Sunday, May 20, 2007


Do you take time to network? I try to, even though I'm an introvert. Here are several ways to network without going too much out of your comfort zone:

  • E-mail your contacts or clients and let them know you're available for freelance assignments

  • Talk to your friend or neighbors about what you do. Maybe they know of someone who needs your services.

  • Join a professional organization related to your career or expertise

  • Join a professional network group such as You can expand your list of contacts by someone including you in their network.

  • Write in your own blog and find people to read and add comments to your blog. Add your blog address to your signature line in all your e-mails.

  • Exchange business cards whenever possible, especially at seminars, workshops, or conferences

  • Go to and type your area of interest to find an organization or others with a similar interest

  • Join an online discussion group. Try

  • Tell your contacts or clients to recommend your services to others.

Now all I need to do is follow my own advice! Actually, I've done a few of these. What about you?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


What do your friends mean to you? Do you have different types of friends (like old school chums, coworkers, ex-coworkers, family friends)? Do you ever introduce your friends to one another? Would they get along, if all they have in common is you?

There are friends who are good listeners and those who are great for a good time and aren't interested in hearing about your troubles.

I have different sets of friends. Most are very supportive and are understanding while I'm grieving for my sister, but I can tell that others don't want to talk about how I'm coping with my sister's death.

Friends are there for you when you want to forget about your troubles or want to hear about how their life is going. I often find that my troubles are small compared to the hardships of others--like suffering with terminal cancer.

Of all the friends I have, no one can compare to the friendship I had with my younger sister. when we were growing up, I was always trying to get rid of her, but as we grew up, we became closer than ever. We told each other everything--good and bad news, gossip, current events, opinions, wishes, dreams, fears--and listened to each other when the other one had to vent.

None of my friends even come close to the friendship I had with my sister. Will I ever find a friend like her? I doubt it.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Do you ever find yourself setting goals and then get frustrated because you realized you hadn't met any of them? Join the club.

I write personal and business goals each year. Some I meet and some I don't. Those that I don't meet, I realize too late that they were much too broad to be achievable. I now know that goals should be broken down into small, achievable steps. For example, one of my business goals is to have my own Web site, but it's not that easy. So I break it down into smaller steps:

  1. Gather information.
  2. Read the information and decide what's best for me.
  3. Choose a URL.
  4. Register my domain name.
  5. Find a Web designer.
  6. Meet with the designer (ask if I can do the updates and give the designer ideas on photos or graphics).
  7. Write the copy.
  8. Edit and proof the copy.
  9. Test the site.

What I don't do is assign due dates to these tasks. It then becomes overwhelming, I would fall behind, and I'll end up giving up. That's not what I want. I'm so busy with working full time, handling my freelance editorial business (working on jobs, finding new clients), writing short stories, plus all the other things that pile up on my desk.

I make weekly To Do lists (which include both personal and business tasks), monthly business To Dos, and it really get discouraging when I don't achieve some of the tasks. Maybe I shouldn't have too much on my lists?

How do you keep to your goals?

Sunday, April 08, 2007


The death of a loved one can hit suddenly. In my case, it was my younger sister. She died of cardiac arrest on January 18 at the age of 49. She leaves a husband and two daughters (14 and 17).

There's no going back. There's no time to say good-bye. How do I go on without her? She was my best friend. Yet when were were growing up, I was always trying to get rid of her. But over the years as we grew up, we became very close and would tell each other everything.

We were so different, didn't always think alike, and approached things differently (she was spontaneous and I'm a planner and analytical), but yet we were close. Perhaps it was because we came from a dysfunctional family. It made us even closer. We came to rely on each other for support and advice and respected each other's opinions, even if we didn't always agree. We vented whenever we wanted to talk though a problem, listened when we needed to, and gave advice when it was asked for.

My life will be so different now. I feel so lost without her. I keep wanting to pick up the phone to talk to her. So, instead, I talk within myself to talk to her, but it's not the same. Where's the feedback? I can still hear her voice and I miss it. Who will I tell my tidbits to? Who will I talk to about my job, my doctor appointments, and all the things that are important to me? I know I can talk to my friends, but it's not the same as talking to my sister. No one can take her place.

The pain of her loss is almost physical. I cry all the time. Every remembrance (good or bad) brings tears to my eyes. I replay some some conversations in my mind and wish they would have turned out differently.

When I feel happy about something, I almost feel guilty. But I know that life does go on. When I feel sorry for myself, I think of her husband without a wife and her two daughters without a mom.

My life will be forever changed. Perhaps I'll make some changes that are good for me. I have to find a way to go on without her. I never dreamed it would turn out this way. I gave the eulogy at her service and I still didn't do her justice. I keep remembering other things I could have said. But it touched people and they got to see what a courageous woman she was. I will always honor her in my life.