General posts about writing (sometimes my own, but not always)

Become The Wordsmith You’ve Always Wanted To Be By Following These Simple Steps

Contributed Post Writing is rewarding. It’s also very hard. Like with any creative pursuit, you have to go out and seek inspiration. We could all sit around and wait for the muse to pay us a visit, but we’d be waiting a long time. Some people believe writing is a natural talent. For the most part, that’s not true. You may not be able to teach yourself to write well in the general sense, but there are things you can do to ensure you’re the best writer you can be. Here are a few things no writer can do without! Image from Pixabay   READ That’s right. To write, you need to read. You should read everything you can. Remember in Matilda, when she reads…
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How do I make a second edition of Breaking Down Breaking Bad worthwhile?

Breaking Down Breaking Bad

Back in late 2013, I decided to try an experiment: I decided I’d self-publish a book of television commentary on a show I was obsessed with at the time, Breaking Bad. The result was Breaking Down Breaking Bad. The idea was a culmination of several things coming together at once. I’d had over a decade in journalism and knew I could meet a deadline, and with the show coming to an end it looked like a great time to hit the world with something. I’d also been Editor in Chief for a website devoted to movie and TV criticism for a few years, so I’d been down the “critic” road before (though admittedly, it was never my jam; didn’t enjoy doing reviews then, don’t enjoy…
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How I almost forgot why I write (and how I got back on track)

It’s easy to lose sight of why you write. For about two years now, I’ve worked full-time as a freelance writer and social media marketer, penning corporate blogs, articles for SEO specialists, the occasional news story, website copy, and whatever else people will pay me to write. I’ve done freelance work on the side for many years, but that switch in autumn 2014 was a big plunge into icy cold water. It hasn’t always been easy. The money mostly sucks, the workload is hot and cold, the guilt can be crushing, people often don’t want to pay you or they will try to scam you, you have to operate like a small business (which is antithetical to why you write in the first place), and…
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Interactive Content Services, a jackass company for jackasses staffed by jackasses

Recently saw a help wanted ad seeking an online reporter, a part-time telecommute position involving doing stuff I’ve done for, oh, the last 15 years or so. Perfect. More work is always (okay, usually) good. I could slot that work into my freelance schedule, add a little income, and stay sane in the process. I applied, providing many writing samples when I did, as requested. This is the response I got, in full, from jobs@contentservices.co: Dear Eric, Thank you for your interest in the company and for sending me your samples. You have been identified as a possible reporter candidate for our group of legal journalism websites and newspapers. As stated in the job posting, the average pay for these types of stories is $24 each. However,…
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“Fixing my toilet will be great exposure for your plumbing business” and other bullshit writers deal with

Emails like the following are not uncommon, so today I figured I’d spotlight one of them – and anyone who writes, draws, or designs for a living gets this sort of pitch all the time: Dear Eric, Hope all is well. In the coming month a new and unique website will be launching called REMOVED.  While virtually all other sites directed towards the male audience focus on sex, sports or men’s fashion, REMOVED will provide men with the resources to connect and exchange ideas on everyday issues, including relationships, life, marriage, parenting, etc. Based on your expertise and published work, we feel you have a voice that would be complimentary to the content we will be offering.  We’d love to have you contribute an entertaining and…
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