How to create a freelance writing schedule that boosts your productivity

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As a freelance writer, it’s easy to start the day with lofty goals, only to find that by dinnertime all you’ve done is catch up with fifth-grade BFFs on Facebook, play with your cat and write a half-baked outline of a piece you were hoping to finish.

That’s where a schedule comes into play.

As much as freelance writing is about freedom and writing award-winning articles in your pajamas, it’s also about discipline and structure. And it all begins with your schedule.

Having a daily schedule that outlines what you’re supposed to do at specific times — and sticking to it — is how you become a productive, powerful freelance force to be reckoned with. So here are some tips for creating a freelance writing schedule that will help to boost your productivity:
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When did rap become so ridiculous?

Behold, Gucci Mane.

Behold, Gucci Mane.

I’m sorry, but at what point do rappers become ridiculous? Yes, I understand that you’re insanely wealthy and you own 16 cars and ALL of your bitches (of which you have several) are extremely fly as well as half-naked, not to mention there’s a gigantic pool in your backyard where all of your fly bitches congregate.

I get it. I got it the first 847 times every commercial rapper (save for one or—well, one) tried to stuff that garbage down my throat. Can’t anyone be a little more original?

The culture of materialism and degradation that’s posing as hip hop makes me nauseous. Listening to modern-day mainstream rap after growing up during hip hop’s golden age is like finding out your little sister has become a prostitute…continue reading at Rap Rehab.

Why Chuck D was right about Hot 97

chuck-dBy now the Chuck D/Hot 97 beef has been well-documented by blogs, and anyone with access to Twitter can see the back-and-forth exchange that’s spanned several days.

Long story short, Chuck D blasted Hot 97 for this year’s Summer Jam show, calling it a “sloppy fiasco” and criticizing the liberal use of the n-word, questioning where Hot 97 would be if the concert had been filled with Anti-Semitic and gay slurs. He wants urban radio to “get it right or be gone.”

Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97 responded, and a war of Twitter words ensued.

On the surface this seems like just another social media spat that will be forgotten tomorrow, but in reality it runs much deeper than that…continue reading at Rap Rehab.

5 questions I still have about the Jay Z-Solange elevator brawl

jayz-beyonce-solangeI know, I know. Elevatorgate has already been discussed to death. There are more important things to focus on and more constructive things I could be doing with my time than writing about the family strife between Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange. Just because I share the last name Carter with two-thirds of the clan does not mean this is any of my business. And yet, I live on Earth, so I’ve seen the video, and I’ve heard the incessant chatter, and I’ve read the “think pieces,” and even though the trio issued a statement saying they’ve “worked through it,” I still have so many questions about what, exactly, “it” was. So I pose the following inquiries:  Read More

The 10 most common press release mistakes — and how to fix them

avoid-these-thingsWriting a good press release isn’t rocket science, but there are some important rules to follow and mistakes to avoid if you want to increase your chances of scoring publicity.

I became all-too-familiar with these mistakes in my first newspaper gig. Part of my job involved taking press releases and turning them into listings or briefs — short blurbs with just the bare facts. Besides being incredibly tedious, this chore exposed me to common errors in press releases that make it difficult, if not impossible, for journalists to get the information they need.

Though I transitioned out of that listings gig a long time ago, I still receive press releases on a regular basis, and I still see the same errors. Some are minor, but others basically guarantee that the release will end up in the trash bin.

So in no particular order, here are the most common mistakes in a press release, and how to avoid them:  Read More

10 ways to overcome doubt, insecurity and fear as a freelance writer

kitten-lionBeing a freelance writer is like having to ask someone out every day for the rest of your life. Not only do you face rejection on a regular basis, but you face rejection of the most personal aspects of yourself — your words and ideas. It’s the emotional equivalent of standing naked in front of the world and saying, “So, what do you think?”

Clearly, a little doubt, insecurity and fear in this scenario is only natural. But letting those negative feelings control you and crush your goals and plans is not an option. So here are 10 strategies to overcome doubt, fear and insecurity and get into action as a freelance writer:

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The 5 types of Facebook likes

Facebook_like_thumbSo you’re on Facebook. Welcome to Earth. The social media giant has become the central hub for posting pictures, stalking acquaintances, ignoring event invites and boosting the self-esteem of members of our social circle by “liking” their posts.

“Likes” are Facebook’s social currency, and there’s plenty of them circulating. The only problem is that most of the time, we don’t actually like the things we “like” on Facebook. Instead, we click the thumbs up button for a variety of reasons that have little to do with legitimate interest, mostly because our society is kind of pathetic, and also because Facebook is that place where appearance has little to do with reality.

So in no particular order, here are the five types of likes you’re bound to come across on the book of Face…continue reading at Thought Catalog.

7 more tips for success as a freelance writer

Freelance-WriterWhile there’s no magic formula for success as a freelance writer, there are specific things you need to do to succeed. Here are the key actions that have helped me to advance in my career, and should help you do the same:

1) Build relationships: Nearly every opportunity I’ve had came about because I knew someone who helped me get my foot in the door at publication X. From that point on it was up to me to prove myself — and I always did — but a relationship helped me get that first shot.

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Web, social media ‘connection’ is a double-edged sword

social-media-logosMy mind was wandering the other day and I got to thinking: What did people do before the Internet? And a question I had an even harder time answering: What did I do before the Internet?

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it became a central part of my life, when I started using my computer for something besides typing papers and playing Oregon Trail, when writing e-mails and visiting Web sites became new methods of procrastination.

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