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writer working remotely

The Writer’s Guide to Surviving Working Remotely

Working remotely is the norm for many writers, and while it carries many benefits, it can also be lonely and hard. With no team-building activities, no lunch breaks with co-workers, and often no human interaction at all, it’s easy for remote workers to get burned out and depressed—something I’ve experienced myself as a full-time, work-from-home freelance writer.

You probably already know many of the reasons working remotely is so great. You can set your own schedule, choose where you work, and skip the commute. But for the days when it seems too hard, here are a few ways to combat the tougher parts of a remote career.

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What Is Writing Patience Lessons From a Typewriter

What Is Writing Patience: Lessons From a Typewriter

One afternoon, while typing an important scene for my novel, I ran out of ink. I had to drop everything, get into the car, and drive through heavy snowfall, to reach the closest store that had a compatible ink ribbon for the typewriter. It was a one-hour drive to get there and another hour to come back.

In the meantime, I had the chance to reflect on the scene that I was writing a bit more. Particularly, I had the chance to think about it in a different environment—there is something inspiring about driving through snowfall during the late afternoon, with the sky becoming progressively darker.

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best font for writing

How To Choose the Best Font for Your Writing

Do you have a favorite font? Are you dedicated to Times New Roman, or are you more of an “anything-but-Wingdings” kind of writer? Maybe you haven’t given your choice of font much thought.

I used to fall into the latter category, until at university I heard about a guy who claimed that when he wrote his essays in the Georgia font, he got better grades than when he used other fonts. Now, I received this anecdote with a healthy dose of skepticism, but when you’re drowning in essay deadlines, anything is worth a try.

I did get some solid marks with Georgia, but there were too many factors at play for me to be able to attribute my success to the font. How much difference can a font really make?

As it turns out, more than you might think, and it’s not just about getting better grades.

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studying a second language

What Studying a Second Language Taught Me About Writing

It can be difficult enough to find ample time to write between work, chores, exercise, and a million other little things that take up my day. Studying a second language on top of all these things only makes it more difficult.

For a little background, I moved from the U.K. to Finland in 2014 so my husband could study for a master’s degree in his home country. Since then, I have been studying the Finnish language on a near-daily basis in hopes of eventually gaining citizenship.

My only previous experience with foreign languages is obligatory French classes in school over 10 years ago, so it has been a real challenge to take on one of the more difficult European languages. I once heard somebody describe Finnish as “drunken elvish,” which is an accurate description. For instance, the Finnish phrase for “goodnight” is “hyvää yö,” which is pronounced as “hoover ooh-oh,” and difficult for me to get out.

Being a professional writer has only made it harder, since the English language is such an important part of my job. It can be incredibly jarring to go from writing in English to learning how an entirely different language works.

Although my studies have reduced the amount of time I would ideally like to spend writing each day, and it is a challenge to try and perfect two entirely different languages at the same time, in some ways it has been a surprising benefit to my writing. I’ve also noticed that many of the rules of language learning can also be applied to writing.

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