It’s All About a Schedule

Since I’ve taken on this new project, I’ve realized that now more than ever I need to make myself a schedule. I talked a bit about the balance  in my Balancing Multiple Hats post. This contact position is more content and social media heavy than I have taken on prior, but I’m ready for the challenge and I think that the key to success is how I schedule my time.

While the time I have to write varies daily, I’ve sat down and made myself tangible goals to ensure I complete my tasks and that I’ve made the progress I need to stay on track.

  • Writing Sprints: The best thing about Twitter is having a strong community of writers on my side. I completed my first of what will probably many more with the help of Jeanne (@jeannevb). Tuning out of social networks for a while and keeping the TV turned off resulted in a quite productive hour.
  • Google Calendar: I am a huge fan of my tiny little pocket purse planner. I’ve decided to move into the technical age and input all of my meetings into the Google calendar that syncs with my Android. The automatic reminders of meetings are helpful.
  • A Blank Journal: I love having one of these with me to write down my notes about a project, keep track of information and have with me at all times to write outlines and ideas on for pieces. It’s a great compact item to have with me during my commute because it fits in my bag. It enables me to utilize available time during a commute.

What are your favorite tools and tips that you use when you are working on a project? Give me some ideas in the comments!

Advertisements

Why It’s Important to Stay in Touch with Your Network

In an earlier post, I talked about the importance of having a strong network and how my network has helped me gain new experiences. Yesterday, my network helped be secure a new contract position that has the potential to move my career in a new direction.
 
While my skill set, experience and desire to learn and write secured the offer (in my opinion), I would have never have found out about the opportunity without the help of Samantha, my former editor at Center Square Journal. She recommended me for this position and connected me with the right parties.  As a result, I interviewed and secured a new contract opportunity that has the potential to fulfill the desires I shared with you in my last post
 
I spent a lot of time this wk pimping friends & recommending them for paid gigs. We shld all do this more. @jeannevb
 
Keep in contact with your network and pay it forward. You never know if you can help enhance someones career by recommending them for opportunities. It can make a world of difference to them.
 

I Fell Through the Social Media Rabbit Hole

I graduated from DePaul University in 2006.  The most advanced class we had was writing for the web with then Professor Thiel. It was the most beneficial class I took. It prepared me for the changing face of journalism. Then came social media.

It wasn’t until January of last year that I decided to join Twitter. I was hesitant at first, but realized that if I didn’t adapt I would be stuck in the past. I needed to remain marketable and I don’t regret this decision.

I went hog wild and followed all of the national and local news outlets. I connected with my friends and some people with some of the same interests at me. But really, I looked at social media as someplace for me to publish clips and connect with my readers.

Boy was I wrong. Social media has afforded me opportunities I had never imagined.

Most important to me has been the network I have created. I introduced you to some of the wonderful people I have connected with in an earlier post. These people have supported my work and made me laugh when I needed it. Only on Twitter can someone tell you they are like blog herpes. I can’t imagine my life without these people, many of whom I have never met.

Twitter has also afforded me the opportunity to connect with people I had lost touch with, specifically Professor Thiel-Stern.  She’s continued to teach me through her journalism course hashtags.  She has connected me with people on Twitter who have been of tremendous support to me.  She was also one of the first people to congratulate me on the launch of this blog.

I’ve also been able to give back. I’ve introduced people via Twitter who are now collaborating on their own and bouncing ideas off of one another. I’ve helped spread the word of projects and retweeted blog entries and contests. Just as everyone has done for me.

This blog wouldn’t have come about without the support of the people I met on my journey down the rabbit hole. They have supported me, retweeted me and provided me with material to write forever.  I thank them all for that, even if there ears won’t stop burning.

How as social media affected your writing career? Have you met someone who is now your mentor? How did social media surprise you? If you read my blog, follow me on Twitter @sjezioro and say hello. I’d love to “meet” you!

Must-Have Tool: A Solid Support Network

I’ve grown as a writer and I will continue to grow as a writer. I owe much of my growth to my support network. The most valuable thing I have learned, and this is something I wish I had known coming out of college, is to surround myself with a strong group of fellow writers. This epiphany came to me in the form of Jeanne (@jeannevb) who I introduced you to in the first post.

Jeanne and I met in an advanced freelance writing class. We hit it off instantly and spent most of our virtual class sending each other direct messages on Twitter. We’ve remained in contact and due to her pimpstress ways, I have been introduced to a group of stellar writers who have inspired me to write. My network of Twitter writers are always there to provide guidance, support and tricks of the trade.  We grow as writers from reading and this group has provided me with plenty of excellent content.

My circle of birds have not only provided me with support, but with new writing opportunities.  The lovely Jamie (@Jamie_LD) introduced me to Malena (@malenalott) who extended me an invitation to become a contributor to BookEndBabes. I have also had the pleasure of pitching stories for and reading an advanced copy of Ronald (@rprestonclark) and the Left Side Poets’ Strange Fruit. (Strange Fruit drops in nine days. If you love poetry buy it immediately)

There is nothing more gratifying as a writer than to give back to the people who give to you. Thank those who support you unconditionally and do for them what they have done for you. Foster strong relationships that will last a lifetime.  It’s worth it.

As my thank you to Jeanne, I encourage you all to support gone Elvis where she will serve as producer if the project secures enough funding.  For more on gone Elvis and to contribute to the project visit the website.