Twitter, using social media to shut women up

Twitter has suspended Rose McGowen’s Twitter account because she called out a man who sexually assaulted women. Twitter doesn’t seem to mind the hate mongers who say liberals should be killed or Muslims are evil but when a woman stands up for herself and other women, she is silenced. It’s bull shit.

What do you think?

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Do You Have a Writing Routine?

For me just sitting at the desk, putting my butt in the chair doesn’t get my mind to where it needs to be to write. For me, I need all my senses tuned into the writing. So what do I do to prepare to write?

1.) Close yourself off from the outside world. Easier said than done, right? In this time of social media and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) closing yourself off from the outside world means putting your phone away. Turning off alerts, maybe even turning off the WiFi, doing whatever you have to do to not have the interruptions of Twitter and Instagram hounding you.

If you have children who are not at home while you write, you can’t really turn off the phone, right? If you do, that’s the one time the school will call and say little Janey is barfing and you have to come get her. So what can you do? Learn how to ignore calls and texts that aren’t emergencies.

2.) Go to the bathroom. Yes, seriously. Nine times out of ten I will sit to write and suddenly have to pee. Blunt, yes but this is your dream, your career we are talking about. There is no time for tiptoeing around reality.

3.) Pour a drink. Whatever your poison is, mine is tea, have it with you ready to drink as you settle in. If you are thirsty while writing, you can take a quick sip whereas if you have get up and leave your space, you will get distracted.

4.) Hearing. No TV. No movies. No YouTube. Nature sounds are fantastic and sometimes music is helpful. I like to make playlists of music my main character would like. It helps me focus on who they are.

5.) Sight. Don’t put your work space in an area that has distractions in front of you. Keep your line of sight clear.

6.) Smell. Light a candle or use essential oils to help set the mood. I use scents that I find calming: Macintosh apple, lilac, fall leaves.

7.) Write no matter what. Even if I’m not feeling the flow, I write crap. I write until I get into the flow.

Give these seven steps a try and then tell me how you set your writing routine!

Freelancing for Newbies

Ah, the freewheeling life of a freelancer. It’s been just a few months freelancing and I’ve already learned some valuable lessons. To save future freelancers, I’ve written a list (a listed article is sometimes called a ‘listicle’) of the top five things NOT to do when starting out as a freelancer.

1.) Do not give away your time or talent.

It may seem tempting to give new customers a “deal” because you feel so grateful for the customer giving a job to a newbie, but nothing makes you seem more like a newbie than giving your talent away. It wreaks of desperation and in general, customers will take advantage. Once you set that precedent of being a push over, they will expect it in the future. Stand firm on your rate (assuming it’s  reasonable) and how much time you need to finish the project.

2.) Edit and then edit again.

Never ever turn in a project that has not been read through twice after finishing and read out loud at least once. Why? Editing your own work is hard because you know what you meant to write so your brain makes you see nothing but perfection most of the time. However, give it an out loud read and you’ll see more mistakes and hear more awkward wording. If you have another freelancer friend, trade editing work. Fresh eyes can help a lot.

3.) Outline articles before submitting a query letter

Frequently, I will send the basic query letter and get a response of “we’d like to know more. Please send more information on sources and content.” Basically, they want an outline of what your article will include. I suggest doing the outline before sending the query. This is because if a magazine or website shows interest, you want to send the outline immediately before they have time to forget about you. If you get an email from the magazine and they then have to wait on you, they may lose interest. In freelancing, you have to be fast!

4.) Make sure you actually have time to take on the project

As a freelancer, we tend to take on a lot of work at once (from time to time, anyway) because if the work in coming in, we usually can’t afford to turn down work. However, if you are overloaded with research heavy work or a lot of little projects, don’t continue to add to your workload. Yes, you will be losing some money but losing your reputation as a competent, responsible and talented freelance writer is a bigger loss.

5.) Treat this as a business from the very beginning

I know, from experience, that it is very tempting to stay in bed an extra hour in the morning. It might seem like a good idea to go for a long lunch followed by shopping. I get that you feel like you have a lot of time now that you aren’t leaving the house to work a traditional 9-5 but from the get go, you need to treat this like a business. Get up, get dressed (you feel more productive if you change out of pajamas- even changing into clean sweats and a t-shirt will make you feel more prepared to get down to business) and plan your day. Breakfast, check emails and get to work.Working as a freelancer has a ton of perks: work from home, no traffic, you are your own boss but you have to take it seriously

Working as a freelancer has a ton of perks: work from home, no traffic, you are your own boss but you have to take it seriously. Keep working at it and remember that this is your job. Treat it like one!

Feel free to comment below and share with fellow freelancers, please!

The Breakdown: Cristela

The Breakdown

 

“Cristela”

 

ABC welcomes stand-up comedian, Cristela Alonzo, on the scene with her hip sitcom about living as a Hispanic woman in Texas who is just trying to finish law school and live the American dream, even if her family and co-workers aren’t always supportive.

 

Cristela is hi-lar-i-ous! Her take on life is viewed through those googly-eye glasses with the funny mustache instead of rose tint. I did an analysis of the most recent episode, Equal Pay, which aired 11/14/14, and there are never any fewer 8-10 laughs per scene with many scenes running up 20+ laughs! It’s great to see a minority woman who isn’t a size 2 who has a dream that has nothing to do with a man (unless you take her love of Tony Roma seriously).

 

Don’t miss the next episode, Enter Singing, which airs 11/21/14 on ABC