Saturday, September 15, 2018

Reworking the Blog, Getting Back to Work

It's a funny thing.  When you volunteer to do something, it makes you rethink what you're doing and have done up to now. 

Having done freelance writing for the past fourteen years...I realized how much time has passed, and how many errors I've made, and how most of what I learned, I learned via trial and error. 

Things like: Don't bug the editor.

Why?  Because if you bug them, you don't get work.

Things like: Revise and edit before you hit send.

Why?  Because if you don't, you won't get published.

Things like: Don't double send.

Why? You'll lose both markets. 

I've also learned over time, to make concept pitches --like a series on sacred places, a series on the mysteries of the rosary, on the Doctors of the Church.  These sort of scope based projects can get you steady work.   No one taught me, but I wanted more steady work, and discovered, this helps. 

In the Catholic Writers Conference Online today, I heard a good talk about marketing, and thought, it's been a while since I added to my blog, cleaned it up, or reworked.   So you're getting a new look.  I hope you like it.

After I typed up my notes for the Conference, I thought, you know, you need to pitch a big scope again, to give yourself focus, so you're not just addressing current events.  There are plenty of people discussing and parsing current events.  Now I'm thinking...what event?   So I'm thinking, I'm going to take on the psalms.  It would give me 150 to examine. 

The question is...what order to address it in? 1-150, or as I find them.  I didn't do the rosary in order. I waited for the mysteries to find me.  As I sat pondering the pitch for such a series, my husband called.  He suggested the less known books of the bible, because as Catholics unless we're doing the liturgy of the hours or engaged in a concentrated bible study, we only get whatever snatches we find via the daily Scripture, or the Sunday mass.   I'm no expert, but I also knew, that's why it would be a good place to study.

Which meant thumbing through the bible, and I decided to examine the seven books which define a Catholic bible as Catholic, as versus any other bible, meaning Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, 1st and 2nd Macabees and Baruch.  Now I'm a Catholic. I've been a Catholic all my life.  I went to Catholic school for most of my education.  I've been a Catholic educator.  I'm also someone who actively seeks to grow my faith.

I'd never heard of the book of Baruch.  He's a prophet.  The Old Testament reveals the New.   If we don't know the Old, we might miss some of what is in the New.  I knew...this is where to go.  This is where I should plunge in deeper.   I scanned the Wikipedia site and found this: 

Justice is with the Lord, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our fathers, have sinned in the Lord's sight and disobeyed him. ... And the Lord fulfilled the warning he had uttered against us.... Lord Almighty, ... Hear... and have mercy on us, who have sinned against you... (Baruch 1:15–18; 2:1; 3:1–2)
St. Augustine's reflection, which is paired with this reading, on this occasion speaks of prayer: "[S]ince this [that we pray for] is that peace that surpasses all understanding, even when we ask for it in prayer we do not know how to pray for what is right..."; from there he explains what it means that the Holy Spirit pleads for the saints.

This lesser prophet's writings is part of Holy Saturday as well.   I thought about current events and knew...perhaps if we'd paid more attention to prophets. 

We need to know more.  Here was an opportunity to learn more.

So my other bit of advice as a freelancer, is discover what you don't know, and go investigate, find out, so that you cease being ignorant about something. Be curious and be fearless.  Pray. Ask questions, find the answers, write and begin again.  It's work. It's always work.  But it's work we need to do. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Small Success, Catholic Writer's Guild and More

Okay, this week, we had 4, count them, 4 Back to School Nights over the course of three days, so my brain is officially fried.   

However I did write the weekly feature, Small Success Thursday.

I also am part of a panel this weekend over at the Catholic Writers Conference Online.  (We'll be discussing freelancing).   If you'd like to know more, check them out over here.

Lastly, big news!   I submitted a non-fiction book in August to a Catholic publishing company.  Yesterday, they sent me a contract.  The book is slated to be see print in late spring, early summer. 

It's going to take a while to come down from the stunned look on my face.   

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!