"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Freelance whirlwind of advice on twitter and more

@HeideWrite in #clarkclass. Photo by @Adamropp
#clarkclass, my two-week intersession class on twitter for professionals, has concluded another session. It's a highlight of my teaching because I  bring in a bunch of successful professionals to share their experience and advice.
Students love it because it's practical and relevant, and the speakers are younger and bring fresh ideas.
After each session we debrief, all students recount something that impressed them, that they learned. Then we post them on the class blog, #clarkclassUCO. You can see all those briefings there if you wish.
But one speaker I must share here is my former student Heide Brandes, @HeideWrite, who charges into a classroom--a whirlwind full of caffeine, energy and advice--about much more than twitter.
Twitter has been huge in this UCO grad's success as a freelance writer, but most of her comments to #clarkclass were more about living and writing. 
Still, she told the class that her goal was to " to travel for free, make a ridiculous amount of money to do it, and I will use Twitter to do it." Someone tweeted that, and before the day was out she tweeted that the universe opened with a glorious opportunity, just from that tweet.
Before taking the risk to live on freelance writing, she has worked in PR and in newspapers considering community journalism the best there is.  Now going on three years as a freelancer, she has a retainer from Reuters, and has been on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for covering the Moore tornado. Most of her work though is smaller and she said last year she wrote about 500 articles. Hard work in addition to all her other activity, including running a belly dancing school.
Here are the class debriefing remarks, recorded by @SydOKC: 

  •  “She has got over 100 jobs from tweeting.” 
  •  “Talent is as common as raindrops so you have to beat out the other competition through hard work.”
  • “Interesting that she uses twitter to connect with people.”
  • “You have to start today. One day will never come."
  • " You cannot wait for things to come to you.”
  • “When you have to succeed you will. She seemed driven.”
  • “We spend a lot of time thinking about what others think. Do not waste your time. Be yourself.”
  • “Don’t be someone’s bitch.”
  •  “As a writer, you need to be reliable.”
  • “She had a balance between business with social and fun side with belly dancing.”
  • “In regards to being personal, tone down, but stay genuine.”
  •  “Don’t let fear stop you.”
  •  “Have value in yourself. Don’t cut yourself short.”
  •  “Beat the deadline.”
  •  “Don’t settle with just meeting deadline.”
  •   “In general, she inspired us to go on.”
  • “People's opinion doesn’t count unless it pays your electric bill.”
  • “Don’t meet the deadline, beat the deadline.
  • “Be confident in what you do with your work.”
  •  “Don’t write for free unless it helps you."
@okieprof tweets:

  • "I discovered that twitter could change my life.
  • "I'm no longer in twitter high school or twitter college."

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