​The quarterback, the quiet friend, and “effortless” assignments

​The quarterback, the quiet friend, and “effortless” assignments

(Psst … Registration for Freelance Writer Bootcamp is OPEN. Click here to join the last session in 2017.) Recently I got an email from a new-to-me editor who works at a publication I’d never heard of. If magazines were high school archetypes in a teen movie, and the New York Times was the football quarterback […]

Modern Journalist Toolkit 19: A new answer to “Why now?”

Modern Journalist Toolkit 19: A new answer to “Why now?”

In South Africa, “now” means sometime in the near future. “Now now” means even sooner. And when an editor (anywhere in the world) asks why your story is important now, they mean when the piece will be published and read. That could be tomorrow, in three months, or a year. Anticipating this aspect of your story […]

Freelance Writer Retreat near Cape Town, South Africa

Freelance Writer Retreat near Cape Town, South Africa

Registration for the Freelance Writer RETREAT near Cape Town, South Africa, is now open. Two days of workshops focused on boosting your confidence, skills, and bottom line as a freelance writer. Plus, penguins. Imagine if you could easily generate freelance article ideas that delighted you, your editors (or the editors you want to write for), […]

7 ways your environment impacts your writing and creativity

7 ways your environment impacts your writing and creativity

Is your surrounding environment helping or hurting your creativity? As a freelance writer, you may feel like you’re supposed to be able to work anywhere. Maybe you’ve done great work under stressful conditions. But small environmental stresses can build up over time and erode the confidence, stamina, and support that lead to your best work. […]

Modern Journalist Toolkit 18: How to leave a conference full of freelance article ideas (but not tote bags full of brochures)

Modern Journalist Toolkit 18: How to leave a conference full of freelance article ideas (but not tote bags full of brochures)

The first time I went to a large trade show as a freelance writer, I wandered around, mindlessly stuffing free tote bags full of every single brochure and pamphlet on display. When I got home I was completely overwhelmed. I had no idea how to coax those stacks of paper (most of which was a […]

Modern Journalist Toolkit 17/Digital nomad: Freelancing on the road

Modern Journalist Toolkit 17/Digital nomad: Freelancing on the road

When I saw this VW van in California a few weeks ago, I thought immediately about a recent article about #vanlife. Somebody who thought she could do her job remotely was surprised to find out that she couldn’t work on her computer during a bumpy ride, nor connect for calls in the middle of a […]