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 My pen name is Crystal Ray, and I'm a freelance online writer. I consider myself a successful small business owner with intellectual property for sale, and I work almost entirely for myself from the comfort of my home. I do not enjoy working on a schedule, and I prefer to come up with my own topics rather than take orders or compete with other writers to earn a living.

Friday's Star: Crystal Ray

 

Picture of Crystal RayWelcome to Mandy's Pages Crystal. What can you tell our readers by way of introduction?

My pen name is Crystal Ray, and I'm a freelance online writer. I consider myself a successful small business owner with intellectual property for sale, and I work almost entirely for myself from the comfort of my home. I do not enjoy working on a schedule, and I prefer to come up with my own topics rather than take orders or compete with other writers to earn a living.

 

What was it like when you first started writing?

The first time that I sat down to write an article, I was confident that I could provide quality information to those that were interested. I am a perfectionist in many aspects of life, and it gave me great pleasure to complete something that would serve a valuable purpose. I love creating something from nothing and earning a living in the process. My work was well received from the very beginning, and I eventually quit my job in the 9 to 5 world to focus on a writing career. My motivation was freedom, and I would never want to go back to the daily grind of working for someone else.

 

Everyone has their own inspiration. Where do you yours?

I find my ideas in a number of places. I often use personal experience, and I also search Pinterest, Yahoo! Answers and message boards to find out what the average person is interested in. I keep a notebook on hand at all times because I never know when I might come up with a new article idea. Every experience in life, both positive and negative, provides an opportunity to share with others.

 

What kinds of things do you prefer to write about, or write about the most?

My main subjects are interior decorating, crafting and green living, and I mainly work on problem solving. Most of my articles are considered evergreen, and they usually contain information that will never become useless to the reader. In addition to freelance writing, I am also a professional part-time home decorator and artist with advanced crafting skills, and I turn my visions into works of written art. A well written article is worth thousands of pictures!

 

Do you ever run out of words or just can't find the impetus to write?

Unless I am tired or not feeling well, I do not often experience writer's block. Even the most seemingly insignificant topic or experience provides a writing opportunity. One article often spawns many more. Although I currently have more than 4,000 published articles on Yahoo! Contributor Network alone, I am not worried about running out of ideas.

 

When it comes to writing, everyone faces different challenges. What kinds of challenges are unique to your freelance writing?

As a writer working from home, distractions are my biggest challenge. Those that work from home are considered available at all hours of the day and night, and it has been difficult to get my point across to well-meaning friends and relatives without hurting their feelings. It is not in my best interest to drop everything to have lunch with a friend or spend time chatting on the phone. A person in the 9 to 5 sector of the working world would not be able to do that, and although I can take a day off whenever I choose, I must maintain a schedule.

 

What qualifies you as a freelance writer?

I consider myself an expert in the subject of life, and my writing skills and artistic visions enable me to put my ideas on the screen in a clear, concise and meaningful manner. I try to provide something of interest to everyone and focusing on several subjects rather than just one has made a tremendous difference.   

 

Suppose a publisher were giving you a grade from 1 to 10. Where do you think they would place you on that scale?

I would hope that a publisher would consider my work nothing less than a ten. As previously mentioned, I am a perfectionist. When I do something, I give it my all. Anything less and I would disappoint myself.

 

And what about you? How would you grade yourself?

In addition to selling articles to Y!CN, I have sold more than 100 articles to various clients through Constant Content. They have very strict guidelines, and they do not edit anything. The articles must be perfect from the beginning or they are sent back for corrections or rejected completely. They set the bar high, and I base all of my work on their standards. When submitting my work to a publisher, I strive to do my very best. Although I am still learning and my work is still evolving, I would give it a 10 because anything less would not meet the standards that I have set for myself.

 

You've learned a lot since your beginning. What advice would you offer to other writers just getting their feet wet?

I have tried to help many aspiring writers, and I have yet to see anyone take my advice to heart.

Before all else, do not give up. When the going gets tough, try even harder. When offers are low, submit the same quality work but more of it. Set personal goals, and meet those goals each day. Do not go to bed without coming up with a plan for the following day, and strive to do your best. It will show in your work.

 

We'd all love to have a magic portal through which to view the future. If you had one, what do you think you would see about yourself in ten or twenty years?

Instead of focusing on the future, I focus on the present. I take one day at a time, and I do not bite off more than I can chew. Just as function should come before form in the world of home decorating, quality should come before quantity when it comes to online writing. One well written sentence can convey far more than a poorly written novel.

 

Crystal Ray is an award-winning freelance writer and professional home decorator and designer from the Chicago area. She won the People's Media Award from Associated Content in 2009 as well as numerous awards for her finely detailed works of art. Crystal is continually developing unique and creative ideas to share with the world.

 

Visit Crystal Ray on the web at her Yahoo Contributor Network Profile.

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