bagheera poinier

Who’s the best girl?

It’s been a hard week. We put our loyal Labrador retriever, Bagheera, to sleep on Saturday. There is a hole in my family, my life, and my office. [read more…]


freelancerI know what you’re thinking: “I hate meeting face to face.” And I also know why: Face-to-face meetings take time and energy. You need to get dressed up. They break up your day inconveniently, especially for a freelancer on deadline. You need to drive to the client’s office or agreed-upon offsite venue, and there will be traffic. Maybe you’re shy, or going to an office gives you nasty flashbacks to your corporate-cubicle days.

Last week, however, I was reminded twice why face to face beats a phone call or email conversation pretty much every time. The first occasion was a new client meeting—we had instant rapport, and I’m confident that an in-person appearance was essential to clinching the deal. The second was a meeting with a new contact at an existing client, and he remarked that he’s an old-school business guy and appreciated that I’d made the rather long trek across town. The additional freelance projects I’ve lined up will more than pay for my gas. [read more…]


Phoenix Holiday Author Event

A quick plug for the Phoenix Holiday Author Event this weekend, December 6th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix  (441 W. Madison Street). I’ll be among nearly 70 local authors from a wide variety of genres—fiction, children’s, spiritual, business, personal development, and more—signing books and talking books. It’s a great opportunity to meet […]

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Academic malpractice in freelance pricing

Busy day, so just enough time for a quick rant. I met with a colleague for coffee yesterday. She’s a lawyer by trade, with plenty of courtroom experience and a solid background in the technical aspects of writing, but happens to be new to the freelance writing and editing business. At one point she mentioned that […]

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The best way to run a freelance business

I was honored to be the keynote speaker at Communication Central in Rochester, N.Y., in late September, and I was struck, as I networked with the assembled writers, editors, designers, and publishing experts, by the myriad ways people successfully operate a freelance business. (If you’re interested in attending next year, there are roundups of the event here and here, with lots […]

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The wrong way to get freelance jobs

There are countless strategies and places to find freelance jobs, but this week, I received a note that represents a classic example of the wrong way to go about it: soliciting work from other freelancers with whom you have 1) no relationship or 2) no understanding of their businesses. Exhibit A is a pitch I received from out of the […]

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Writing revisions and doing the right thing

I ran into a sticky situation with an editor a few months back over writing revisions for a freelance magazine assignment. I’d written a short travel piece featuring three different locations, and received approval for the text. The art director wasn’t able to secure a free photograph of one of them, however, and I got a call asking for […]

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WordPerfect and other blasts from the freelance past

I met up with my friend, Chuck, at a local watering hole the other night, and he sarcastically called me Mr. WordPerfect. (He’s a finance guy, so I wish I’d had the mental agility to have called him Mr. Lotus, but that’s how l’esprit de l’escalier works, doesn’t it?) As I’m notching my 15th anniversary in […]

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Freelancer Conference: (Re)Invent Your Business

“Be a Better Freelancer! (Re)Invent Your Business” is the theme for Communication Central’s ninth annual conference for freelancers, September 26–27, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown in Rochester, N.Y. (There’s also an Editorial Bootcamp on September 28.) The agenda includes two solid days of drilling down on all aspects of launching, managing and expanding a […]

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Why I’m (finally) using a standing desk

You could argue that I’m a few years late to the trend of using a standing desk for my freelance home office. The truth is that I’ve been very happy with my antique architect’s drafting table (bought dirt cheap at a yard sale) for more than ten years. I didn’t want to abandon it, I […]

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