making money and giving things away

I don't have a business because I want to make money.
I have a business because I want to help people.
In order to help more people my business needs to make money.
And so I charge for the work I do...
Except when I don't.

This month I'll be opening enrollment for my course.
People will pay me for the work I put in,
but that isn't the only reason I charge for it.
Paying will also help motivate participants
to actually finish the course.

Still, I understand that many creative freelancers
— especially young people starting out —
simply don't have the money to invest right now.
I still want to help them.
So I'm giving away a scholarship!

Tell me about what drives you or someone you know
to work to make a living from your creativity.
I'll send you a free guide to help you start getting great clients.
Nominate yourself and your friends
by clicking over to {the giveaway page}.

the evolution of my editorial calendar

An editorial calendar doesn’t have to be complicated. The first one that I created in my business bullet journal (bujo) back in March 2016 is a great example.

I began by establishing my publishing schedule: weekly on Mondays. I listed those dates along the left side of the page, skipping a couple of lines between each in order to leave space for the descriptions of what I wanted to write about. Sometimes the description is only a couple of words long and sometimes it’s a long topic brainstorm complete with a mini outline. Leaving this amount of space allows for flexibility.

An editorial calendar doesn’t make your publishing calendar inflexible; once you write it it’s easy to change if necessary. In fact, writing it out often helps to clarify what changes might need to happen.

In this example I changed up the posting schedule for May twice, going from weekly to daily and back to weekly. The fact that I had a book coming out motivated these changes: I had wanted to publish daily building toward the launch but as it came closer I realized I had a million other things to straighten out behind the scenes so I went back to the idea of weekly posts. Because I’d already brainstormed daily content it was easy to choose the most relevant topics for my weekly postings.

A year later I was preparing to publish my second book. I changed up my editorial calendar, designing a layout that would allow me to keep track of my work on the book as well as my online publishing schedule.

The basic rapid log key that the creator of the bullet journal method, Ryder Carroll, suggests works well within an editorial calendar: a simple bullet ∙ for a to-do type item — in this case a post to be written, edited, or published — a single slash (/) once the item is in-progress, an X when completed, and a line drawn through the whole phrase if an item is canceled.

Late in 2017 my focus shifted from book-writing to course-writing. Because I was publishing or sending out content to my testers multiple times a week I used a monthly-overview style of editorial calendar. I kept it clean, though, by only noting the publishing schedule: that is, instead of writing down when I would draft, then edit, and finally publish each post, I simply wrote down when a post would be published.

Another addition to this particular version of editorial calendar is the “top monthly goals” section. Writing down the three things that are most important to me helped me to focus and know what to write about.

I knew the first half of 2018 was going to be a bit crazy, what with the birth of my little girl. I simplified my editorial calendar significantly, taking inspiration from future log layouts and combining the publishing schedule with a to-do list.

Instead of using a full spread for a single month, I allotted a third of a page for each month. Limiting the space helped me limit the things I expected myself to accomplish and protected my breathing room.

For June and July I’m trying an entirely new set-up: one month per page. In addition to the ∙ / X symbols I also use ◦ and — to signify events and notes respectively. I’ve left Saturdays off of the calendar since I take that day off work. This layout suits the unique needs of a month with a product launch, allowing me to have enough space to keep track of multiple publishing outlets while still limited me so I won’t over-commit.

In addition to the general editorial calendar I set aside a spread devoted to IGTV. I wanted a space to brainstorm and explore the new medium, a place to collect ideas and schedule their implementation.

I organize the ideas for my blog and social media elsewhere and would be happy to go over my processes in a future post. Click on any of the images in this post and leave a comment on Instagram to let me know if you are interested!

choose love

Dear Little One,

I thought that my 25th birthday
was my best birthday ever
knowing you were growing
inside of me.
But this year
as I hold and
feed you at my breast
I realize this birthday is better.

This year has been so hard
with challenges I didn't foresee.
I knew it wouldn't
be exactly easy
but didn't see
these particular challenges coming.
Even so, it's worth it
for my Little Love, my baby.

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I have learned much of love
this first year of motherhood
loving you, your father,
and loving myself.
You two are
wonderful teachers: loving me
and showing me how I
am worthy of beautiful sincere love.

Before your father married your mama
he created a little game.
When one lover said,
"I love you"
the other responded
with a question: "Why?"
The answers vary based upon
the needs of one or another.

The responses to this perennial question:
"Why do you choose to
love me each day?"
grow and change.
Sometimes they're silly,
sometimes almost too serious,
but always and forever they
remind us of our marital promise.

This promise that we made before
you were born. This promise
you see lived out
every single day.
This promise we
solidify every time we
play this sweet silly game
and say "I love you" again.

When Mama wonders why your father
would love a distracted and
distraught housewife who hardly
keeps the house
he tells her,
"Because love is patient,
keeps no record of wrongs,
and hopes for all good things."

When your father fusses yet again
at the state of affairs
at home and abroad
his wife whispers
"I love you
because you choose to
care even when you're tempted
to send them all to h*ll."

He loves me because I smile.
I love his scraggly beard.
He loves that I
follow his lead
and I love
that he leads well.
This game helps us remember
that love is a beautiful choice.

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Listen well, Little One, and learn
that looking for love reveals
how it is there
to be found
whether it's dark
and hard to see,
bright and in plain sight,
or a soft and intimate glow.

The topic of this letter to my little one was inspired by Sakura Bloom's Sling Diary prompt: Love.