Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meet Freelance Writer Ardith Quinne


My name is Ardith Quinne and I am a freelance writer and lifestyle model. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and recently moved to Mesa, AZ with my husband, a poet, and our two spoiled Maine Coon cats. I've always had a love for vintage fashion, and have incorporated aspects of it in every style of clothing I've worn. I collect melamine and Boonton dinnerware, and have recently become fascinated with vintage handkerchiefs and tea towels. I love to watch old movies, especially from the 40's (my favorite decade!). People had such a gentility about them, a way of treating each other with respect and kindness... I think those are values that should never go out of style. I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, thrifting, and I volunteer at the local animal shelter whenever I can.

 Ardtih Quinne's Freelance Writing Tips
I’ve been writing since I was a child, and at different times in my life, I’ve worked as a freelance writer. While it’s very rewarding to see your work in print, there are other benefits: setting your own hours and being your own boss among them. I often get asked how someone can get started in this career.

The first thing to do is to decide what kind of writing you want to pursue. There are many types of writing. Creative, technical, journalistic, professional, and academic are considered the main categories, with several genres falling under each. For example, poetry, short stories, playwriting, and novel writing all fall under the broader umbrella of creative writing. Training manuals, computer software programs, and lab reports would be considered technical writing. It’s important to decide what kind of writing you enjoy, and what you would be interested in pursuing in your freelance career.

The next step would be to research the type of writing you’re interested in. Find out who your audience is and what topics are most frequently covered. Become familiar with the style of writing expected in your chosen genre. You can’t begin to write until you know what you’re writing about, and whom you’re writing it for. A technical manual aimed toward training factory workers will have a completely different style than a collection of short stories meant for young adults. Luckily, the Internet has made researching much easier… simply typing “writing genres” into any search engine will bring up hundreds of websites with valuable information. www.thewritingsite.org and www.writers.com are two good places to start.

Once you’ve decided on a genre, the next step is to start writing! It is not as easy as it sounds… writing is hard work. Besides the creative aspect of it, there are many factors to take into consideration. It’s easy to overlook the mundane details of spelling, grammar, and composition, but they’re very important. Run a spelling and grammar check on your document. Nothing screams “amateur” faster than a story full of errors that could have been easily corrected with a simple click of the mouse.

Have people read your writing before you submit it. Friends and family members can be an invaluable source of advice. It’s sometimes hard to tell how an article or a story is going when you’ve already read through it a dozen times, asking someone else to read your work can provide new insight or help uncover mistakes you may overlook.

Once your piece is written (and rewritten!), proofed, and ready for submission, you need to select which publication to send it to. Ideally, you will have already prepared a list of potential publications and have read all submission guidelines. Nothing will get your work tossed into the “no” pile faster than not meeting the publication’s criteria.

Before the Internet, becoming a freelance writer was more difficult. One needed to track down different publications and mail hard copies of their works, then wait weeks and sometimes months for acceptance or rejection. Now, there are hundreds of online publications, magazines (e-zines), blogs, columns, and journals that offer a new writer the chance to get their work out there. Content sites like www.associatedcontent.com and www.helium.com offer freelance writers the chance to be published with little or no experience. Not all opportunities are paying jobs, but simply the possibility of having a published work under your belt is an invaluable and exciting venture. The more you are published, the more chances there are of an editor seeing your work, and the better your chances of garnering paid writing jobs in the future.

The final, and most important piece of advice I can offer: if you want to be a writer, don’t let anyone or anything deter you from that. If writing is important to you, then find a way to do it, even if it’s as something as simple and personal as keeping a diary. However, if you want to become a freelance writer, then patience and perseverance are the most important traits you must develop, along with skill. Learn to take constructive criticism, and to take rejection in stride. And most importantly, keep writing!


Ardith's Contact Information & Websites:


Big Beautiful Vintage
Ardith Quinne

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