Tag Archives: freelancer how-to

Free Your Mind – Write for Fun

By Amanda Smyth Connor

The author as a young zombie. Find your inspiration!
The author as a young zombie. Find your inspiration!

When was the last time you wrote for fun? Seriously. When was the last time you put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard to write prose or a free-wheeling blog post or a dirty limerick just for fun?

You can’t work your fingers to the bone every day and not have any fun, you have to flex your creative muscles every once in awhile. In fact, don’t just flex them, let them rock some 5″ heels and encourage them to cut loose to some early Madonna! You’ve got to break out of the doldrums of writing once in awhile, for your own sanity.

Do you remember why you got into writing in the first place? Was it a love of poetry or was it a favorite author who inspired you? Was there a high school or college class that awakened your writing senses? Keep your writing fresh and exciting by writing in different formats as a “writing vacation.”

I invested in one of those small, silly “spark idea” books, whereby random ideas and images are listed with the expectation that you will be inspired by these snippets enough to write something wonderfully creative. My only issue with these ideas is that they are too vanilla to inspire any great creativity within my tilted mind. So instead, I offer you some “spark ideas” of my own.

1. Describe your version of how the zombie apocalypse will come to be and the role that you will play in said apocalypse.

2. Write a haiku about the last time you stepped in dog poop.

3. What’s the worst smell you have ever smelled? Describe using colorful analogies.

4. What’s your opinion of the “suggested serving size” of a standard package of Oreos?

5. What’s your favorite “bad 80’s song”? Let’s explore the song title.  Hint: Start with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”

6. Write a dirty limerick that incorporates the phrase “aluminum siding.”

7. Famous Quotes: “Who is your daddy and what does he do?” -Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What “spark ideas” get your juices flowing when you’ve hit a wall?

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business, and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

Seasons of Change

By Amanda Smyth Connor1309285_autumn_leaves

As the seasons change, you need to change too. Adapting to changing seasons is a great opportunity for you to evaluate your day-to-day routine.

Whether you work in an office or work from home, it’s important for you to evaluate your work routine and daily routine. It’s so easy to fall into a routine that leaves you in a rut that you then see reflected in your writing, and it’s even easier to start feeling seasonal depression this time of year. The amount of sun you’re getting is decreasing, the days are getting shorter, and being cooped up in the house for months on end doesn’t sound exciting.  Since the weather is turning a bit chillier/rainier, what better time than now to switch up your routine to combat that rut we all seem to fall into during the colder months. Continue reading Seasons of Change

The Handbook of Magazine Article Writing

handbook-of-magazine-article-writing.JPG The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Magazine Article Writing covers all the bases; query letters, coming up with ideas editors will love, and developing that all-important skill of targeting your queries to just the right market. If you’re new to the magazine writing game, try out this one…you’ll get some great help to get your first batch of queries out the door in the most effective way possible.

Most appealing about this book? It draws on the experience of a large number of successful freelancers. There are plenty of books written from a single freelancer’s point of view, but the range of experience represented in this book offers more perspective. Take what works and leave the rest! With 248 pages of freelance writing wisdom, you’ll find plenty of advice to apply to your early work.

Buy for $11.55