Do you Have Some Advice you Could Share?

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Article by Wendy McCance

I have two opportunities in front of me and I am frozen with fear.  The first opportunity is a chance to write a story for a book.  A sort of Chicken Soup for the Soul type of book.  My fear comes from:

1.  The fact that I have never done this before.

2.  I don’t really understand how they want me to format the story I will be submitting.

3.  There is a contract to sign.  I should really get an attorney to read it over and make sure everything sounds right.

The second opportunity is to write for a financial blog.  The company would like me to write two to three articles per week at 700-800 words per article.  The fear I have with this opportunity is:

1.  I am not a financial writer.  When I expressed this, the company said that they were looking for someone who wrote blogs and could put together articles that were more story like in nature like the blogs I write.  They are looking for repurposed articles which in itself is something I had never heard of or knew could be done.  I would research a subject like where are people looking to retire, read some articles and put my own spin on one that already exists.  Do people really do this?

2.  Is this company really legitimate?

3.  How do I handle giving personal information like a social security number?  Especially since I worry about the validity of the job being offered.

So this is where I’m at.  I have gotten two offers from people through LinkedIn in which I was approached about a writing assignment.  This is my dream come true and I want to be thrilled and excited.  I am not anxious about writing, just the details involved that might trip me up.

Is there a book out there that can guide you through the process of accepting assignments?  How does a writer know when an offer is legitimate?  What are the pitfalls to watch out for?

Basically, I am stuck.  I don’t want to make a mistake.  I am almost at the point where I am unable to move on these projects.  I’m just not sure how to proceed or what to believe to be a good opportunity.

I know that many of the readers of this blog have had quite a bit of writing success.  Any bit of wisdom I could get would be wonderful.  I’m sure there are many other people reading this blog who are going through similar situations.  It would be great to be able to pass around what your experiences are.  Hopefully, we can all help each other get to that next level.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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24 thoughts on “Do you Have Some Advice you Could Share?

  1. You have gotten some really good information. I have no experience in this field whatsoever. I wanted to wish you good luck and praise for doing it. You can check with an accountant to check my facts, or maybe even an attorney, but if you are concerned about giving your SSN and other personal information, you can apply for an EID with the IRS (www.irs.gov). I believe you can do it even if you are a sole proprietor. I’m not sure, though. Also, you can open a post office box. The post office now has a contract with FedEx and UPS so they give out physical addresses instead of the ol’ P.O. Box 123456. This, at least, keeps some of your personal information personal.

    Good luck,

    Karina

  2. Gosh. First of all, how wonderful that this has come your way. I am certainly no expert but and I’m sure you’ve already thought of this: Do your research, in list an attorney (as you mentioned) to review any and all documents. Check with consumer advocacy groups like BBB. Lastly, follow your instincts. Good luck with this. 🙂

  3. Wendy, although you are stuck, you are already moving ahead, since you are asking targeted questions to gather relevant information to assist you. The nature of ‘being stuck’ is ‘there’s an unresolved struggle at hand’ … and struggles generally feel unwelcome & often confusing. The first step to ‘GO on’ is to ‘Gather information’ as you are now doing by reaching out to others. The related, continuing step to ‘GO on’ is to ‘Open the way’ with actions. Just as a butterfly emerges from a cocoon, you can change your form and your capabilities while remaining connected at the heart. As you continue to GO forth, three key qualities will help to define & smooth your transition: Patience, Faith, & Gratitude. Proceed at a comfortable pace and these qualities will fuel your search, your discoveries, and your future with compassion. Thanks again for asking for ideas. Again, I wish you WELL.

  4. Regarding the job offer, there must be a money value you are looking at. Are you giving your writing away like others do to get their names in light? You can be sure if they have offered you a spot with them, that they have done their homework and know who you are. If not and this came out of the blue, send it packing, my friend. It’s like getting a letter with a bulk mail stamp on it. How much validity to you put on those mailings.

    To go forward, you need to NOW research who they say they are and Google their name to see if the word fraud or scam comes up! Hope this little bit helps.

    P.S. You said it yourself: “2. Is this company really legitimate?” So do your homework on this group too! The book deal idea needs to be checked into further for scam connections as well, especially as you turn over your Social Security info. and basically hand them over your life. :-} D.

    • I was hoping I would hear from you. The articles for the blog are a flat fee of $40.00 for each article submitted. They are looking at 2-3 articles a week. I googled them and although I didn’t find anything bad about them, besides their website there was nothing else. The book deal is paid on a portion of book sales. You don’t find out what if any that portion is until after the book has been published.

  5. Oh my, decisions decisions. 1.Think of all the things you haven’t done before and succeeded.
    2. Ask them again about the formatting.
    3. Get an attorney.
    Job 2. 1. You are a writer, it doesn’t sound like rocket science.
    2. Check the company out online or through whatever gov
    departments you can access. Read their blogs, try to find others
    who have worked for them.
    3. If company is okay it shouldn’t be a problem.
    Opportunities like this, if legitimate are rare. It’s three minutes to midnight here, the above answer is the best I can come up with at this time of night. I hope it helps.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

  6. There are articles on contracts and freelancing in Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition (cost me around $35). I have the 2012 edition, but I would hope they cover it in the 2013 version as well. You can get that or check out their website at http://www.WritersMarket.com. I chose them because they came recommended by Stephen King. It’s a great book written by those ‘who know.’ It has been an amazing asset! Good luck and follow your gut!

  7. I think if you are unsure about the second one you might want to take on pause on it…is there anyway yiu can further research the company?

    I often pray when i have to make such big decisions. The first one sounds like a better end in my opinion but i think you should find an attorney to go over the contract with you should you choose to go with that, and also make sure you read all the fine print.

    Either way you go, i pray it’s the absolute best for you. You can check Roxie H’s blog, she has an impressive experience in writing…i think her blog name is http://www.roxieh.wordpress.com. i am sure she can be of help.

    All the best!

  8. Hi Wendy! Long time no talk! Here are my thoughts about your dilemmas: Trust your gut!

    Let’s start with the 2nd opportunity, as it seems rather clear cut. I wonder why you would even consider this given that you are not a financial writer and the concerns you have about the legitimacy of the company? Is it about fear of missing an opportunity? The very best thing you can do for yourself is to be still and check in with your higher self. What does it tell you? I think you already know the answer on this one.

    Your fear about the first oppotunity sounds more like lack of confidence. All of your concerns are about whether or not you’re up to the challenge of this thing you’ve never done before and don’t really understand. If you check it all out and it seems like a good deal for you, then “feel the fear and do it anyway.” You will figure it out. Yes, get the help you need from an attorney if you don’t understand the contract. But don’t let the fact that it’s something new and a little scary deter you.

    I think both of these opportunities are chances for you to get really clear on what it is that you want to do with your writing, and to get solid in the idea that you have something of value to offer. We will always get presented with opportunities that may or may not fit for us. It’s our job to be so clear on who we are and what we want that the answers are clear.

    On a side note, I speak from experience! Earlier this year as you may remember I started an ill-fated internet TV show. I had all kinds of misgivings from the beginning (reminds me of your second opportunity) but ignored them because I wanted to so badly. In retrospect, I know that this was a learning opportunity for me to trust my instincts. Since then the right opportunity has shown up, and fell right in my lap.

    Long and involved comment, but bottom line: trust your gut!

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