Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm Back and Ready to Get Back to Writing

Bald eagle that flew over us on the lake.
Photo: Deanna Lynn Sletten
 Hi all,

Well, I'm back early because I just couldn't stay away for a whole month.  Now I'm back and ready to get back to writing.

Why I Took Time Off

For the past three years I've been writing non-stop in order to build up an income as well as advance my writing career.  The first year I tried all types of writing sites (and shared them all with my readers) to figure out which direction I wanted to take.  The second year I worked mostly on writing for residual income sites, like eHow, Suite101, Associated Content, Triond and Examiner, believing that the more I wrote, the more money I would make in the long run.  I also started three blogs of my own and began building up articles on those.  I did fairly well that year and my residual earnings grew.  The third year, as you all know by now, Google's Panda hit and I lost 75% of my residual income to it.  That was disheartening.  However, I had by then, built up my own blogs as well as had two very good sources to earn up-front money writing articles.  So, while I did lose one source of income, my other sources were taking off so I didn't feel too much pain in the wallet.  However, after working three straight years trying to build up sources of income, I was tired.  That is what prompted me to take a month off from most of my writing.

What I Did Do On My Weeks Off

Over the past few weeks I spent time writing for sites I enjoy writing for as well as working on writing projects that I love and hope will someday earn money.  I felt that during the past few years I had lost the real reason I had started writing and began placing more emphasis on earning the most income possible instead of writing for the love of it (and earning extra income).  While earning income is the goal - enjoying what I write is also important to me.  Sure, I could spend hours researching and writing about boring topics that earn high income, but that leaves me feeling bored and drained.  When I write on the topics that I enjoy, I feel energized and my writing is 100% better.  For awhile, my love of writing was overshadowed by my urgency to create a good income.  After taking some time off, I was able to get back to my original goals as a writer - write what I love and earn money doing it.

While I didn't write too much these past few weeks, I did complete three new articles for She Knows which I am very happy with and enjoyed writing.  You can view these here, here and here.  They were pieces about interesting people and I do enjoy writing these types of articles.  I also worked a little bit on my travel blog and health blog, because I really enjoy writing those articles too.  Aside from that, I got a little work done on my most recent fiction novel, but I still have a long way to go with it.  I hope to spend a lot more time in August working on it. 

Oh, yes.  We did go out in the boat a bit but didn't catch any fish - it was just too hot for that.  We also (finally) had central air installed in our house because the heat wave was more than I could take.  Oh do I love my air conditioning!  Unfortunately, my dog and I didn't get even one walk in this entire month because it was way too hot, there were too many bugs (mosquitoes and biting flies) and our state (Minnesota) shut down for several weeks meaning our state park was shut down too.  We'll have to wait until the weather cools down a bit before we hit the hiking trails again.

My June Income

I know it is almost the end of July, but since I didn't write at all this month I just wanted to update you on my June income.  Once all was totaled, I came in only $100 short of reaching my total income for all of 2010.  My goal for 2011 is to double my writing income from 2010, and I am on my way toward that goal.  Now that I have practically made last year's income, I can work on doubling it over the next 6 months.  In June, 93% of my income was from up-front pay sources and only 7% was from residual sources from my blogs and what is left of the residual sites I still earn money from.  A year ago, these totals would have been the reversed, but you can't look back, only forward.  I increased my up-front June earnings considerably by placing several articles on Constant-Content which all sold for full-rights that same month.  In August, I plan to place several more articles on CC and will continue to use this site as one of my main sources of up-front income this year.

Well, I've taken up enough of your time.  I hope all of you have had a great July and are doing well with your earnings.  I also hope you are writing what you love - and loving what you do! 

Happy Writing,


  1. I loved reading your article, and it hit especially close to home for me. I have been writing for a few years myself, and sometimes, taking off for a period of time here and there not only helps me to regroup and refocus, but it also gives me a spark of new writing ideas and different directions to consider going.

  2. Hi Bridget,

    Thanks for stopping by. I think we all get burned out now and then - it's nice to be able to step away and regroup. Glad you liked my post. :)

  3. Glad to see you back, Deanna. Loved your inspirational articles on She Knows. Your passion shines through in each of them. I see your much-needed break has rejuvenated you. We all need to take an extended writing break from time to time. Great post, BTW.

  4. Hi Felicia,
    Thanks for the kind words. I did enjoy writing the articles for She Knows - writing about people who do amazing things is inspiring. :)


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