A Word on Adversity, Writing, and Your Career

adversity in writing

It’s an ordinary rainy Wednesday morning and I’m about to sit down at my desk out of the cold, wet weather and I start to think about the story my dad was just telling me about how hitchhiking used to be his primary mode of transportation. And how he’d hated it. Just hated it. Imagine that. And that’s just it. All I can do to relate to those stories is try to imagine what it must be like to be a 20-year-old college kid thumbing your way back to Pittsburgh in the snow, not knowing who’s going to pick you up or how far they’ll take you.

Back to me at my desk. Like most people in my generation, thanks to my hitchhiking parents, I’ve gotten through just about 30 years of life without ever having to stare real adversity in the face. Challenges? Discomfort? Sure. Adversity? No, at least not in the same way that my parents and their parents experienced it. My grandfather hugged his father goodbye one day and walked down the street to serve in the Navy in WWII. The next time he saw his dad was at his funeral. He’d had a heart attack, likely from the soot and dust he breathed in over years of working in the mill.

The point is that without adversity, without scratching and clawing just to make it home alive, we as a society are starting to miss something big.

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What’s a Content Mill and Why Don’t I Want to Use One?

whats a content mill

Whether you’re a business looking to hire a freelance writer or two or are a writer yourself and are looking for some paid gigs, chances are, you’ve come across your fair share of content mills in your search. So what, exactly, is a content mill in the first place, and why might this not be the best idea for either side? Read on to learn more.

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6 Tips for Decluttering Your Work Space and Getting More Done

decluttering work space

Clutter has been linked with heightened anxiety, stress, and low productivity levels. If you’re a freelancer trying to manage a business and a million-and-one different clients and projects, this can mean big problems for not only your financial success but also your sanity. Take a look at these six tips for decluttering your work space so that you can get more done more efficiently and with much less stress.

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5 Free Invoicing Platforms for Freelancers and Small Businesses

freelance invoicing

The best part of freelancing is getting paid for your hard work. But if you’re using a clunky online system or an outdated spreadsheet, this process could be a major headache for you. The good news is that there are a few great invoicing platforms out there that won’t cost you a dime and, maybe even more importantly, won’t try to trick you into signing up for a free trial by putting your credit card on file. Here are my top five favorites. read more…

Is It Ever Okay to “Fire” a Client? (Hint: Absolutely)

how to fire a client

While freelancers are ultimately in the business of attracting and keeping clients, that doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice your dignity, self-respect, or flat-out happiness in the name of retaining a troublesome client. In case you missed the hint in the title of this post, it is absolutely okay (and sometimes quite necessary) to drop a client if you’re simply unable to maintain a healthy working relationship with that individual or company. That said, there is a right and a wrong way to do so. Read on for a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

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3 Content Writing Mistakes You Could Be Making

content writing mistakes

Generating content for your company’s website is much more than plugging in a few keywords here and there and hoping your customers will find you. With so much content out there, internet users are more selective than ever about which articles to actually read and which to pass up. The key is to attract genuine interest by avoiding these three all-to-common content writing mistakes.

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Should Your Freelance Clients Sign a Contract?

freelancing business contract

While most freelancers who are just starting out don’t draft up a contract right away, it typically doesn’t take very long before they’re questioning whether or not they should have one in place. Going through the trouble of creating a contract and then asking each new client to sign one might seem like a lot of extra work, but it will be well worth it in the long run. Here’s why.

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The Myth of the Early Bird and the Night Owl

writing habits

We all know the “early bird” and “night owl” types. Heck, we also probably know which category we fit into ourselves, whether we like it or not. But the idea that we are somehow predetermined by our personalities, genetics, or fate to be a morning person or a night person has led a lot of people to believe that there’s nothing they can do to change their ways and increase the amount of hours they have available to them each day.

The truth is, though, that there’s no such thing as an early bird or a night owl. There are only habits. So what’s the moral to the story? It goes a little something like this…

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3 Must-Know Tips before Taking on Your First Employee

freelance hiring

If you’re reading this blog because you’re seriously considering hiring your first employee to grow your sole proprietorship into a larger entity, congratulations! The fact that you’ve even reached the point of considering hiring some extra help means that business is booming and you’ve got nowhere to go but up. Now for the downside. Taking any big step in your career can be risky, but this is especially true of freelancers who are on teetering on the verge of a one-man show and establishing an LLC or partnership. But as all freelancers already know, without risk, there can be no reward. So if you think you’re ready to take your freelance writing gig to the next level and hire your first employee, here are the top three tips I have for you.

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