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My Summer of Writing

Updated on September 25, 2020
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

A 10 Week Experiment

This summer (2013) I am going to embark on a new chapter in my life. I am going to attempt to write as a full-time professional writer. It will be an experiment to see whether or not I can quit my "day job" and write full time. I have wanted to be a full-time writer for quite some time, but have never been brave enough, or financially secure enough to take the leap. As the saying goes,"There's no time like the present..." And so the present is now. I am a substitute teacher during the school year, and the school year ended yesterday in my part of the world. And so I find myself, on a Saturday morning, gearing up for first day of working as a full-time writer. Am I excited? Oh yeah, but with the excitement comes a bit of anxiety. What if I can't make it as a writer? What if I don't make enough money? What if???? Life is full of what-ifs, but I know I need to leap now to find out for sure if I can follow my dream. I will be adding to this article each week regarding statistics on the graph, so those of you who want to follow along, or find this article in a few months, will be able to see my progress. And the fact that I will continue to update this will add to my incentive to do well. After all, I don't want to fail at this in my own eyes, or in the eyes of anyone else out there in the world who happens to read this.

Me at my computer, writing away and following my dream of being a professional writer.
Me at my computer, writing away and following my dream of being a professional writer. | Source

My Goals

My goals for this project are fairly simple and include

1) Have a regular writing schedule each day which will include writing for HubPages, Textbroker, and my blog, secondmarriageromance. I would like to add one more website to write for but at this point am still researching which one will bring the most monetary value. I will also continue working on separate articles which I will submit to magazines for publication.

2) Write 7 hours per weekday, which will include four hours in the morning, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and three hours at night, from 8:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. I will take time in between for lunch, a workout, and spend time with my husband. It will also include 3 hours on Saturdays, for a total of 38 hours per week. Sundays will either be a day to rest and rejuvenate my brain or make up for any hours I missed during the week.

3) The ten weeks that this will include starting on Monday, June 24th and will run through Sunday, September 1st.

4) The monetary goal to start is $125 each week. If at the end of the ten weeks I have reached this financial goal and earned $1250 from writing, I will set a new monetary goal for the future. The new goal will include an increase in my monthly writing income. I will update a chart on my earnings each week on Mondays after the stats from HubPages are computed.

I love this computer armoire because I can write in my own little "office" by opening up the cupboard doors and writing away. When I am done I can leave my computer, notes, my glasses, all where they are, shut the doors and the room looks neat.
I love this computer armoire because I can write in my own little "office" by opening up the cupboard doors and writing away. When I am done I can leave my computer, notes, my glasses, all where they are, shut the doors and the room looks neat. | Source

A Place to Write

Although I have been doing a lot of writing already to this point, I spend most of my time at the dining room table. My husband works from home and uses the table as an office, so I have joined him there. But to really concentrate on my writing, I know I need a special "office" where I can be secluded from the rest of the world to truly concentrate. A few years ago I bought this computer armoire and loved the environment it provides to work in. On Monday morning I will be writing from this "desk" and that way when I leave the office area, I can put my writing aside for a bit and enjoy life aside from my work.

Setting Priorities

I know myself well enough to know that setting priorities may is hard for me. I am one that loves to procrastinate, and I am fairly sure that will carry into my writing career. I love to write for HubPages because the HubPages website gives me the creativity and freedom to write about whatever I choose. But I know that there are other websites that I could write for on a daily basis and make more money each day, such as Textbroker. Textbroker is a site that pays for writing copy. People who are willing to pay writers to write articles for them post their topics on the website, and freelance writers go to the site and choose what they want. That limits the topics I can write about as I have to choose from the topics that available that day. But there is a definite amount of money that I will be paid for each article, and right now that's a guaranteed amount of income I can count on. So I will have to force myself to stick with the writing copy on a daily basis to get paid what I need to, and then write on my blog and for HubPages as a secondary priority.

The end of ten weeks will determine the direction my writing career takes. I am excited to start my journey as a professional writer.

One of the things I love about a writing career is the flexibility of where one can work. Here I am at work on an article on the Promenade Deck of a cruise ship!
One of the things I love about a writing career is the flexibility of where one can work. Here I am at work on an article on the Promenade Deck of a cruise ship! | Source

Writer's Poll

If you're a writer, for fun or for profit, do you have set hours that you write?

See results

If you are a writer, for fun or as a professional, please take the poll on the right to help determine how many writers actually set up a writing schedule. I do understand that a schedule may not work for everyone.

Here's my "office" that I wrote from in a hotel in Amsterdam when I accompanied my husband on a business trip last Fall.
Here's my "office" that I wrote from in a hotel in Amsterdam when I accompanied my husband on a business trip last Fall. | Source

Updates on My Accomplishments During My Summer of Writing

# of Hours Worked
Number of Websites I Wrote For
New Income Streams Added
Number of Hubs Written
Number of Blog Posts Written
Income Earned This Week
Total Income to Date
6/24/13 - 6/30/13
2 Webanswers and a new blog
7/1/13 - 7/7/13
7/8/13 - 7/14/13
7/15/13 - 7/21/13
7/22/13 - 7/28/13
7/29/13 - 8/4/13
$ 14.97
8/5/13 - 8/11/13
8/12/13 - 8/18/13
1 Bubblews
8/19/13 - 8/25/13
8/26/13 - 9/1/13

My Summer of Writing Weekly Statistics

Weekly Update

Each week during this experiment I will be writing comments to go along with the above table and let readers know more about how the week went.

Week 1 6/24/13 - 6/30/13

As you can see from the table above, I failed miserably at meeting my financial goals for the week. But, I have learned a lot and expanded my horizons so that in itself is worthy of something, although it hasn't yet brought in monetary value. I have learned that before starting this, I really should have looked into other sources of writing income and added them to my platform. I have learned about a new website and added it to my platform of writing. I wasn't able to monetize it during my first week. I have added a new blog to go along with this experiment so anyone wanting to can follow along with my progress there ( see link below for A Season of Writing). I have learned that at least for right now, writing copy at places such as textbroker brings in more immediate money than writing hubs. And that I will have to buckle down and do more of that if I want to earn the money I need. I did gain 15 new followers this week after writing a hub about What is Success on HubPages, so that made me very happy! And I have learned how to be flexible with my writing times so I can still get in the proper number of hours, just maybe not following the schedule I have laid out. It has been a good week, but not up to my monetary expectations...yet. I am working on it.

Week 2 7/1/2013 - 7/7/2013

We had made plans to go away for four days to Tanglewood in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I had forgotten about this when I made plans to make this goal. I started out trying to write just as much as I would have at home, but it really was hard to do when my husband wanted me to spend time with him relaxing and enjoying the mountains and the classical music. So I put my priorities as a writer on the back burner for four days of this week, and did a little bit here and there, and put my priorities as a wife to the forefront. That meant less writing but a happier husband and in the long run a happier wife ( me!) I only made about half what I earned last week, but I feel refreshed and ready to get back to writing, with a couple of good ideas for new hubs after my experience in the mountains. I am very happy with my new blog, and I hope anyone who is following along is enjoying it. Billybuc wrote a hub about making time to write, and his idea of using an actual written schedule is a really good one for me. I have ADD and without a written down plan, tend to hop all over the place and get nothing done. So, I am looking forward to accomplishing a lot more this coming week.

Week 5: 7/29/13 - 8/4/13

This week was quite tough on me emotionally because two people that I knew died unexpectedly. Between that and bringing my kids to appointments, I was not on my regular writing schedule. I am disappointed that the articles on Textbroker are drying up also. I can rarely even find anything I can write about these days and as you can see it has really decreased my earnings. I am totally enjoying Webanswers though, and I am shocked at how much money I am earning in "estimated earnings" on Google Adsense just from the WebAnswers site. The actual total is not due in until August 7th (tomorrow), so I don't know how accurate my estimated earnings are. But if they are anything like what they are estimating, I will be spending a lot more time there in the future. I hadn't realized I had neglected my blogs this week until I just looked up the statistics so I know I need to get moving on them. And August 1st started my second go-round this summer on the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge, and I am doing it with chrisinhawaii, a fellow Hubpages member. So far, he's doing better than I am, but I will catch up. I am hoping for a very productive week this week. I only have four weeks left as I am in my second half of the experiment, so I need to get moving to make this at least worthwhile.

Week 8 8/12/13 - 8/18/13

This was a hard week for me to concentrate on writing daily because 2 of the week days, that I would normally spend 6 - 8 hours on writing, I had to bring 2 of my children to medical and school appointments. It was frustrating but needed to be done. And of course, I do want to be available for my children. Also this week my income dropped way down due to a glitch in Google Adsense and WebAnswers. Four days during this week there were no ads at all on the WebAnswers site and therefore also no earnings. My earnings were pitiful due to that.

Week 9 8/19/13 - 8/25/13

Whoo income jumped back up this week with the glitch on WebAnswers fixed. My earnings were sky high for a few days but toward the end of the week, started to settle down and go back to more realistic earnings. But I was extremely relieved to see these ads back. I was also surprised that I did so well this week because I actually had almost no time to write because I accepted a one week job as a substitute nanny for 4-month-old twins. Whew...that was a tough one, but since I wasn't earning the money I expected from writing, I needed to make some accommodations to earn more money somewhere else. In spite of that, I did do some writing on Bubblews and WebAnswers and still earned money even though I was exhausted and only put in about 1 hour per night.

Wrap Up

Well, the result of my summer of writing was not a good one financially. Turns out that in the end, instead of earning $1,250 as was my original goal, I only earned a whopping total of $199. 81. That was from writing at:


2 Blogs




I am a bit discouraged by those amounts. But what I lacked financially in earnings, I gained in knowledge. I found two new websites over the summer that have brought in the bulk of earnings, and that is quite exciting. My first week of the experiment I started on WebAnswers, and now that is my largest source of online income. Writers are paid when they answer questions and the more questions they answer well, the better their earnings. I have seen my earnings increase monthly from this one website and am having a ball earning money with WebAnswers. My second site that I found was Bubblews. Although initially reluctant to waste my time on there due to many reports that people were not getting their money, I decided to give it a try and am hooked. It took 29 days to reach my first $25 payout, but I did reach it, and I did get paid, so I am happily bubbling away!

My Summer of Writing was a fun experiment. It led me to find new sources of income online and also helped me develop an offline writing job, which will lead to more because I am being recommended to other agencies through this first source. I am well on my way to becoming a freelance writer who earns a living at her craft, and I am very excited about what the future holds for me.

Then I Read This Book and Got Great Tips on Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer

© 2013 Karen Hellier


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