Friday, February 13, 2009


An (Early) Valentine to Premium-Green

I just received a contract in the mail for a writing job, thanks to Premium-Green, WOW!’s freelance market guide. I LOVE Premium-Green! And in honor of Valentine's Day, I simply must count the ways:

1. I LOVE the way I have access to detailed information about markets. PG doesn’t just list writer’s guidelines. It provides market demographics, a magazine’s editorial, and even specific editor needs, which helps me better target my pitch. And the pay scale for the market is always right there in boldface print. Always good to know!

2. I LOVE the way PG revs up my writing career. Want to experience a live pitch session? PG recently had a pitch fest for WOW! Looking to try something new? Check out the Writers Wanted section. Need incentives? PG has ongoing contests (with premium prizes!)

3. I LOVE the way I can get instant answers to writing questions. There’s always a PG sister online who’s willing to share her expertise. Even if I’m burning the midnight oil, the California crowd is just finishing dinner!

4. I LOVE the way that these generous PG writers are there to congratulate, commiserate, support, or just listen. My PG sisters have given me the push I needed more than once. And when they send those “Yay! Doing the happy dance for you!” messages, I know they’re really dancing!

Mostly, I LOVE the way that I’ve grown as a writer since joining PG. I thought I’d find a few humor markets, but what I found was the confidence and know-how to take my writing further than I ever imagined. I love thee, Premium-Green, from the heights of my self-esteem to the breadth of my Paypal account. And if my Inbox has another contract waiting, I will but love thee more after I’m paid!


Cathy C. Hall writes humorous columns, essays, articles and fiction and is published in all kinds of fascinating places. You can follow her funny ups and downs on the road to publication at And if you’re interested in children’s writing, you’ll find her searching for publication at

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Are You Looking for an Accountability Partner?

Recently in the Premium-Green discussion group, a member asked how she could find an online accountability partner for her writing. She'd been doing well with querying and submitting, but felt she needed that extra kick in the butt. We've all felt that way, haven't we? Here are a few simple steps to help you find an accountability partner and hold each other accountable.

Join a Writer's Community

First, you will need to join a writing group geared toward the type of writing you want to focus on. If it's fiction, then find a fiction list-serve in Yahoo or Google Groups, or join an online forum, such as Absolute Write. If it's freelance writing, communities like Premium-Green and Freelance Success, for example, have very supportive members. There are a ton of writing groups to choose from (too many to list!), so take time to try them out and find one that fits your needs.

After you've become familiar with the group and found another member with similar goals, ask them if they'd like to be your accountability partner. Most writers in groups are looking for the support of other writers to help them realize their goals. The person you ask doesn't have to have the exact same goals as you do, she just needs to be as dedicated and motivated as you are. She has to be serious about her career as a writer. And if you can, choose someone more experienced than yourself.

Set Up a Google Calendar

After you hook up with an accountability partner, set up a shared calendar on Google. Fill in your deadlines--whether it's word count, page count, or due dates for querying, submitting, promoting, and article writing. You can set your calendar to private, so only you and your partner can see each other's deadlines. You can also set up your calendar to send you email reminders before the deadline passes. I usually set it up for a day in advance to remind me that I better get my butt in gear and finish the project!

Follow Up: Make sure you both follow up with each other (by phone call or email) whenever a project is due. You can also add comments to their calendar dates on the detail page to continue the discussion. That way, you have a record of it on the calendar. And, when you know someone else is looking at your calendar, you're less likely to ignore it! And if you do ignore it, you know your partner will send you an email or call you to kick your butt.

Annette and I have several calendars going at once. I can see hers, and vice versa. Also, Team WOW! uses a Google Calendar for our blogging schedule. Sometimes we miss our blog days, but you can be assured that we hear about it! For instance, I missed my blog day last Sunday because I was having computer problems. While that is a legitimate excuse, I still feel bad about it because all my teammates know it was supposed to be my day. That proves it's working!

What About Twitter?

I'm not a tweetie-pie, but it seems like Twitter would be the perfect forum for an accountability partner...if you don't get sidetracked. LOL. Perhaps, someone should make a group for NaNoWriMo on Twitter, or for freelance deadlines. If there already is one, let me know! Maybe, I'll get hooked!

The most important thing about an accountability partner is...

Wanting it. There are many platforms and creative ways you can hold each other accountable, but you have to want it. If you simply wait for someone to tell you what to do in life, you'll never get anywhere. You need to hold yourself accountable to some degree first. Then, you can show up as a successful partner to someone else.

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