Posts Tagged ‘writing’

sickI know this is a cop out post, but I’m sick and looking at this screen is not making it better :(. I can tell you though, that if you have freelance work to do and you are sick, it is not fun. I have to play catch-up all day tomorrow to make up for the rest today.

What do you do to stay on top of your work when you are feeling under the weather? I obviously need to be schooled in this topic.

As to not have this post completely useless, I read two articles in the WSJ this morning that not only reiterated how many people are walking unemployment stats like myself, but really made me think about how many people are being affected and are suffering.
1- The Human Toll of the Credit Crunch
2- Job Losses Worst Since ’74

In addition to my vow to post once a day, I vow to be a useful source to this community. Stay awhile, take your coat off and take a look around the site. Many, many more helpful posts to come.

Till tomorrow,


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broken pencilWake up. Attack inbox, email contacts, make breakfast to WCBS 880. Read paper. Research, follow yesterday’s job leads. Check for and apply to newly listed positions. Go to gym, eat lunch while reading book on blogging. Head to library, steal their electricity, use free wi-fi for hours while doing freelance work, tons of writing, reading and more applying. Boy, can this job search routine get old real fast.

Getting out of a job search rut is like trying to find a cure for writer’s block—difficult, time consuming and frustrating. So to shake up my routine and get my creative juices flowing, I like to do some good ol’ writing exercises.

If you find yourself stuck in a rut, try these two creative workouts today:

1- The Visual Workout

A- Go through that pile of magazines you haven’t gotten to because you’ve been so busy doing freelance work and job searching.
B- Find an image/ad/picture that is really appealing to you.
C- Examine it and think about why it strikes you for one minute.
D- Write about it for at least 10 minutes. Write about all the details, the lighting, the design; give a story line to the people in it (if there are any) and make sure you get through the standard who, what, when where, why, how routine.
The Payoff: You got to go through your magazines and take a needed (but still useful) break. And if you can write about an image you had no prior knowledge of for at least ten minutes, your brain is ready and willing to take on other new subject matter (like crafting an eye-catching email subject line).

2-The Mind-Bender
A- Grab a pen and paper, we are going old school for this one.
B- Write a mini memoir—your life, in six words. It can be a sentence or just six individual words.
C- Do not jot down all the words that come to mind and just pick six.
D- Really take your time with this exercise. Make some tea, get inside your head and take a look around. What’s there?
The Payoff: You just traveled a mini journey of self-discovery. Maybe you learned a little something about yourself along the way. Analyze your sentence or words. Do any of them have to do with your career? (It’s absolutely fine if they don’t.) Because you were only able to use six words, your mind should really be amped up now and ready to tackle the rest of your day. This one is also great because life is always changing, therefore you can always revisit this exercise. Plus, it’s interesting to keep these around and take a look at them now and again and see what has changed in your life.

Till tomorrow,

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quillI know these are tough times for everyone, but if you are looking for writing jobs during what I call “The Era of Confused Media,” it could be even harder to land a gig. Magazines are dropping like flies, ad dollars are disappearing from print (but not always landing on the web), newspapers are shrinking and book publishing houses are suffering, too. In a career (and job market) where there seems to be no safe haven, where do you turn to?

I turn to my favorite sites. Here is a list, in no particular order, that I visit religiously for job leads, reference and tips and tricks for making it in media.

  • Mediabistro.com– For media news, jobs, comings and goings, mastheads, classes, video. I’m an AvantGuild member and it is worth every penny.
  • Ed2010.com– A comprehensive site for all things magazines. Great for writers looking to break in to the industry. Resume/cover letter advice, glossary of terms, job leads, internships, interviews with editors, classes and happy hours.
  • AboutFreelanceWriting.com– For creative ideas, job postings and killer writing advice.
  • ProBlogger.net– Great source for learning about social media in general. Tips for bloggers all across the board, advice on design, making money, promotion, advertising, etc.
  • CopyBlogger.com– Resource for bloggers, but great tips for writing in general, like overcoming writer’s block and how to avoid grammatical errors.
  • TheGoldenPencil.com– For freelance writers, this site has interviews, advice on the business side of things, tips on book proposals, the economy, ghost writing and more.

Hope these are useful to you. Share some of your favorites with us, too!

Till tomorrow,

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When you are unemployed, you have to get out of your house/apartment/room. It keeps you sane and makes you feel like you are actually getting some work done. My choice spot is Panera Bread—free Wi-Fi, gingerbread bagels and an amazing chair with a cup holder, gorgeous view of the parking lot and footrest.

Me at Panera I can spend hours at Panera. I get there around 10am, sometimes I get a gingerbread bagel, sometimes I get dutch apple and raisin—I go crazy with it. Then I set up shop in my favorite chair, open the MacBook and get to work (while munching on a seasonally sensational breakfast). I work on my website, apply to jobs, unfortunately read about layoffs at varying companies, read more media news from Mediabistro, I WANT MEDIA, Gawker, etc. (and frequent CNN, obvi) find some freelancing opportunities and work on my current freelance projects. Before I know it, my tummy is grumbling, and it’s 3pm. (Here’s me in my fave lil’ nook at Panera.)

While trying to find some new resources, I stumbled upon some helpful sites on writing, freelancing and blogging.

Check ’em out:
The Golden Pencil

About Freelance Writing
Help a Reporter Out

If you find some useful info or something that really strikes you/teaches you something, let The Galley in on it!

Till tomorrow,

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I spent Wednesday afternoon singing CSNY’s “Our House” with my pal Janine, along with many random other songs, but the tune bests suits this blog’s title.

The Envoy office is my home, even though the couches are dirty and there was a dead rat in it a few months ago. Its the staff’s Central Perk or Monk’s. At any point you can head into 211 Thomas Hunter and someone from the staff will be there, studying, checking their email, taking a nap or already in there with another staff member eating lunch.

I sat in the computer room of the office, on our brand new Macs, responding to an email from one of the recruiters I met at last weekend’s Public Relations forum and I started singing out of nowhere, very gently…”Our house,” and Janine looked up and responded just as softly, “is a very very very fine house. With two cats in the yard,” and in a Broadway show or musical fashion, we broke into song. Our pal from the Media Board next door came in during our sing-a-long performance to the youtube video above and instead of telling us to lower it he said, “Oh man I love this song! Make it louder!” and started singing with us. Especially for a commuter school, this is such a beautiful thing. Spending “out of school” time with your friends, being silly and enjoying college. When I tell people how being a part of a student newspaper is great, this is what I try to drive home.

If you noticed I said I was responding to an email from a recruiter from the forum last week.


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