01 July 2008

Has It Really Been Two Weeks - Writing, Bikes, Stitches and Balls

Greetings from an almost blog slacker. I cannot believe that it has already been two weeks since I last posted or that it is already July. That means that Matthias and I have been living in Manchester for almost half a year now! God, how time flies.

I have been keeping pretty busy with 'work' over the last two weeks. It really isn't work because I love the lifestyle so much. It is a challenging one, though. There are all sorts of menacing internet diversions, especially when you read nearly 200 RSS feeds a day and maintain three blogs. But, I do love those diversions and it is all part of the fun of the profession.

I have begun to establish a regular writing routine ... including paying gigs! Yipee! My AdSense account is accruing lots of pennies thanks to all you readers who actually click the ads while checking out my oh-so-fabulous blogs. And it was actually the decision to install AdSense on my blogs that started the flood of payment. We're not talking tidal waves of payment, but there is definitely some cash flow happening. So, at least I've won back the energy I was squandering feeling guilty I wasn't producing monetary results. Now it is just a matter of selectively choosing jobs that will shape my repertoire the way I want it to be.

Shameless Plug for Self: Please visit http://brittbreu.blogspot.com
Since I am still building a portfolio, I have been applying to writing gigs all over the map, but mostly within my areas of passion and expertise. I visit a couple sites daily and try to send out at least ten applications a week for various projects.

I started doing SEO (search engine optimization) articles for a marketing company out of London. It doesn't pay much, but it is an opportunity to build a relationship with a future reference and establish myself as a quality, reliable writer. This SEO thing is also a really great imaginative exercise in that it has forced me to come up with creative ways to write about really banal subjects like shelves, document storage and natural skin care products (the latter of which I am interested in, but still). The only downer is that these articles appear anonymously on the client's site. No credit, not a portfolio builder as such, but an opportunity nonetheless.

Another project I am working on are two articles that will be appearing on Webooks.co.uk, a British DIY, guidebook style e-book publisher. I had to do the first two articles on spec (which means pro bono), and even though I was a little disappointed about the lack of pay, it got my foot in the door and it could mean a contract for a set amount of articles around the titles they publish. I will link back to that as soon as the site goes live. It is a low-paying market, but falls generally in the subject areas I am looking to expand my portfolio in.

I have also started blogging for a hotel reservation website that focuses on popular destinations with English speakers. One article pending approval that I've written for this blog is a guide to understanding German wine. I am really taking advantage of all those years of living in Germany for article ideas and I hope to be able to post a link or two to my articles on this site in the near future. This is also a low-paying market, but travel is something that I would like to establish myself since it pretty much is an essential part of my life.

Finally, I just got word of this gig and I am really excited about it and really nervous at the same time. I will probably be translating knitting and crochet patterns from German into English for one of the most well-known German pattern houses! How cool is that?! It is only slightly intimidating as is anything that requires decrypting mysterious acronyms and hard to pronounce, multi-syllabic words.

And of course, there are my blog babies. I am a little more proactive about my knitblog than with this one only because that combines the things I really like doing: writing, knitting and taking pictures.

The Biker Bear and His Stitchin' Misses:

Going from Harley to Honda
After almost eight months on the market, the Harley Sportster Low has been sold to a lovely biker chic in Vancouver. Thanks to Matthias' really amazing ex-workmate and friend, Doug, we received a banker's draft for the price of the bike in Pound Sterling. Matthias spent a couple weeks looking for this perfect bike and found one that suits him (and me) a lot better: a 2004 black Honda Varadero. Matthias is not a road hog kind of biker, nor should he ride such a machine. Matthias is (well, duh) more of a European technophile biker. We had enough money to spring for some new gear for both of us as well as a top box and some panniers. He picked up the pick last Friday and we have already been out on it twice. We are planning a longer trip in September through Scandinavia. More on that as the plan develops.

Bitchin' Stitchin'
My knitting is challenging as ever. I allowed myself to take a creative rest on the sweater I have been faithfully toiling over for several months now.  I needed something easy that didn't require so much thinking as I yelled at the soccer players on TV. So I started the Spumoni Scarf and a pair of socks for the Big Guy. Last Friday, I also went up to the Lake District to attend Woolfest 2008 with a few girls from the stitch 'n' bitch. It was a great experience and I think I am hooked (big surprise). I go into lots more detail about my fibrous escapades at BrittKnit. Check it out.

Now I Can Have My Life Back: The Germans Lose the European Soccer Championship
Someone recently asked me who I would support in a Germany vs USA soccer match. I answered Germany, but with the likes of this year's national team, even the Americans could have beaten them. It is an absolute wonder that the Germans even made it to the finals this year. There were so many other deserving teams out there who played with more technical finesse and so much more passionate drive than the Germs. But as the English know all too well, never count the Germans out.

I held on to believing that they would just get off to their usual slow start until the final game against Spain. But now, I am so disappointed that I am actually considering writing a letter to the German Football Association. I mean, it was obvious these guys could have cared less about what they were doing out there on the field. Is it so easy to forget that one is representing their home country and millions of people are looking to you? Or were they under tremendous pressure because of that very realization?

Anyway, I enjoyed the tournament, but am really thankful to finally get back to some more intellectually challenging wooly debauchery. 

1 comment:

Emma said...

You write like you speak, your personality oozes from the words. I feel like I have just had a couple of tea with you.