• freelance life

    Writer’s Block Is a Myth

    The New York Times obituary of Joseph Mitchell heralded his work writing about average and eccentric folks, which he did well… until he didn’t. According to the obit: If his name is not as widely known as it might have been, that is mostly because for the last three decades of his life, he wrote nary a word that anybody got to see. For years, he would show up at his tiny office at The New Yorker every day and assure his colleagues that he was working on something, but that it was not quite ready…. Whatever it was, nothing of any substance emerged from his typewriter after 1965 and his friends came…

  • work life

    What makes an expert?

    As a writer, I frequently interview experts in various fields because their in-the-trenches insights help explain complicated concepts, or they’re the first to know the latest advances or changes in a given industry. Then, imagine my surprise, when I’ve been called a handful of times this year to be an expert source for an article, a radio show, and on other blogs! I was shocked that someone dug me up on Google and though that I had the credentials to be a source. But, of course, that’s exactly how I do it when I’m looking for someone to interview. So, how do I know who to call on? What makes…

  • work life

    New year, new you? Bah, humbug!

    I’m not one for resolutions. It seems counterproductive to create resolutions that are so easy to break. Instead, I focus on goals. With a busy year ahead, I spent the last week putting my goals down on paper and making my 2012 plan binder. In it, I list all my goals along with their deadlines, action steps, and any data required to complete the goal. I have tabs for my freelance work, my dog blog, the two writing courses I teach face-to-face, the business writing e-course that will launch in the fall, training plans for all three of my dogs, and personal goals. Excessive? Maybe. But I know exactly what…

  • creative life

    10 ways to get out of a creative rut

    It happens. We all get stuck. It doesn’t matter the task, either. You could be painting scenery for your child’s class play, arranging columns and rows in your department’s budget spreadsheet, or writing the next great American novel. It happens to me once a week. I’m plowing through client projects, updating social media campaigns, crossing tasks off my to-do list. Then suddenly I realize I’ve been watching bees buzz around the flowerbed outside my window for the last 20 minutes. How do you know you’re in a rut? It’s hard to maintain focus. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s hard to keep your butt in your chair. It’s easy to…

  • freelance life

    Giving back as a service provider

    Now that I work for myself, I can arrange my schedule to be flexible. While most days I’m tethered to my desk from 8 am until sometimes very late, I love the ability to work in some time to give back. Writing, editing, proofreading, research… All the tasks I do are services that a lot of nonprofit organizations neglect because they’re so busy running their business! It’s really important to be to find ways to give, though financial giving isn’t always the best – or most needed – form of giving. Instead, I’m taking on a handful of service-related tasks, like writing press releases for my local Habitat for Humanity.…