Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to talk about some oldie, but goodie elements of article writing that are still important for writers. It’s easy to dismiss some tried and true techniques because of all the fancy, technological whiz-bangs available to writers, but when technology fails – and it will from time to time – it’s good to have something to pull out of your coonskin cap. Do I sound 100 years old yet? Good. Pen and paper interviews. Important. Reliable. Still in use even after the invention of the iPhone. Why? Because technology doesn’t have your best [Read more…]
I talked to a friend and mentor the other day and she stressed the importance of being persistent and consistent in whatever you do. Initially, I was inspired to apply those key terms to another area of my life when I realized she said, “in everything you do.” It applies to article writing as well. Are you persistent – writing despite things going on in your life or business? This is important especially if you’re a blogger, but applies to magazine and web writers as well. Blogging on a regular basis despite sickness and strife helps build and keep your [Read more…]
On my web site and in bios everywhere I tend write “freelance writer/journalist.” Sometimes I alternate – freelance writer for one publication, freelance journalist for another. I feel compelled to highlight the difference, but I have to wonder does it matter, if so to whom? I also wonder if there is really a difference. A person writing for a magazine or newspaper has to follow journalistic guidelines, except in first person narratives, so does that make them a journalist? When a journalist blogs like I do for a non-news blog are they a writer only? I tend to attach journalist [Read more…]
Heads up FWJ crew, Article Writing at Freelance Writing Jobs has a Facebook fan page! Come on over for great post links from FWJ and other great sites, stimulating conversation and an opportunity to ask all your deep, dark article writing questions.
Day three’s tip is easy – have fun. Even when writers are actively living their dream, they can get bogged down in the everyday activities of being a writer. It is important to remember that while you’re billing clients, scheduling meetings, researching, organizing and working to improve your writing skills you can still have fun and you should, this is a fun job! Too often when writers really start working as writers – getting paid on a regular basis, they have multiple clients, etc., they lose sight of the awesome-ness of being a freelance writer and only focus on the [Read more…]
Last week we talked about the first of five ways to enhance your writing skills with an editorial calendar: “5 Days, 5 Ways to Enhance Your Writing Skills.” Hopefully, everyone has either gotten one going or taken a second look at their current one with an eye on the details I pointed out, including using it consistently, as motivation and to plan more than due dates. Today it’s time to talk about becoming an editor to improve your writing skills. Editing the work of others gives writers invaluable perspective on the writing process and their own work. Learn about voice [Read more…]
We all joke about crazy editors and their goofball demands. Editors, for the most part, have a good chuckle too because they know some of their peers are pretty nutty. Here at FWJ we often reinforce a writer’s right to push back – professionally – against edits, cheer on as they ask for more work, better pay, etc., however sometimes a writer can take things too far. There are a few things you should never say to an editor, especially if you ever want to work with them again. 5. “You’re just a frustrated writer.” It could be true, it [Read more…]
There are times when you have an article finished and you wonder if you’ve really done the piece justice. Here’s a few things to keep in mind: 5. It has great sources. Great sources include leaders or well known folks in the field, interesting subjects that give a personal perspective to the piece or sources with something new to offer on an evergreen topic. Great sources have been vetted, they provide accurate information and there’s a demand for the information they are offer. 4. There are no holes. All the questions have been answered – the ‘why’s’ and ‘why not’s’ [Read more…]
Do you contact a source prior to submitting the query or do you wait until after you secure the article?
Writers tend to meet with, connect and befriend other writers. We build social networks and professional contacts that are both supportive and invaluable. These same contacts can be used to help get your foot in the door with editors and publications. Now before you hustle off to pitch a magazine using the name of a Twitter friend who has also written for them, you should know there is a fair amount of courtesy and responsibility that comes with using someone’s name to further your career. The first thing you have to do is ask the person – seems obvious, but [Read more…]
Great writers check and double check their resources to make sure they are not relying on hunches when it comes to editing their articles.
Why aren’t I getting gigs? Why am I caught in this niche I have grown to hate? Where’s my career going? There are a lot of reasons why a writer’s work suffers and some are so common most writers have or will experience them at some point. Do any of them ring a bell? You’re bored. There are times a writer needs to switch course or look for new ways to stay passionate about an familiar topic. You’ve gotten lazy. Let’s be honest, sometimes freelancers slack off and don’t feel like doing what they are supposed to do. I’ve been [Read more…]
There are times when a story is so hot you can write article after article, blog after blog and milk it for all it’s worth, but doing it gives you pause. You may wonder if you are feeding the media machine so many complain about, or you may wonder if you’re causing more harm than good, or putting profit over your moral code. I write a parenting blog for Examiner.Com and the hottest story on the parenting scene is a domestic violence incident between two young music stars. The national news, Oprah, The View and other current event shows are [Read more…]
By Terreece M. Clarke Is there a writer whose blog you follow religiously? Did you read an article recently that you enjoyed and thought was well-written? What about one of your Tweeps (Twitter friends) that consistently keeps you informed or in good spirits? Take the time to send them a thank you. We’ve talked about keeping in touch with editors and clients to maintain a good relationship and visibility, but it isn’t too often that writers are told to thank their fellow champions in type. The benefits are two-fold. While incredibly competitive, writers are a group people, we tend to [Read more…]
A common freelance writer ritual is, at some point, usually at the beginning and maybe again in the middle of their day, freelancers will take trip through their feed readers and see what’s happening on the ‘Net. The idea of the reader is to allow people to follow their favorite blogs and Web sites without having to go to each and every site to look for updates, saving precious time. But every so often a writer must ask themselves “What is my feed reader teaching me?” Great writers read voraciously, are curious and follow other great writers. Are you following [Read more…]