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Earning Residual Income as a Freelance Writer is Like Dancing

DancerGood dancers are light on their feet. They must be able to quickly and gracefully shift their weight from one foot to the other along with the music. Really good dancers have fluid hand and body movements that accompany their footwork. One thing about a good dancer is that you know one when you see one. Or maybe, the converse is even truer. You know a bad dancer when you see one.

Everyone has been to a wedding, dance or club and snickered, giggled or blatantly pointed and laughed at the clod in the middle of the dance floor imitating the Saturday Night Fever moves. With the cement shoe type movement and awkward body stance you don’t need a dictionary to know the definition of bad dancing.

What does this have to do with earning residuals through online writing? I’ll tell you. The online writing marketplace is like a club or dance. Combine the music of the online marketplace with the music of your daily life. As an online writer you’ve got to merge the two musical sources and create a fluid sustainable dance.John Travolta

The Parents with Young Children Dance

Ok, every parent has been there. There’s the lack of sleep, maybe it’s colic, Junior is teething, Timmy and Sally both have fevers, she won’t take a nap, baby on the hip, I’m trying to write just one more article musical score. The music reaches the feverish pitch right about dinner time when you are exhausted and would love to prepare a balanced home-cooked meal.

The Parents with Older Active Children Dance

The kids are out of diapers and attending school so you think you’re home free. Your music is a little less rushed right? Uh, not really. There are school plays, school trips, basketball practice, soccer, football, cheerleading, 4H club, Girl Scout and Boy Scout outings, not to mention house guests and of course Fido, who is annoyed at not being invited to soccer practice, just pooped in the middle of the living room. And the chorus goes something like this: Why are the fish in my tank floating upside down and who threw the remote in the fish tank? C’mon, you know the moves to this dance.

The Parents of Teens Dance

Oh Lordy, Lordy, the parent of teen dance! The BFFs are LOLing and texting and video chatting and planning the sweet 16 party while you are the worst parent on the planet because you won’t allow your teenaged beauty to wear shorts that can double as a pin the tail on the donkey blindfold. At the same time, Mr. Invincible teen limps into the house supported by his friends after a friendly manly game of schoolyard football. And the beat goes on…

Pick your dance and now combine it with the online residual dance

The Online Residual Writing Dance

The online dance is going just fine until the NRC (new rules committee) meets and changes everything. The music that was slow steady and consistent suddenly becomes fast, choppy and annoyingly loud. eHow shuts down its Writer’s Compensation Program and eventually provides a “take it or leave it” payout option. The Panda is released which causes a hissing sound (such as the air being let out of a balloon) Freedomwhich is followed by a loud and deafening thud (yep, that’s your residual income being slammed to the ground).

Upon hearing the thud, nimble dancers shifted their weight to the tune of a softer more relaxing melody (aka creating their own sites). They realized they could create their own music and dance to the beat of a different drummer. So what if we eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner, a belly full is a belly full. Who cares if the remote control never works again, we watch too much TV anyway, and for those shorts that can double as a band aid…oops, somehow they got caught in the paper shredder.

The online music in my head is smooth, soft and soothing. Why? Because I’m dancing to my own beat. What does your music sound like?


{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Loretta July 24, 2011, 11:46 am

    Felicia, I am so pleased that the online music in your head is keeping you dancing; and even happier that you are sharing your music and dancing for those of us who follow your posts. As far as I am concerned, the things that I am learning from your wisdom-sharing about on-line writing is helping ME stay light on my feet. In the words of Sly and the Family Stone, “Dance to the music . . . All we need is a drummer for people who just need a beat.” You’ve got the beat, girl. Keep dancing!

    • Felicia July 24, 2011, 1:08 pm

      LOL! Loretta, after reading your comment, I realize Sly and the Family Stone came up with a few titles that apply here such as You Can Make it If You Try, Hot Fun in the Summertime and of course…Stand!

      Uh oh. I might have to dust off my old vinyl and pull out my turntable. 🙂

  • Cathleen July 24, 2011, 6:58 pm

    I’ve been reading your posts for a few months now and haven’t commented. I think you’re right though, if you have your own site it is driven by you and what you do with it. The content farms change the rules whenever it suits them. I personally feel they will always be blacklisted by Google. I enjoy your blog.

    • Felicia July 24, 2011, 8:24 pm

      Welcome to NJFM, Cathleen.

      I can’t say whether or not content sites will always be blacklisted, but if they are, having your own site is the way to go. Even if they regain Google favor, it still makes sense to have your own sites.

      • Luke July 25, 2011, 4:07 pm

        Yup i agree with that. No one knows what big G can come up with . Look at Ezine – they lost more than 50 % of the traffic overnight.

  • kidgas July 25, 2011, 11:19 am

    It simply is a matter of adaptability. Those that can, survive. Those that can’t, won’t. I am working on adapting and though the process is slow, it is moving in the right direction. So far, so good. Right now, I am trying to get caught up from vacation. Have 250 articles in my reader. Just got through last week’s mail and have another stack of things to get through. Then I would like to get to post on 3 blogs later today. Lot’s of work. Plus I should unpack.

    • Felicia July 25, 2011, 4:16 pm

      250 articles in your reader! That’s a lot of reading. I never got the hang of the readers. There was always too much reading to do. Maybe I’ll give it another shot to see if I can get the hang of it.

      • kidgas July 25, 2011, 10:05 pm

        I actually use it as a way to keep track of new blog posts in order to screen which ones might be appropriate for commentary. I have 117 financially related blogs that I follow and may potentially comment upon. This makes it easy to keep track of the blogosphere and has helped me immensely.

  • Joni July 25, 2011, 1:47 pm

    Good job, once again Felicia. I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me (money-wise and otherwise) so much that it does not surprise me anymore. It makes me mad and I rant but I’m always waiting for the next shoe to drop. I’ve had to learn to be quick on my feet with change; it’s another item we should add to death and taxes.

    • Felicia July 25, 2011, 4:18 pm

      You have a good point about changes, death and taxes. Somethings you just can’t get away from.

  • Lew July 25, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Hi Felicia.

    Been busy with projects so I haven’t been around much. Today’s my birthday and I took part of the day off to just catch up with a few blogs including yours.

    Nice post. Although I’m not a dancer I did have one “Sly” album as a kid, along with Three Dog Night and Grand Funk, before I went Hard Rock. So, I’m not so much a dancer as a drummer (no really-full kit in the basement!)so I tend to be all around. I have my hands in regular writing projects at the moment along with some residual writing on HubPages, where I’m focusing on comic books at the moment, and I’ve added video to my hubs there now. You keep “dancing” and I’ll keep “Hitting things with sticks.”


    • Felicia July 25, 2011, 4:22 pm

      Happy Birthday, Lew. Glad you shared part of it with us here.

  • Melissa July 25, 2011, 7:44 pm

    I love this! I am busy with the younger child, active children and residential writer dances…however, I have combined them to a steady hip hop dance that effectively combines all three. LOL
    Its a good thing all this dancing is in my head because I have thrown my back out. My hubby had to take time off from work and take over all household duties until further notice. So, its just me and my laptop for a few days (and the occasional cuddle with the kiddos.) I try to find the silver lining to every cloud so even though my back is killing me and its irritating to lay flat and type, at least I have the chance to get ahead in my writing for a few days!

    • Felicia July 26, 2011, 7:19 am

      Sorry to hear about your back, Melissa. At least your hubby is able to pitch in help you out. Hope you heal soon.

      If you’re using a current version of Windows as your operating system, you can give the built in voice recognition software a try. It has its quirks, but could be helpful since you’re lying flat on your back.

  • Master Dayton July 26, 2011, 8:33 pm

    Great metaphor for how online writing is. You move one way, and then the other, and there are always changes which make you have to change along with the times.

  • Edward G Gordon July 27, 2011, 9:22 am

    LMAO. I guess that makes me the clod with the concrete shoe. Always two steps behind the beat and anything but fluid.

    I love these pitstops with you Felice, they add a bit of joy and inspiration to my day.

    I hope the music keeps playing for you.

    • Felicia July 27, 2011, 12:18 pm

      Shhh. Don’t let tell anyone, but I married that clod. Although he doesn’t do the Saturday Night Fever dance, we’ve affectionately named his dance the “Windows and Doors” move. 🙂

  • Mandy July 29, 2011, 9:08 am

    My husband always says that he learned how to dance because he figured out early on that’s where the girls were and the rest of the guys weren’t. He says with those odds, even he couldn’t lose!

    I’m a big believer in positivity. No matter what, think positively, chase out the negativity, and things work out.

    I guess that’s just another way of saying that I follow my own tune! Great post!

    • Felicia July 30, 2011, 8:02 am

      Your hubby is a smart man. 🙂

  • Bill Swan September 3, 2011, 9:02 am

    I’ve been told many times life is a dance. If this be true, Felicia you’ve done everything from Disco, to Rhumbas, to Ballet, Tap and Country Line Dancing. And I am sure there were a few heavy metal head banging moments as well.

    • Felicia September 6, 2011, 5:52 am

      Heavy metal head banging was when I got my best ideas! LOL

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