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Write well, write often

I’m very pleased to say I got a new magazine assignment today.  (I hate naming the publication until it’s much closer to publication, but it’s for their September/October issue.)  Go ahead and ask me what I think the key to success as a writer is.  Okay, whether you asked or not, here it is: Write well, write often, don’t be afraid to ask for more work and more pay. I guess I could add “don’t be afraid to ask for a kill fee or at least a contract,” but I’ve been successful taking chances so far. Now the interesting thing is juggling reporting for assigned articles (I have three on my plate currently) and for pieces that are still evolving or just kind of out there.  The new article is due the end of June, the other two have no set due dates (yet) but obviously the sooner, the better, and if I manage to work up a story for the Narrative contest, that is due July 31 – and of course I’ll be at the Goucher residency from July 29 through August 11.  Okay, enough time talking about what I have to do.  Let me go do it! Advertisements

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Dancin’ like a yankee in the south

I love this post from the A Yankee’s Southern Exposure blog, and I would assert that freelancers working from home can get up and do an imperfect dance just to celebrate the day and shake things up for yourself alone.  Of course, the real challenge to dance like Christopher Walken in the video might come during an interview, but…I’d advise against it. I enjoy this blog also because the author is, like me, a transplanted Yankee living in the south.  Being a Yankee in Texas doesn’t necessarily make me dance, though, but perhaps that’s a post for another day.

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A chalk story

During my evening walk yesterday I came across a series of “Christian graffiti” chalk drawings on the sidewalk (I’m not sure what else to call them).  They are super interesting – and the artist left a contact number, which I will be calling in the next day or two to see if there’s a story behind the chalk.

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A downside of freelancing

I read this article on the SPJ “Independent Journalist” blog. Eight months after moving into my home office I relate to nearly every point the author makes, and having spent my first four and a half years in Houston doing medical transcription from home and gaining 35 pounds I especially relate to the “fridge proximity” challenge. Now that I’m working from home again I struggle daily to avoid adding another 35! Over the last week I’ve been going out to do general reporting, trying to develop some kind of beat (I guess a religion beat of sorts) and it has been wonderful to be working but not in front of my home computer.  It reminds me of grad school, when I lived in urban Boston and was out just about every day either at school, at my part-time job or just reporting.  I lost 20 pounds during my first six weeks there, especially since I didn’t drive. I’m returning to the Wiccan magick bookstore today and even though I’m not reporting for any story in particular I love being out in urban Houston talking to people of different backgrounds – and maybe even walking a little. You can’t write about people if you’re not talking to them, in the settings of their lives, observing the things they do.  The Religion News Service is a wonderful resource but I want to go above and beyond news reporting.  My personal mission statement […]

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Working out a good story

I plan to submit an essay to Creative Nonfiction‘s “Southern Sin” issue.  The guidelines are pretty broad – most importantly, the topic must somehow involve the south and sin – so I’ve been struggling for a while to find a good topic.  I’ve especially been trying to avoid the mistake of trying to align a story with a concept, along […]

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