Book Review of The Freelancer’s Bible by Tiffani Velez
I recently had the opportunity to attend a workshop online, which author, Tiffani Burnett-Velez was offering about how to successfully procure an excellent – if not at least a decent income through freelancing. I was attracted to the idea of "setting up my own hours" – working from home, and if I so chose, to work full or part-time. Curious about how to make this happen I instantly added my name to her attendance list since in all honestly, I have yet to pull that off as an author. When the day arrived, I had pen and paper ready to take notes, and a good thing too, since this highly skilled writer had a lot of information and tips to share and recommend.
At one point during the presentation, I admit to feeling a bit unnerved. How will I ever pull this off? –She makes freelancing sound so doable. –And almost as if she could hear me whining, all of a sudden she remarked how she understood that this was allot to implement, maybe for some even a bit scary, but just as quickly assured her listening audience that once trying the process; it would inevitably become second nature. Velez even offered to get her listeners started by helping them in writing their initial proposal.
Now, for those of you who weren’t able to attend Tiffani’s class, do not despair! This author has kindly written an easy to follow book called, The Freelancer’s Bible to get you well on your way. Inside the primer, she maps out the entire How To’s of navigating the freelance world in a concise and no-nonsense manner, which to a newcomer can feel terribly daunting. She also instructs on how to find clients, how to build a robust portfolio, the need to create strong proposals ‘with a hook’, and how to properly organize your workweek. She even encourages writers to practice follow-up techniques to build a robust and lasting clientele base.
This book has no filler only instruction. Nothing left to chance. I particularly appreciated how the author mapped out a definitive easy to follow method to implement. For a freelance novice or what the author calls, "an emerging freelancer" such as myself, this was both comforting and reassuring.
The book also highlights the mindset of writers who are always questioning their abilities. Velez makes it clear, "Get rid of negativity. It is not your friend." She said that she’ has “learned that if you want to be successful at any of the arts, you have to be persistent,” despite the many pitfalls and distractions that can steer a writing career into the abyss. Valez goes on to say that, “if you aren’t constantly putting your work and ideas out there for potential clients to review, you won’t have any work. Your work/life balance is off. You’ll have an excessive amount of time to navel gaze and feel sorry for yourself, but you won’t be working.”
The author also stresses that writers must believe in their ability to communicate their ideas and feelings to others in such a way as to make their point of view understood. To do less diverts the reader’s attention from that which is being conveyed. This mindset, of course, comes not only through practice but a healthy self-esteem. –Remember, it was Shakespeare who said, “Mend your speech, lest it mar your fortunes.”
And while many writers do equate writing with having a passion, this author says to let it show! Pull out all the plugs. Kick uncertainty to the curb and rise to the occasion. She encourages her writers to select work that speaks to their heart, which in turn will make them want to get up each and every morning ready to approach their job day as a joy and a blessing.
But the crux of the matter is this, does her advice work you may ask? And the answer is a resounding yes! Matter of fact, a friend of mine and were recently talking and she shared with me that she had decided to give freelancing a try. She needed a way to stay at home with her children while still be able to bring in supplemental income. I immediately suggested The Freelancers Bible, and while we both ordered the book, she took it one step further and implemented the author’s instructions. Without exaggeration, within a week she already had a potential job lined up – and for more money than I have made in the last few months selling my novels. What does that tell you, besides the fact that I need to get my act in gear!
Lastly, Tiffani makes a point of reminding authors to set their career goals realistically and always with a sense of balance. She writes, “Work hard but don’t neglect the people you love for a job or jobs. Jobs are replaceable, people aren’t.” Tiffani follows her own advice, making time for both family and friends, as well as her other equally as important artistic abilities. She is also the owner and operator of Ani Burnett Designs, a needle arts blog and shop, providing unique designs and crocheted and knitted blankets, shawls, and accessories.
"I’ve been a writer for many years. I’ve written for newspapers and magazines, I’ve had a few books published. Generally, I’m not at a loss for stories or plots, but sometimes, I get stuck and there’s something about creating complex knots in knitting or crocheting that unravel the knots in writing or even in life. Sometimes, I pray better when I’m knitting a scarf of repeating patterns out on my porch swing." ~Tiffani Velez
Her patterns and posts have appeared on Ravelry, The Daily Fiber, and on her own blog, A Stitch in Time, found at https://aniburnett.wordpress.com.
So remember, if you are looking for ways to expand your writing career or let your writing help pay your bills, or even if you always wanted to work from home and be your own boss, –if so, then The Freelancer’s Bible is the book to get you started!
The Freelancer’s Bible, as well as Budapest, All This Time, and A Berlin Story are available on Amazon in soft cover and Kindle.
Tiffani Burnett-Velez has been a freelance writer since 1996. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe, including Pennsylvania Magazine, Country Discoveries, Yahoo! News, and much more. She is the author of three Amazon bestselling novels, Budapest, All This Time, and A Berlin Story--the first in a four-part WWII era novella series. She recently published her first nonfiction book, The Freelancer's Bible. She lives in eastern PA with her family.
Would you like to hear more about this topic?
Join me on Thursday, September 22nd, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., when Bestselling novelist, author Tiffani Burnett-Valez will make a guest appearance on Sistah Chat Radio on GynesisRadio.com. She will join the lovely women of Sistah Chat to discuss freelancing as a career, information about other published novels, as well as what’s in store for the future!