Sunday, February 27, 2005

new portfolio sample

I've just updated the Portfolio section of my website to include the Home Sweet Home Ministries brochure. Thanks to Ashley Haffner for her design work and Infinity Print Group for handling printing duties.

More Portfolio updates will follow soon, hopefully within the next week if I'm able to obtain a PDF of the new brochure for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. I completed the copy in January and the Chamber staff has been working with a graphic designer and printer to finish the project.

I've decided to keep only 2 writing samples per category in my online Portfolio--I think doing so helps maintain simplicity on this page. If anyone is interested in viewing additional samples, however, I'm always happy to provide more upon request.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

thanks to you, and to you...

Seems as if I'm always talking about what a busy week I'm having. The past week hasn't been much of an exception, but I have finally had a few minutes here and there to break for coffee. You have to take time for the really important things, after all.

As I continue to grow my business, I find myself involved more often not just as a writer, but as a project manager as well. I've worked with a few excellent designers and a great printer on several projects, and I feel confident that the extra hands I look to in order to see a project from start to finish are the best of the best. And recently I met with a new designer (well, she's not new exactly, she's been working as a graphic designer for several years--but she's a new contact for me) who is also interested in working together when projects arise. She's a full-time freelancer designer, and she lives in town, too, which may prove to be beneficial.

Being a self-employed sole practitioner is tough at times. There's no one but yourself to blame if something goes wrong, no one else is going to drum up business for you (although referrals are certainly useful), and there isn't anyone to finish the work for you if you get behind. You've got to be on top of your game at all times.

One thing that helps is to keep a support network available at all times. My #1 supporter is my husband, who was all for my crazy idea to quit working for someone else and try my hand at running my own business. Other supporters include the folks I turn to for advice about writing, management, marketing, networking, general business issues, and much more. I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped with questions, concerns, and problems. In many ways, it's all of you who have helped me get my business up and running---and who continue to help see me through every day. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

urgent: request for testimonials

Today I'd like to ask for a bit of help. I'm working on writing some copy for a magazine insert--sort of an advertisement for various magazine subscriptions--and I'm looking to collect testimonials from folks whose careers have, at some point in time, been influenced by information/articles found in magazines. If anyone can offer a brief description about how you've used this sort of information to improve your on-the-job skills, know-how, and general performance I'd love to hear from you...please email me directly.

I'm on a pretty tight timeline so the sooner I receive some responses the better. Thanks, thanks, thanks so much in advance!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

HSHM brochure completed

After several months of working with Home Sweet Home Ministries to produce an updated brochure, I'm please to finally have a copy of the finished product in my hands. Thanks to Michelle from HSHM for the job, and a huge thanks Ashley Haffner for her design talents and to Infinity Print Group for handling printing duties and color consultations. I'll post a visual to the portfolio section of my website soon.

Other business news
- I'm pursuing several new writing projects, many of which focus on the health care industry. One project in particular that I'm very excited about is for Benefit Planning Associates (BPA). We'll be developing a quarterly newsletter for BPA clients.

- I will be assuming the position of President for my BNI chapter as of April 1. I've got a great Leadership Team assembled, and all members have lots of ideas about how we can grow our chapter...which in turn means growing our businesses!

General news
- Got Debbie Weil's ezine today. As always, she offers some wonderful information about business blogging. Check out her Q&A section here.

- Are you a McLean County Chamber of Commerce member? If so, check out these coupons for Chamber member-to-member coupons and save in many, many ways!

That's the wrap-up for today. More as it happens.

new links

I've added a link section to this blog...look in the left-hand column on this page. I've included links to a few businesses I've worked with on various projects. I'd recommend these folks to anyone for printing, web design, or general design needs--visit their websites or give them a call!

Monday, February 07, 2005

new website updates

I've just spent some much-needed time updating my website. You'll find

- 2 new testimonials
- updated What's New section
- January 2005 WriteTips issue archived

Also, the February issue of WriteTips was sent to subscribers' inboxes this morning. Apologies for being a few days late--I was a bit behind due to working overtime on the DGM article, but I'm just about caught up now. If you haven't signed up to receive monthly issues of WriteTips, I encourage you to get on board now!

I also just completed an article for Business to Business (B2B) magazine, a local publication for Bloomington-Normal businesses. It'll appear in my bi-monthly column and is, at this point, titled The Power of Punctuation. This is admittedly not the most interesting topic to write about, but
I did try to address certain issues that I see time and time again in text in brochures, flyers, web content, etc. So as bored as some folks may be who read this, others will, I hope, be able to use the information to improve their own writing.

More as it happens. Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

workload update

It's been a very busy couple of weeks, which means I'm behind in just about everything except my deadlines. Managed to make those just fine (but who needs sleep, anyway?), with the exception of this month's WriteTips issue...but I'll be working full force on this tomorrow and should have it delivered to my subscribers' inboxes by the end of the week. Thanks for your patience!

Updates on writing projects:
  • Completed two assignments for Dynamic Graphics magazine and turned them in last night. One is a column of product reviews and the other is a feature about environmentally friendly design/printing practices. The latter involved quite a bit of research and interviews, as I knew essentially nothing about the topic when it was assigned to me. That's what I love about my job...I'm learning new, interesting things all the time.
  • I believe the brochure project for Home Sweet Home Ministries is finally complete. Almost. The files are now at the printers and will be run shortly.
  • Another project is about to be wrapped up, too. I provided content for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce new brochure. It's in the final design stages now and should be completed by the end of the month. I'll post images on my website when all is said and done.
  • Another article for B2B magazine is in the works and due by Monday. I've become a bi-monthly contributor and have been receiving a good deal of positive feedback about my articles.

I'll check back in when the new WriteTips is done and the Jan. issue is posted on the archives portion of my site.