Sunday, May 17, 2009
I would like to introduce Cheryl "Cie" Hosmer from Brighton, Michigan. Cheryl is a former journalist who now edits and writes full time from home. She has written for several newspapers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, for Pandora’s Box Magazine, and has edited six titles to date. Her current projects include ghostwriting, fiction and non-fiction book editing, and working as a developmental editor helping writers define their audience and assess content for flow and clarity. She has recently become a local business writer in Livingston County, MI.
-You have created a solid business foundation for several aspects of the writing profession. How did you get started in this field?
I got my start at our local newspaper, The Greensburg Daily News (Indiana), when I was a junior in high school writing features now and again for nothing. I have been writing all my life and when the paper published "My Prayer" when I was six years old, I got the bug. Also my grandmother was a writer and a mentor.
Professionally, I began writing for the Daily News in 1999 when I saw an ad for an intensive journalism seminar in Wisconsin called Reader inc. Twenty writers from the United States were chosen to attend the three month, intensive, hands-on course. I was one of them and had very mixed feelings about it at the time as it was far from home and three months into the unknown writing and learning from award-winning journalists from all over the world. It was there I met author Marshall Terrill in the class. We've been a team since 2002 when he approached me to do some editing. I jumped at the chance. There was hardly any pay involved, but it was excellent hands-on experience editing a major book.
- What did you learn from those first few projects that can help other writers with managing the business side of their profession?
Be confident enough in your abilities to charge competitive rates. For around five years, I charged almost nothing just to get my name out there. It paid off, but my family wasn't relying on my income to get by. Be a business bulldog. I used to just roll over and be grateful that someone utilized my services. Then I started to become a little bitter about not earning what I knew I was worth. Last year I got my first multi-thousand dollar job and finally felt that I had made it through. I still do work for charities that I believe in. John Annoni's Camp Compass is one close to my heart as are autism and peanut allergy sites.
-Your web site looks great and it shows examples of the work you have accomplished. Other than your web site, what methods are you utilizing to advertise your services?
Actually, I have several sites dedicated to writing and I try to cross-utilize them...kind of like cross-merchandising in the stores. Biographyeditor.com is my main site, along with MarshallTerrill.com. I have recently opened Livingston Editorial Services to secure local work because in this economy you just can't put your eggs into one basket and hope to survive. I network...a lot. Write From Home Moms is my writer's list and the feedback, the experiences conveyed, and the sheer will of survival in this field has kept me going all these years on the list. I've never personally met any of these women, yet I can call many of them my best friends. If I go a while without hearing from them, I get concerned and wonder what's happening with them.
I utilize the Internet and email to get my name out. Marshall Terrill has been a godsend in my professional life. Through him, I have met many authors and some quite famous people and have become friends with a few of them. I also work off guru.com and have gotten many editing jobs and writing jobs through there...including many endorsements for my work. It's fun making some money for what you love to do and I am blessed with being able to stay at home and work from home right now.
-Can you share with us one of your tips for organizing the financial side of your business?
I am still in the learning curve after a decade freelancing. The greatest tip that I can offer for organizing the financial side of my business would be research and keep learning about it. I don't simply leave that part of my business once I have something set up. I keep honing my organization because I am terrible at it. It's a constant battle to keep on top of the finances because my mind is all over the place all the time. It's constant to be sure, writers have to stay on top of it all the time or it tends to swallow you up.
Press Release: Writer Cheryl Hosmer of Brighton, Michigan featured on Writers In Business Blog