Collaborating

I sometimes work on writing projects with a friend of mine. In fact it was her desire to learn about writing that launched me on my own writing journey. But it isn’t always easy working together. So here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to help when collaborating.

1.      Find a common ground. In our case we are both Christians, so we will pray to ask God for time and direction in our writing efforts.

2.      Allow for varying personalities. Because we are different from one another, we know we will not always agree on everything 100%. This is where our faith helps, too, because we can step back and pray for the Lord to help us work any snags in our relationship. Of course, we also realize that it’s these differences that give texture and substance to a lot of what we write.

3.      Be respectful of one another. This means making sure you listen completely to what your writing partner has to say.

4.      Don’t be impatient if timing doesn’t always work out. This has been a tough one for me because sometimes I want to work, work, work. But then I have to remember point #2. Because of our different personalities, we both have different work habits as well as work schedules. I have learned to wait on God’s timing, which always works out for the best when I wait for it.

 

I’m sure there are more collaborating tips that I will learn as time goes on. I just enjoy being able to have a good friend to bounce ideas off of.

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Tax Season

It’s tax time. Time to gather up the receipts and visit the accountant. I’ve used the same tax man for over 20 years. It’s great having someone who can answer all my questions, especially in regards to what I can and cannot deduct for my writing.

A helpful tip is to keep your receipts together so you aren’t digging through a bunch of folders or drawers to find them. I keep mine in a 9 x 6 inch envelope. Before I put them into the envelope, I will write a little memo on the back telling me what the expense was for. Come tax time I separate the receipts by category, and then add up the various totals.

Make sure you remember to keep track of your mileage. Even your trips to the post office and to the library count.

So are you ready for tax time?

Word Meanings and Proofreadings

You would think that as writers we should know the true meanings of words. You would also think we would be excellent proofreaders. Yet this week I received a letter where I totally misinterpreted a word, thereby getting a good portion of the message wrong.

I was asked if I would grant permission for a group to use one of my articles on their database. I would be compensated, but I thought they were asking for exclusive rights. The word “non” was in front of the word “exclusive,” but for some reason I only read “exclusive.” It took two e-mails to clear things up for me. I probably looked pretty foolish.

That will teach me not to rush reading through a letter. I was in a hurry when the mail had come that day, so I only gave it a brief glance on my initial read. Of course, that was enough to set my misinterpretation into motion.           

Make sure you take the time to thoroughly read through documents and letters. You don’t want to miss out on any potential opportunities. And you definitely don’t want to look unprofessional.

Research vs. Writing

My time is limited. Being a wife and a mother of four, I know my writing has to take second place. So when I do sit down to work, I have to be very specific in the tasks I need to complete.

Research is such a critical part of my writing, especially if I’m working on non-fiction articles. When I have a deadline looming (like within the next week or two), I often won’t set specific writing-only times for other projects. This is tough, but since I only have so much time in the day to work, I have to include reading and digging up facts that will make my article desirable to my editor.

But once that deadline is met, I will make the time to work on those other opuses that are dear to my heart. This may not be the best approach, but it is what works for me at this moment in my life when my family must come first.