How To Connect With Other Writers - Day Job Optional - Writing Is Lonely

7 Ways To Connect with Writers (& Avoid Losing Your Mind in Solitude)

A career in writing sounds like an introvert’s dream, doesn’t it?

Spending long hours on your laptop, racking up word counts for clients around the world, enjoying the optionally-anonymous role of a ghostwriter or copywriter…

To some extent, it’s true that you can build a career in solitude. Of course, you can also go big league and get your byline all over the biggest media outlets. It’s up to you. But even if you’ve blissfully traded in you 9-5 life for the sweet solitude of writing, it pays to connect with other writers.

The chance to talk shop, share ideas, exchange feedback, and make connections with those experiencing similar challenges can evoke feelings of motivation and validation.

By connecting with other writers, you can encounter new ideas, discover fresh approaches to problems, and get some much-needed accountability.

Also, I probably don’t have to tell you this, but being a writer isn’t easy! Sometimes it really sucks, and it helps to know you’re not the only one enduring the ups and downs of this career path.

Thankfully, it’s easier than it has ever to find writer friends, thanks to the internet. Here are some of my favorite ways to find ’em.

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How To Fall In Love With Writing Again - Day Job Optional - Michelle Christina Larsen

How To Fall In Love With Writing Again

Don’t judge me, but… my laptop is totally going to be my Valentine this year. *slow jam plays*

Yep, I’ll be spending February 14th writing about New York Fashion Week and sipping an endless supply of coffee while snow pummels the ground outside.

The countdown to the most romantic day of the year had me thinking about the ups and downs of love this week. I started to see some vivid parallels between a love for writing and love for human-folk.

That said, let me ask you something: Is being a writer really what you thought it would be?

Are your visions of scrawling cutting-edge articles, breathtaking travel stories, exciting fiction or the wittiest copy on the planet panning out?

If you’re knee-deep in writing career bliss right now, I am sending you a giant high-five through the screen.  That is awesome. But for those who’ve begun to feel a little lukewarm about our writing work, just know that you’re not alone.

Writers of all levels sometimes groan at the thought of hitting their word count. Even the pros sometimes feel tempted to reschedule a client call they just don’t feel like having.

So the question is, how can we get the magic back? How can we fall in love with writing again?

After almost a decade of falling in and out of love with my writing career, I’ve put together some tried-and-true tips on rekindling the flame.

Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on those sexy tunes, and read on.

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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 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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Ways To Get Motivated - Inspiration for Freelance Writers

9 Ways to Get Motivated that You Haven’t Tried Yet

The other night I sat at my desk, cup brimming with coffee—a.k.a. writing fuel—and stared at my to-do list like I was waiting for it to resolve itself.

Try as I might, I just couldn’t get motivated to write.

Nothing feels worse than having a long list of things you need to do… and zero motivation to do ’em. Maybe you can relate?

This kind of rut happens to everyone at some point. The cause can be anything from a messy room to IRL problems, but it’s hard to know how to snap out of it.

I’ve tried pretty much everything to bust out of ruts during my seven years as a freelance writer.

I also try to make a note when something works. This week I noticed that my list of fixes has gotten pretty big, so in light of my own recent rut, I decided it would be a good time to share.

Below you’ll find some unique ways to overcome that stubborn, don’t-want-to-do-anything feeling. If you’ve tried all the standard fixes, these might help.

From Clorox wipes to shifts in perspective, here are some ways to get motivated, harness your productivity, and feel good about working again.

Dive in, and let me know if they work for you!

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