Tag Archives: Creative Writing

A Sad Farewell to Yahoo! Voices

It was announced this week that Yahoo! Voices will be shutting down at the end of July 2014.

This announcement affects hundreds of thousands of writers. The effects are different for those writers. For many it means a huge loss of income; for some it means the loss of a forum of expression. For me personally it means that the place which gave me my “start” as a Freelance Writer will be no more – this is quite sad for me.

My Start

Just over two years ago I saw an advertisement for writers for Yahoo Contributor Network (YCN). I was unsure, not confident in my writing, but wanted to give it a try. I talked to my daughter about it and she encouraged me to go for it. I told no one else in my life that I was doing it. I wanted to wait and see what happened. After I published my first article in May of 2012 on Yahoo! Voices I was overjoyed! This gave me the confidence to continue writing and tell people in my life what I was doing – with pride.

Sandy Stachowiak Contributor Profile

My Journey

As time went on and my confidence grew and writing skills continued to improve, I finally dubbed myself a Freelance Writer and the journey has continued. Over time I gained private clients and began writing for other sites. Today writing is very much an important part of my life. Aside from writing content for many sites, I also work on two different books that I am in no hurry to finish ;-).

With my added writing opportunities and some difficulties with YCN over the past several months, I had slowed down on submitting articles to Yahoo Contributor Network. There seemed to be constant technical issues and delays in getting articles published. Even though I had slowed my writing for YCN, I continued to keep up with activity and decided to publish at least once per month – until I received notice it was shutting down, that is.

So even though my writing for YCN slowed down near the end, I am still sad to see Yahoo! Voices go away. In my mind, that site was the reason I started writing content, gained confidence in my writing abilities, prompted my book ideas, helped others with my experiences, made connections, and it led me to believe in myself enough to pursue other writing opportunities with confidence.

How I Helped People

One article in particular that I published over two years ago has prompted such a huge response that I still receive feedback on it even now. It was an article about my neck surgery and recovery. I received over 72,000 views to date and have gotten numerous article comments, emails, Facebook messages, and even contact through different writing websites, AND this blog for the article. This has all been from people seeking help/advice or comparing my situation to theirs or a loved one’s. To me, this was my biggest success on Yahoo! Voices because the article, even after two years, was still prompting people to contact me about it. I am very, very glad that one experience I was able to share on Yahoo! Voices was helpful to so many others.YCN Find Your Audience

People and Connections

Another reason I am thankful for Yahoo Contributor Network is the connections and friends I have gained. I have met, connected with, and become friends with some wonderful people because of YCN. I have met some very talented and skilled writers, some who have become wonderful friends, and even some who have encouraged other writing opportunities. I always find it interesting how random events can bring you to know people that you would not have known otherwise. Thank you, YCN for all of the people I have met because of you!

A Final Thank You

I have to give a final ‘thank you’ to the Yahoo Contributor Network and Yahoo! Voices for providing me with a big change in my life that I would not trade for anything. I will miss you YCN and will be forever grateful for what you have brought me. :-)

 

5 Reasons Writers Should Keep a Journal

I used to write in my journal a lot. I loved writing so it was very natural for me and therapeutic as well. Then when I became a freelance writer things changed. I was spending so much time writing articles, posts, Web content, and even working on my short stories, that I stopped writing in my journal. Well, I recently realized that journal writing is a great exercise and very beneficial to writers. Here a just a few reasons that you as a writer, should keep a journal:

  1. It keeps you in touch with your emotions. Great writers can tap into emotion – the emotions of their readers as well as their own emotions. Keeping a journal allows a writer to do just that. Being able to communicate feelings and thoughts into a place that is outside of the writing space is a terrific exercise into oneself and can transfer to a writer’s work.

    sxc.hu, stock.xchng, typofi, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1176000


    sxc.hu, stock.xchng, typofi, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1176000

  2. It is a great transition tool. If you are a writer with a day job like me, then you know that once you come home from a day in the office it can be difficult to jump directly into your writing. Whether it is fiction, Web content, blog posts, or an assignment for a client, it is not always easy to switch gears that quickly. Journal writing, however, can be a great transition tool for writers. You can write your thoughts from the day, your hopes for the evening, your creative thoughts for further down the road, or simply use it as a stress release. This is my favorite journaling reason.
  3. It can spark ideas, memoirs, essays, or more. As writers we know that not every thought that we “put on paper” will make it past the first draft. We also know that writer’s block can be a real pain. Sometimes just relaxing and jotting down our thoughts can spark so much more to happen. You may look back on a journal entry and find a great article idea. You may discover thoughts for a story from something that happened in your past. You may decide that your life is interesting enough to write an entire book. The possibilities really are endless with what could come of a few simple journal entries.
  4. It keeps you writing every day – no matter what. We as writers know the rule – write every day. Honestly, this can be difficult sometimes. You can have things going on in your life that simply make writing each day hard. Writing in your journal satisfies that rule – because why? Because you are still writing! As mentioned in #3 above, you never know what will come from a simple journal entry. If you are too sick to write that Web piece or too stressed to finish that chapter, jot a note in your journal. It is sure to keep you writing more than a quick sentence and you will continue to feed that writing rule.
  5. It really is therapeutic. We have all heard that writing can help us cope, heal, and deal with life’s little surprises. It really is true – at least I believe it. Depressed, upset, stressed, angry, sad, or something else? Write about it. It does not have to turn out to be in one of your stories. It does not have to turn into a poem or published work. It does not have to be anything at all except a release for you. Use it.

There are many avenues for journaling from the good, old pen and paper to the newest iPad app to a great mobile phone tool. So, if you are not journaling – give it a try and if you quit like me – get back to it. Share your thoughts on if it works for you or how you best use writing in a journal as a writer!

* This article was originally posted on Full of Knowledge, November 2013.

Why Bubblews Can Be Great for Writers

For writers, I believe that Bubblews can be a great thing and here is why…  read article on Bubblews >>

sxc.hu, stock.xchng, RAWKU5, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1206626

sxc.hu, stock.xchng, RAWKU5, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1206626