Registration is now open for the Triangle Area Freelancers (TAF) 2009 Writers' Conference.

"Write Now: The Craft and Business of Freelance Writing" will be held Saturday, April 18, 2009 on the North Campus of Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh. Local novelist, nonfiction writer, and private editorial consultant Peggy Payne will deliver the keynote address. Her most recent novel Sister India is a New York Times Notable Book.

Reserve your seat by visiting, or call 919/873-9833 for more information.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of interviewing a woman with whom I have a lot in common. We were both born within a few years of each other and raised in the Badger state, chose similar professional fields, got what we hoped would be stepping-stone jobs after college, moved around a bit, got married, and had children.

The major differences between us are that she is more well-known and has made more money … subsequently by working full-time through most of her children’s lives. But despite all her successes, this woman is now taking ‘early retirement’ and leaving the daily grind. She is stepping down from a job she loves, where she is well-compensated, respected, and admired – to be at home with her kids. I applaud her decision as it is one I made a long time ago.

Although she seems to be following my lead, in truth, I can learn a lot from this woman. To go from a nine-to-five environment into a world where you work just as hard but don’t get paid, are only sometimes respected, and admired only by those who do what you do – is a form of culture shock to say the least. But family is important, and those of us lucky enough to be home with our children sometimes lose sight of that in the grand scheme of things.

I love my family and also my occupation. For me, freelancing is the best of both worlds. As my second job (the first being CEO of a busy household), it allows me to keep my professional skills sharp while working with editors and business associates nationwide. I have to dress for work every day, multi-task my brains out, return phone calls, meet deadlines, and deliver a finished product that makes everyone happy. My family is starting to see how important it is for Mom to have a creative outlet and a paycheck made up of more than sticky-sweet kisses. Little do they know that they are often the inspiration for many of my essays and all of my successes. Wearing two hats is a challenge, but all jobs have their pluses and minuses. On most days, my office is better equipped than my pantry, but I am learning to expand my super- and writer’s-markets.

With this in mind, I’ve written measurable and attainable goals for 2009. Resolutions include exceeding editor/client expectations (the old “under promise – over deliver” adage), showing more patience with my children, and demonstrating the confidence and fortitude to help my business and personal relationships soar. It’s a tall order, but one I am eager to engage. What are your resolutions for the new year?