I'm looking back and ahead to the speakers my intersession class on twitter for journalists; it resumes for a week Jan. 6.
Our third speaker before Christmas break was former student, now friend and colleague Heide Brandes, who just marked her first anniversary making a living as a freelance writer.
(Yes, she's the student who was featured in the ad with me, "Mentors matter" a copy of which was posted on this blog on Dec. 12. I am astounded at this, because few make it work, and I do know how hard and hectic such a work life is. But she is a woman of boundless energy and optimism and talents.
She spoke of many things, some unique to college classes by the way, like the sex life of possums. Other subjects included caving, medieval re-enactments and belly dancing, all of which she does.
So what did she tell my students about writing? Here's the practical advice, mentioned by the students in our debriefing after she left, recorded by stellar student Lacey Rhodes @laceymrhodes.
- Be fearless
- You are creating your brand.
- Don’t ever have a screaming match with someone who can fire you.
- Don’t try too hard to create a brand just be yourself.
- Everyone you follow is a potential story or source.
- Don’t get attached to your work.
- Twitter is a a huge job tool.
- You do not have to be a phenomenal writer just be reliable and trustworthy.
- Don’t forget the people who are not on twitter.
- Again, do NOT get attached to your articles, they will get torn apart.
- Always get paid! Never let someone screw you out of money.
- If you want to be a good writer than read good writers. Transcends through all industries.
- Life should be fun.
- All of your followers are sources, follow more important people.
- Don’t be afraid to make the contact with someone.
- Don’t become too lazy on twitter.
- Be ethical, ALWAYS.
- Enjoys that she is an all-around writer. Can write everything.
- Everything I put on twitter serves a benefit.
- Networking is the new marketing.