How a Little Fiction Can Help You in Your Real Life

readthis

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received this response when speaking about my favorite novels to nonfiction-lovers. While it’s true that Sherlock Holmes may not really be around to solve crimes and Hogwarts might not actually exist, that doesn’t make the worlds in which they exist any less relevant to us real folk. Continue reading

Random Quotes with Studio Editors

quotes
It’s always a lively affair here at the Demand Media office — dogs often parade down the hallways, the candy corner brims with the latest sugary confections and conference rooms showcase light-bulb-moment ideas on white boards. Despite these many (and other) distractions, everyone is hard at work, furiously typing away on their keyboards. And while the Studio editors lose themselves in their respective sections and responsibilities, what better way to break the monotony then by proposing the following question: “Off the top of your head, can you recite one of your favorite quotes?”
Let’s see what was on their minds …

Continue reading

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

Take a Breather

Over the weekend, I was fortunate to pay a visit to one of my favorite spots in Southern California: The Huntington.

Located in Pasadena, The Huntington boasts an expansive library and eye-catching art collection, as well as a variety of botanical gardens. It’s the latter to which I am most drawn. I can spend all day strolling through The Huntington’s sprawling, 120-acre specialty gardens.

There’s something about recharging in nature that really fuels my creativity as a writer. Whether it’s hiking on a nearby trail or biking down the beach, taking the time to unwind outdoors rejuvenates the mind and body, which does great things for writer’s block.

For a dose of inspiration, here are some photos I snapped at The Huntington: 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

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

Change the Channel

ssssssssIt might sound absurd, and even harder to admit, but writing can sometimes feel stale. Considering all the forms of entertainment we have circumventing the web — videos of cats, animated gifs, breathtaking photography — standard text, all by itself on a plain piece of paper, appears … archaic. Purists will argue there’s no truer form of entertainment than reading a passage and embarking on an adventure using nothing but the imagination, which is fine. Truth be told I’m not here to counter argue that, as that ideology does make sense to me. After all, I love writing. However, as a creative individual looking to express myself in different ways, I ventured outside of traditional standard writing in order to find a different channel. That outlet? Photoshop.

What started out as a mere distraction has actually blossomed into a full-fledged hobby. Whereas some people utilize the software to enhance images, I’ve take a slightly different route: I like to alter pre-existing images floating around the web by adding effects. Not only does this practice help to channel my influx of creativity, but it also helps keep my mind sharp. While I enjoy writing, it’s equally as fun to work in this medium.

Here are a few of my favorite altered images. Granted, they aren’t perfect; I am still learning Photoshop’s many intricate tools. As I continually push myself to learn more, the process becomes more enjoyable, and easier. Continue reading

Word Wheel | Emotions

What a clever way to quickly organize a list of words used to describe emotions.The creator, known simply as Onesimusix on imgur.com, had this to say about their hard work, “I work with people who have limited emotional vocabulary and as a result the intensity of their negative emotions and experiences is heightened because they can’t describe their feelings (especially their negative feelings).”

Well, now they (hopefully) can do just that. The Word Wheel is handy no matter what, and definitely something worth having around and referencing.

— Click here for FULL SIZE —

q6hcgsH