by Erin Dalpini
Picture this: You’re lying comfortably in your bed, dozing away and your alarm begins to ring. You roll over, shake yourself from your dream and groggily rub your eyes. That tell-tale, occasionally maddening noise is a reminder that no matter how early it seems, it’s time to leave that cozy bed for a day of work.
Whether or not you set your alarm clock every morning, most freelancers can relate to that grouchy feeling that we all get now and then– you know, a “case of the Mondays.” Continue reading Looks Like Somebody’s Got a Case of the Mondays
by Catherine L. Tully
I have had pets my whole life, but I have to say that as a writer they have been especially helpful. When I first started writing I had a betta right near my desk and it would tempt me to look away from the computer. Just a fish, I know–but it was so pretty. My eyes got some rest from the screen because I would watch it swim around in the bowl.
I now have a dog who dutifully lays at my feet (crams himself–all 90 lbs–underneath my chair) while I tap away at the keyboard. From time-to-time he reminds me that I need a break. His walks become my time away from the computer and I dare say it is more of a break then I would take without him… Continue reading Writers And Pets
by Joe Wallace
A Gothamist report says more and more coffee shops are turning their noses up at laptop customers. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a clear case of biting the hand that feeds you the money.
Granted, Gothamist was citing a Wall Street Journal piece aimed specifically at New York City coffee shops, but if this is a trend that catches on, I predict armies of annoyed, decaffeinating freelancers fleeing the coffee shops in favor of more friendly environs. And trust me, there are plenty of retailers willing to step in and take advantage of any blowback from coffee shop snobs who hate laptops.
Here’s a golden opportunity for Starbucks to get some of its own back. Open the floodgates and offer free wi-fi, plus some signage welcoming the terminally connected. The sign would say, “Your Home Away From Home: With Caffeine“.
Attention coffee shop corporate HQ–you can pay me for that one, it’s mine and copyrighted now. I’ll let you have it for 10K plus free beverages for life. In the meantime, doom on you, laptop-hating coffee shops…your days are numbered.
Transparency alert: I have NOT read this book. But the title says it all. Line By Line: How To Edit Your Own Writing is the sort of book I wish every writer who works for me would purchase.
There’s nothing worse than having to edit pointless mistakes a writer should be catching before they click “send”. When I sit in the editor’s chair, it gives me actual physical pain to see yet another abused apostrophe or the word “advise” instead of “advice”. Suppressing the urge to kill is the least of an editor’s problems. The desire to play drinking games with those article submissions and blog posts is overwhelming.
Spot the wrongly used “there,” “their” or “they’re” and take a drink. See the contraction of “there is” followed by a plural? Take TWO drinks.
All those dead brain cells could be avoided if all writers would buy books like these and start SELF-EDITING! Please, for the love of all that is nice and true, do this one favor for us overworked editors.
Hard to believe the 4th of July is nearly upon us. It’s a holiday tailor-made for pulling yourself away from the infernal machine (yes, I mean the laptop) and enjoying some lovely barbecue and the adult beverage of your choice. My vote for number one coolest BBQ gear this holiday goes to the Suck UK Fire Bucket portable barbecue grill. This little beauty is great for stashing in the trunk of your car or in the corner of the garage until it’s time for that impromptu beach party or backyard meat-fest. The only thing missing is an identical bucket, painted blue with thermal insulation that would hold the ice and beverages until it’s time to pour liberally.
My rule for such events is simple–NO LAPTOPS. Alas, rules were meant to be broken, especially by an unrepentant e-mail junkie and workaholic such as myself. Still, I am going to try very hard not to give in on this particular 4th of July.
I couldn’t resist. This is a section from an actual response I received after putting out a call for writers. My ad specifically mentions article writing, research, SEO-optimized content and other specifics. So what does one boy-wonder, college edutcated job seeker write in response to “New Writers and Writing Interns Wanted”?
“To Whom It May Concern,”
STRIKE ONE–This guy doesn’t know TWIMC is the kiss of death in the minds of many editors, or at least the ones I know.
“Please consider my resume for the position that I saw
advertised on your website.”
STRIKE TWO–this was a Craigslist ad. Can anyone say “form letter”? Continue reading Confessions of an Editor: How NOT To Write a Cover Letter