I started journals for each of my children when they were born. I use them to mark special event and milestones. They’ve also morphed into scrapbooks with ticket stubs and old birthday cards. My hope is to deliver a book of memories they might not have of their own lives when they’re older. I hope these journals become a treasure, but as my oldest started elementary school I began to worry. The carefully-crafted messages to my kids are painstakingly handwritten in cursive — Are they even...
And what we lose if we can’t read it
Why it’s okay when you end up with one
I’ve stolen this phrase from the first book I read about writing that got me excited to be a writer. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott left such an impression on me that it still sits on my reference books shelf. It was a revelation, getting to this specific chapter. I felt vindicated when she told me that, “all good writers write them,” because I’ve had some terrible first drafts. Before Anne, I’d stare at them in desperation, convinced this was the best I could do. My writing wasn’t going to get...Read more
How it differs from working full-time at a company
I sometimes find myself reading through feedback for a piece I’m working on, whether it’s via email or as comments directly on my working document. I look at them all, give myself a minute, then get a little verbally cheeky at my computer. It’s not that the feedback isn’t helpful, but maybe it’s not delivered in the best way. The hard thing is that, as a freelancer, I’m automatically not the subject expert. I may know a little, but I don’t know everything my client does about their brand or...Read more
When I began my freelance content creator career I had just come off a long stint in marketing. For 15 years I worked in an environment where the message mattered most and the more concisely you could present that message the better. For a long time, SEO didn’t exist, and neither did social media, so the focus was print. There was no algorithm to write for, and no length restrictions other than how big the print piece was.
As I left the marketing world, writing for the Web was becoming more...Read more
The importance of being an attentive writer
I was working on an article recently and came across a quote that I wanted to use. It fit the topic perfectly. As I read along to see how much I wanted to take, I came across a huge disappointment. It was almost enough to make me look elsewhere for a quote. Hidden among the meaningful content, the person in question had said, “close proximity.” This pair of words is like nails on a chalkboard for me. It was a dilemma. Give up this perfect quote to search for who knows how long for something...Read more