4 Ways To Find Sources

As a writer who has focused primarily on short-form blogging and personal essays, hunting down sources has never been a huge part of the work that I do. A portfolio that relies solely upon the self, however, can become an echo chamber. At some point in your writing career, It’s important to bring in new and differing perspectives.

Where to turn when you need an expert, and fast?

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How To Avoid Flubbing Your Phone Interview

Just the other day, I received quite the happy e-mail. It was from an employment agency, specializing in the creative fields, through which I had applied to two permalance editor gigs. They thought that my work was “dead on,” and were wondering if I would be around that afternoon for a phone interview. After doing a happy dance, I responded that I would be home all day long, and then set up drawing up some notes, based upon questions they might ask me.

While I was in the midst of this, I received a response to my response. [Agency Guy] will be calling you shortly.


I was unprepared. I was straight out of the shower, and with a head of wet hair, which wasn’t the most comfortable feeling in my chilly apartment. And I already knew that phone interviews weren’t my strong suit. (Speaking in general isn’t my strong suit; that’s why I became a writer.)

Of course I was dissatisfied with the course my phone interview took. How could I not be? What should I have done to ace that interview?

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Why I (and You) Should Be Stockpiling

It’s been a busy month, what with two weddings, a magazine deadline, evenings in the city, a day trip to New Hope, and a triple date to go apple picking. All that and I obsessed for a full week about what I should wear to a costume party that finally took place the other night.

Not surprisingly, my blogging suffered, both here and over at Nerve, and I’m only now getting back into the swing of things.

Of course, all of this could have been avoided if I had just stockpiled. After the jump, what I usually do before busy times.

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Quick Tip for Sweet Dreams

I feel only semi-conscious today. Last night, Lusa went wild, systematically knocking the objects on my dresser onto the floor, playing with plastic bags and bubble wrap, running wildly across the bed every time I had finally found sleep and, worst of all, flinging her body across my pillow and tangling her claws in my hair (ouch!). I didn’t get much sleep.

Aside from crazy cats, the only other things that typically keep me up are my racing thoughts.

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My (More Than) 5 Favorite Things In: The Anti 9 to 5 Guide

anti 9 to 5 guide.

I read a ton of books in my personal journey toward freelancedom, but I have to admit, the one that provided the impetus to my actually leaving my 9-to-5 was Michelle Goodman’s The Anti 9 to 5 Guide. In fact, my copy is so dog-eared that I couldn’t stop at just listing my five favorites:

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Marketing Basics: Playing To the Right Crowd

Over the past few months, I’ve struggled to find new freelance projects to supplement my regular proofreading and blogging income. Only recently was I able to admit to myself the reason for this partially self-imposed period of limbo: I wasn’t sure what I was looking for.

Obviously, it’s impossible to put together an effective marketing campaign when you’re not quite sure what you’re marketing, or who you’re marketing to. After the jump, the three most basic questions you need to ask yourself before launching your own campaign:

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Coffee Break: Home Ec for Entrepreneurs

coffee break

Earlier this week, Jezebel had this interesting post, in which the writers tried to recall what bits of knowledge they had actually retained from early-childhood home ec classes.

They went on to ponder what sort of knowledge they would have actually benefited from.

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Setting Business Goals: 3 Questions To Ask Yourself

We’ve talked a lot about how to take the steps necessary to switch careers and/or start your own business, but it occurs to me that some of you may not have the clearest idea of exactly what type of business you’d like to start, or what product, skill, or expertise you’re interested in selling.

This is completely normal. Our imaginations seize on a vague idea or activity and, all of a sudden, our brains are running at breakneck speed, eager to follow a dream that is hazier than we realize. It’s no wonder that starting a business can feel so confusing and overwhelming.

After the jump, I outline the 3 questions you should ask yourself when attempting to solidify a distinct career path.

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Informational Interviews: Just Like the Real Thing

Job interviews can give you the jitters.

Informational interviews, however, have a lot less riding on them, at least as far as the fate of your employment status goes.

Still, when preparing for an informational interview, you should take just as much care…if not more.

Those who grant informational interviews have a lot less to gain from donating their time to you. Because of this, you should show them the proper level of appreciation, and prepare for your meeting in much the same way you would for a job interview.

I mentioned informational interviews briefly last week, as a means of gathering information about possible career paths. Now, I’m about to go on one myself.

What have I (hopefully) done to prepare?

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Continuing Education for Freelancers

Earlier in the week, we discussed how the very act of being prepared can strengthen one’s self-confidence.

Today, I’d like to go over the various forms such preparation can take.

If you’re teetering on the edge of starting up your own freelance business, such steps toward readiness will take your plans from romantic to realistic.

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