Coping with Rejection as a Writer

ffI wanted to discuss that which we all (editors and writers alike) dread: a rejection. As a writer myself, I completely understand how disappointing and mojo-disrupting a rejection is. From the editor perspective, I can also tell you it’s not something anyone wants to do. But rejections happen sometimes, despite good efforts on the part of both the writer and the editor.

So, how do you get back in the saddle after a rejection? I certainly don’t have all the answers, of course, but will share a couple of thoughts that I hope might be helpful. Continue reading

Introducing the DMS Visual Community Awards

visualawardsHere at DMS, we don’t always get a chance to shine a light on the contributors working within our Photo Studio. You may not know it, but we work with an entire community of photographers, photo editors and photo auditors who help us ensure that every single piece of content we publish gets the best visual treatment possible.

These dedicated community members are the ones who take our amazing Studio articles and give them that extra special something in the form of visuals. So to recognize them for their amazing, behind-the-scenes work, we’re happy to launch our first ever DMS Visual Community Awards.

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Your Most Frequently Asked Freestyle Questions, Answered!

bloggersThere’s no such thing as a “stupid” question around here! With the new Content Creation Tool in full swing, it’s inevitable to run into a host of questions. As the community specialist and over-seer of the forums, I have gathered some of the most common questions I’ve received here in this blog.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Question: How do I get back to the Work Desk?

Answer: Click on the Demand Media Studios logo in the upper left-hand corner. Be sure to save your work first! Continue reading

Tech Steps Forward, One Step Back

1111After my grandfather passed away in 2006, my grandmother — who had very little computer knowledge — needed to learn for the first time how to send email, browse the Web and save the photos that friends and relatives regularly sent her way.

As the “tech guy” in the family, she naturally leaned on me for training. But she taught me something important, too, as I helped her find her way. Her experiences in trying to master Windows XP and a DSL modem and a finicky inkjet printer helped me understand that the best coaching comes not just in answering the present question, but in framing it such that it also covers the next, unasked, question. Continue reading

Creating Great Content Just Got Easier

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from renovating eHow, it’s that one size does not always fit all. Based on what we’ve learned from this process and the feedback we’ve received from writers, we’ve decided to move away from form-like templates and towards an open content creation platform.

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Do Slack Off

chaos-office2__final_2The Demand Media Studios office can be a hectic place. The day to day operations of keeping the Studio running require a boatload of hard work and teamwork. It involves a cast of characters that can range into the dozens who can be spread out across multiple departments. Needless to say, communication is important if we want to keep this operation running smoothly. Continue reading

A Balanced Writing Portfolio

gfgfgfgOne of the most difficult problems for a freelance writer is to develop a level and flow of work that will provide a balanced, regular income. Spend months working on a book and wait for advances and royalties; write a magazine article in a couple of hours, then wait for payment on publication; work on website copy over a fortnight for a company, and sometimes wait months for them to settle the invoice … frustrating isn’t it?

There is a better way, and it comes from the world of financial investment: the “writer’s portfolio.” We’re not talking about a display book showing your magazine cuttings or book covers — this is an approach to getting more income from your writing and getting paid more regularly. Continue reading

How to Juggle Freelance Work and Parenting

futurefreelanceI didn’t always understand why my work priorities aren’t everyone’s priorities, especially when I managed nonprofit volunteers and needed them to meet their deadlines. Then I had a baby, and suddenly, I got it. Volunteers often had full-time jobs plus the best full-time volunteer opportunity of all: being a parent.

After leaving nonprofits and spending several years as a flower shop owner, I decided to stay home with my kids. That’s when I dived headfirst into freelancing. I thought it couldn’t be simpler than freelancing part-time while the kids played quietly.

Right. Continue reading

Nine Ways To Survive the Workday

Each day at the office is filled with its share of to-do lists, deadlines and stressful moments, so the last thing we need when attempting to stay on top of it all? Not having our heads on straight.

Life is all about balancing out challenges with the decision to remain upbeat, determined and poised. Happiness is a choice, after all. Here are nine daily routines that help me remain positive and energized.

1. Begin the day with exercise.

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Can’t Someone Else Do It?!

cantsomeoneJ. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” Shel Silverstein’s The “Giving Tree,” Tim Urban’s Procrastination Blog Post … what do these three pieces of literature have in common? If you ask me, they’re all must-reads. Continue reading