Roses, Writing and Epiphany

| January 31, 2011

Something happened to me over the past year while I was busy sitting on the couch with the laptop attached to the end of my fingers.  I didn’t notice it so much until I decided to get out to smell the roses.

You see, while I was busy writing, someone came by and attached 7 ½ pounds to each of my lower body quadrants.  When I got up off of the couch to walk outside, I passed the scale (nasty little thing).  I got on it and I’ve managed to put on 15 pounds.

The extra 15 pounds didn’t stop me from putting on my snow gear and going outside to smell the frozen roses.  As I was bent over to dig in the snow searching for frozen roses I had an out of body experience.  As I left my body and took a good look at the woman bending over digging in the snow I thought “Whoa, what a caboose on that chick!”

FitnessRecovering From the Out of Body Experience

After I re-entered my body, I grabbed my car keys and drove over to the athletic club.  I’ve been wanting to join the club for some time, but always used one excuse or another.  Usually the excuse started with “I can’t afford it,” and then progressed to “I don’t have time.”  Both excuses were just that, excuses.

As I sat there talking to the membership coordinator about the rates and fees, I was happy to hear that I happened to show up at the gym at the right time.  In the month of January they waived their $150 registration fee. That means I only had to come up with the membership fee which boils down to $12 per week.

$12 per week sounds a bit steep when you consider other gyms charge that much per month, but this club has everything (3 pools, steam rooms, exercise equipment, bosu, zumba, pilates, step classes and my favorite…spinning classes).  The spinning classes alone are worth $12 per week.

How this Relates to Writing

For you Demand Media Studio writers, you’re probably thinking what I thought.  “Oh man, $12 a week is less than one DMS article a week.  I’ve got this!”  So, I joined. One athletic club membership sold to the woman with the broad caboose!

Lead in to the EpiphanyExercise

As I was driving home from the gym, I got to thinking.  I asked myself “Felicia, what are your goals?”  To which, I responded, “I want to get in shape and drop 15 pounds.”

Not being satisfied with my partial answer, I then asked myself the same question again, “Felicia, what are your goals?”  I didn’t quite understanding why I was in a car asking myself the same question again.  So I thought long and hard before I gave myself the wrong answer (didn’t want to be asked a third time).  Then it dawned on me that my goals were twofold:

  1. I wanted to lose weight and get in shape (short term goal).
  2. I want to earn $10,000 a month in residual income (but right now I’ll settle for an average of $100 per day in residual income).

A Change in Thinking

I’m glad I asked myself that question because it made me rethink how I’m going to pay for the gym membership.  Yes, I could easily write one DMS article a week for the next 104 weeks (it’s a two-year membership). It would more than adequately cover the membership cost.  Or, I could write 52 residual articles for the first year and allow the residual income to pay for the second year of my gym membership (and any renewal thereafter).

To cover the cost of the membership my residual articles would have to bring in $1.72 per day.  Could I write 52 articles that would bring in a total of at least $1.72 a day?  I believe I can (heck, I wrote one article for eHow back in August of 2009 that has earned over $6,000 and is still earning).

So, instead of writing one article a week, I could write one per day for the next 52 days to let them start earning.  In the meanwhile, I have the Self Talkoption to write 1 DMS a week until my residual articles kick in and take over the gym membership fee.

My Epiphany

It’s all about your thoughts, choices, decisions and goal setting. My immediate thought was to do what was easy.  It’s easy to write one article a week.   What’s not so easy is to take the less conventional route. I’m learning to challenge my thoughts, troubleshoot my choices and make decisions based on my long term goals.

Every so often it’s good to think about how you think and challenge your thinking.  If for no other reason, it’s always good to come up with one additional way of skinning the cat.

BTW, if you do challenge your thinking, it’s best to do it while you’re alone. Folks start to look at you in a weird way if you talk to yourself too emphatically in public. 😉

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Category: Motivation

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (28)

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  1. Christina Crowe says:

    “BTW, if you do challenge your thinking, it’s best to do it while you’re alone. Folks start to look at you in a weird way if you talk to yourself too emphatically in public.” – I love it!

    And Felicia, I’m really psyched with how things are looking for you. Things can only go up if you continue to challenge yourself and build residual income that will grow with you.

    Too many people look for the easy way out. Myself included. They don’t often realize that the easiest way isn’t necessarily the best way.

    You have a bright future ahead of you – keep it up!

    Christina
    Christina Crowe recently posted…Understanding Link Wheels and Avoiding Sandboxes- The Beginner’s GuideMy Profile

  2. Felicia says:

    Mission Accomplished!

    The beauty of residual income is that it works even when you don’t. I didn’t get a chance to write 52 articles to pay for my gym membership. The residuals did it for me.

  3. I re-read your post this morning after I received another crazy rewrite request at DS. I wonder if the CE’s read the guidelines or just make it up as they go along. The rewrite comments I got today were snotty and contradicted what every other CE has ever said. Yesterday the CE wanted me to rewrite a Topic View as a How To by the comments that were left. If DS wanted a How To it should have been designated that to begin with. I think that one will just expire because I’m not going to rewrite it just to have it rejected. Frustrating.

    After seeing the latest rewrite request and reading your post again it makes me more determined to do only what I have to at DS to earn my upfront pay and focus on writing more residual articles and continue writing my genealogy books and tip sheets for researchers. Time spent writing those things provide residual income and are more enjoyable to write! Maybe I need to take a break and reevaluate my goals again today.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Jennifer Holik-Urban recently posted…Follow Friday – My New Kids Genealogy BlogMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Jennifer,

      DS doesn’t know it by they were a HUGE motivator in my quest to increase my residual earnings. Rewrite the requests like the ones you speak of helped to push me out of my comfort zone to go predominantly residual.

      Hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s not an oncoming train). 🙂

  4. Marmalade says:

    Hello Felicia again. Just one more question for you. Does Suite update your revenue numbers on a daily basis or instantly when it happens like they do with the PV’s?

  5. Marmalade says:

    I absolutely love Suite! I am still a newbie there, but I love the site. The service there is great and the articles churned out look really nice. I am still just a newbie there, but my 6 articles have generated 58 page views as of this morning and I earned my first penny. lol. No big deal at all yet, but it made me smile. 🙂

    • Felicia says:

      Congrats on your first penny. There will be many more to come.

      Isn’t it amazing how we get so excited over a penny. It’s not the penny but the promise it represents. Keep up the good work.

  6. Reena says:

    Had posted a long reply, only to get a CAPTCHA error! 🙁 Let me see how much of it I can revive…

    Felicia, you motivated me enough with your previous posts to go the residual route. As my family does not need my up fronts, I decided to go against the lure and build my residual library. Felt a little disappointed when the usual amount didn’t make it to my bank account, but, I know later it will…

    Have been writing for Suite101 for a month now. I should make payout tomorrow with 2500 views. I have more than 300 articles on AC. eHow grows steadily! Which other sites should I look into? Squidoo? Helium?

    I have to lose 30 pounds. After years of making excuses, I finally joined a gym too. Love the yoga classes. I feel its absolutely worth the money and the effort!

    Thanks for letting me blabber! Now comes the CAPTCHA code, but I am smart enough to copy my comment 🙂

    • Felicia says:

      Reena, I’ve learned to make my comments in Word, then copy and paste them. I’ve had the same experience as you and decided to take the safe route. It may take me just a bit longer, but I feel it’s worth it.

      As far as which other sites to use for residual earnings, I guess it’s sort of trial and error. I’ve never tried Helium and Squidoo. Actually, I signed up for Squidoo several years ago but found it a bit confusing so I never used them.

      Don’t forget the power of having your own sites/blogs. While you’re building your residuals elsewhere, spend time developing your own sites. Although my own sites don’t quite bring in as much as I earn on eHow, they’ve far surpassed my Suite earnings and are growing.

  7. Marmalade says:

    Thank you so much Felicia. I was wondering about that. Glad that you could give me some specific numbers. I just have 5 articles on their right now. I’m working on another that I hope to get out by tonight or tomorrow at some point. I think that I had maybe 26 hits today (14 yesterday with just 2 articles on the site). I think I am starting to understand the system just a little bit better. I just wish that I would start generating some revenue. I know it will come sooner or later though.

  8. Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet says:

    What a great way to look at things! Residuals pay back so much more, as you have pointed out before. The numbers speak for themselves.
    Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet recently posted…Pen Meets Wallet Has Moved!My Profile

  9. Marmalade says:

    Had a quick question for you Felicia since I know that you do some work for Suite 101. (anyone else who has experience writing there can jump in as well). I just started yesterday. I have put up 4 articles (mostly ones that I had waiting in storage anyway) and have gotten 28 page views so far. I have generated no revenue yet. I was wondering if these numbers were normal or if I am behind or what. Thanks for the help in advance.

    • Felicia says:

      Marmalade, when you consider that most places pay per thousand views, you have a little ways to go. 28 views is nice, but in the land of the internet, I wouldn’t get excited until my views average several hundred per day.

  10. Ira says:

    haha Felicia, another great article 🙂

    My family has gotten so used to me talking to myself and answering my own questions that they don’t even notice me doing it anymore lol

    At least, that’s what I THINK they do. I DID hear my wife talking to someone on the phone the other day about white jackets… and she’s not into fashion…
    Ira recently posted…Why You Need a VoIP Router to Make VoIP CallsMy Profile

  11. Bill Swan says:

    Ya know the first thing I thought of was Demand. It’s so easy to think “I need x articles to make that work” – been there and done that. But why put up with the hassle of their editing and waiting? So you do have a point.

    Dumb question tho, have you considered writing an ebook? Just one. Sell it for $15 a pop and sell one per month. Same idea basically but you’re not depending on if Google rates either Suite or Helium or whomever down in the rankings any given month.

    • Felicia says:

      Not a dumb question, Bill. Actually I’ve been pondering a few ebooks. I have a few milestones to achieve before I divert my attention to another ebook. Once I’ve reached that milestone I’ll be able to concentrate 100% of my time on a series of books…er, well 95% of the time on books. I still like spending time here. 🙂

      BTW, I bear a striking resemblance to that lady in your last blog post.

  12. Kidgas says:

    Felicia,
    What a coincidence! I am wanting to lose 15 pounds this year as well. I figure 1.25 pounds per month is a pretty achievable goal. I am cutting down on portion sizes and plan on walking more this summer. I already do weight training.

    By the way, did you notice that your scale picture says “519”! I am sure you don’t weigh that much. Have fun at the gym.
    Kidgas recently posted…January Efforts on TargetMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Good luck with your weight goals, Kidgas. 1.25 per month is a smart way to go about it.

      Actually I was doing pretty well with maintaining my weight until I broke a bone in my ankle last summer (even with the broken bone I tried to do yard work). Anyway, after being sidelined, it seemed that I had a real hard time getting up off of the couch. I’m using the gym membership as my treat for working so hard over the past 4 years building up residual income. Even my husband is happy that I decided to treat myself to something that I enjoy.

      Hopefully, it will stop snowing and sleeting long enough this week so that I can actually get to the gym. 🙂

  13. Prerna says:

    🙂 Can completely relate to what you felt and did Felicia.. Right now, I need the money to meet the bills and it sooo tempting to just go the upfront route and write for clients and sites that pay upfront but it does make a huge difference to being able to monetize what one owns. That’s why this month am focusing on developing my blog and thinking hard about the direction I want it to take. Oh, by the way, am attending the BSS’11 (thanks to Angela England’s Untrained Housewife sponsorship!) and I hope that’ll help me take my blog to the next level:-)
    Prerna recently posted…A Free eBook to Help You Get Organized- Cut Clutter and Be Productive… Easily!My Profile

  14. Crystal says:

    Too funny, Felicia! And I know just what you’re talking about – someone came by while I was writing this past year and added a little around my middle. Thanks for reminding us that we do have choices and to challenge ourselves. Guess I’d better go for my afternoon walk now and see if I can shed some of this extra girth:)
    Crystal recently posted…The 100 Things Challenge BookMy Profile

  15. Deanna says:

    An occupational hazard – weight gain because we sit all day and write. As with everything else, you take the bull by the horns and do something about it. 🙂 You inspire with everything you do and I so enjoy reading each blog entry. Also, $6,000 for one article in two years!! My jaw dropped – Good for you!
    Deanna recently posted…Parenting Magazine Resource PageMy Profile

  16. Mandy says:

    Another great post. When it comes down to it, our thoughts either make us or break us. If I’m not able to stick with my plans, I always go to my basic thoughts and feelings. Somewhere down in there in the subconscious goo is an idea about myself or possibilities that needs revamping.

    Kudos on the gym membership. You’re right – the extra $ is definitely worth the extra amenities. I’m a runner and loving it. Sometimes its tough to balance it with writing and life in general, esp when I up my writing goals. But it has taught me so much and been so helpful that I’m never giving it up.

  17. Loretta says:

    Felicia, finding your site (actually the link was sent to me several months ago) was one of the best things that has happened to me. Reading your posts is my morning inspiration (better than a cup of Java).
    Loretta recently posted…A Woman Knows SecretsMy Profile

  18. Another great post which I really needed this morning as I look at my goals for this year. I was feeling a little down about my progress or lack thereof, and changes in my plan. Your post is helping me to look at things in a new way. Thank you Felicia!
    Jennifer Holik-Urban recently posted…Motivation Monday – Sort and Start Telling the StoryMy Profile