Hi, I’m Pinar, and I’m a shopaholic. (Yes, I love and adore the book series (aff.link) by Sophie Kinsella up until there is a baby involved.)
I love shopping so much that I once lost 16 pounds in one summer with shopping (and walking during that shopping) as my only fitness activity.
OK, it is not THAT bad. I can exercise control, and the only debt I go to is during writing contest submission time with one credit card that has a ridiculously low limit. So, not a lot.
But I do love shopping. Clothes, accessories, shoes, make-up, stationery, books, e-books, e-courses…. Ah, yes. Information products.
At this point, I have bought stuff about writing more times than Donald Trump has insulted Hillary Clinton. Or glam metal bands have destroyed the Ozone layer with hair products. Yes, that much.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an impulsive buyer when it comes to information products on writing. I check out the creator, the content, reviews, and compare with my needs and weaknesses. Then I look at the price and my budget. And then, if it looks like I do in fact need this product, I add it to my shopping cart.
And I find myself checking out products quite often.
Because every time I hit a difficult period, whether I get a few rejections in a row, get writer’s block or hit another frequent roadblock, I love to refresh my knowledge and see what other successful writers have put out there.
But you have to be careful, especially if you are at a stage in your career where you already know a lot, and your main problem isn’t not knowing, but not implementing. Or hitting some career milestone block.
The truth is, sometimes you don’t need to buy anything new, but a visit to your good old library will do.
So to buy or not to buy?
Relax. Some information products are really up-to-date, refreshing and more ass-kicking, and worth every penny. So let’s do a little checklist before we open up our wallets and purses:
- Is the information new, correct and applicable?
- Do you get free updates?
- Does it come in different packages, taking different levels of needs in consideration?
- Are there payment plans available?
- Is it in a format you know you will take advantage of?
- Can you afford it?
- *How soon can you reap the investment?
*It’s not just about testimonials. You can actually check out referrer’s body of work, website, products, etc. and see for yourself how much they have accomplished, or if you have liked what you have accomplished. Obviously, not everything can or should be attributed to one resource, but you’ll at least have an idea.
- Is it evergreen? Will the information likely hold up a couple of months from now? And will you always have access to it and its updates?
- Is the writer/creator open to questions and communication?
You don’t have to say yes to all of these, but if you can’t say yes to more than five, take a breath. Leave that wallet alone. Open the search function of your computer and delve into your library. Make a note of the sources you purchased before, and take a look at their content. See what you are missing. Then walk around and look at your physical library.
Still don’t see what you need? Go through your bookmarks a bit.
You might find this time-consuming, but it is actually one of my favorite methods to come up with new ideas for articles. You also need to organize your files, books and bookmarks anyway, so there’s that advantage.
See? You’ve come up with ideas, done some organizing and have made an informed decision on whether to spend your hard-earned money.
I will try to review each book individually when I get the time, but until then:
My Latest Purchases:
The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing (How To Write, Work and Thrive On Your Own Terms) by Zachary Petit
I was in a shopping mood, browsing through Amazon. I was drawn in by the title and who the author was, but it was the humor of the first couple of pages that drew me in.
In the first chapter, he wrote he “was perplexed by freelancing.” “I had stringers writing for me when I was a weekly newspaper editor, but they were working for beans, and they’d been writing for the paper longer than I’d been there…. I accepted their magical presence but never took the time to find out how they got there.”
I was hooked. The honesty, flow, humor and the fact that he mentioned acid reflux (I have a stomach condition that few people understand so…) I realized this was my kind of writer. Sure, a lot more well-known and successful (he had edited for Writer’s Digest, for crying out loud!) than me, but someone whose style didn’t seem far from my own.
Oh, and the “your own terms” also attracted me. What can I say? I’m a sucker for doing things my way.
I was like “I want to find more about this guy’s journey!”
It has a great deal more about interviews, finding celebrities, pitching, and yes, I learned a lot. Even after six years of freelancing. I wish I had the book in the beginning. So it is one of my go-to books now. We are happy together.
You can buy The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing Freelance Writing (How To Write, Work and Thrive On Your Own Terms) on Amazon. (affiliate link.)
Gina Horkey’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success Course
Because Gina is kind of a big deal in the freelance writing/blogging world. I had heard a lot about her and read some of her guest posts. So I checked out her blog and loved that as well.
After loving all of her content, I wanted to check her writing course as well. Now, you might ask, why the hell are you still checking out writing courses after six years?
Okay for one, you always need to stay up-to-date, and you need to keep adding new skills. Also, I’m not a full-time freelancer, as I’ll go into more detail in my review of the course. (I also write screenplays and actually try to sell them, so that also takes a lot of time. And money.)
Now, don’t be fooled that the picture says “newbie freelancers.” If you are a newbie freelancer, you might indeed have to take the time to take the actions course suggests. But when you are established or semi-established, you can jumpstart your pitching process and writing in record time, while still learning new stuff and adding to the old.
I have the growth package, which has a couple of additional bonuses than the starter package, and it lacks the pitch review and a month of coaching from Gina, that the rockstar package has.
I wanted to learn from her because her writing and personality are lovely, and she is a financial success. An active, private and supportive FB group sounded awesome. (I’m very active on the FB group, both with my own questions and comments trying to help out fellow writers in any way I can.)
I’ll go over the details in my review, but if you want to check this course out, go ahead. You won’t regret it if you pay attention and do the work. Yes, it is a proud affiliate link.
What resources on writing have you bought recently?