Sarabwritings's Blog

June 30, 2012

WooHoo – Doesn’t get much more official than this :)

Filed under: Business Building,General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 1:40 am
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My business website is up and running:  www.sarabethswriting.com

Business cards have been ordered, flyers made, stationary printed, and all will be delivered by July 5, 2012!!!

But the most important pieces, the website, and my new email are working, and my blogs are linked – so much work and I still have a few things left to do, but now I get to start thinking about marketing and promoting and the official business plan – see? Becoming unemployed was the best thing to happen to me (work wise)!  It gave me the good swift kick I needed to plunge into something I’ve always wanted to do:  freelance writing!!  Why not take my talents and do something with it?  Nothing wrong with doing something I love and that I am good at and making a living out of it – never had the guts/courage to follow through before.  I was all talk and no action 😉

It also helps that I am at a place in my life surrounded by people who believe in me, and that truly does make all the difference in the world.  So my last piece of advice for today is if you want to do something – go for it and if the people in your life are not supportive than maybe (and I know this is WAY easier said than done) it is time to find new friends – just a thought.  Trust me – been there done that and it took time for me to realize that some people were sabotaging me, but I let them do it – now they aren’t in my life, but it took me a bit to figure all that out – don’t wait as long as I did – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!!!

Sara

June 29, 2012

Up and Coming – Sara Beth’s Writing becomes official

Yesterday was a VERY busy and productive day.  Now, I only edited the first few pages of these next 10 chapters BUT I ordered business cards, flyers, and stationary and my website is almost completed – that’s right I have OFFICIALLY started my own business:  Sara Beth’s Writing!!  It’s about time I put a name to it and get started.  Nothing is gained by doing something only part way.

I did a lot of research first – which for me was fairly easy since I am tech savvy and used to being online all day anyway for work and school:

  • My first stop was to the IRS:  http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/ – tons of great information from acquiring an EIN to start up costs, loans, tax paperwork, etc
  • Next I research website builders – I have a site with iPage for my Mom’s business but I went with GoDaddy for mine – both are easy to use and have some pros and cons, but for what I needed and wanted I got more for my money with GoDaddy – do your research and choose what’s right for you!!
  • So, I decided on my business name and then registered for my EIN – even a sole-proprietorship needs to build business credit
  • I set up account to keep everything separate (SOO important come tax time)
  • With my new website I got a new email
  • Created a Facebook page
  • BUT the most fun part? Designing business cards, flyers, and stationary 😀

There are still MANY things to do:  marketing, promoting, finishing the website and publishing it and creating a formal business plan.

For today though, back to my editing – need to build a happy clientele base 🙂

Sara

36 hours later

Filed under: General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 2:11 am
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Wow – I’ve been home for just over 36 hours now and things are almost back to normal 😦 Ziggy is still barking at everything (and nothing) while Max looks at her…and me with disdain.  They both keep looking around the house and sniffing as if they expect Katelyn to reappear if they look hard enough.

Our adventure began at 9:30pm on Sunday when Katelyn and I left my house to pick Pete up at work.  We had decided to drive at least until New Jersey before finding a non-Bates Motel to stay at – if you had seen where they stayed in April you would completely understand – Psycho screamed in the photos – I could hear the music in my head with no prompting 😉  Even with downpours in Connecticut, I made it to just outside Trenton, NJ by 3am.  We awoke at 8:30am to t-storms and got back on the road by 10:30am – coffee, gas, and the bank were needed first.  Very little traffic and only some showers along the way, so we made it to our destination by 7pm – bittersweet!!

That evening we got another hotel in Greensboro, NC and agreed we would leave by 11am after a good breakfast…. Well, after visiting people 11am turned into 2:30pm when we were finally filling up the gas tank and then we had the smart idea to take the scenic route home…hehe

Smith Mountain Lake anyone?  Yep, my wonderful and sweet fiance decided on a detour which ended with us having dinner on the lake in a pontoon boat he rented for an hour 😀 This meant though it was well after 6pm when we started back on the road and the GPS gave us an estimated arrival time of 6am – a solid 6 hours after our original ETA…but oh my, I’ve never had soooo much fun – boat ride, laughs, speed racing down parts of 81, windows down, hair blowing and I swear we laughed more that day, evening, and night than we have in the past 7 months – and we laugh a lot!!

A few pit stops along the way for food and coffee and we finally arrived in Newport, RI at 6:45am – enough time for a few hours sleep before Pete had to be at work.  I was lucky and able to take another nap when I got home for about an hour and a half before picking up Max and Ziggy.  I slept til 9:30am today and am just now starting to feel like I can get back into my routine, which is good because I have 50 pages to edit over next couple days – full 8 hours to put in tomorrow:  editing, promoting, and a few errands 🙂

Sara

June 22, 2012

Winding down…

Filed under: General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 9:54 pm
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Two weeks ago today I met up with Miss Katelyn and brought her from North Carolina to Massachusetts/Rhode Island 🙂

We’ve had quite the adventures:

  • Madagascar 3 (in 3D of course)
  • 6 days at the beach (a whole week of beach days once you add in this coming Sunday – per Katelyn)
  • Shopping – both Providence Place and Dartmouth Malls
  • a trip to Southwick’s Zoo (http://www.southwickszoo.com)
  • A FABULOUS dinner at PlumPointBistro at 1814 Boston Neck Rd, Saunderstown, RI 02874 (they don’t have a website as this is their first week open)
  • Brave (in 3d of course)
  • She wrote her own story
  • …. and so much more

I am not looking forward to Sunday night, but I just keep reminding myself about the move in the Fall and then we will see her on a regular basis.  My iPad is filled with kids apps/games, I’ve played with model magic, and I’ve edited a 2 page princess short story (YOU try explaining titles to a 7 year old)!!

And I have a tan!  This may not sound like much, but for those that now me laying out is not usually my thing, but spending 4 hours playing in the ocean and building sand castles is, so me having a tan is pretty amazing, especially this early in the summer.

There is editing still be done, time to spend, and work on my freelancing career to complete (including a business plan)!!

Talk to you soon,

Sara

June 19, 2012

To all you Moms

Filed under: General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 2:46 am
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WOW!!  Okay, so I know how I was as a teenager and so I have the utmost respect for my Mom.  My best friend has 5 cherubs (yes, I said FIVE!!) and I have all the respect and admiration imaginable for her and always have.

Now, though, I feel like I should be bowing down to her everyday and buying her more than the typical coffee or chippi I show up with on my visits.  I truly do not know how she does it.  For the past 10 days (tomorrow will make 10) I have had my fiance’s daughter and she is wonderful:  she’s well behaved, she’s fun to play with, and when I need to work she plays with her toys or my iPad – trust me when I say she is the PERFECT future step-daughter.  I cannot express how lucky I am.

I”M TIRED!!!!  Lol – someone said to me this past week that I was “thrown” into the life of a 7.5 year-old while she was indoctrinated gradually and so she got used to the changes in energy level.  All, I can say is “wow”!

For all you step-parents and future step-parents who have the stereotypical “step-kids” I cannot begin to express my sorrow for you – for 2 reasons:  1) I’ve seen some not so great step-kids and 2) to have clashes and be this tired just adds to the potential stress!!  Therapy maybe?

So again to my Mom friends – I love you all; you rock; you are all awesome!!  I knew this all already, but after the past 10 days you are even more amazing – work, sleep, love and play with your kids, and still run and have coffee with me – WOW!!!

Love you all and I can only hope I can get 1/2 as good as all of you!!  I’ve got big shoes to fill, but some FANTASTIC role models!!

xoxo

June 15, 2012

Guru v. Elance

Filed under: Business Building,General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 8:32 pm
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For the past 3.5 weeks, I’ve been using both these sites to create a freelance base, so I have a platform to work from.  There are things I like out both and then there are things which are a complete pain about both:

www.guru.com

What I DO like:

  • VERY user friendly
  • Everything you need is on 1 page
  • First 10 bids are FREE (Basic Profile)
  • My FAVORITE feature:  when you search you can choose to only see those jobs you haven’t seen before
  • Again, easy to navigate and a great help section which automatically pops up in a new browser window
  • SafePay or Invoice (SafePay is better as it allows you to see the funds in escrow before you start working)
  • Email alerts as often or as little as you would like of new jobs posted that match your profile
  • Only 1 bid per job (unless you choose to enhance your bid)

What I DON’T like:

  • Setting up your profile can be a little time consuming
  • You cannot upload a video profile with a Basic membership
  • Jumps to $24.95 per month for 100 bids and they do not roll over, so if you have 20 left you only get 80 more but still pay for 100 – doesn’t quite seem fair to me (but that’s just my opinion)
  • Employers do not have to open all their jobs to everyone – most require you to have a guru or guru vendor account

www.elance.com

What I DO like:

  • Profile is super easy to create
  • 10 bids free with Basic membership
  • Navigation tabs are easy to use (if you know what you are looking for)
  • Escrow for payments (so you can see the money before you start working)
  • Email alerts as often or as little as you would like of new jobs posted that match your profile
  • Employers and other freelancers can get their identities verified
  • If you are invited by an employer to bid on a job it doesn’t cost any connects

What I DON’T like:

  • Help menu opens in the same window – not easy to navigate if you are unsure where everything is
  • No extra sorting features when searching for jobs – like sorting out the posts you’ve already seen
  • Membership costs $10 per month for 30 Connects
  • The higher the bid on the job, the more Connects you need to spend

Ok, so these are just my thoughts and ideas on both sites.  Hope this helps anyone looking for help deciding on the two sites.

Sara

June 13, 2012

Unemployment and taking Risks

Finally received an answer back from Massachusetts Unemployment and it was approved.  Now, I get to wait and see how long before I get anything deposited.  I know I should be grateful that I’ve paid into this system, but since I’ve paid into, why do I have to wait?  I’ve paid my dues and I have bills to pay that won’t wait around forever.  How do some people sit around and not look for work?  I had a mini meltdown yesterday about not working and it’s only been 3 weeks, so how do people go years?  Now, I know some people really can’t find work, but there are many who don’t even look – I just don’t get it!

So, why oh why do I still think it’s the perfect time to start my freelancing business?  I believe everything happens for a reason, and now is the time to grab life and make something happen.  The only way I can succeed is if I try.  Failure is not an option!!

So, time to create a business plan and get this party started.  Time to map a plan that will let me earn a living and do what I love:

  • Business plan is needed
  • Business Cards
  • Website
  • Books – there are so many to choose from on writing business plans

Freelancing also entails deciding if I want a job or if I want projects.  There are pros and cons to both.  So many decisions to be made and thought about.  Then, where to start:  http://www.elance.com and http://www.guru.com – there are things I like and dislike about both; more on that later – I’ve only been using each for 3 weeks so once I decided which I like better, I will write more.

And the idea of editing other people’s work forever isn’t quite what I had in mind, but if that’s what I have to do to get my name out there then bring on the editing works 🙂

Speaking of which, only on Chapter 4 of the current book editing job,

Sara

 

June 12, 2012

New week, new ideas, fitting it all in

Filed under: General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 5:40 pm
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Driving back from NC was fairly uneventful.  Started on Saturday and drove until about 10pm.  Well, it was supposed to be 10pm but multiple weddings, 2 funerals, and a softball convention = full rooms at EVERY hotel (even the sketchy ones) off the Jersey Turnpike up until exit 4 – then most of those were full as well.

Finally!  We got the LAST room at the Knights Inn:  a jacuzzi suite with a king size bed – so there was room for us both and Sweetie (our Hello Kitty build-a-bear friend).  So how did I end up on the edge and with no covers?  I’m still trying to figure that one out 😉

I received the chapters on Friday evening for the book editing job, but haven’t had too much time with traveling.  Finished Chapter 1 this morning and since “Uncle” Patrick is willing to play Monopoly, I will work on Chapter 2 – definitely getting an education – I hope I pass this test the (future step-Mom test)!!

The Week’s Goals

  • 10 chapters edited
  • back to blogging regularly (including starting to blog my book)
  • Best friend’s house on Friday with Katelyn so she can see the kids
  • Day off with Daddy and Katelyn (chapters need to be done by tomorrow night)

Time to get started on it all then – or it won’t get done – besides Monopoly is a great, busy, and long activity 🙂

Sara

June 8, 2012

Crazy is winding down

Filed under: General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 4:05 pm
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Definitely not the productive outcomes I was hoping for this week. Carolina is filling my job internally (can’t help it – I would have been great at the position). But I did talk to a couple of coaches while I was there about my creds, so I know I am high up on the tutor list come the fall 🙂

North Carolina is little different from any other state in regards to their teaching certification application, so I will deal with that come Monday. I did finish the next chapter in my book, outlined the next two, and have made the decision to work for myself 🙂 now to start the business plan, create my website, write, write, write, and find a way to make some income on the side as well!!

The true highlight of the week? Getting Katelyn this afternoon!!!! Well, her aunt and uncle are, which makes my life that much easier. Can’t wait to see her….so much fun stuff planned over the next two weeks 🙂

Back to writing,
Sara

June 5, 2012

July 2010 – November 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Journey — by sarabwritings @ 6:23 am
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When I first moved home, I started to fall off the wagon with my running. I had started to run because I wanted to be an officer in the Army but alas my eyes were no good, but I kept running because I saw the pounds fading fast.

I must be more specific here…running is such a concrete term… Really I was jogging with many, many episodes of walking, but every day my mother would come home from work (yep I moved into the apartment over the garage) and ask me if I ran and how far I had gone. I decided the competitor in me needed a goal. Yes, losing weight was a goal, but I needed to really challenge myself, so I signed up for a 5K at my school.

I could barely run a complete mile and I signed up for a 3.2 miles race and I plastered it ALL over Facebook and told everyone and anyone who would listen about it. Why? So I wouldn’t chicken out. I had to stop a few times and walk but I finished, I wasn’t last, and I was hooked. I signed up for a 5-miler for November 2010.

I ran every other day to train. I didn’t really know anything about training at that point. I would gradually add a few minutes each week. I didn’t cross-train or do hills or add long runs at this point. November came and with a sprained knee (courtesy of my dogs) I ran the whole race in just over an hour. Yes, I was learning what “runner’s high” was all about.

The best part was the pounds shedding. I had dropped another 15lbs by this race and was at about 196 through the holiday season. I managed to maintain it since doctor’s orders were to not run for over a month after racing on a sprained knee.

Oops…lol I can’t help the competitor in me,
Sara

P.s. more to come later 🙂

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