Preptober// Planner, Pantser…Plantser?

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Oh hey there

 

 

 

I am super excited to be starting my first Preptober series on this blog! In the past, I have done guest posts and other Preptober publications, and this month I’m going to be gathering some of those posts to put here. I’ve been an ML in my region for 3 years now (I’m going to write a post about this), this will be my 4th and during my time in this position, I have loved observing and learning for tons of different kinds of writers. So as a first post I decided it might be beneficial to discuss one of the most used, and most confused set of terms in all of NaNoWriMo: Pantser, Planner, and Plantser. 

 

pantsher_badgeA pantser is a writer that goes into NaNoWrimo with absolutely nothing. No preparation, no planning, no outlines, and sometimes even no idea what they are going to write. They write as they go and that’s what they prefer.
I have tried to pants it before, and though I still won, it was the most stressful experience ever, and I don’t think my personality type benefits from that kind of lack of preparation.

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A planner is a writer that will stay up all night thinking about their novels, they will outline, and plan and plan and basically craft their novel into a math equation! (This is me by the way) Some people just need the blueprints. Planners are organized, a lot of the ones I know have binders of notes in categories for their novels. If you write fantasy, planning is your best friend, in my opinion.

 

plantser-badgeAnd here is the new one! THE HYBRID PLANTSER!
This writer is a happy medium of both living in the moment and living in a premeditated preparation plan. Not obsessively planned out but not ill-prepared, these writers tend to be cool and collected and they kind of just go with the flow. Many that I have seen in my region end up writing completely different novels than they thought they were going to, and that’s totally fine with them!

Overall, it doesn’t matter what kind of writer you are, just as long as you write and keep true to what makes you comfortable! I will tell you this though! Find a mixed group of wrimo types to write with! You should not just pick a writing community of wrimos that are all planners if you are a planner! The variety will actually save your life during November and it will keep everything super interesting for you. There will be less of a chance of you getting stuck in that mid-month RUT! Which is going to be another post in this month’s series!

I hope this helped, let me know in the comments below what kind of wrimo you are!

mazie bones

october: small goals

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Oh hey there
Let me tell you, it has been an absolute ride this month. A strong start, a big loop in the middle and now another amazing start for this month! If you follow me on social media, you may have heard that I got a new job! I haven’t shared much about it publically yet, because I plan on doing a post, but I’m very excited about it, it’s all falling into place and I seriously couldn’t be happier.

So here is how I did in September!

September Goals:

Portfolio: I was offered a pretty awesome job near mid-september and I just completely fell out of portfolio mode. Its definitely being migrated to this month AGAIN.

Prep-tember: I’m going to do a round up post of all my Prep-tember posts but if you liked those posts, you’re going to love all the Preptober posts I have planned for this month!

Outline my NaNo Novel: I started brainstorm more scenes but I didn’t actually write any of the outline down. Which is not very productive. Thats what this month is for though right? RIGHT?!

Print My Zine: I have successfully written and illustrated a whole new zine, but neither of them are printed yet for some reason. I need to sell some during NaNo though since I won’t be working as much, so it’s definitely a priority!

Blog Every Week Day: I was doing really well up until Navi’s vet adventures that I wrote about here. I tried to redeem myself a bit in the last week of September but it wasn’t the best attempt! I got all the important posts I needed to get up though! So that’s a thing!

No Spend: I killed it this month on the no spend! No slip ups, I didn’t forget once, I was super mindful about what I was spending! On October 1st I rewarded myself with a beautiful Luna the Cat Backpack! When it arrives I’ll be writing a post about it!

October Goals:

Inktober and Vlogtober: This month I’m doing the Inktober and Vlogtober challenges over on youtube. At the very least I want to do what ink drawing each day, my expectations are a bit lower for the vlog challenge but I’ve been doing okay so far!

Preptober: As I mentioned before I have a huge Preptober series planned for this month. I’m a NaNoWriMo ML and prepping my novel now is super crucial for my wellbeing in November!

Affiliates/PR/Sponsorships: Last month I became a part of a whole handful of new affiliate programs and I really want to create some kind of routine on getting my links out there on my Pinterest and in posts and whatnot, so I’m going to try to up my game a bit on that front. I also want to find more programs that pay per click instead of sales.

Portfolio: Migrating this task over from September! Kind of rolling my eyes at myself right now!

More Quality Time: I want to focus on spending more quality time with my loved ones. Things have been super hectic since we got back from vacation and the next couple months are going to be absolutely insane so I really want to set aside some time each week before the weekend to get some good quality time in with Drew and our little fam!

No-Spend: This month on the no-spend list are the usual suspects. No books, no MORE bags ( I bought that backpack on the first of the month with the intent of not buying any other ones until I can get rid of a few.), No yarn unless it’s specifically for a Christmas gift!

What are your goals for the month? I’d love to hear some of them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,
mazie bones

Prep-Tember // Podcasts for Writers

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Oh hey there

 

 

 

I think I have mentioned before that I have been on a bit of a podcast rampage lately. Now that I’m working from home, I’m here a lot more, and as much as I talk to my cats, they never really respond so while my partner is at work, background noise is definitely needed. Sometimes it’s old episodes of The OC, sometimes its Spotify, but most of the time it’s a podcast. Though not all of my podcasts are great for writing too, some of my favourite ones are gaming or RPG podcasts, a lot of the ones I subscribe to are specifically for writers. So in this post I’ll be talking about my favourite podcasts to listen to while I’m writing, or if I need to get inspired to write.

Writing Excuses: 
“a fast-paced, educational podcast for writers, by writers. It airs weekly, with new episodes appearing each Sunday evening at around 6pm Eastern Time. Episodes vary in length from fifteen to twenty-five minutes, but are usually less than twenty minutes long. The tagline, “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart” isn’t super accurate, time-wise, but it’s a haiku so we’re keeping it.”

Welcome to Nightvale:
Now this isn’t a writer’s podcast but it’s a super interesting concept and I find the episodes really inspiring.

“WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide.”

The Smarter Artist:
” Author entrepreneurs Sean Platt, David Wright, and Johnny B. Truant answer questions, offer quick tips, and deliver keen insight to help creative people who want to make a good living off of their hard work. In just a few minutes a day, we promise to help you get smarter faster.”

The Self-Publishing Podcast:
” Want to publish and sell more books? Want to get your writing into the world without contending with agents, publishers, or the other gatekeepers in traditional publishing? There’s never been a better time to make money as a writer — to take your books directly to readers and be in charge of your own business rather than jumping through hoops to please the Powers that Be. Full time authors Johnny B. Truant, David Wright, and Sean Platt (owners of the 2M+ words-per-year indie publishing company Sterling & Stone) explore everything related to getting your writing published… and making money doing it… in today’s new DIY digital publishing frontier. This isn’t artsy talk — it’s “authorpreneurial” business strategy that turns self-publishing from sideline into a rewarding career.”

Authorpreneur’s Almanac:
” Authors and innovators Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant reveal the inner workings of indie publishing company Sterling & Stone, in a real time look at what works, what doesn’t, and what they learn along the way.”

Writership:
“We help fiction writers master self-editing skills, and we offer editing services to turn good stories into great ones that are well told and polished.
Our adventures are fueled by a passion to make authors proud of their writing and the legacy they’re building.”

Grammar Girl:
“Your friendly guide to the world of grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language.”

Sell More Books Show:
“The Sell More Books Show is a weekly podcast focusing on helping new and experienced authors stay up-to-date with the latest self-publishing and indie news, tools and book selling/marketing strategies.”

The Worried Writer:
” Most writers I know create their work despite being worried, anxious or distracted. You are amongst friends!

The podcast is stuffed with advice to help you overcome self doubt, fear and procrastination. We all struggle with these things, but there are tools and techniques that can transform your writing life.”

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert:
” Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert returns for the second season of her hit podcast MAGIC LESSONS, ready to help another batch of aspiring artists overcome their fears and create more joyfully. This year’s guest experts include Neil Gaiman, Gary Shteyngart, Amy Purdy, Michael Ian Black, Brandon Stanton, Martha Beck, and Glennon Doyle Melton.”

Hopefully, this post helps you find a few podcasts that will help you get inspired. Are there any awesome podcasts that I didn’t list here that I should check out! Leave your favourites in the comments below.

mazie bones

Prep-Tember// Why I Use Scrivener

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Oh hey there

 

Today I want to talk about the application/word processor that has changed my writing career: Scrivener. I have been using Scrivener for over 4 years now and I am a huge advocate. In all of my writing ventures, be it creative or freelance, this is the processor of choice. If I mention my writer’s notebook, I’m usually referring to my ongoing creative binder in Scrivener, which is kind of top secret but maybe someday I’ll clean it up and do a post on it!

So here are some of my favourite features and some of the main reasons I use it so religiously.

Name Generate:
I love this feature so much! I didn’t mention it in the Character Names post I made yesterday because I wanted to save it for this one, but the Name Generator is definitely an awesome tool that helps broaden the horizon beyond all the way you can find names that I shared yesterday.

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Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 11.40.38 AMThe Organization Tools:
I adore the fact that you can go to bulletin board mode and see all of your cue cards laid out. If any of you have followed me over from my old blog, you will know that I was an avid user of the cue card method of brainstorming and organizing, and having this feature helps me save a lot of paper. I also love the folder systems, and that there is an option to change icons on folders and files for better organization.

 

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Statistics:
When it comes to writing for work or during NaNoWriMo, I am very goal driven. I have a bit of an obsession with constantly tracking my progress and setting new goals, and that is just how I get some of my best work done. Having these statistic tools and daily targets is a huge reason that I love this program so much. It’s like every day can be a NaNoWriMo day.

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Editing Tools:
All of the tools in this drop bar have proven to be so helpful to me when it comes to writing. in the Writing Tools tab, it lets you check online dictionaries and thesauruses, which I frequently find myself searching for. There are also dictation tools, which are super useful, and special characters in case you find yourself creating a new secret language.

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All in all, I think that the program speaks for itself. I personally can’t live without it and think it is seriously life changing for writers of all sorts so it’s definitely worth trying the free trial to see if it works for you. There are so many other features to explore that I haven’t shared in this article, that you might find life-changing. Check out this link (not sponsored) to get your free trial today!

What word processor do you use and why? Is it your ride or die or are you looking for something new? How do you organize with it? Thanks for reading!

mazie bones

Prep-Tember // Character Names

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Oh hey there

 
Character names can be one of the most daunting parts of writing novels, at least in my opinion. Committing to a character name is kind of like naming a child or a pet. It’s a name that you are going to have to hear and write and say a whole lot so it really has to work, and it has to fit the character. So in this post, I’m going to be talking about some of the ways that I find names for my characters!

Surnames:
I find its always easy to start with a surname so that I can make sure that the first names sound better with it. Though surnames aren’t the most used name, it’s still important to have that name picked to add depth to your characters and to allow possible growth with family trees and what not. The first step I take to find a surname is I grab a phone book and start flipping through the pages. Whenever a last name pops out at me I flag the page or add it to my ongoing collection of names in my writer’s notebook.

Read Everything:
Remember that every name is a possibility, and therefore, everything you read that contains names, holds possibilities for character names. Read the newspaper, read old books or comics, read an atlas, or an encyclopedia or maybe even branch out and look for unlikely names. For example, if you’re writing a fantasy book, look up old names, or take a basic name and spell it differently. For example, Mazie could be spelt Maezy.

RPG Character Creation Generators:
I have a background in Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop RPGs and I love using those generators to create character names, especially for short stories or fantasy pieces.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to make sure the name fits your story and your character. If it doesn’t fit you’ll start to notice sooner while you’re writing that the name is just not working. I personally start to realize it when I get to the second chapter and I start cringing or rolling my eyes every time I have to write it down.

I hope that this post kind of gives you a bit of insight or at least a couple ideas on how you can find the right names for your characters! If this post helped you at all please put some of your favourite names in the comments below! I’d love to hear some of your best character names, or even what genre you enjoy writing the most!

mazie bones


 

Prep-tember // Word Sprinting

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Oh hey there

 

Today I want to talk to you about a little thing that could save your novel’s life, it has certainly saved some of my writing projects. In my first year of NaNoWriMo, maybe 5 or 6 years ago I discovered the pure magic that is THE WORD SPRINT!

Word sprints originated in the Wrimo Community on Twitter and have been helping people reach their word counts ever since. A word sprint is when you sprint and write as much as you can in a set time! For example some people warm up in short intervals like 5 or 10 minute sprints. Personally I find my best word counts in 20 minute or 30 minute intervals. It’s not only invigorating to get so much work done in such a short period of time but it also just tells you a lot about yourself as a writer! I had no idea I could write 1000 words in 20 minutes until I sat down and sprinted it.

So right about now, you might be wondering, “How do I find a sprint?”
EASY! There are all kinds of hashtags put in place all year round but also mainly centred around NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo that make public sprints super easy to find. Some of the best ones I’ve found are the following:

#getwordies
#wordsprint
#1k1h
#writingsprint
#nanosprint
#nanowrimo
#writeclub

I hope this helps you out with catching your word counts. Since I discovered how well word sprints worked for me, I’ve been using them for everything. I sprint my blog posts, I sprint my freelance work, I basically sprint everything. Something that has really helped with perfecting my sprint is keeping track of my sprint times/words written average. Having these numbers recorded can help me know how long I need to sprint for to get a project done. For example, if I know I have to write 500 words for a client, and my average is 500 words over 30 minutes or 250 over 10 minutes, I know that I should break up my sprints into two 10 minute intervals to get my project done. 

That could just be me over complicating something so simple and easy, but it’s what works best for me.

Do you work well under pressure? Have you tried a word sprint before or do you plan on trying it now? If you have any favourite sprinters or favourite hashtags for word sprints, share them in the comments below!

mazie bones

 

 

How Habitica Changed My Life

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A frequent question that I get is “how on earth do you manage your time,” with all the freelance projects and personal projects I do. “It just seems impossible to have that much going on, but still have time to spend time with friends,” is another common statement that I get sometimes.

Truth is, I’ve always been kind of proficient when it comes to managing my time and keeping on track with goals and deadlines. But it’s not all me I promise! I always have my bullet journal or planner next to me, it has become my favourite tangible productivity tool. But aside from that, I have recently started used one of my favourite apps again!
Today I want to talk about an amazing App that has been keeping me in check lately, called Habitica! Formerly known as HabitRPG, this app has taken my productivity to a whole new level.

Here are the Coles Notes:

 

  1. Start a character: There are all kinds of ways you can customize your character, but if you don’t have time, just a basic character avatar will do! This is my current character!
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  2. List your habits and dailies: The app will come with a few examples of tasks that you can use, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to just clear all those out and start fresh with your daily habits to track and what not. I personally stretch these a bit and track a bunch of smaller things. (The more you check something off, the more coins you get in a day!) These features really do help with starting to build new habits, or break bad ones! Dailies are good for everyday tasks that you don’t want to keep putting in your to do section! Then just add any other to do list tasks as they come along. I sit down every morning with my BUJO and draft out a game plan from there, but now instead of wasting a page in my notebook, I map out all of my small tasks on this app and check them off as I go. More coins for me!

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  3. Set your rewards, use the coins you receive to buy new items or quests:  Obviously there needs to be some kind of compensation for being so amazing, so everytime you do something on your lists you get coins. These coins can be used to buy armor, items that bump up your abilities and other neat things. There are bosses and battles once you get into a party, and these items will totally help with that. A feature that I really like is that you can set it up to give yourself tangible rewards too, like episodes of game of thrones and what not.

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  4. Join a party, find some guilds or start a challenge: A great thing to do when you first get started is to find a community of like minded people to quest with. Quests happen within a Party. In order to get into a Party, you need to request or get invited to one, or just start your own, you can find a chat in the tavern full of people looking for members or looking to join a party. You can only be in one party at a time, but you can be in multiple guilds! Guilds are kind of similar to a party but they are more specified interest wise (At least that’s what I have noticed!) There are guilds for people who like bullet journals, guilds for people who like Gilmore girls, guilds for people that reward themselves with anime! It’s all here, and it’s all amazing!

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  5. Collect all pets and mounts: Also, while you complete tasks you can find random items. There is no way of controlling it, but these add that addictive collecting aspect that us app-users love. Basically, you can find eggs, potions, and food. Once you have an egg and a potion you can combine them to get a pet. For example, Bear Cub Egg + Cotton Candy Potion = Cotton Candy Bear Cub!There is a huge list of combinations that you need to try to complete! You can feed your pets to train them and boost their stats, but they only eat certain foods. IE. Pink pets can only eat pink food, and brown pets can only eat brown food… and every other colour is the same. It’s simple, but like I said, so addictive. Since the HabitRPG days they have added so many new pets, and I’m completely invested in getting them all.

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Overall, I love this app and it really does help make everyday tasks a little more fun. At first, I was worried that it might make productivity a bit distracting, but after I explored a bit, joined my party and settled down, it really is something that I can’t see myself living without now. It is a free app, there is the option to purchase in game currency which, to be honest, I definitely see myself doing in the future (the developers of this app are so amazing so I would love to support them), but you can play without it for sure! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Prep-tember//Asking Why

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Oh hey there

I’m super excited about this post, as its the first post to kick off my Preptember Writers Series! This topic has been one that I’ve been pondering for a while now and it all kind of started on our car ride home from vacation. For a while now, my partner and I have been kind of jokingly pulling together this plot of a book that neither of us planned on writing. I want to say that this ongoing joke started in the beginning of our relationship and it’s just been growing and getting more and more ridiculous the more we brought it up. But when we embarked on our 7 hour drive home from Magnetawan we eventually ran out of road trip games to play and we slowly transitioned into talking about our plot idea but in a more serious manner.

The longer we drove, the more real the story seemed; it became something kind of possible, and kind of awesome. So we have kind of decided to collaborate this idea. He isn’t a writer, so I’ll be doing all of that, but his skill with plotting and storyline is kind of remarkable. It really is a gift. Which is kind of what inspired me to write this post about asking yourself or your characters “Why?”

As we went on developing our story, I kept asking him different questions, but most of them were starting with “Why?” Why are they fighting? Why do they need to get there? Why are they running? Why is she alone? Why a giraffe? 

Whenever I asked why I was worried that he would get defensive of his story, I was worried that asking why would seem like I was challenging the ideas, but that wasn’t the case. Whenever we asked why we opened up the floor for some of the best reasoning and discussions. The other questions worked but none of them produced conversation like our “Why” questions. I think that asking why is a question that challenges a plot, and as long as it’s yourself or your beta-readers challenging your plot, I think it’s fine. you should be able to defend your plot, but more importantly, you shouldn’t have to.

So as a way to avoid having to answer questions later, answer questions now, while you’re writing, or before you even open that new idea.

What I wish we did was record that discussion, because we would have had 2 hours of the purest plot details and background information that we could possibly get and we might not ever have those true and blatant answers ever again, which is fine, we’ll get there eventually, but it was such an amazing conversation.

Another thing that I learned about myself as a writer while discussing this plot with Drew, was that having a partner or friend to sound board off of, or having someone to ask or answers questions with is SO helpful. If you have a friend that you can confide in and trust your ideas with, I would definitely recommend having a little Q&A!

 


What is your favourite question to ask yourself or your characters? Do you find asking questions helps you develop your plots, or does it take the fun out of it for you?

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more Prep-tember posts in the future,

mazie bones

 

My Workplace Tour

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Oh hey there

A while back I posted about possibly giving you all a proper tour of my workspace, and upon taking all of the photos that you’re going to see in this post, I realized that it would be so much better to do a tour video, but I don’t think I have the time to edit a video or anything, so this will have to do for now!

It wasn’t until recently that the love of my life and I changed our living situations, and figured out that sharing an office would be a fun way to spend more time together while I’m working on things, so what you are seeing is my half of the office. His half is his, and I don’t want to take away his privacy, so you unfortunately won’t be able to see all of his amazingly nerdy things, but just know that it is truly brilliant, in literally every way.
Lets get this tour going!

20951956_10155377443831013_731183084_oSo when you first enter our office you will see our shared Star Wars calendar. This is mostly just a central hub for dates we both need to know, for house things like litter box days, or garbage days, stuff like that.

Next you see my larger organization unit. I love the lip in the wall right there, it adds a little bit of a division and also kind of hides some of the chaos that the unit creates. It looks super hectic but it is actually the most organized I think I’ve ever had everything. Beyond that unit you get to see my little desk, which is a repainted antique from my mom, I believe it was her grandmothers. I’m not sure if its my favourite storage solution, but I definitely love that it has history and that I can say its been passed down through the family. (I also have the matching dresser and nightstand that came with it.)

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The unit that stores almost all of my art and craft supplies is a combination of Michaels Craft Cubes and a super DIY Cube Shelf that I made on the bottom. I have labels on all of the drawers so that my process is pretty streamlined and I don’t need to dump all of them out looking for what I need. There are a few other cubes that I would love to have and some day I’m sure I’ll have the room or plan out a better system that will allow for that, but as of right now, I’m really loving how helpful this set up is. The two picture boxes at the top house, knick knacks and blank cards.

 

 

Next we have the front 20862344_10155377443356013_1920800609_oview of my desk set up. I’ve got all of my prints set up on the wall so that I can look up at all of my favourite art. Most of these prints are by local artists, I will link all of their instagrams and try to link the others if I can find them: Fixed Lividity, Jade Poon, HunyMilk, Sshaniaa, and the Jelly Fish painting was done by yours truly.

For someone who really only buys something if it’s black, white or gray, I definitely need to surround myself with colourful art to get inspired. On my desk I have a little copper tray that holds findings, paper clips, glasses, and a jar of knitting needles and hooks. I have a little filing folder holder, the holder is from Target, and the folders are Nate Berkus. My computer is usually right there on top of my desk, with my bullet journal, and Midori, as well as my watercolour sketchbook, and paints. I also just bought that super cute travel easel, and I’m obsessed with it, it takes up no space, and it can hold a book for me if I feel like reading while I’m crocheting! Sounds like actual perfection to me.
Not really shown in this photo is the little space between my wall and the desk. This is a little nook that I hold anything thin, like spare canvas’, rolls of paper, frames or looms for my weaving, a hoola hoop for a project I’m working on, basically just anything that will fit there, is usually there.

20904487_10155377443656013_535753960_o Moving over, you now get to see the other half of my corner, featuring a super cheap kitchen pantry unity from Canadian Tire, my yarn peg board and my little Raskog Cart from Ikea! You also get to see that I am currently using an ottoman as my office chair and there is a really good excuse for that!
I’m using that as a chair because I get to a) sit cross legged, hence more relaxed, and b) I get to sit with my cats! They always come and check on me while I’m painting or crocheting or even just writing blog posts. They are both here right now as I write this.

On top of my pantry I keep all my pretty black and white planners. I recently sold my planner collection and these are the only ones I have left, I kind of plan on keeping it that way now that I’ve found the pure magic that is my BUJO! If you haven’t already read those posts, check out my Bullet Journal Tour, and my Guide to Bullet Journaling!

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The planner collection is held together by some wall sconces that I repurposed into bookends, I plan on painting them eventually, and they are accompanied by a Toki Doki Unicorno and an Ikea plant pot holding all my rulers, scissors and tools.

My yarn peg board was a super last minute DIY. I found an amazing deal on this piece of peg board at Deals Express, and got my dad to hang it up with some deck screws. I cut some dowling down to size and then spun my yarn with a Loops and Threads yarn winding machine! This not only makes for an amazing artsy display, but also a super organized way for me to know what I have and what I need for a crochet or knitting project! I’m super excited to see some empty spaces after all my christmas gift knitting is done!

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The pantry was bought on sale at Canadian Tire for I believe under $40, and it mostly holds admin related things, like my printer, laminator, envelopes, packaging, paper, my camera, some punches, and cutting boards, a zine stables and other little things that I need for my shop and writing group.

The Raskog holds all my writing utensils in little plant pots I found at the dollar store, I spray painted them rose gold, to match the rose gold magnetic organizer pots stuck to the front side of my cart. These hold little paper clips and binder clips and other findings. On the second and third shelves I have current projects, some washi tape, planner stickers and some Crayola Super Tip markers!

I think thats everything for my workspace tour, I hope you enjoyed it! I would love to see your workspace, please feel free to send me a link to your workspace posts in my comments. As always, thanks for reading my post and please check back in on Friday for a new one!

Have a super nifty day,
mazie bones

 

Why I left Fiverr.com

Fiverr

Oh hey there

A lot of people have reached out to me over the past couple months asking me for advice or about my experiences with Fiverr.com. I haven’t talked about Fiverr on this blog before because I haven’t used that platform for a little over 3 years now, so bringing it up now feels a bit strange but it’s apparent that a lot of people are looking for ways to get into the freelance world, and so I might as well weigh in with my opinions now while they are semi-relevant.

For those of you who don’t know what Fiverr is, its a website where creators can sells their services for $5. Eventually your gig price can increase based on levels and packages but we aren’t really going to talk about that today. You can find writers, editors, advertisers, artists and even tarot readers on the site selling their services to people looking for cheap solutions. A lot of companies use the site to outsource or delegate small task jobs so that they can focus on what’s more important. This all sounds pretty straight-forward but what they don’t really advertise is the amount of complete BS that you get to deal with as a seller.

So today I’m going to break down my experience on Fiverr into a few cute little categories:

Authenticity:

When you start looking for sellers, you will see their ratings. Most of the ones you’ll see first are the 100% or 99% positive ratings. So naturally you’ll gravitate towards one of those experienced sellers. But what no one tells you is that most of those top sellers have their own fake buyer accounts so that they can buy things from themselves to influence their positive reviews.

Another thing that no one seems to discuss is that some sellers will have fake buyer accounts and will buy from their competitors just so that they can leave negative reviews. Unfortunately this is pretty detrimental as Fiverr doesn’t have a way to get rid of negative reviews once they have soiled your account. You’re just stuck with that awful new percentage. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but that rating percentage is basically your Fiverr livelihood.

Growth:

When you create your account as a seller you are quickly told that you are by no means allowed to discuss moving a buyer/seller relationship from the site to your personal emails or communications. Any talk of exchanging emails or contact info for off site communication is flagged, filtered and can ultimately lead to a ban. (Fiverr is known to ban top sellers and not pay them their earnings without warning, but I can’t actually talk about that since it never happened to me.)

This protocol makes it basically impossible to grow any kind of real freelance relationship with your buyer, and voids any chance of making them a client. Which feels a little backwards to me. I understand that Fiverr is just trying to keep their money, and that it isn’t a place for building client relationships, but it definitely has the potential to start some real job opportunities; its unfortunate that they are so insecure about losing their buyers, and their cut of each gig, which leads us to the next point.
Self Worth:

When I started using Fiverr, I was a full time journalism student, working part time and I was just looking for a few little gigs here and there mainly for experience but also for a couple extra dollars. I didn’t really mind that they were taking 20% of every job I did, or that I had to wait almost 15 days to see the money I earned from each job. I didn’t mind that I was selling my skills for so little because I was making money elsewhere, and it wasn’t really contributing to my survival. For people looking to use Fiverr because they read an article about “how you can work from home by selling on Fiverr”, or they’ve seen income reports of people that use Fiverr, please please please don’t quit your day job yet.

I used Fiverr for about a year and had only brought in approx $2000 on the site by the time I decided it wasn’t for me. Thats roughly $166 a month, which is by no means survivable, unless you’re living with your parents still, then it could actually be kind of feasible I guess. I remember frequently asking, “Is this really what freelancing is going to be like?” and “is this really what I want to do from now on?” It was one of the most thankless experiences of my career to date, but it did give me a bunch of work for my portfolio, an array of different gigs, and so much experience in dealing with bad clients that I think I might actually be a professional at freelance damage control.
Abusive Buyers:

Lastly I want to discuss what I think is the worst problem on Fiverr: The Buyers. I believe I had around 300 gigs by the time I quit and I would honestly say at least 100 of them turned out to be super negative experiences. Whether it was them hiring me on to do their job and then doubling the work once they had me locked in, or just the disgusting number of buyers that hired me for writing gigs but then asked me to send them pictures of myself instead, I just ended up getting fed up with the amount of abuse I had to endure from those entitled buyers that thought their $5 was worth $25.

All in all, I understand why people use the site. Its easy, its money, and its a free platform, and I agree that it is a good way to gain experience in both selling your services but also in just working with different kinds of clients. But if you are a licensed professional, or have your degree in something, don’t touch this site. Just put down the sign up and back away slowly. I’m so happy that I took the leap and decided to go the freelance route for my writing career, and I’m also super glad I dropped Fiverr when I did.

I hope this post wasn’t too negative, I don’t want to make posts like this a regular thing, I would much rather keep this a mainly positive place, but I thought it might be okay to share my opinions and experiences with those who are interested.

Thank you so much for reading this post, if you enjoy my content and feel like supporting me in my (*cough cough caffeine addiction*) writing endeavours, I now have that that cute “Buy me a coffee” button that all those cute bloggers have! Feel free to check it out! I’m eventually going to add some kind of incentive or perk (haha get it? PERK!) for those beautiful people that donate. But for now I can thank Heather from The Sassy Mal on etsy, and Christian from Cjej.me

mazie bones