I'm fairly new to freelancing. I'd been writing fiction long before I started my business in 2014, and had just finished my first NANO successfully. But for the first time ever, my family would need to rely on my income because my husband was going to school in March. To say I was intimidated is an understatement. My husband watched me try and fail, glued to the computer like a leech between packing boxes and cleaning.
"You're going to do this now?" he whined, gesturing to stacks of boxes and packaging materials. I just smiled at him.
Thankfully, God graced me a few personality traits to help. Self-motivating for one (the need for income helped, too), a passion for writing for another, perseverance like a bee attempting escape at a window (this time, this time, this time), and a nerdy love for learning and researching. The last one was especially useful as I had to just dive into every writing possibility and flail around until I figured out how to swim.
God also gave me about a million people that held my hand or gave it to me straight. Rejections, lessons, even story ideas.
I am eternally grateful to Mridu Khullar Relph. I read her blog until my eyes bled and my brain's capacity halved, and earned a free entry into her 30 days, 30 queries course. It was exactly what I needed, answering every question and opening doors. It lead me to my first published article, several invaluable Yahoo Groups, and countless writer friends on the same journey.
This post wouldn't be complete without a major shout out to my critique partners Libby Webber, Shari Schartz, Margo Berendenson, Kathreen Allen, Renee Vaughn, Shellie Brauner, Jayme Allen, Dakota Byrd, and Nikki Roberti. Also, the peeps in For Pete's Sake Writing Group in Washington, Joy, Chuck, Nikita, Guy, Devon, Jake, Katy, and my email writers response group Amy Conley and Kelsey Vaughn. All these awesome writers offered tid bits or major time to look over my writing, both freelance and fictional.
Also thank you to all my twitter peeps who kept me smiling, laughing, and drinking (tequilla floats!) through the long waiting periods for contests and during writing dry spells. You are awesome! Dido to all those that allowed me to critique their queries as the Query Helper. Even as I helped you shine 'em up, I learned how to make mine better.
Special thanks to Libby Webber and Michelle Hauck for falling in love with Dom, and showing me to be true to my writing and that someone can and will love it! I just got my first full manuscript request on Valentine's Day!
Also to all the blogs, websites, and newsletters that have given me a crash course in the industry without having to leave my family for traditional classroom learning. You're content has shaped my attitude and gratitude for the people in this industry: Hope C. Clark, Literary Rambles, The Write Life, Worldwide Freelancer, and I Write for Apples. Also, the fabulous Brenda Drake for all the posts of success and awesome contests that keep hope alive! And all the mentors that gave feedback, impersonal or personal, especially Gail Nail for answering questions after PitchWars.
I know, I know, its starting to be a long winded awards show speech, but really I wouldn't be where I am without the amazing writing community!
Now to the fun stuff! I'm giving away a couple party goodie bags to celebrate!
To get your name in the drawing, please follow my blog, leave a comment below and include your email address or twitter tag. I'll throw all the names into random.org tomorrow, February 17th and announce the winners!
Query and First Five Pages Critique
Writer and Editor Caitlin Sinead
Caitlin Sinead has a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University and her writing has appeared in The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine, among other publications. She tweets at @CaitlinSineadJ.
1 Query and First 250 words Critique
The Query Helper (Me)
And just in case you haven't read anything about me....
I’m a poet, freelance writer, and storyteller. I’m a long distance member of For Pete’s Sake Writers Group in Washington, active in an email writer’s response group, and a Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI member. I’m also a blog assistant and citizen of YAtopia. When I’m not telling “mommy made stories” to my two daughters, you can find me off-roading in my suped-up ATV, swimming, or in a long, plot-refreshing bubble bath.