The Do’s and Don’ts of Freelancing

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“Lots of Writing To Do” by Scott Brown (2013)from Wikicommons [CC by-SA-2.0]

Sorry it is a gimmick. I do not have the answers of what you should do and not do when you are trying to start freelancing; after-all I am but a newbie myself.

I do know that there are a lot of opinions and a lot of experts. Since longform writing is out and lists are in, everything is in lists. Even blog posts must be kept short, because our attention spans are short. We need something catchy to grab your eye, but don’t use a cliche. While you are at it, “passion” and “innovation” are over. Everyone has a lot of passionate and innovative ideas, you need something to indicate that you are more passionate and more innovative than the general schlub hawking $2 articles.

After a whole day of reading advice on the internet, it can be pretty discouraging. You realize that you made mistakes. I made a typo. I didn’t “research” the company enough. This work of trying to work is so much… work? It is hard not to feel discouraged and also slightly bemused at the state of freelance writing on the web. Oops, you will have to forgive me, I made my blog post too long….

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Confessions of a Comma Lover

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Every writer knows their own weaknesses, and my weakness is the comma. I just can’t help myself: I love the comma. I don’t go out of my way to show the comma love; it just happens naturally. An extra comma here, an extra comma there. Perhaps, I am more like Oprah giving commas out: a comma to you! a comma to you! and you!

Of course, when I put my editor hat on, I think about things like independent and dependent clauses, adjectives, lists, or other grammar rules. But when I am just writing for writing’s sake, I just let the comma do what one might expect it to do in its natural habitat. It might crawl around and nestle between two words it finds comfortable or hide where a breath might land. Sometimes in the wild, the comma might just come out and land where it does not belong at all. After review, a person might have to come around and try to sweep the unwanted commas away, but those pesky little guys hang on tight. Still, it is important to remember that in the end, we need them as much as they need us.