writer

#WriterWednesday: Pursuing a Career as a Writer? Here Are 5 Ways to Sharpen Your Writing Skills

For some, choosing a college major can be daunting. After all, you have a wide range of majors available, and the one you choose will help you start planning your future career. Many choose a major based upon their talent and personal interests. If you have a love of the English language and love to show off your creative site, then you should explore pursuing a career as a writer. You have different career options available including working as a professional journalist, content editor, technical writer, and online media writer, among others. But, in order to be a professional writer, you should obtain as much writing experience as possible.

Whether you’re currently applying to college and are already working with an essay tutor, or are in college and want to improve your writing skills, listed below are five ways you can tone up your writing and get a feel for what it’s like to work as a professional writer.

  1. Join the school newspaper: Does your high school or college have a school newspaper? If so, join the staff. You can pick which section of the newspaper you’d like to write for, or write for multiple sections. Not only will this help you improve your writing skills, but you can become more familiar with the activities and events currently taking place at your school.
  2. Intern: While in college, intern as a writer. You have a variety of options available such as interning for a local newspaper, publishing company, or a writing department within a company. Interning will help you improve your writing skills and get a feel for what it’s like to write as a professional.
  3. Hire a tutor: Hiring a tutor is a highly beneficial way to help you sharpen your writing skills. A tutor will help you improve your grammar skills and English composition, as well as teach you about the different types of writing styles. Learning the different writing styles will help you academically and help you determine which type of writing career you wish to pursue. Also, if you’re applying to college, you can improve your academic writing with an essay tutor.
  4. Start a blog: Blogging is becoming an increasingly popular activity as well as profession. There are various blog sites available in which you can join for free or buy a domain and host your own site. Think of what topic(s) you like to write about. Do you have a strong interest in health?  If so, start a health blog. Keep your blog consistent and gain readers. Also, allow readers to post and comment. In addition, go online and read other blogs.
  5. Freelance: Freelancing allows you to enhance your writing as well as post your content online for audiences to read. On the web you can find a myriad of sites that accept content from freelancers.  When you find a site you’re interested in freelancing for, ask about their guidelines and starting writing.   

Whether you choose to join your school’s newspaper, or start a blog, these are all great ways to help you improve your writing skills and lead the way to a successful career as a professional writer.  

Author Byline: Jillian Johnson is a professional marketing content writer who blogs on a variety of topics. Follow her @MissWritey.


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Alaia

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Alaia Williams

Name and occupation:

Alaia Williams, Business Organizer, Networking Group Founder, and Dot Connector

What do you love most about being a woman?

Though challenges still remain and improvements in our culture would be welcomed,  I feel like this is the best time to be a woman. I didn’t grow up during a time when I was regularly told or treated like I was less than a man or had to be subservient to one. Also, as a woman in business, I feel like I have additional opportunities and resources that have definitely made a positive impact on my life. While the group I run is open to men and women, I have joined organizations for women business owners in the past, or attended events geared toward business women. Those of us who are active, at least here in Los Angeles, are rapidly building connections, and in many cases, strong friendships. Most of the female friends I have made after leaving college are other women business owners.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Fortunately, no. At least not that I have been aware of.  When I started my first business back in 2006, I was a Professional Organizer specializing in residential projects. Most people in the industry were (and possibly still are) women. In terms of the networking group, I think most people are concerned about it being an active groups with interesting people to meet and less concerned with my sex.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

 I’ve belonged to several women-only organizations in the past, but my preference is for organizations that are open to both men and women. I also run a networking group and it has been open to men and women since day one. I do, however, have a mastermind group that only has women in it, and I try at least once a month to have a dinner or social gathering with some of my closest female entrepreneur pals.

Who or what inspires you most?

People who have overcome great odds to achieve great things. Everyone has different capabilities and what not, but when I look at people who achieve amazing things because they worked really hard, stayed positive and didn’t back down, I can’t help but realize that I don’t have any excuses for not making my dreams come true.

Something about you that would surprise us:

If eating bacon three times a day wouldn’t kill me, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

Ask for what you want. You don’t know what you’ll get if you don’t. Ask for what you’re worth. You’ll be bitter and resentful if you settle for less.

Website and social media links:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claudia A. Hoexter (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
Claudia

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claudia A. Hoexter

Name and occupation:

Claudia A. Hoexter, Founder and CEO of Alexa Brands, LLC

Inventor of the Beauty Spoon®, the innovative new beauty tool that helps you spoon out all the remaining liquids located in your product bottles and containers.

What do you love most about being a woman?

Everything! I love fashion, beauty, and design. I also love the hidden power we possess when we are confident, composed and in control.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

No, inventing, product development and manufacturing in general is definitely male dominated but I believe if a woman educates herself on all aspects of those things, people both male and female will take notice and listen.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I am currently researching the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a possible organization to join.

Who or what inspires you most?

All women in power inspire me, Oprah Winfrey in particular. It is amazing how she came from such humble beginnings to the success she has achieved today. I believe women can do everything a man can in business if we put our minds to it.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am the 7th child born out of 8 children total. I credit my birth rank to any success I achieve, as I have had to be independent, resourceful, and outspoken since I was a little girl.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything. The world is ours for the taking, but only if you are willing to work hard. Appreciate the little accomplishments along the way because the joy comes not from what we ultimately achieve, but from the process of getting there.

Website and social media links:

Mag

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski

Name and occupation:

Mag Retelewski, President and Founer of Clarteza

What do you love most about being a woman?

Emotional intelligence.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

To a certain degree yes but I also experienced bias since I was born in Poland.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Yes, I created my own organization and hire mostly women (not by design, but somehow it happens this way).

Who or what inspires you most?

I believe that Passion Persuades and this is the biggest source of my inspiration.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am a violinist (with formal schooling!) and speak more than one language.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Follow your passion and question a status quo.

Website and social media links:

  • Irish-American Heritrage Month Spotlight: Belinda Blakley (dangerouslee.biz)
DrKaRae

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ka Rae’ N. Carey

Name and occupation:

My name is Ka Rae’ N. Carey. My occupations are wife, daughter, friend, stepmother, licensed professional counselor and clinical addictions specialist

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love the flexibility and freedom being a woman affords me to be creative on a daily basis with my appearance. I can choose long pants, short pants, long skirts, short skirts, make up, no make up, and the hair possibilities are endless!

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

The helping profession is female  dominated so there is not much sexism to encounter in the profession.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I am a member of the National Association of Professional Women, and the Women’s Business Center in Durham, NC.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired most by my mother and husband. My mother inspires me with her  remarkable ability to make miracles with minimal resources, and never ending confidence in me. My husband inspires me with his awesome gift of calm in any storm, and the ability to help people see the positive side in the most dire of circumstances.

Something about you that would surprise us:

At Work: In my clinical practice I have three “co-therapists”, two turtles and a hamster! They do a great job in helping my younger clients talk about “tough stuff”.

When I am not at Work: I have endless energy when I am dancing. I am an avid dancer with talent in many varying styles including Latin, ballroom, and urban styles. 

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

I would advise them to not be afraid to follow their dreams and to surround themselves with people who will support their dreams.

Website and social media links:

 

Michelle

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Michelle Panzironi

Name and occupation:

Michelle Panzironi – COO and Co-Founder of Phrase Media, LLC and hypetree.com

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love that no matter what job I’m at, I’ll always have the unique perspective that being a woman in business affords me.  When I was younger I trained in martial arts and I used to languish at being the only girl on my level, worrying that I was being left out or unfairly scrutinized.  But that experience taught me that being the odd-girl-out gives you the unique opportunity to shine apart from the others and distinguish yourself – as long as you see it as an opportunity and not a handicap.  When you’re a woman in a man’s sport, you stand out and everyone pays closer attention to what you do.  But when you succeed at your goals, everyone takes notice and, most of the time, your male counterparts are just glad to have you on their team.

I find that being in this position helps me relate better to the women I work with.  There’s a solidarity that’s involved in bucking your gender role and striving to be recognized for your individual achievements, rather than just be a support-beam for the men around you.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

In the internet, haven’t really had any major encounters with sexism since I got involved back in 2009.  My first job was at a website with two female founders and, as I’ve extended my résumé and personal network from there, I’ve found that most of the men I work with seem to be part of the newer generation in their thinking about gender.  Most of the guys have close female friends and just see you as another co-worker.  I’ve since worked under a number of female founders and executives and I’ve taken that experience with me to hypetree.com.  My two male co-founders and I have several talented females working for us, whom we consider both valued resources and good friends.

Who or what inspires you most?

My parents and my family history inspire me to push everyday at what I’m doing.  My parents worked so hard throughout my childhood to provide for me so I could do anything that I wanted to in life.  My mother comes from a long line of business-owners and entrepreneurs and my father comes from carpenters and artists.  I consider it my path to continue their legacy of enterprise and creativity.   I strive to bring new ideas to fruition so that I can create opportunities for others, as they did for me.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I’m only 21 years old and I’ve already worked in the marketing departments of 4 different websites.  Also, as I mentioned before, I trained in martial arts and have earned my 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.  For reference, I’m 4’11”.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  There may be people who try to put you down or make you feel less-than because of your gender.  But you have to remember that the only person who can stop you from reaching your goals is you.  Respect yourself and you will get respect from others.

Also, don’t wait for a man to stand up for you when you’re being ignored.  Being on the other side of the gender divide, they often fail to notice.  Always be standing up on your own two feet.

Website and social media links:

  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Andrea Nugent (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Nikki L. Dancy (dangerouslee.biz)
Caird Photo

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Caird Urquhart

Name and occupation:

Caird Urquhart, President of Newroad Coaching, Life Coach and Author

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love that I have the freedom to wear whatever I want; one day pants, the next day a dress. In the same vein I like the fact that I can battle it out in the boardroom and still have my chair pulled out for me.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

In my industry being a woman can actually work in my favor.  Many of my clients are men. The world they walk in is full of locker room bravado. It is hard for them to be honest with their male counterparts about their fears and anxieties. Having a female coach in their back pocket gives them an outlet to express themselves without feeling judged. I can also give them a female’s perspective when needed.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Canadian Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Executives

http://www.cawee.net/about.html

Company of Women

http://www.companyofwomen.ca/

Women in Film and Television

http://wift.com/

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired the most by my 10 nieces and nephews.  They keep me current and remind me of all the fun parts of life. They also have a way of getting me to do things I might otherwise be afraid to do.

I must add that I am also inspired by nature. The simplest gestures like a bird’s morning song or the annual blooming of a flower never cease to amaze me.  Witnessing nature’s perfection makes me want to be a better human being.

Something about you that would surprise us:

By choice, I have never been married and I don’t have any children.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Don’t forget that men were built to provide and problem solve. It’s in their DNA. So let them.  I believe to be successful in business as women we need to have some good men on our team or at least advocating for us.  Sometimes I feel that women believe that winning in business means beating the men. Not true. To win in business means surrounding yourself with the best people, male and female who can help you achieve your goal.

Website and social media links:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Nikki L. Dancy (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Andrea Nugent (dangerouslee.biz)
Shobha

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala

Name and occupation:

Shobha Tummala

Entrepreneur – Founder & CEO of Shobha

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love that I can be both strong and soft at the same time which I attribute to my female ‘super powers’ —  innate compassion for others  and the ability to multi-task.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

I’ve been very lucky when it comes to dealing with sexism, and really haven’t had to deal with much of it. However, I am aware of certain situations in which sexism is known to rear its ugly head – like raising money and selling companies. Those are the type of situations in which people say that women run into sexism.  Occasionally, I’ve experienced sexism during our construction projects when we build out our salon spaces, but now that we have done so many, I am familiar with the industry lingo and know what I am doing, so the guys get over it pretty quickly.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I don’t belong to any specific organizations that are women centric. However, I do have a bunch of informal networks of women that we get together exchange ideas, get support and discuss issues. 

Who or what inspires you most?

Both my grandfathers inspire me the most. They educated themselves, built businesses, and went against the grain of the family to achieve it all. I am so proud of them. They forged their own paths and that is so incredibly inspiring to me. 

Something about you that would surprise us:

My family and I, including my very active and inquisitive two year old son, reside in Maryland, while my other babies – my three salons and product line live in New York, along with my team.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

1. Believe in Your Brand: In terms of creating a brand – or more specifically her brand – Shobha knew exactly what she wanted it to be. She was creating her brand based on her needs and personal pet peeves. Tummala says, “You have to believe and be passionate about it before others can believe in it.” In fact, when she first opened Shobha, Tummala was the receptionist in the salon, so she got a chance to not only get to know the clients, but bond with them. Tummala says, “It was probably one of the most enjoyable times in my life because I got to see every day what worked and what didn’t in a very direct way.”

2. Trust Your Gut: Tummala says, “For aspiring entrepreneurs, I can only speak from my own experience, and the one tip I can offer is to trust your gut.” She continues by saying, “You can do a ton of research and analysis, but when it comes to making the ultimate decision, it has to feel good, not only to me, but to my team and our clients.” Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but that’s partly why she does it – Shobha has the ability to right a wrong, change lives, and change the game of an industry!

3. It’s OK to Ask for Help: When thinking about the advice she would give to her young self, Tummala says, “I would tell myself to bring in more people to help me at the very beginning. I was in the business doing everything for almost 3 years before I really brought people in to help me. I was so afraid of failure that I never invested in the company or myself really early on. I wish I had.” It would have made those early years much more enjoyable for Tummala. She says, “Hindsight is always 20/20, but now I understand why they say experience matters. If I started a company, I would go about it very differently in some ways than I did back then.”

Website and social media links:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
Erika Lyremark

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark

Name and occupation:

Erika Lyremark (“Lira-Mark”), Business coach and mastermind behind The Daily Whip, where I teach beautiful babes to be bad-ass business women.

What do you love most about being a woman?

That it affords me so much choice! (I would have answered differently if you’d asked me this, say, 300 years ago.) I have an incredible array of options as a woman.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

One of the benefits of working exclusively with other women is that that particular hurdle just isn’t an issue. Having spent 9 years as a stripper and 9 years working in commercial real estate, I’ve seen the other end of the spectrum, and it’s impressive. I like where I am now.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Currently there are more than 150 women in my online community with whom I interact regularly – that’s organization enough for me! That said, I am a host for Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle National Tour.

Who or what inspires you most?

My dad. My mom. Oprah. Seeing my clients go from scared and scrounging to soaring pros.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I live in Minneapolis, and not New York, L.A. or San Francisco!

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Treat your business like a lady. Hustle, hustle, hustle, then hustle some more. Always ask for the dance.

Website and social media links:

 

 

Nikki

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Nikki L. Dancy

Name and occupation:

Nikki L. Dancy, Licensed Nail Technician and Professional Makeup Artist

What do you love most about being a woman?

What I love most about being a woman is that I am able to express myself emotionally and also I am able to be versatile when it comes to my sense of style.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

No, I have not had to deal with sexism in my industry as of yet.

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many powerful women that work in the profession of nails and makeup artistry and they inspire me to work even harder at pursuing my dreams and aspirations.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I never thought being a nail tech or makeup artist would be in my future, my goal in life was to be a Nurse Practitioner.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Never give up no matter what it looks like. The sky is the limit and it’s yours!

Website:

www.platinumfacescosmetics.com

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
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