Writing Tips From Tip-Top Writers

richardDemand writers often ask me to recommend books they can use to hone their composition skills. I invariably suggest these five, each of which I read annually: Continue reading

Writing About Tech to a Beginner’s Perspective

matrixOne of the trickiest parts about writing tech articles is figuring out the best way to explain beginner-level tasks, for which we can’t assume the reader is familiar with proper terms and seemingly obvious steps. In trying to work around that problem, I’ve found that the best solution is often to approach the task from a completely different angle. Continue reading

Coping with Rejection as a Writer

ffI wanted to discuss that which we all (editors and writers alike) dread: a rejection. As a writer myself, I completely understand how disappointing and mojo-disrupting a rejection is. From the editor perspective, I can also tell you it’s not something anyone wants to do. But rejections happen sometimes, despite good efforts on the part of both the writer and the editor.

So, how do you get back in the saddle after a rejection? I certainly don’t have all the answers, of course, but will share a couple of thoughts that I hope might be helpful. Continue reading

Tech Steps Forward, One Step Back

1111After my grandfather passed away in 2006, my grandmother — who had very little computer knowledge — needed to learn for the first time how to send email, browse the Web and save the photos that friends and relatives regularly sent her way.

As the “tech guy” in the family, she naturally leaned on me for training. But she taught me something important, too, as I helped her find her way. Her experiences in trying to master Windows XP and a DSL modem and a finicky inkjet printer helped me understand that the best coaching comes not just in answering the present question, but in framing it such that it also covers the next, unasked, question. Continue reading

Do Slack Off

chaos-office2__final_2The Demand Media Studios office can be a hectic place. The day to day operations of keeping the Studio running require a boatload of hard work and teamwork. It involves a cast of characters that can range into the dozens who can be spread out across multiple departments. Needless to say, communication is important if we want to keep this operation running smoothly. Continue reading

A Balanced Writing Portfolio

gfgfgfgOne of the most difficult problems for a freelance writer is to develop a level and flow of work that will provide a balanced, regular income. Spend months working on a book and wait for advances and royalties; write a magazine article in a couple of hours, then wait for payment on publication; work on website copy over a fortnight for a company, and sometimes wait months for them to settle the invoice … frustrating isn’t it?

There is a better way, and it comes from the world of financial investment: the “writer’s portfolio.” We’re not talking about a display book showing your magazine cuttings or book covers — this is an approach to getting more income from your writing and getting paid more regularly. Continue reading

How to Juggle Freelance Work and Parenting

futurefreelanceI didn’t always understand why my work priorities aren’t everyone’s priorities, especially when I managed nonprofit volunteers and needed them to meet their deadlines. Then I had a baby, and suddenly, I got it. Volunteers often had full-time jobs plus the best full-time volunteer opportunity of all: being a parent.

After leaving nonprofits and spending several years as a flower shop owner, I decided to stay home with my kids. That’s when I dived headfirst into freelancing. I thought it couldn’t be simpler than freelancing part-time while the kids played quietly.

Right. Continue reading

Nine Ways To Survive the Workday

Each day at the office is filled with its share of to-do lists, deadlines and stressful moments, so the last thing we need when attempting to stay on top of it all? Not having our heads on straight.

Life is all about balancing out challenges with the decision to remain upbeat, determined and poised. Happiness is a choice, after all. Here are nine daily routines that help me remain positive and energized.

1. Begin the day with exercise.

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Continue reading

Can’t Someone Else Do It?!

cantsomeoneJ. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” Shel Silverstein’s The “Giving Tree,” Tim Urban’s Procrastination Blog Post … what do these three pieces of literature have in common? If you ask me, they’re all must-reads. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Madison Garcia

sandiego School: San Diego State University
Degree: Masters in Accounting
Approved Sections: Business and Finance, Culture and Society

As a San Diego resident, you must on the inside scoop on the best attraction. Our craft beer. There’s over 100 craft breweries in San Diego and they just keep on coming. I particularly love stopping in at the small brewery tasting rooms in the Mira Mesa and Clairemont Mesa area. The brewers are often the ones serving up the samples and they’re always excited to chat about what’s currently in the fermenter. Continue reading