All posts by Amanda Connor

Oh *Expletive* – Great Moments in Regret

By Amanda Smyth Connor

I always get nervous when new interns start. I want them to like me and respect me and the resulting fear that they will776852_hidden hate me turns me into a babbling idiot every time I am around them for the first few days.

My newest intern started yesterday. While I was training him, my mouth began to produce more saliva than any human seemed capable of producing, thus leading to my spitting on him several times during the course of our conversation. We both did our best to pretend not to notice. I continued to stammer my way toward an awkward conclusion to this training session, when my nose began to tickle. I innocently used my index finger to rub the tip of my nose and, no lie, a huge booger fell out – right onto my lap – where it proudly lived until I could regroup from the mental spasms I was having long enough to excuse myself in order to make a run for the bathroom to hide. The look of horror on my intern’s face will forever remain seared into my brain.

I spent the next 20-minutes in the bathroom wondering “if I just went home now and didn’t return to work, would they notice?”

Well, yes. In a company of five people, they might notice if 20% of their workforce went home and hid under her bed.


I regrouped, went back to my desk, acting as though everything was completely fine. I opened my inbox to catch up on the latest only to find an email from a writer asking for an extension on a project. To preface this, this is a new writer who I have only worked with once before and have not yet formed a solid relationship with.

And because I was feeling demoralized in the aftermath of Boogergate, I proceeded to verbally tear this writer apart in an effort to quell the embarrassment I was feeling. Was this act completely unjustified and thoroughly uncalled for? Yes. Did I hit the send button harder than I needed to? Quite. Continue reading Oh *Expletive* – Great Moments in Regret

Confessions of a Lazy Editor, part 1

by Amanda Smyth

No promises on part 2. 912288_lions_in_a_tree

I’ll be the first to admit it. I am a lazy editor.

I DO enjoy reading the work my freelancers submit. Some days, my job is the best job in the world. I can kick back and read great articles from great writers on a variety of topics. I learn new and wonderful things from their articles and I bask in the warm glow of their musings. So what makes me a lazy editor? Well, the part that’s the most grueling is the actual editing.

And frankly, I’d rather just skim.

Audience: “WHAT? THE HORROR! But you’re an EDITOR! Don’t you love dissecting, cutting, pasting and mutilating our work?”

Me: “Not really. I’d much rather put my feet up and surf the interweb for funny pictures of cats.”

*Audience lights torches Continue reading Confessions of a Lazy Editor, part 1

Editors: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Editors can be great bosses
Editors can be great bosses

By Amanda Smyth Connor

As a freelance writer, you will undoubtedly encounter different types of editors along your path to success; some good, some bad and some downright horrifying. I’ve taken it upon myself to put together a handy-dandy field guide to identifying these editorial personalities in the wild.

Great Editor: This editor is a dream to work with. Good for you for finding one. Do your best to maintain a solid relationship with this elusive type of editor.

How to Identify One: The best editors are equally as good at editing as they are at mediating, going effortlessly between the client and the writer, maintaining a clear and concise chain of communication. A great editor understands the difficulties and stress that can come with being a freelancer and carrying multiple tight deadlines and is able to sympathize with the life of a freelancer while keeping you motivated and on schedule regarding deadlines and revisions. A great editor will assess the quality of your work and will offer honest feedback on how to improve. A great editor will recognize your specific talents as a writer and will recommend you to future clients. This is a relationship that can turn into a great investment in your career. A great editor Continue reading Editors: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Helpful Tips on Staying in the Loop

Roller Coaster

By Amanda Smyth Connor

Who has enough hours in the day to work and stay on top of all of the industry trends? It’s tough, but not impossible.

Helpful Tips on Staying in the Loop:

5. Use your Google Reader. You have the lovely world of Google Reader right at your fingertips. You can add the URL of every website that you follow and Google Reader will create an RSS feed for you based on the sites you add. I’ve got NPR, CNN, Freelance-Zone and various other blogs on my reader list. This way, whenever I have a few free minutes, I can open Reader like a newspaper and see all of the blog and site updates without having to visit each and every site.

4. Make life easier – Follow Guy Kawasaki. He is doing most of the footwork for you by filtering out the best blogs for various industries, including social media and freelance writing. He also has some great humor blogs listed on his site (check out The Bloggess, she’s amazing.)

3. Read Freelance-Zone. (Guess you can cross that one off the list.)

2. TWEET. TWEET LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! Sure, we all remember a few years ago when Twitter was born. It was new and weird and seemed pointless. Today far too few freelance writers are taking advantage of Twitter. No time to read all of the blog updates of the day? I guarantee every blog and news organization you follow has a Twitter handle. Follow them and many will Tweet only their best blogs/stories of the day. This helps you filter through the muck.

Everyone is using Twitter. You can job hunt through Twitter, make friends in the writing industry, get insider news, market yourself, learn about new trends, market yourself and oh….market yourself. If you AREN’T using Twitter to market yourself you are missing one of the best opportunities for free marketing…of…all…time. It’s FREE. FREE MARKETING! Please tell me you are all using it and are following people other than Obama and The Onion. And don’t bother being modest. Showcase yourself. No one ever got hired for their “respectable use of modesty.” Be a Diva and let the Twitterverse know that you freakin’ rule.

1. Don’t be afraid to jump on new trends. If you’ve heard through the grapevine that a new networking site has popped up, or a new piece of useful technology is floating around, (Hello Google Buzz) give it a try. I get invited to 10 new networking sites every week. Will they all last? Probably not. Does it hurt to give them a shot? Certainly not. Some might even make your life a little easier, and who knows where that next client might be lurking.

Stretch Out, Stay Flexible

Greetings Freelancers! I am an editor but I come in peace!1222377_jugglingbalancing_1

Let me introduce myself. My name is Amanda and I’ve been a professional editor and a writer for seven years. I’ve run the spectrum when it comes to the writing and editing industry, from my early days as a music journalist to the more recent corporate world of B2B copy editing and I’ve lived to tell the tale. Currently, I spend my days as a Community Manager for RunMyErrand (a start-up based out of Boston) creating marketing strategies on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which is a fancy way of saying I screw around on-line all day and get paid. Woot!

But I digress. You, reader, come to this valuable blog site to learn how to make it in this tough and unforgiving industry, and to that I have but one piece of advice for you: Be flexible.

Within the writing and editing industry, the opportunities for job growth and change are constantly appearing, disappearing and reinventing themselves. Who knew when Facebook first popped up that there would be lucrative marketing opportunities on-line for nearly every company in the world? Who knew that Twitter would become such a powerful beast in terms of information sharing and driving website traffic? Who could have guessed that blogging would become the bread and butter for so many wonderful writers to launch careers?

Continue reading Stretch Out, Stay Flexible