Voice and Style

My 29 Extremely Personal Tips for Surviving Your First Five Years in Business

I quit my job five years ago, two months after making my first bit of money from my new freelance copywriting business. Sometimes, even now, I have these moments where I’m like, holy fuck, this is my LIFE. I don’t have to rely on anyone else to earn enough money to live. I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time each day. I don’t have to do anything […]

How to Write in a Consistent Tone of Voice When Your Mood Changes ALL THE GODDAMN TIME

You know what your voice sounds like. You write in it every day, after all. (Haha, just kidding. Did I make you feel inadequate by implying everyone else in the world writes every day?) The trouble is, this is a business you’re running here. And you need your voice to come out the same every time you write. You know, so you look consistent and professional. You don’t want to […]

On Writing: How Much Description is TOO Much?

I started reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn last year, and god, it was dense. Now, I am not someone who perseveres through books she’s not enjoying. I will dump that shit faster than my boyfriend the day before Valentine’s Day. (Side note: I like the 10% rule. If you’re not interested by 10%, put the book down and move on. Also applies to boyfriends, probably.) But this book had […]

Where to Find Your Writing Voice

When you run a personal brand, it’s insanely important to use your voice. But where the fuck is it? How do you find it? Fortunately for you, I know where it’s hiding. It’s NOT in your emails to work colleagues, in the essays you wrote for college, nor in the formal letters you write to your bank or your gas supplier or your internet provider. No. It’s not in any […]

The Stupidly Huge Importance of Finding ‘Your Voice’

You’re a freelance writer, so the ultimate deciding factor on whether somebody decides they want to hire you or not is how you write. Duh. And the thing that makes your writing appealing to someone? It’s not your impeccable grammar or your knack for using commas correctly: those things should be a given in the eyes of your clients. Having immaculate grammar is not going to help you stand out […]

A Practical Guide to Eliminating Excess Words

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how to make your writing slick as fuck. But perhaps that’s not as easy as I made it sound. If you’re not used to cutting out your own words, how do you identify which ones need the boot? How do you murder your darlings, swiftly and objectively? Before you begin this exercise, there are two things to remember: You must not try […]

How to Write with Personality

One of the things I get asked most often is how to write with personality. Witness exhibit A. And Exhibit B: Hey Karen, I was checking out your website your personality really shines through the site. So awesome! I am pretty sure my writing style is dull as shit at this point. Your blog about regarding the need for a ‘professional’ not being necessary was inspiring. I’m really look to […]