Tag Archives: freelance success

Write This Way, Condensed: Top Writing and Editing Links for May 13, 2010

Photo courtesy SXC.

Top 10 blogs for freelance writers | WordCount
Michelle Rafter shares her favorite blogs for those who write nonfiction. The links include blogs focusing on business journalism, professional blogging tips, even one devoted to the cable series “Mad Men.”

Are You Meant to Be a Writer? | Fuel Your Writing
Susannah Freeman poses this intriguing question to blog readers and the responses (including Freeman’s take on the matter) make for interesting and inspiring reading.

How You Reduce External Distractions to Sit Down and Write?
Joanna, author of Confident Writing blog, posed this question on Facebook and Twitter, and she shares the responses she got from other writers about how to focus and get writing assignments done.

eBook Review: The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Passive Income
Susan Johnston, writing on Urban Muse Blog, reviews Thursday Bram’s book about how to turn how to generate additional revenue streams through entrepreneurial writing projects, including e-books, niche websites, classes, newsletters, and other products (web-based and offline).

Web Writing: Who Sets the Standards? | FreelanceSwitch
Kristen Fischer discusses the potential for stylebook clashes between the Associated Press style guide, which is used by most journalists working on the web, and the soon-to-be released online style guide, “The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World.”

Online journalism and the promises of new technology, PART 1: The revolution that never happened | Online Journalism Blog
Steen Steenson introduces a 3-part series about online journalism and how the Internet has impacted the practice of journalism. Steen asks “Why … is online journalism still mostly all about producing written text to a mass audience? Why is use of multimedia, hypertext and interactivity still so rare?”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Write This Way, Condensed: Top Writing and Editing Links for February 26, 2010

Photo courtesy of Patryk Buchcik via SXC.

Audience Development: Critical to Every Writer’s Future
From Writer Unboxed blog. An informative post on why fiction writers must concern themselves with developing and audience for their work. Lots of relevance for nonfiction writers, too.

Access of Mobile News Rises 500%
A brief tidbit from Editor & Publisher about new statistics that indicate a huge year-over-year increase in the number of people accessing news from their mobile device–almost 8 million people total. Local news and national headline stories are the most popular items.

Stop The Presses: Writing Careers are Difficult
An interesting short post about the publishing industry’s participation in the make-it-big-or-go-home mentality, and the writers who buy into this idea. From BREVITY’s Creative Nonfiction Blog.

Five Perspectives on Storytelling in Social Media
Kathy Hansen of A Storied Career blog provides a nice roundup of links related to how modern storytelling (of all sorts) is being impacted by social media.

Why the Blackberry Kindle App May Be More Important Than the Kindle 3
Kit Eaton writing in Fast Company’s Technomix column. The decision to create an app for BlackBerry devices may create a perfect storm for the e-reader.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Write this Way: Writing and Editing Links for February 16, 2009

887384_10518318

Image courtesy SXC.

Tips for “tweeting” productively on Twitter, confusion surrounding the best way to save journalism in the digital age, and myths and truths about freelancing are all on tap today in our monthly link-fest. Plus, a couple of fun and useful bonus links (as always).

Our first featured link comes from Maria Schneider’s excellent blog, Editor Unleashed. Like many writers, I’ve been struggling to figure out the best way to use Twitter, a social networking application centered around text-message-length communications (140 characters or less), and she has come up with writer-specific Twitter tips, plus a list of 25 folks to follow on the service, including authors, agents, book publishers and publicists.

Schneider, a former editor of Writer’s Digest, admits that Twitter can be intimidating at first:

“At first, Twitter feels like being at a cocktail party where you know no one. But if you focus on making the right connections, Twitter can actually be quite useful.

“There’s a bunch of publishing types using Twitter and following them is tapping into the zeitgeist—a never-ending stream of conversations, random thoughts and links. It gives you access to lots of smart, interesting, connected people.”

In case you’re wondering what you’re actually supposed to say/do (or “tweet,” in Twitter parlance) once you’re connected to these people, she has also written a very insightful post on how to build up your Twitter “street cred.” For example, I learned that you should follow the 60/40 rule when promoting your own stuff to the Twitterverse, as well as the fact that you should never ask for followers—Schneider calls it Twitter suicide.

All in all, her posts are a friendly introduction to the fast-moving, almost ephemeral world of Twitter—and a good guide to using it for more than detailing what you had for breakfast.

Our second stop today is at the Knight Digital Media Center’s News Leadership 3.0 blog, where veteran journalist Michele McLellan has posted parts one and two in a multi-part series on ideas that get in the way of saving journalism.

It seems everyone with a pulse (or at least a journalism degree!) is aware of the business struggles of daily newspapers across the nation. In her first post, McLellan takes on the idea that only the newspaper industry can produce quality journalism, and that endowments should be used to save newspapers in communities where a for-profit model is failing:

“Right now, the newspaper industry does produce the bulk of original reporting that we find in print and on the Internet …. But the superior performance of the Internet for a growing number of users and advertisers is transforming the journalism and the business model, and thought leaders in the industry itself recognize there is no going back.

“As long as people believe that only the news industry equate newspapers-only with good journalism, the debate is heading down a blind alley. It might be possible to raise an endowment for a beloved newspaper in a few communities. But I don’t see a lot of monied people—much less taxpayers if that is proposed—willing to underwrite a product that is only one player, albeit an important one, in the field.”

After that treatise, she takes on the even stickier issue of whether readers will pay for online content in her second post. She admits there are no easy answers. The newspaper-centric model of paying a set fee for all content bundled by a single provider hasn’t worked, and the potential for micro-payments to take up the slack from traditional publication advertising is extremely controversial. Other models, which include voluntary consumer funding of projects they deem worthy of coverage (keeping tabs on the local school board, for example), are still very much in the development stage.

Whatever your belief about the future of American newspapers and/or journalism, this series of posts will give you food for thought.

Finally, if you’ve worked as a freelance writer or editor for years, as I have, you tend to rub up against some very odd notions of what your life as a freelancer must be like. And if you’re a newbie freelancer, you may very well wonder if the ecstatic or apocalyptic claims of the joys or sorrows of the freelancing life could possibly be true. Laura Spencer, a contributing author at Freelance Folder blog, did a great job recently of sorting out some lies, myths and half-truths related to freelancing.

She covers everything from needing money to get started freelancing (a myth, she says) to freelancers typically working for next to nothing (a half-truth, she asserts). Here’s her take on the number one item on her list, “freelancing is an excuse for not working at all.”

“According to this myth, none of us are working . . . not really. We are either spending our days playing computer games or in front of the television with a box of chocolates….

“The real culprit here is the difference between the experiences of a significant portion of the population and that of most freelancers. For many people, work is synonymous with a place that you go each day. If you don’t go anywhere, then you must not be working. Technology is changing this perception, but it will take some time before it is completely gone.”

Bravo! And if you like that train of thought, Laura also posted a companion piece on 10 things you’ve heard about freelancing that are actually true.

BONUS LINKS!

Storybest

Storybest is a “social content network” for storytellers (of any genre) powered by the filtering/ranking service coRank.

CPSIA: Book Banning in the Guise of Safety

A cautionary tale from the Bookshop Blog on (we hope) unintended consequences of Consumer Product Safety Commission’s updating of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Write This Way: Writing and Editing Links for August 10, 2008

Another month has begun, and it’s time for another edition of my hyperlink-love-fest! This time, we cover how to overcome freelance feast or famine, a new definition of “enterprise” stories in the online newspaper world, and some helpful links for aspiring writers of creative nonfiction.

First, Bob over at The Writing Journey has written a sensible and interesting post about “The SIMPLE Way to Avoid The Freelance Feast or Famine Cycle”. SIMPLE is Bob’s acronym for Save-Invest-Market-Plan-Live-Experience, and he offers sage advice to newbie freelancers that I wish that I had had when I started over 25 years ago. I was young then (14!), and the financial advice, had it stuck would have definitely helped me get my career off on the right foot!

I particularly like a passage from his advice under “Plan”:

“Dreams require goals, goals require strategies, strategies require tactics, and tactics require individual actions. Many freelance writers can’t get past the tasks of today to establish the goals of tomorrow, so when the lean times hit they’re totally unprepared. Plan your writing business to maximize growth opportunities and to be ready for the lean times.”

If you didn’t read any other part of Bob’s entry, following this tidbit would be enough to set you apart from 90 to 95 percent of all freelancers!

Next, the editor in me loves a recent post by Howard Owens on writers taking ownership of their stories. He takes the concept of “enterprise stories” (stories that reporters originate and advocate for within a publication they work for) and expands it. The theme of his blog is covering trends within the world of online newspapers, and this post is a very good introduction for any writer who publishes online on what he or she needs to do to make sure his or her story finds the audience it is capable of reaching.

Three points he lists in this post are particularly useful and insightful. The last one really highlights the conversational/learning aspect of Web 2.0 writing.

· “When the story is published, you socially bookmark the story as appropriate; you send the link to bloggers you know who might be interested; you e-mail the link to sources or readers you know would be interested.

· After the story is published, you follow and participate as appropriate in the online conversation, either via comments on the story or on other sites (blogs and forums).

· You take everything you’ve learned and repurpose the story for print.”

Finally, for those readers interested in learning more about the creative nonfiction genre, the MFA Blog had a great post and discussion a few days ago about the best MFA writing programs for creative nonfiction writers. I liked both the consideration in the post of which programs have the best “creative community” and which programs have low-residency (low-res) requirements. If you’re seriously considering getting an MFA in creative nonfiction writing, this blog post is a great place to begin your research.

Also, if you’re new to the world of creative nonfiction, or just want to learn more, check out Brevity, an online journal of creative nonfiction writing. It’s published by the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, a 501 c 3 nonprofit formed in 1994 to further this emerging genre. CNF’s site is also packed with interesting news about workshops, publications and influential books in the field.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,573 other followers