Category: My Favorites

10 Facts About Freelance Writing Every Teen Should Know

Most of my readers are in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. I also have a nice cluster of forty, fifty, and sixty-year-olds! And I love all of you. <3

However, there’s one segment of my audience that I feel I’ve been neglecting: Teens.

PublicSpeaking

Over the past couple years, I’ve spoken with over one thousand local teenagers about my writing career and how they can follow in my footsteps. I have several young newsletter subscribers, one of whom is a 13-year-old girl who excitedly replies to each issue. And my very first one-on-one online mentoring student was a 17-year-old.

I adore my teen audience–nearly all of my fiction is written for their age group–but  I’ve never written a post specifically for them. And, while most of my articles more-or-less apply to “everyone” in the freelance writing game, there are a few unique challenges that teen writers face.

So, this article is for you, Reader Who is Nineteen or Younger! 🙂

(But, if you’re a little older, feel free to join in). Continue reading “10 Facts About Freelance Writing Every Teen Should Know”

16 Red Flags: Say “No” to That Potential Client!

Illustration by Ramiro Roman.
Illustration by Ramiro Roman.

Clients often remind me of the poem “There Was a Little Girl” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow–when they’re good; they’re very, very good; and when they’re bad, they’re horrid.

What Makes a Bad Client “Bad?”

There are two types of “bad” client:

One: A “client” who isn’t a client at all. This so-called client is either a scam from the get-go, or is someone who runs off without paying (negating any real “client” status they may have obtained).

Two: They’re more trouble than they’re ultimately worth. Even if this client does end up paying…it’s not enough to cover the costs for all the extra work and/or headaches they’ve put you through to get it.

The 16 red flags I’ve outlined below are designed to help you recognize these two types of trouble clients before you get roped into working with them. There are probably other red flags that I’m missing (feel free to mention them in the comments section!), but these are the ones I’ve dealt with personally.

I learned the hard way, but you don’t have to. Continue reading “16 Red Flags: Say “No” to That Potential Client!”

Becoming a Better Blogger Through Bad Movies: Part 2

Illustration by Ramiro Roman.
Illustration by Ramiro Roman.

Everyone loves to hate sequels, but sometimes they’re a necessary evil.

Last week I said that all “bad” movies suffer from one (or more) of ten basic writing issues. And that said issues should also be avoided at all costs by bloggers.

The first five issues were LanguageJargonAudience NeglectEditing, and Pacing. Here are the other five:

Hiding Behind Special Effects

In an ideal world, special effects are used to enhance the storytelling—they aren’t the main attraction.

Unfortunately, several movies in recent memory have forgotten this “rule” of filmmaking. The Transformers franchise and the Star Wars prequels are easy targets; however, my favorite culprit is 2009’s Avatar.

Audiences lauded Avatar when it was in theaters. My Facebook and Twitter feeds were cluttered with status updates raving about how “great” the movie was, praising the film for the wonderful “experience” it gave the viewer.

However, once the “experience” of Avatar was over–once people got the DVD and watched it on their home TVs–no one talked about it anymore. Continue reading “Becoming a Better Blogger Through Bad Movies: Part 2”

Becoming a Better Blogger Through Bad Movies: Part 1

Illustration by Ramiro Roman.
Illustration by Ramiro Roman.

I love movies. Good movies, bad movies, okay movies—I watch ‘em all!

After over 3 years of blogging professionally, I’ve noticed that my movie-watching habit has inadvertently helped tighten my writing skills. In particular, the “bad” movies I’ve watched have taught me a lot about what works–and what doesn’t!–where writing is concerned.

At their core, “bad” movies suffer from one (or more) of ten basic writing issues.

Issues that should be avoided at all costs by bloggers! Continue reading “Becoming a Better Blogger Through Bad Movies: Part 1”

V is for Vending Machine Mentality

V - Vending Machine
Illustration by Ramiro Roman

You are not a vending machine.

People can’t just thrust money at you and expect something to pop out.

I once recommended that writers think of themselves as a product in order to sell themselves objectively. Which is good advice. However, don’t think of yourself as a product, or as a business, to the point that you forget your humanity.

You are a person.

You deserve respect. Continue reading “V is for Vending Machine Mentality”