Rolling the Dice on Saving Time

photoshopbloggyBy: Aaron Parson

My entire life, I’ve had a preoccupation with doing things efficiently. Or perhaps more accurately, a preoccupation with making tasks seem more efficient regardless of actual effort. I remember one homework assignment I had back in a middle school math class – we were studying probabilities, and were tasked with rolling a pair of dice 20 times and recording their outcome. Had I chosen to just dig a board game out of the closet and roll the dice, I could have finished within minutes. Instead, I came up with a “more efficient” method for determining dice rolls in the blink of an eye: I spent about two hours programming a dice-rolling simulator in C++. Continue reading

Unleash Your Mental Magpie

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By: James Holloway

When you’re a freelancer, unless you’re a specialist of some kind, you either develop a vast knowledge of seemingly-unconnected knowledge quickly or you don’t last. After all, there are a lot of well-informed people in the world, and there are a reasonable number of people who can write well. But being able to take a topic, hunt down references for it and explain it clearly in writing quickly enough to earn a living is a bit of an unusual combination. Everyone acquires this skill in a different way; personally, I learned it from archaeology. Continue reading

Reader Experience Is the Key to Quality

0011These days, the concept of “quality content” means so much more than just eloquent delivery of information. Yes, a well-written answer is part of the equation, but “well-written” no longer ends with grammar, syntax and accuracy. The digital landscape requires more strategy than that, and it all comes down to reader experience. Continue reading

Test Your Boundaries by Crossing Borders

Marseilles,-FranceTravel writing and writing while traveling are two distinct entities. The former — travel writing — entertains us. Writing while traveling trains us. I did it.

I left my beloved U.S. about 10 years ago, with nothing save a backpack, a passport and too many shirts. I have ridden the topside of a donkey in Morocco, making my way up the Rif. I have sat on the roof of terminal three at Tegel airport in Berlin to get a free Wi-Fi connection. I won’t bore you with the discomfort of details, but I know the ropes of the globe. And they do not make a noose — if you write. My ropes tied, and comforted me, with freelancing. Continue reading

Make Your Valentine’s Day Stress-Free

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been someone who goes a little bit against the grain, making non-traditional choices to stay ahead of the masses. This reflects in my career as an editor and in my personal life.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, here are some of my favorite ways to avoid unnecessary stress from the over-commercialized holiday we know and love. Continue reading

Burning Out: The Assassin of Productivity

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By: Shea Laverty

Freelancers operate in a very different environment than most workers: Our income is directly influenced not only by the quality of our work and our passion for the job, but also by the direct amount of work we output. In a lot of ways, this is a pretty good set-up, since the more we work, the more we make. Drive and ambition have direct, tangible rewards that keep us pushing forward. It makes it easier to set clear, attainable goals, especially when you have consistent clients. Continue reading