Blogging Without Limits

I’ve struggled for more than a year now with redefining Person of Letters into something new that reflected more than just writing, because I am so much more than just a writer now. I’m not sure what exactly inspired me to log onto WordPress today, but I’m sure glad that I did. Continue reading

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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!

Everything’s Cyclical in Writing

When I decided I wanted to declare journalism (well at DePaul it was Communications) as my major in college, it came as a natural decision to me. I like to ask questions and I like to write. I also love sports. I put two and two together and voila, I’m going to be a sports journalist. I’m going to kick Jay Mariotti off the back page of the Chicago Sun-Times. Well, it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

I briefly started and wrote a sports section for Lawndale News and was lucky enough to sit in the press box on opening day for the White Sox a few years back. Those of you who know me for a long time know how much I love to tell this story. When I freelanced after college, I would always try to snag the sports-related stories, but nothing panned out the way I wanted it to.

I had moved on from the dream, focusing on other things than traveling the country following the Cubs, Sox, Hawks, Bulls and Bears. My writing became more community oriented, something else I discovered a love for in college. I had almost forgotten about my love for sports writing until a few months ago.

Someone in my network posted about a project she couldn’t take on and I hopped on it immediately. Tickets, I can do social media for a ticket company. I met with the founders of HappyFanTickets, presented my proposal and hopped aboard that day. And I never looked back. It’s been a few months now, and I’ve been a part of something special. Working with a company from the ground up is truly special; you get to watch it grow and know that you contributed to said growth.

This is more than a project to me. It took me back around back to my love of writing all things sports related. I’m lucky enough to create content for and shape the HappyFanTickets blog, thecornerofcheapandeasy. I get to write about sports, have intellectual spars with people from different educational backgrounds and learn new things.

Writing world, thanks for throwing passion back at me. I appreciate it!

Have any of you had an experience like this?

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!