Tag Archives: freelancer

Help with Writing Query Letters

For some writers, composing an eye-catching query letter comes with little problems. For others  it’s one of the most nerve-wracking parts of being a freelance writer.

Below are some sites that I’ve compiled to make the process of birthing the perfect query letter a little more manageable.

From Writing World: How to write a successful query letter

From About.com; Freelance Writing:    Sample Query Letter

From Agent Query:    How to write a query letter

From HiWrite:    Query Letters

Your Turn: Please share any other sites that you have found useful when it comes to the how-to’s of composing a query letter.

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Blog Roller

What I’m reading around the blogosphere today:

Write it Sideways: 23 Websites that Make Your Writing Stronger

The Book Designer: Fair Use, The Rights of Personality, and Unintended Consequences

Real Simple: 16 New Etiquette Rules for the Tech Age

Psych Central: Are Depressed Poets Still Creative?

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iPad? iPod? No Thanks.

I feel that it should be against the law for me to not want to have an iPad. I mean, it’s 2010, technology is evolving faster than it has before with electronics. Nevermind an iPad, I don’t even own an iPod. I know…crazy isn’t it? I’ll give that a couple of seconds to sink in.

One Mississippi, two Mississippi…welcome back.

I don’t own nor want an iPad or iPod. Reason why you ask? Because I consider myself  “kinda-sorta old-school” in the sense that I get tremendous joy from holding my books and magazines. I utterly adore taking an hour-long trip to Staples to pick out new highlighters, pens, and pencils to mark up my literary finds. Or exhausting a good part of my afternoon sitting in the big comfy chairs at my local library skimming through potential books that may come home with me.

The smell of a new book ignites a fury of plasmic ions within my blood that speak to each other in Latin. Not really, but you get the point. So to hold a plastic device that renders no need for my highlighter is of no interest to me.

As for the iPod, I appreciate that if I want to listen to music I don’t have to lug my Sony Walkman around with me anymore and flip my Michael Jackson “Bad” tape to side two…I can simply press the forward arrow to change songs. Except that when I read or write, I need total calm and quiet. I can’t have the T.V. on, or the radio, even the ticking of a Grandfather Clock will get to me after a while. If I had ear buds vibrating my vestibule I’d never get anything done.

While I would never turn away the iPad, iPod, even the Kindle as gifts that I would use in my spare time, you wouldn’t catch me in an Apple Store browsing either.

You will, however, catch me at Borders with a decaf coffee in my hand hiding at the corner table reading Lolita. Come over and say Hi.

Your turn: Share your thoughts on the iPad, iPod, and/or Kindle. Do they help you work or waste your time?

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To Blog; Perchance to Write

While surfing my reader today, I came across this post from the blog “Write Livelihood” entitled “A writer’s guide to blogging”.

I felt that my readers could benefit from it and I also enjoyed the fact that there was a lot of information both in the blog post itself and also within the links below it.

Enjoy.

Click here to be taken to the post.

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Finding Inspiration in Everyday Things

When I’m home working, I look outside a lot. Sometimes it’s to give my eyes a break from the nagging glare of the computer screen and other times, it’s simply to gain inspiration and ideas for whatever it is that I may be writing at that time.

Today I saw crisp green leaves on the trees…every so slightly moving from the breeze. At first I thought nothing of it. But as I looked out a second time, I fixated on just the leaves and nothing else. A little cliché I know, but the inspiration came to me almost immediately.

“Green, new, refreshing, new job, new life, new baby, first time, redo, growth, flowers”….these were all words that popped into my head. There’s plenty more words and feelings to attribute to new leaves and spring, but that was a good start for my fingertips because they began caressing the keyboard again and I, in turn, starting letting the ideas flow again.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that give us our ideas. When we don’t necessarily see the inspiration right away, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

One could probably come up with a hundred words for one leaf, what that leaf means to them or what they feel when they look at the leaf. That’s the idea. Take something small and run with it. Allow it to lead you into bigger arenas to find ideas.

Your turn: Where do you gain your inspiration from?

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Ask an Editor Day

While searching my reader this morning, I came across “The Blood-Red Pencil” blog and saw that it was “Ask an Editor” day.

I figured my readers, and my fellow blogathoners, would benefit from this considering most of us make our living writing or perhaps some of us are writing books and need a question answered. And…not to toot my own horn or anything…but I’m always willing to promote an editor, considering I’m one myself.

Click here to be taken to “The Blood-Red Pencil”.

Your turn: Do you think needing an editor is overrated?  Share your comments and thoughts below.

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5 Ways to Create An Engaging Writing Style. Guest Blogger: Laura Cross

I know that “guest blogger day” on this year’s blogathon isn’t for a couple more weeks, but I wanted to share this post that Laura Cross graciously gave me permission to feature on my blog.

Without further adieu, today’s post comes from fellow freelancer Laura Cross. I follow Laura’s blogs daily and I enjoy the way she always has good tips for writers. I hope my readers will enjoy Laura’s tips for creating an engaging writing style.

FIVE WAYS TO CREATE AN ENGAGING WRITING STYLE

In writing, “style” is the way you deliver your message – it’s the words you choose, the tone you use, and the way you structure sentences. Many successful practical-nonfiction books deliver their messages in a clear, concise, friendly, warm, and encouraging manner. Here are five ways to achieve a winning writing style:

1. Use Conversational Style
Write as if you were speaking to a good friend. Use informal, personal, casual words that create a comfortable trust and connect with the reader. Incorporate personal stories, anecdotes, and humor when appropriate.

2. Avoid Judgmental Language
A reader wants an author who understands and sympathizes with her problem – whether the reader needs to learn how to manage money, be a better parent, market her business, or lose 20 pounds. Avoid using judgmental stigmatizing language. Focus on what the reader can do to make good choices and improve her situation.

3. Be Reassuring and Positive
How-to and self-help readers often lack confidence. They may feel insecure about their ability to achieve the desired results. Keep your writing upbeat and optimistic. Reassure your readers that by using your program, techniques, instructions, method, or information they can reach their goals. Let them know it’s easy and many others “just like them” have achieved success. Always be supportive and create a sense of hope.

4. Address the Reader Directly
Personalize your sentences. Whenever possible, address the reader as “you.” Readers searching for answers and solutions to their problems want to hear about themselves – they want you to speak to “them” directly.

5. Keep It Simple
Clear and concise writing is the most effective. Keep your sentences short and simple – use words the average person can easily understand. Avoid technical terms when possible and always define words that may be new to the reader.

YOUR TURN: What are some of the techniques you use to create an engaging writing style?

Laura Cross is an author, screenwriter, ghostwriter, freelance book editor, and writing coach specializing in nonfiction books and script adaptation (book-to-film projects). She writes two popular blogs, http://www.NonfictionInk.com and http://www.AboutAScreenplay.com, and teaches online writing workshops http://www.ScenarioWritingStudio.com/workshops. Her latest book is The Complete Guide To Hiring A Literary Agent: Everything You Need To Know To Become Successfully Published.

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