Recently, Associated Content Contributor Gwen Navarrete allowed me the privilege of interviewing her. She joined AC in September of 2009 and has already had a number of quality articles published. Gwen writes on topics such as family, society, fashion, and health. I always find her content interesting and enjoyable. My favorite piece of hers is “Thankful to Be Laid Off in 2009.” The reason I chose this piece is because there are many people out there who have been laid off and may think they have nowhere to go. Gwen’s reflections and experiences are very inspiring and I could feel her personal emotions in that piece. Please read on to find out more about Gwen Navarrete and check out her well-written articles afterward.
How Did You Come Across Associated Content?
Honestly, I can’t remember how I discovered Associated Content. I know I had found other websites that pay writers for content, such as ehow, Examiner, About.com, and Hubpages. I think it was one of the articles I read on that site that led me to Associated Content.
Are You a F/T Freelance Writer?
I’m sure I don’t qualify as a fulltime freelance writer, as I’m still learning the whole process. However, since being laid off earlier this year, there isn’t much else that has taken up my time. I would like to make a full-time career out of writing, traveling, and teaching. These are my three passions and what I seem to be good at.
Tell Us Some More About Yourself
Well, as I said before, I was laid off earlier this year which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I had been with my former employer for 10 and half years, since the year I graduated from college. There are no regrets with being with the company that long. They were good to me, and I learned a lot working there. But it was definitely time for me to “graduate”, so to speak. I know the economy right now is tough and a lot of people are losing their jobs, but honestly, being unemployed has really allowed me the opportunity to focus my energy on what I really want to do with my life. It’s really given me the motivation to start writing again, which is a good thing. Not to say that I’m not looking for work, because I am, but I’m definitely trying to change careers. Life’s too short to not spend it doing something you love.
Other than that, I’m a typical American girl. My family’s from the Philippines, and I’m among its first generation of American-born citizens. I was born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and I’ve lived in Las Vegas for the last 11 years. It’s a good life, and I try to count my blessings every day.
How Do You Plan to Accomplish Your Goal of Freelancing Full Time?
My strategy has been to research every lead, do my homework, set some goals, calculate my budget and earnings, and actually sit my butt down and write. :-) I love learning as much as I can about how to make money writing, and I continue to do tons of research on the topic. It is certainly doable, I just have to actually do it now.
Like with any job or business, you actually have to produce the product and build on past successes. For example, I’ve used my articles on Associated Content to get work as an independent contributor for both Examiner.com and Demand Studios in just a few short weeks. By diversifying my portfolio, my goal is to gain enough exposure to get more clients and make an actual living doing what I love.
Anything Specific About AC That Keeps You Interested in Writing Here?
Honestly, at first it was the assignment desk. I’m really bad at coming up with my own topics to write about. Sitting and waiting for inspiration to strike is like chasing the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for me. I need an idea to build off of first, and the assignment desk does that for me. I know it doesn’t offer too many upfront payments, but it forced me to take the first steps in my action plan, and for that I’m grateful. Besides, I come from an environment where I was told every day, “Gwen, write a memo/training manual/program about (insert new policy or procedure here) and I need it by this date.” The assignment desk gave me the same kind of work that I was used to producing, so it’s why I’ve stuck with it.
The other reason I like AC is that it’s so darn useful. The forums are great, the community is really supportive, and there really is a lot of articles I enjoy reading. I’ve made some amazing contacts here on AC, and every day I meet more. For me it couldn’t be a better place to build my writing blocks.
Explain More About Your Traveling and Teaching Plans
Part of my long term goals is to become a travel writer and certified tour guide. Tour guides are teachers, really. They teach you about the places you’re visiting, the best activities to do, etc. Same thing goes for travel writing. I would love to give tours of the Philippines and other destinations I’m familiar with, and write about them as well.
I am also making plans to apply for professional speaking companies, which would give me the opportunity to continue training in the corporate world without actually having to be in the corporate world. It would also give me a chance to travel and write my own material, so it combines my three loves of writing, teaching, and traveling.
Like anything I do, however, I’m researching the dickens out of both options before I actually take the plunge and do it.
What is the Most Meaningful Piece of Content You’ve Published With AC and Why?
It’s hard to choose just one, as they all mean something to me, otherwise I wouldn’t have written them. :-) But here it is:
Coping with Dementia: My Personal Story
It’s the first time I’ve published anything so highly personal in such a public format. The feedback and support I’ve received have been overwhelming and have given me the confidence and courage to write more. I have the AC community to thank for that.
Name 3 Other Favorites that You Have Published at AC
Top 10 Christmas Songs from the Philippines
First Date Fashion Tips for Men: Real Advice from Real Women
Do You See Publishing at AC as Long-Term?
Yes, I do see publishing at AC as long-term, mostly due to the community, format, flexibility, and support. It’s also inspiring to see other people who have had success here, which is something I hope to emulate.
Is There Anything Else You Wish to Share With Readers?
Just that I welcome all comments, suggestions, and feedback. It’s the best way to learn, and the AC community has been a wonderful place to share information, tips, and support. Thanks to everyone who has read my work so far – it’s greatly appreciated!