Tag Archives: The Classic Quill

I’m a total waste of space!


I have a million lot of things I need to get done, but my motivation is in the negative numbers. After being sick for a month, getting the oomph  to get anything accomplished has been really really tough. Though I’m no longer coughing, wheezing or hacking up a lung, I’m still so freaking tired all. the. time. It makes me rather sad.

But, I will power through. I will prevail. I will accomplish all the things I have to do this month. This week. Today.

Okay, so maybe today is shot since it’s 2 am, but if I power through for just a little longer, I can say a got a good great head start for tomorrow. And that’s something to be proud about, right?

Okay, I am off to write some words that must be written. Well, more words anyway, since this blog post needed to be written too. Like yesterday’s post, since I’m still up, it counts as being on time for the day. Go me.

I swear, one of these days I’m going to write a post about something, instead of several posts that are basically a lot about nothing. We don’t need a blogging Seinfeld. Sitcom Seinfeld was plenty.

Okay, off to work for a few before I hit the hay. Namaste my friends. 🙂

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Get Involved!


In case you haven’t heard, tomorrow is going to be a big day for the Internet. Wikipedia, Readdit, and other pretty popular sites are gonna go black for 24 hours to protest SOPA/PIPA.

Don’t know what that is? Read about it here and here.

(Hope you did that quickly, since they were Wikipedia pages. Ha ha.)

Seriously — read about it here. And check out a video about it here.

I don’t do censorship in ANY sense — when the KKK wanted to protest in my hometown, I was all for it, because it meant I could stand across the street and heckle them.  Westboro Baptist Church? Let ’em protest and hope a house or one of those frozen blocks of airplane waste fall on their heads. If they are allowed to say what they want, then that means I’m still allowed to as well, and you all know how I love to express myself.

In short (yeah, I know too late, but stay with me!), SOPA and PIPA are censorship and blacklisting. I’m not for either of those things. And you shouldn’t be either!

So, thanks to WordPress, who is also a participant in the Blackout, The Classic Quill will be taking part in the formal protest. From 8am to 8pm tomorrow, you will be greeted with a message instead of some snarky remark from me. You’ll live, and I promise to come back with some extra snarky goodness tomorrow night!

Til then, if you can find a way to participate, you should, because this involves all of us, and we should all stand up for our Internet freedoms.

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Day 11, Post…er…


I don’t know. I’m not really keeping count. I’m doing good to know it’s day 11. LOL

Spent the better part of the day applying for new gigs. Some were for content mills, others were for, well, not content mills.

Still haven’t decided to re-try my hand at feature writing. As much as I enjoy creating unique article angles, interviewing people and writing features, I really did not enjoy the adminstrative end of it all.

And no, I don’t mean the query letter. I got pretty darn good at writing those. It’s the other backend stuff that drove me batty. Namely, the waiting. Seems like I was always waiting for something.

Waiting to hear about a query.

Waiting to hear if the article was accepted.

Waiting to get paid.

Waiting. Always with the waiting.

Bleh.

Now, I’d imagine, I’d hope the process has sped up a bit, what with email, instant messaging and even Facebook, but the one drawback to writing for content mills (or at least the ones I write for) is the almost instant feedback/results and relatively quick payment for my work has made me impatient. We are living in an instant gratification world, and I’m an instant gratification girl.

(Sorry, Madonna).

But really — having to wait days, even *gasp* a week to hear back on a query might send me up a tree. Of course, I would have other things to work on while I waited, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. And I did just spend a day applying for other places to write and I haven’t melted into a puddle of goo yet, and it’s been all of 12 – 14 hours…

Hum…

Well, I think I’m going to continue pondering whether I’m going to go the features route again. Until then, Imma just keep on doin’ what I’ve been doin’.

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Why Content Writing?


I’ve been asked this question a lot lately. Why do I want to make a writing career out of writing “fluffy” articles about “How To Recycle a Modem” and “How To Cash a Jury-Duty Check.”

My response: “Why not?”

But, Quillie, you could be writing feature articles in big name magazines. You could be interviewing and writing about politicians, famous people, successful business magnates. You could write a best-selling novel…a Tony-winning play, an Emmy or Oscar-winning script…but instead you write, “What Determines If You Qualify For Rapid Refund”!

Why, Quillie, why?

My response: Because I want to, that’s why.

But…but…you could be making WAY more money than you are now! You could have bragging rights about where you’ve been published! You could be a success!

My response: Been there, did that. Got the t-shirt. Donated it to Goodwill. And I am a success, thank-you-very-much.

I’ve been around the freelance writing block more than once. I know the stores. I know the homes and the churches. I also know where the scary man with the van and the bag of candy is parked, the corners where the winos that just want my money slink out of, and where the smooth-talking Pimp likes to pick up the unsuspecting and naive, making big promises to make them a star if they’re nice to him for just a little while…

Yes, I know the business. Sometimes, I think I know it all too well.

So, why do I choose to write content when I could be writing 1,243,675 other things? What it really boils down to is this: I write content for two reasons. I enjoy it and it’s easy.

Yeah, I said it. It’s easy. Lemme say it again:

E-A-S-Y.

Now before you accuse me of taking the path of least resistance, let me make one thing perfectly clear: You’re right. I AM taking the path of least resistance. For once, I’m not killing myself to accomplish a monumental task. I’ve done hard. I  was good at hard.

But hard is, well, hard, and after a while, you get tired.

Hard work is hard work. Hard work makes you tired. Exhaustion from hard work can make you resentful…

Resentment of hard work can make you walk away from a career you loved…

For five years.

So, why did I make the leap from traditional freelancing to content writing?

Because I could. What the hard work taught me was how to optimize my time and turn my interests and talents into marketable areas. It taught me how to research quickly and effectively, write fast, and ask the right questions the first time. In other words, hard work taught me how to work smart.

I mean, jeez, people, of course I know I could be writing for national magazines and/or newspapers. Of course I could write a novel or a screenplay.

But I don’t want to. That’s not where my heart is right now.

For now, I enjoy answering the easy questions. If someone wants to know how their social security benefits are calculated, I am more than happy to answer that question. If a small business owner is struggling to choose the proper organizational structure, I’m thrilled to explain his options.

Because what is easy for me to explain might be causing others to lose sleep while looking for that information. And I get a great sense of inner satisfaction knowing that I provided information to someone seeking an answer.

It ain’t about the Pulitzer, Emmy, Oscar or Tony for me. It’s not about being able to say, “I’ve got a feature in “——-” this month.”

It never was. Not to say one day it won’t be, but for now…

Life is easy, and I’m glad for that.

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Motivation


A fellow writer wrote about her inspirations and motivations for writing here. At the end of her post, she posed the question:

“What motivates and inspires you and how/where do you find the time?”

I was going to respond to her comment with what motivates me, but decided that I would write about it here instead.

So, here it is, the things that motivate and inspire The Classic Quill to write:

MOTIVATIONS

“Your services will be disconnected if we do not receive your payment by….”

“Add $xx.xx to this amount if not paid by…”

“Mom — I need $xx.xx by xx/xx so I can go to/do ____”

“Mom — I’m HUUUNNGRY!”

“It’s going to cost HOW MUCH to fix the car?!?”

“Ooh…Staples is having a sale!”

As the list indicates, my main motivations are money, especially to have more money than I need to spend.  Some months work out better than others, but being able to make money doing something I love is something in which I take great pride.

Now…onto the inspiration…

INSPIRATIONS

Other writers

Hearing my daughter tell others what I do for a living.

Telling people what I do for a living and seeing their reaction. The reactions range from shock to curiosity to skepticism.

Writing fuels my desire to educate, inform and explain things to people.

Seeing my by-line on an article is always neat. I get especially stoked when I see it on a website or in a publication for the first time.

Having newer writers approach me and ask for advice on how to get started.

There ya go. Consider this “Why I Write — The Redeux.”

Now I am off to do something that will fulfill things on both my lists…but before I go, I’m going to pass the question along to you: What motivates/inspires you to write?

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Why…


The Classic Quill?

Well, for some of you, this name is more than a bit familiar.

For others, it’s just a name.

For me — it’s the comfortable pair of shoes that even though I’ve had them for YEARS I could never bare to part with.

The Classic Quill was my very first writing name.  I created it on AOL in 1997. The screenname is a few years younger than my kids, outlasted my marriage and has endured through my countless stops and starts at this thing I call a writing career.

So, it only seemed fitting that, since my career seems to have finally taken root and is starting to grow, I pay homage to the one constant throughout the years.

When I was trying to think of a screenname for AOL, I knew I wanted it to be writing-related, but was drawing a blank. As I was sitting at my desk, killing myself trying to come up with something, I noticed a box on the hutch. At the time,  one of my hobbies was calligraphy, and I had recently received a quill pen and inkwell as a gift.  What caught my eye was the blurb on the box:

“A classic calligraphy set. Quill pen, ink, and parchment paper included.”

Hmmm…Classic…Quill…

Thus The Classic Quill was created.

I’ve had several writing-related names since then, but no matter how many new names I create, I’ve never even considered deleting TCQ from the list. It’s part of my history. I received my first article acceptance at an email addy with that name. I met a LOT of people, some of whom are still in my life right now with that screenname. The Classic Quill is a part of me and I don’t imagine a time when it will not be.

I am The Classic Quill. Welcome to my world.

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