing schedule. Don’t skip a day or two in between! If you realize your schedule isn’t working, you will save yourself SO much time instead of discovering this when you are actually supposed to be writing. This trial week also serves as a great writing warm-up!

How to Find a Writing Time That Works for YOU:

  • Ask yourself, “When do I have the most free time?” because this might be when you need to be writing!
  • Decide if you are more of a morning or night person. This will tell you when you are most creative and productive.
  • Ask yourself, “Do I work better in writing sprints or straight working sessions?” because this will ensure you get the MOST out of your writing time.

4. Aim Lower…You’ll Achieve More

As backwards as this sounds, it is true. If you sit down knowing you need to write like 1,200 words, you might feel a bit intimidated. If you tell yourself that yes, 1,200 words would be nice but for now, I will just try to hit 1,000 words, there is a good chance you will be able to surpass that. This is because once you hit that 1,000 words mark, you will realize another 200 isn’t too bad. You are already warmed up and the creative juices are flowing, so what’s another 10 or 20 minutes?

5. Reward Yourself

I discuss having a reward system often because it is so important and a huge contributing factor to your success during Camp NaNoWriMo. You need to curate your reward system according to you. For example, some people enjoy experiencing some small rewards after every writing session like a special coffee from the coffee shop or a TV episode. On the other hand, others will enjoy larger rewards after a successful week like going to see a movie or taking an afternoon off.

Rewarding yourself will encourage you to keep writing. It will show you that all your hard work does pay off, thus making you want to keep doing it! Make sure you set limits to your rewards and also guidelines. If you want to have a big reward at the end of each week, how many words minimum do you have to write? Or in your daily sessions, how many words do you have to write? You must know this before you reward yourself, otherwise you will be tossing out rewards left and right, or none at all!

6. Join a Writer’s Group

The great thing about social media is that you have a community right at your fingertips. This is incredibly helpful amidst all of this COVID-19 chaos. Whether you join a group of likeminded writers who are also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo on Twitter or Instagram, having others who will hold you accountable to your goals will help you conquer Camp NaNo.

Check in with each other at the end of each day and discuss if you achieved your goal for that day or if you didn’t and why. These people can help you work through your struggles and offer you advice because most likely, whatever you are feeling regarding writing, someone else in your group has experienced it too. That is the great thing about forming a community. You will feel less alone in this lonely passion and having those connections will encourage you to write even more!

7. Remember that Camp NaNo is Fun!

Remember that the only person truly holding you accountable is yourself. Don’t hold yourself to insane standards, but also do not let yourself slide too much within your goals. Achieve what you can, work hard, but enjoy the experience. At the end of the day, Camp NaNoWriMo is an event where you set your own goals and spend time doing what you love: writing!

Ask yourself: “If I don’t hit my Camp NaNo goal, what will happen?”

Nothing! It just means you have more of your story to write, but guess what? You (probably) have lots of time left to do that in next month and the month after that!

Camp NaNoWriMo (@CampNaNoWriMo) | Twitter

Those are my 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed. If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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How to: Not Overwhelm Yourself

5 tips to leading a balanced and productive life

Happy Monday!

Balancing work, life, and downtime is no simple task and it is easy to completely overwhelm yourself. That is why I am here to share 5 tips and steps I take to take control of my time and find the perfect balance.

This is geared towards those of us working at home, or just anyone who enjoys taking on multiple projects at a time while juggling everything else life has to offer. This would still be helpful to anyone who is busy and looking for some tips to avoid overwhelming yourself.

As a creative who enjoys working on multiple projects at once, I will be the first to admit that I often overwhelm myself. I am trying to get better at it which is why I wanted to make this post. It forced me to sit down and think about the things I wanted to change in my life to make it more balanced. Sometimes…well, often times, I take on too much and I am sure any other creative can agree. Since the things I work on (for the most part, give or take a few projects) are projects I genuinely enjoy like writing and social media, a lot of times I forget that it is still “work” and time-consuming. However, even if we enjoy our work, we need to take breaks and not let it consume all the hours of our day.

Learn how to get your work done while still taking time for yourself and live a balanced life with these 5 tips for not overwhelming yourself

1. Take a Look at Your Projects: What Can Stay and What Can Go?

The first reason you might be feeling overwhelm is because you are working on too many things! Which is why you need to make a list of everything you are working on and figure out if anything can go, or be postponed.

For example, I post blogs 3 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) but because I have so many exciting projects on my plate, I decided it was best to cut it down to 2 times a week for the time being (Mondays and Fridays). I love writing for my blog and posting to it, but sometimes, we have to make sacrifices for the sake of our sanity. However, I am not too sad about it because it is only temporary. Once I finish up some current projects, I am hoping to return to posting 3 times a week.

When you make your list of projects, sort them by priority. If one of the projects involves your actual paying job, whatever that is, that should be your top priority because other people are expecting it to get done and it pays your bills. Figure out where your other projects fall after that, all in order of importance and/or urgency to least important and/or least urgent. Cut the 1 or 2 at the bottom off, or move them to the “save for later” pile. Ensure that you include at least 1 passion project though! This way, you will still be doing something you love and can look forward to making time for it during the day.

2. Set Your Work Day + Break Times

It is important to know when you are working and when you are not, especially if you are working at home and/or running your own business. I know it sounds silly and obvious, but a big contributing fact to me feeling overwhelmed is because I work until I feel “done.” This knocks any source of balance out of my life because my workday can go on until the minutes before I go to sleep.

Does a 9-5 workday not work for you? That’s okay, because while I used to do that, lately it hasn’t been working for me. Whatever time you want to start working, as long as you end it 8-9 hours later, having that normal work schedule (and sticking to it) will positively impact your mental health and sanity. Remember that this work schedule is for weekdays. I highly recommend trying to avoid working on weekends. Or, at least don’t make it a habit.

It is also important to schedule in your break time. This is something I am a rookie at because I will sit at my desk for hours, only breaking when I feel hungry or need go to the bathroom. In reality, you need to take at least an hour and a half of a break each workday.

3. Use a Planner

Organizing your projects and their deadlines is the key to leading a balanced life. You can use a paper planner or digital one like Google Calendars. I alternate between both and sometimes use them at the same time. Sit down with your planner at the end of each week, or the beginning, and plan the week ahead. Include your project deadlines as well as when you want to hit certain milestones within the project. For example, say you want to write 50,000 words in a month and you include a weekly goal of 10,000 words by every Sunday. Make sure you write that down!

Some other productivity tools I like to use to manage my projects and keep myself organized (and sane) are Trello and Hootsuite. I love Trello because it allows you to make different boards and then it lays out your tasks or goals in visually appealing way. You can easily move things around and add other boards too. On the other hand, Hootsuite lets me manage my social media posts. I take advantage of the free plan and have linked my Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to it. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts and create them on their website. I’ve only recently begun using it, but so far it has freed up so much time in my day.

4. Come Up with a List of Break Activities

When it is finally time for you to take a step back and relax during the workday, you should curate a list of activities that you can do so you don’t waste time trying to figure out what to do. Some things on my list are:

  • Read a book
  • Watch TV
  • Bullet journal
  • FaceTime a friend
  • Go on a walk

Add as many things to the list as you want, but having one ready to go will save you valuable break time. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, take a look at the photo below and try to tailor your break time activities to things that take care of your mind, body, and soul. It will ensure you get the most out of your break time!

5. Enforce an End Time

Figuring out when to end your day is crucial, otherwise you will keep working until the sun goes down and your eyelids are sagging with exhaustion. Whether that is 5 pm or 8 pm, choose a time and stick to it. Since I’ve been starting my workday later (at around 12 pm), my end time is now 8 or 9 pm. But no later than 9 pm!

Having an end time also helps to prevent burnout. If you keep chugging along into the night, there is a good chance you won’t feel as productive the next day. Slow and steady wins the race; remember that, because I know I have to remind myself of this all the time. It is better to consistently work 8 hours 5 days a week rather than 10 hours one day and only 4 hours the next. So, find an end time that works for you and stick to it.


Those are my 5 tips on how to not feel overwhelmed while keeping productive. I hope you found them helpful! If you have any other tips, don’t hesitate to leave them down below.

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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