Indispensible 'Net Babies and businesses booming
By Connie Werner Reichert
The Internet can be the road to a writer's success if you simply use it properly.
On New Year’s Eve in 1994, I gave birth to a baby girl and a new business.
Crazy, yes. But it was something I had to do. Determined to be a stay-at-home-mom, I began to make my living as a home-based publicist and freelance writer.
This was especially challenging since I was an orphaned single mom with no one to help me. I had to figure out a way to raise my child and earn a living in an environment that catered to both. Thank God for the Internet!
With a small investment for a monitor, mouse and telephone, I was all hooked up and dialed-in. I immediately purchased a computer, hired a techie-nerd to set me up on the world wide web and was swept away into cyberspace with a click of my mouse.
I was off! I was ecstatic. I had e-mail, and I was ready to bring on the clientele. In one swift move, I tossed my fax machine out the sliding glass door and burned my paper trail. It was time to get moving, and get moving, I did. I quickly set up computer files and things started to happen.
Hooked up to a cordless telephone headset, I carried my infant from room to room, conversing with prospects as I changed diapers. When my daughter slept, I worked online. Sometimes it was during Oprah, other times it was well past midnight. Being on the Internet allowed me this valuable flexibility that I otherwise never would have had.
The Internet helped me dig up new business. I wrote query letters to editors of trade journals and national magazines. I received responses and writing assignments immediately, and suffered no down-time. I no longer had to check my post office box for rejection letters or signed contracts. All of these documents were immediate accessed through e-mail.
Soon, ideas flew across my keyboard and press releases flowed from my fingertips. I was a cyberspace surfin’ mama, and nothing could slow me down. After each press kit was completed and all the bios were written, I would directly e-mail my information to various editors across the world. Instead of standing in line at OfficeMax to make copies or wait for faxes, everything I needed was neatly tucked into my home office computer.
Thanks to the worldwide web, I no longer felt isolated. I was able to hook up with newsgroups and various professionals that understand where I’m at and where I want to go. Worldwide Freelance Writer and Writer’s Weekly provided me with valuable resources for jobs.
The Internet also allowed me to interview people online. I simply e-mailed interview questions to people all over the globe, and they liked the fact that this allowed them to think about their answers more carefully and saved them from being misquoted.
As my child grew, so did my business. I needed to hire both babysitters and copy editors. Instead of placing a classified ad that would appear in the local fish-wrapper the following week, I was able to instantly post a help-wanted ad on various job-hunting web sites. In a matter of hours, I hired two bright, young people to help me at home with my baby and my business.
I’ve just celebrated 11 years in business.
And I'm still clicking away. I boot up my computer early every morning as the espresso machine hisses in the background. I have developed and nurtured several solvent business relationships — all thanks to the Internet.
Both personally and professionally, I can certainly say that the Internet is my greatest resource.