Resurfacing from the long weekend and focusing on some work for my website. Today was a particularly gloomy day and warranted a lot of motivation. To find my momentum, I stepped out and worked from a little indie tea place near home. I typically like working from home so if I need anything in a hurry, something to refer to, or records to look up, then I can do it right away. Also my schedule is flexible working from home - if I am waiting on something to upload or render then I can cook up some lunch in the meanwhile. But then again, there are days like today that working from home was simply not an option. All I wanted to do was cosy up on the couch and watch movies all day! So here are links to some of my favorite coffee and tea shops in Atlanta that I frequent when I want to get some real work done and staying in my home office is not going to get me any results. I try not to head to Starbucks as they are almost always way too busy. Got nothing against their offerings but getting any work done there is usually a challenge. Check out Walton Coffee on the Chattahoochee, ZenTea, Sip. Let me know what you think or if you have places I could try.
If you have written and published a book in the last year or two, even co-authored, I would like to talk to you about the process and maybe even do a book review here on my blog. I have met many through my communications business that are looking at publishing and have many questions on it, but also at the same time would love to know more about local authors and writers. I know many of us are article writers but how many of us take it all the way and write books? So yeah, send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and let's talk more. Doesn't matter what genre it is, if it was published between now and January 2010, I would love to know more!
Stopping by real quick to wish every one a very happy turkey day with family and friends. I have my articles done and am sprucing up my work table, have friends visiting and don't want all my work piled up on shelves, ready to burst out! Thankful for the opportunity to be an independent communications professional - can totally block the week out for the holiday and enjoy myself considering all deliverables will be out of the way by then. Do not have to answer to nobody about nothing! Also glad I have clients who like my work and come back time and again to work with me and recommend me for projects - nothing to be more grateful for. Lots of gratitude going out. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Funny how just when you think you have it all worked out, turns out that wasn't the case! Was thinking I would have all my projects done and dealt with by the weekend so I can get things going for Thanksgiving, when I have some dear friends visiting. But, as luck would have it, I now have an article to turn in, more proofreading to do, and a bunch of blog posts and reports to submit - all next week! Ah, the simple pleasures of working at home.
Yes, it has its plus and minus points but it is a choice you make and then you make it work. A lot of people question how you can remain focussed when you are all alone by yourself working from a home office most of the time. It is hard but once you get into the groove of it, things just shape up fine. I typically put together my to-do list every night so I have it fresh in mind the next morning and know what needs to be accomplished. I push out the easy tasks first and then focus on the jobs I think will need more time or attention or research. Works for me but you might have a different take on it. Here is a website I enjoy reading and maybe some of the pointers there will help you, as a self-employed professional, get more accomplished in your time. Good luck!
Most folks don't think proofreaders are necessary. They don't even know what a proofreader does! People think that the proofreading part is covered somewhere between the writer and the editor but unfortunately that is almost always never the case. As a writer, editor and proofreader, I can speak from all perspectives. When I write an article, I am so involved in it that I could easily be 'seeing' words that are not even there. I can even make myself believe the words I read in a certain sentence make sense even though they are not in the right order for that phrase to read right. Not that I want to, but it is human nature. Some of you might remember a little posting that makes an appearance at least twice every year where the sentence has all letters jumbled in it yet the human eye reads and the human mind processes the sentence. See image for this post if you don't know what I am talking about. As an editor, I can tell you the same thing is bound to happen in the process of editing. I read an article so many times, checking on it for clarity and brevity and flow and content, that I completely do not pay attention to how a word is written, or whether there is a comma in the right place for that sentence to not be misinterpreted. And this is where a proofreader comes in. To ensure that what the writer and the editor overlook are caught and corrected before the article heads out to the presses. In the digital age we are lucky - we can go back and make a few corrections although if someone has already read the article in its original un-proofread version, then they already know your weaknesses. But God forbid what you wrote was for print! It will be out there in circulation in its hard copy published form for years...not nice. So please, before you send out anything on email, company letterhead, official announcements, articles to be published, book manuscripts, marketing collateral - it never hurts to have an additional pair of eyes review the piece. I cannot share who my corporate clients are and what work I do for them but this morning I averted a major disaster being the last pair of eyes to see a designed advertisement before it went to print. The original copy was not written by me and was typed out wrong, the design was reviewed by a handful of folks, and yet all they looked at was the design of the piece, and not the wording! They were close to submission deadlines and could have chosen to not have the piece proofread, in which case, knowing the publication that design would have made its way to, they would have been the laughing stock of the industry. Luckily they did send it to me, and I was able to look at the copy and make corrections to it. So thankfully, they know the importance of a proofreader and they are good about ensuring all the processes in a design project are implemented. Can you say the same about your work, your brand, your company?
I always get excited when I can write for a new media outlet. This time, I get to write for one of my clients who has only used my proofreading services so far. Since I write on so many different topics and do anything from event coverage, to features, to interviews, it is always a thrill to add a new publication to my resume and work on a new piece that is completely different from anything I have written before. I will be sure to share a link with you when it does get published!
Not every day that I win something for my hard work so I am excited to share that I won the recent reviewer contest hosted by Pitching Notes. If you aren't already aware, this is a website that has a database of media professionals with information on how to contact them, who they write for, which beats they cover, etc as well as review by those who have had the chance to work with those professionals and whether their experiences were good or bad. It is also a great resource for PR professionals to know whom to pitch their stories to. So for the recent challenge, I added 37 media professionals to the database that I have worked with or know of, that others can now contact for their stories. Check out the site when you have a chance, and check the media professionals I added - you could be one of them! ;)
I read a few different websites and articles everyday pertaining to my writing, editing and proofreading services. I am not saying any of those sources are right or wrong but they always provide some food for thought. I get new ideas to work on, or maybe there is something I am forgetting or overlooking in my work that I am reminded of. So here is one such website that I hop on over to read up every once in a while - let me know what you think? Are there other helpful websites you would like to share?
A few articles in and most of us have figured out what is the best manner for us to query or pitch an article to a prospective publisher, be that print or online. Of course, some media outlets are very specific in their accepted formats for query letters and article pitches. But I believe most are laid back enough to be at the receiving end of an email that is addressed to the appropriate contact on staff, and clearly states what the article idea is, what the story will cover, who the sources will be or where information will be gathered from. In my experience, I have just mailed in to a publication asking if I can write for them. If the answer is yes, then I proceed with poking around their website and ideating on possible stories I can do for them. I have not written for too many publications but for the few that I have, I have never been asked to provide a query or pitch in a particular pre-specified manner. I would definitely be interested in knowing how you query or pitch for your articles, and what methods have proved successful or futile. Please share them here as comments to my blog post.