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Old Dog, New Tricks

Writing Etc.: Become a Writer for Hire

October 7, 2015

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

Welcome to the new incarnation of Writing Etc. Starting today we’re launching the newest version of “Notes from Minnesota.” Because I know you’re busy and I have a lot to say, it seemed like a fabulous idea to turn this column into a short, nifty podcast.

You can find the first one here:

Listen to it, download it, enjoy it, open it in a new window… but most of all avoid my mistakes, foibles, learn from what works… for now. Most of all, I hope you find it useful as you forge ahead towards your dream.

Onward and upward, see you next week,

Beth 🙂


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The Blackboard

Beth Ann Erickson

Editor Note: This is an excerpt from Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments. Enjoy and don’t forget to do the assignment at the end.

Last time we talked about scheduling, breaking the day into half hour increments. Today, I’m talking about specific tasks.

I keep track of my daily, weekly, monthly, and long term tasks on a huge blackboard I have posted on the largest wall of my office. Here’s the story:

My dear husband was working on the heating system at a local church. As they redid their Sunday School classrooms, they decided to discard their chalk boards, replacing them with white boards. He immediately asked if he could take one home. They were happy to allow him to do so. I was even happier when he got home.

I adore my industry standard, high school approved, genuinely awesome blackboard.

On it, I post my daily tasks such as: write 3k words, participate in relevant online discussions, check social media, research new marketing techniques, come up with new content for my subscribers.

Weekly goals include blog posts, updating websites, tend to my autoresponder series, create new content, and (as always) keep on top of marketing.

Monthly goals include website maintenance, autoresponder maintenance (this never ends), check out “competitors” to see if they’re up to anything interesting, new project research/creation.

I break up each activity into half hour increments (as monitored by my cuckoo clock) and update my blackboard as I complete specific activities. I also have a section on my wall cordoned off where I jot ideas, insights, and fast notes to myself.

I love my blackboard.

It’s terribly old school, but I guess I’m an old school gal.

Your assignment:

You may not have access to a mucho cool, old school blackboard, but that’s just fine. How will you manage all the activities for your writing career? Can you find a white board? I once saw a writer who wall papered his entire wall with white-board material. That was very cool. Make note on how you’ll do this… try to make it big as you’re able… and make it so. Turn your idea into reality.


You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.”



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