As much as I love old school – old school hip-hop, pen and paper interviewing, in-person interviewing, library research, etc., I have to admit, the new school is pretty darn fun too. Everyday there’s a new blog on how writers/freelancers can maximize their efforts to get work, get noticed and build a reputation through social media. AND everyday there’s another writer who is quick to say, “Bah! I don’t use all that stuff. I’ve got a website, a solid client list and I’m good.” Those poor souls are wrong. They are also likely the same people who wanted to hang [Read more…]
Today we further our discussion on the difference between blog posts and articles for both the web and print by looking at audience expectations.
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…]
It’s easy to get overheated as a writer. You put your talent out there to be observed, reviewed and critiqued and sometimes the criticism is unfair, biased or just plain nasty. Blog comments, editor’s remarks, reader mail – it all has the potential to give you a serious case of the grumps, but keeping your cool in the line of fire can make you a better writer. Instead of blasting a rude blog comment, taking a deep breath and responding in a professional manner, if a response is warranted, will go a long way in establishing your reputation as a [Read more…]
Every so often I’ll get a timeless writing question: What about simultaneous queries? Old school rules dictated that unless the magazine indicated, you never submitted the same query to anyone else until you received a rejection from the first publication. This is a oft grumbled rule with writers because it could take months to receive a rejection for a piece and then after waiting those months you have to start the process all over again. Editors cite concerns over their processes and the time it takes to approve an article, place it, pay for it, publish it only to see [Read more…]
Joining a writers group can help a writer take their work to another level. You want to find a group with writers moving in different places in their career, established writers, newbies and middle-of-the-roaders. Too many of one kind may leave the group a bit one-sided. For example, a group with a majority of newbies may look to you to be the teacher of the group and while you can learn something from everyone, you want to have a an opportunity to learn from someone with more experience than you as well. You also want a group that can offer [Read more…]
I love my AP Stylebook. It’s worn and scribbled up with notes and stains and Post Its with changes from the latest editions, etc. It makes me feel like a real writer and I browse through its pages just for fun. On the other hand, my Chicago Manual of Style guide is less than loved. I don’t have to use it often, but in an effort to be all the writer I can be, I’ve been trying to cuddle up to it and you should do the same. Get to know your style guides. Writers faithfully follow the “don’t guess, [Read more…]
By Terreece M. Clarke Most of the time when say “ask the tough question” we are talking about asking tough questions of an interviewee, however, the term “asking the tough questions” can apply to almost any aspect of freelance writing. Are you as well prepared before an interview as you should be? Could that article undergo one more round of edits before you turn it in? And yes, did you ask your interview subject questions beyond the superficial? Each day ask yourself the tough questions – it’ll make you a better writer.