Pros and Cons of Working from Home

As many of us are still making that horrible winter commute, some are considering freelance writing from home as a happy alternative. However, there are many pros and cons of working from home. See if that new lifestyle is right for you!

Posted in Freelancing

7 Ways to Remember More of Your Creative Ideas

Tie a string around your finger

Ever have a great idea, only to have it slip your mind before you can do anything about it? Avoid this frustrating experience using these tips!
Photo by Kate Ter Haar (Flickr)

Several different studies have proven that many of our creative ideas come to us while in the shower, during a commute, and right before sleeping. It’s pretty inconvenient, especially for a busy freelance writer with several project happening at once. You try to remember the idea, and then hours later, when you’re in front of your desk, it’s gone. This problem is unbelievably common. If you’ve been burned by your own brain before, as I have, use these techniques for remembering more of your creative ideas:

Photo by PhotoAtelier (Flickr)

Photo by PhotoAtelier (Flickr)

Record your ideas in the shower with bathtub markers.
So many creative ideas come to us in the shower, of all places. This is, at least in part, because we’re so relaxed in the shower. However, many really creative people have come up with a solution to this problem: bathtub markers. Buy a set of easy-to-wash markers and keep them in the shower. Then, you can jot down your brilliance when it hits you. An alternative is to write with old soap on a glass door.

For hands-free recording, use voice memos.
It’s pretty unsafe to try and write notes while on your commute; however, some of our best daydreams happen in the car. You can safely capture your ideas while using your smartphone or an old-fashioned tape recorder. Simply set it up before driving away and talk to yourself as you drive. This may seem alien to you at first, but this can be a very effective solution.

Photo by Phil Roeder (Flickr)

Photo by Phil Roeder (Flickr)

Keep a bedside notebook and a pocket-sized idea pad.
As you wake up or go to bed, many more ideas come to you. Make sure to keep your bedside notebook handy to write down your best dreams. As you do this more frequently, often, you’ll be able to remember more details from your dreams. Also, when out and about, it’s important to have a small notebook to jot down a witty line, smarty phrase, or idea.

Use helpful apps such as Evernote.
People almost always have their smartphones handy these days. Keep your notes both handy and organized with great apps like Evernote, Drafts, Microsoft OneNote, or Wunderlist. You won’t need to remember more: Let the technology do it for you. Just make sure you back up your ideas.

Photo by Tomas Sobek (Flickr)

Photo by Tomas Sobek (Flickr)

Increase your levels of sleep, meditation, and exercise.
If you want to remember more, you should be sure to take care of both your body and your brain. That means having good sleeping, eating, and exercising habits. Mediation can help you de-clutter a messy brain, and maintaining the right amount of sleep can help you remember more during the day. Also, a little caffeine can help, but too much can be detrimental for memory.

Use brain exercises to keep yourself sharp.
Just like how it’s difficult to run a marathon if you don’t jog every day, it’s hard to remember the contents of your book idea if you haven’t stretched your brain on a regular basis. Word games, puzzles, and quizzes can help keep you sharp. Some great games include sudoku, Scrabble, and word searches.

Photo by Dennis Wong (Flickr)

Photo by Dennis Wong (Flickr)

Stir up a lost memory through smell.
Let’s assume that you’ve actually already forgotten the idea and you’re trying to remember it after losing it. Many people go back to the place where they had come up with the idea originally. That can definitely help, but if that’s not an option, you can stir up a faded memory through smell. The olfactory bulb is close to the memory systems of the brain, so smelling something familiar is often the best way to stir a lost memory. Did you have that idea while drinking chai tea? Try to think of it again while smelling another cup.

Posted in Writing Tips

A Freelance Writer’s Guide to Tone

Tone is something that most writers struggle with, especially ones who feel like they’ve finally found their specific “voice.” After what could be years of struggling with identity, the idea that a client might want you to change or ruin your true inner voice can be intensely threatening. This could lead writers to panic and adopt an alien or unnatural voice or to even rip up contracts and ruin relationships because they fail to understand this one key fact: Read more ›

Posted in Writing Tips

Shift Key Appreciation Day: A Capital Idea

Shift key

It’s Shift Key Appreciation Day! Learn about the great uses for this underappreciated keyboard function and show it a little love today.
Photo by Miguel Vera León (Flickr)

Today, let’s talk a bit about one of the most under-appreciated keys on your keyboard: the shift key.

Some people think of the shift key largely as the one that lets you type symbols that are above other characters on your keyboard. And it’s true, you couldn’t put things in parentheses without the shift key, or tweet @someone, or quote anyone, or even ask a question or exclaim something. You couldn’t even make fake expletives in a comic strip without the shift key. (Fun fact: A series of symbols used to stand in for a swear word, such as @#$%&!, is called a grawlix.) Read more ›

Posted in Fun Stuff, Writing Tips

Choose Wisely: Commonly Confused Words

Tasting the rainbow

Got a rainbow on your tongue? If you’re tasting many colors, you have a palette on your palate!
Photo by Andrea Allen (Flickr)

The English language is full of spelling pitfalls. We’ve looked at some vowel traps before, words that can be confusing to spell because they’re only one vowel different than another word with a different meaning. Here, we’ll take a look at some more words that are easy to mix up, either because their spellings are similar or because they sound similar when spoken aloud. Read more ›

Posted in Writing Tips

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