Drinking Coffee with Writers - Katarina Hybenova - 2

Drinking Coffee with Writers: Editor & Powerhouse Katarina Hybenova

Photo by Maya Harsaniova

One day, while I was walking down the street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I witnessed a building go up in flames.

I was close to the fire, and my millennial brain propelled me to whip out my camera and snap away. I didn’t just want to post them on social media, though, so I emailed them to a local news website called Bushwick Daily.

Editor-in-chief Katarina Hybenova responded, publishing my photos within minutes.

No one was hurt in the fire, so I felt slightly less guilty about the process of witnessing and reporting on something. In the end, I thought, “why not give local journalism a try?”

I submitted myself as a contributor, and a week later I was sipping cocktails on a sun-soaked patio with 10 other writers and Katarina herself.

Immediately, I knew she’d be a blast to work with. She’s was a platinum blonde boss babe with an amazing sense of humor, and she called me Mishka, which I appreciated—it’s one of my nicknames, yanno.

I soon learned that she’s also a stellar content manager, thoughtful editor, and natural leader.

Her resume includes positions as digital editor at massive local news website QNS, as well as founder and editorial director of Bushwick Daily. She was also a 2014 fellow at Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

…oh, and she used to be a lawyer. How badass is this gal?

I thought she would be the perfect person to interview for the launch of our brand new series, Drinking Coffee with Writers.

Below, check out her top tips for writers and discover how she spends a typical day (hint: it involves getting up at 5:30AM to write).

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How To Stay Productive While Working & Traveling

On Beaches & Tequila: How To Actually Get Work Done While Traveling

Getting work done while traveling can be a serious challenge. Turquoise waters, swaying palm trees, the beach beckoning you…

I know, #FirstWorldProblems, right?

But really—if you’ve ever daydreamed about whipping out your laptop and working at the beach, you’re in for a surprise. I mean, the first surprise is, laptops + beach = destroyed laptop.

The second surprise is, work-life balance is hard to find when you’re surrounded by fun experiences and beautiful landscape to explore.

And then there’s tequila! Ugh, tequila…

Anyway, we’ve both developed some pro techniques for handling this careful balance between enjoying life (which is the point of this lifestyle, right?) and getting our sh*t done.

We were psyched when That Marketing Dude asked us to share our expertise as part of his “30 Days of Fist Bump Worthy Knowledge Bombs” in September.

We cover scheduling downtime, staying inspired, picking your travel partners and so much more. Don’t miss these essential tips for any writer who calls the world her office!

Read the full post here: How To Stay Productive When You’re Working In Paradise

 

PHONE BACKGROUND - How To Write Every Day: Desktops & Phone Backgrounds For Writers - TOP

Free Download! Desktops that Remind You to Write Everyday

True or false: It’s really hard to develop a daily writing habit when we’re all so freakin’ distracted.

Fellow writers, we have officially reached the age of information and inspiration overload, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Now more than ever, we need a gentle (or not-so-gentle) reminder to stay focused on our writing.

So what’s the magic trick to writing every day?

I was pondering this while setting up my new phone screen this week. I suddenly thought, “why not put something in the background that’ll help me reach my goals this fall?”

After all, my phone is the thing I look at the most during the day, second only to the bottom of my coffee cup, so I might as well utilize it.

Thus, these desktop wallpapers and phone backgrounds were born, with a pop of tropical color and a reminder to get the pen (or cursor) moving.

Click below to grab them for free.

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Write Better Business Emails: A Freelance Writer's Guide

Write Better Business Emails: A Freelance Writer’s Guide

Fact: You need to write better business emails.

An engineer named Ray Tomlinson sent the first-ever email in 1971. He opened the floodgates for limitless communication in the modern era.

No doubt, email is intended to make our lives easier. Over time, however, it’s transformed into a tool with boundless potential for annoyance and sloppy correspondence.

Bad emails are rampant, my friends.

What is a “bad email”, you ask? Apart from chain emails and blatant spam, the worst kind of email is one that fails to achieve its goal.

Usually, that means they’re simply indirect and lacking pertinent information. Occasionally, this also includes abysmal fonts and massive attachments. (Please don’t.)

Corporate emails come to mind, actually. Perhaps you’ve worked in an office where team members are trying to organize some kind of meeting or outing, but leaving the plans completely open-ended, inspiring endless back-and-forth?

Or maybe you received a crappy PR email that’s missing contact info or a website address?

I can’t count how many times I sat in my swivel chair, clutching my hair in both fists, willing myself not to pull a panda.

Bad emails happen to good people all the time, but you don’t want to be the one writing them. You’re a writer, after all, and you make a living on the internet! If anyone is writing excellent emails, it should be you.

I’d go as far as to say that writing effective emails is the first step to being taken seriously as an online professional.

A good email can increase your odds of growing your network, initiating great business relationships, and so much more.

Whether you’re cold-emailing a potential client, pitching a story to a news site, or tapping out everyday communication, these tips will help you write better business emails.

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How to Make More Time for Writing (Even if you're Really Busy)

How to Make More Time for Writing (Even if you’re Really Busy)

In a perfect world, you’d wake up in the early hours of the morning in your clean, well-lit apartment, a mild breeze blowing through the windows as your butler served up breakfast and read your notes from yesterday’s three-hour writing workshop.

You’d slide into your robe and sip Irish breakfast tea as you contemplated the completion of your third novel, sighing a happy sigh of relief.

Oh, sorry—that’s just my perfect world.

Back to real life: you’re busy. Really busy. You’ve got freelance gigs or a full-time job, bills to pay, a body to keep in shape, pets, needy friends, a messy kitchen counter, etc.

Writing isn’t easy, and it gets harder when your schedule fills up with the chaos of daily life. Sometimes it feels impossible to sit down and get some work done—but you know you have to. Today we’re going to demystify a few ways super busy people get a ton of writing done, even when it feels impossible to stretch the clock any further.

I promise: you can do this! It just takes a fresh reality check, some planning, and perhaps a few apps.

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What To Do When Clients Don't Pay

DJO Podcast 003: What To Do When Clients Don’t Pay

Non-paying clients are the worst, and freelancers deal with them often enough that there are now widespread campaigns to end this epidemic.

If you landed on this post, it’s possible you’re in a non-payment predicament right now.

So what do you do when clients don’t pay?

Whether you’re just beginning on your freelance career path or you’ve been working for yourself for years, it’s time to brush up on how to protect yourself. We compiled some steps you take right now to ensure you don’t fall trap to a deadbeat client.

In this podcast, we’ll tell you what to do right now and give you some tips for making sure you get paid in the future.

Hit play on this episode and empower yourself!

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Launch Your Freelance Career With No Experience

DJO Podcast 002: Launch Your Freelance Career With No Experience

Episode 2 is a big one, babes! It’s all about launching a freelance career and getting those first clients when you have little or no experience.

The paradox many new writers believe is that if they’ve never written professionally, no one will hire them… thus, they’ll never get writing experience.

So how do you launch your freelance career with no experience?

While there’s no “magic switch” to turn you into a freelance writer overnight, if you’re willing to hustle and put in the effort, you can land your first freelance writing gigs sooner than you think.

Seriously, though. You can do it!

We broke down exactly how in this week’s episode, so jump below and click play!

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4 Things You Need To Become A Digital Nomad

DJO Podcast 001: 4 Things You Need To Become A Digital Nomad

We’re kicking off the new year with a brand new podcast series!

Presenting, the first ever episode of the DJO podcast: 4 Things You Need To Become A Digital Nomad.

Going remote is easier than you think! If you’ve been debating whether the digital nomad lifestyle is right for you, this episode will shed some light on your inner-debate.

We give you a breakdown of the simple, essential things you need before you cut the cord and go full blown remote. As a bonus, you can hear us sing in creepy voices at the very end. So worth it.

You can listen to the entire episode below.

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