broadsideblog

Time to step up your writing game?

In behavior, blogging, books, business, education, journalism on July 8, 2014 at 12:07 am

By Caitlin Kelly

Reporting in Bilwi, Nicaragua this year for WaterAid

Reporting in Bilwi, Nicaragua this year for WaterAid

Many of you — welcome! – are new to Broadside, (now at 10,759 followers).

And many of you are writers, would-be writers or fellow bloggers.

This is a reminder that I offer writing and blogging webinars that have helped students worldwide — from Australia, New Zealand, England and Germany to many in the U.S. — write more effectively, launch or boost their freelance careers, better engage their blog readers and/or develop their ideas into posts, articles or books.

The six webinars are narrowly focused and each one is 90 minutes, allowing 30 minutes for your questions and comments; details here.

My goal is to get you to the level you want to reach — whether more readers for your blog, running a profitable freelance business or even just understanding how reporters think about ideas and how to develop them into stories editors are eager to buy.

I’m happy to work with you individually; for the moment I’m not scheduling them on fixed dates but one-on-one, working via Skype or telephone.

I also offer individual coaching — reading your work-in-progress and offering my comments and insights, helping with your thesis or just brain-storming whatever you want to focus on! I charge $150/hour, with a one-hour minimum; clients tell me they find tremendous value from it, usually with a two-hour session, the first spent reading your work, then analyzing it and discussing it in detail by phone or Skype.

“Thank you for sharing valuable insights, irreverent stories and revealing travel tips with us…Your enthusiasm for your work is infectious.  And you are… fun!”

That’s an email I received a few weeks ago after teaching eight interior designers in Manhattan how to catch an editor’s eye.

BUSINESS OF FREELANCING

I really enjoy teaching, and will be doing so this fall in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute; with decades of experience as a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, two-time non-fiction author, magazine editor, reporter for three major daily newspapers and now a full-time freelance writer for publications like The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and many others, I can help you raise your game.

“As a journalist with only a few years experience, I appreciated her willingness to share her expertise and experiential wisdom. If you have a chance to take a class with her, don’t hesitate. Great value.”
– Lisa Hall-Wilson

Hope to work with you soon!

  1. 10,759 followers! My eyes are turning green from jealousy. And they used to be such a nice blue color.

  2. Forgive me if you have already written about this (I am fairly new to your blog), but how do you find the time to create, to write? And if writing is your career (which it looks like it is) how do you make time for the kind of writing you WANT to be writing? What I’m really asking, I think, is how do you stay motivated to write well and purposefully and passionately when everyday life and its responsibilities have a way of taking over? I went from dancing professionally as a classically trained dancer to working as an arts administrator 40+ hours a week. My job is about supporting artists and less about practicing the skills (developing the muscle!) that is necessary to becoming a better artist – a lifelong journey like anything else. How do you manage?

    • I don’t.

      That’s the sad truth. Or just the practical truth…I just slept 10 hours (that tells you something!) and yesterday was not that busy a workday, really. I don’t write fiction (with no training, it seems a little impossible, although maybe it’s not and that would feel creative in a true sense; i.e. done for me, not for money) and my last non-fiction proposal (much to my frustration) was roundly rejected last fall by every publisher we sent it to…

      To produce a book proposal is a LOT of unpaid spec work so I am not eager to dive back in, and advances are low, so writing books becomes a costly hobby, really. I know many writers who literally cannot afford to write books…the time and energy it requires (which reduces or replaces income) becomes impossible. Artists need financial support if all they/we are to do is produce (great) work. This is not a country that offers it, except to the very few and very fortunate.

      I wish I were more focused on the art of writing, but the cost of living and the daily scramble for income makes that a real luxury. I read as much as I can, to see what others do, and do well. But as for producing it? Almost no one in the publishing or journalism world pays enough to allow us to devote time to serious, beautiful work — to do so means taking a huge hit financially (who is going to pay my bills for the 6-8-12 months a serious book demands?) And the subjects that intrigue me usually also mean reporting and travel…which also cost $$$.

      I like to think (hope!) that my writing has improved over the decades I have done it (as with your dance) with experience and some deeper knowledge of the world. But I never mistake my craft for art. Most of the time I’m a tailor, making stuff to order, not a designer. Sad, maybe, but honest.

      The blog is, for now, my creative outlet. I would love to write more books. I’d be happiest if all I did was write books. But the $$$$ is not there to do so.

      Good question. Painful one….:-)

      • Caitlin,

        Thank you so much for your reply and for sharing further insight into a career as a writer. I can 100% relate with my few years spent dancing professionally. I was broke all the time and so were/are most of my peers who have to juggle several jobs in order to pay the bills. There were multiple occasions in my performing life when I asked myself, “Is this worth it?! Am I completely insane?” I feel a little less lost this morning, thanks to you. I saw an amazing dance performance last night through Lincoln Center Festival, and had the good fortune to see the choreographer herself DANCING her work at the age of 54(!) and now I have the urge to lock myself in a studio and choreograph and dance and get fit… It’s a nice feeling. I’m really excited that I found your blog. Looking forward to continue reading your posts. And, wow – thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. Means a lot coming from you. Thanks again.

        Jenny

      • Oh, I know the show you saw at LC… wish I’d seen it! The NYT wrote about her and I’m too broke from my Boston Ballet tix.

        I went back into the studio last week with some music and noodled around…and was SORE for days. That was good! But it’s very hard to do it alone.

        Thanks for the kind words! I know that every creative person struggles with their vocation/income. Have you read Twyla Tharp’s great book The Creative Habit? Love it. And last weekend we cleaned out the garage and I found (!!) a letter from Bob Fosse thanking me for a fan letter I wrote him after seeing Pippin in the 1970s. Even people of his stature could be gracious and grateful. That left a powerful impression.

  3. If you are looking for a perfect present to give the writer in your family…this is it. Or just do it for yourself. With our busy lives of not writing we often think money spent on something like this to be frivolous. Yet this kind of time spent will get you in tune with that other side of your life, the writer.

    So ends my plug for Caitlin’s classes. ;-)

  4. I always appreciate the generous insights and commentary you provide. I hear you about writing full-time–it would be a luxury for me to do so also. The blog posting does keep writing skills sharpened. And there is also that niggling hope of being *discovered*.

    • Thanks! Maybe you’ll invest in one of my webinars or coaching session! People who have find them super-helpful.

      Being discovered can take a long time — better to push yourself out there.

  5. Caitlin,

    Thank you so much for your reply and for sharing further insight into a career as a writer. I can 100% relate with my few years spent dancing professionally. I was broke all the time and so were/are most of my peers who have to juggle several jobs in order to pay the bills. There were multiple occasions in my performing life when I asked myself, “Is this worth it?! Am I completely insane?” I feel a little less lost this morning, thanks to you. I saw an amazing dance performance last night through Lincoln Center Festival, and had the good fortune to see the choreographer herself DANCING her work at the age of 54(!) and now I have the urge to lock myself in a studio and choreograph and dance and get fit… It’s a nice feeling. I’m really excited that I found your blog. Looking forward to continue reading your posts. And, wow – thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. Means a lot coming from you. Thanks again.

    Jenny

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 11,339 other followers

%d bloggers like this: