tactical rope

Six Things Freelance Writing Taught Me

For cash-strapped writers – which, let’s be honest, is most of us – freelancing is a means of making ends meet while doing what we love most: writing. But more than that, working as a gun for hire also serves as an awesome tactic to learn the ropes and pick up things like:

1. How to sell a pitch. Landing a freelance writing gig is like submitting a novel. You have to stand out from the rabble – which means crafting a clever cover letter. Something tight and professional (but not boring, boredom is the Black Plague of queries) which showcases your writing savvy. After hundreds of hours trawling through online classifieds and shooting off queries, I’ve got the CV thing down to a freaking science. That said, the tweaking and tuning never ends.

2. How to research. Since freelancers write across fields and professions, research skills are a stamped, signed and sealed must. It can also be kind of fun. For instance, a while back, I landed a gig writing targeted Tweets for a floating real estate honcho. I ended up submerged in a crap ton of did-you-knows about aquatic living, and to this day, I know more about float homes than most people are ever exposed to.

3. How to keep it sharp. Most writing projects have a word limit. For instance, I shoot for 1000 words when it comes to newsletters, and about 500 for articles. For Tweets, it’s even less: 140 characters. That means making each sentence count. The flip side of this is that I’ve been kind of stunted. I can crank out short stories and novellas fine, but I struggle with length. So just be careful about that. Believe me. Nothing more frustrating than plotting out a 50k novel just to top out at 20k.

4. How to self-edit. Kind of obvious, but freelancers have to polish their own stuff. Sometimes, clients will make little changes, but the writer must know their way about the grammar-go-round. No one’s going to hire a freelancer if their writing sample is chock-full of more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese.

5. How to stick to a deadline. Deadlines are super important. Ever finished an assignment the night before it’s due? When there’s an immediate cut-off, there’s no time to wait for inspiration to beam down from the heavens. We don’t have a choice but to take matters into our own hands – and that’s when the magic happens.

6. How to treat writing like the serious profession it is. Like accountants, freelancers exist in the frame of mind where writing is our livelihood. Once that mental shift occurs, writing becomes a hell of a lot easier. It’s not just a catharsis. It’s a career. And that’s what it’s all about.

Combat controllers from the 21st Special Tactics Squadron fast-rope from a CV-22 Osprey during Emerald Warrior near Hurlburt Field, Fla., April 21, 2015. Emerald Warrior is the Department of Defense’s only irregular warfare exercise, allowing joint and combined partners to train together and prepare for real-world contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

The Kidnappers

Hi,

I feel like writing the ending of “The Wedding Crashers”, hope you like it as much as I am. You can find the first part here;

The Wedding Crashers”

xoxoxox

Nuchamae

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Unknown building, outside London

Molly: William, let me go now or I will ground you for the rest of your life.

Will: Can’t do, Mummy. I love you very much though.

Molly: (huffed and changed her tactics) This rope is biting me, Will. It’s hurting your Mummy bad. Baby, please untie this for me.

Sherlock sat down on a chair facing her and put some antiseptic cream on the small bruises around her wrists gently.

Sherlock: Don’t you move too much, darling. (to William) Go, watch the door for me please, Benvolio.

Will: (shrugged) Aye, Romeo.

Molly: (frowned) Romeo? Benvolio?

Sherlock: (smiled) Our son is now pretty much into the classic literatures, Molly. He even mentioned that he wants to attend an audition for this year school play.

Molly: (surprised) Really? He has never told me that before but (grinned warmly) he will do fine, Daddy. William is your son after all. He knows how to act.

Sherlock: (grinned warmly) Em hmm…

Molly:(swung back to her angry mood) But that was not the point, Sherlock Holmes. You had better untie me now or I will make sure that you will live the rest of your days in the most horrible pain.

Sherlock: (huffed) My life has been in the most painful misery since the day you accepted Lestrade’s bloody marriage proposal, Molly Hooper.

Molly: You wanted me to marry him, Sherlock!! You said so yourself!!

Sherlock: I didn’t say such thing, Molly.

Molly: You said you have never wanted to marry me! That meant a lot already, Sherlock.

Sherlock: No!! I said that I am not into matrimony, I didn’t mention anything about you in particular.

Molly: (sniffled) I am not stupid, Sherlock. I know what it means when a man tells you that he is not into a marriage. If you are bored with me, you could just tell me frankly.

Sherlock: Bored with you? (Sighed) How could I ever get bored with you, Molly? (Caressed her cheeks gently) I don’t know how you did it but….you always keep me on my toes, brighten up my dull days.

Molly: (huffed) Brighten up your days but still not worthy enough for you to marry to perhaps. Let me go Sherlock, I have a wedding to attend.

Sherlock: (sighed) Why do you want to get married so much, Molly? What we have hasn’t been good enough for you?

Molly: (inhaled sharply) I have never thought of marriage for a long time since we have William.

Sherlock: Then why now, Molly? Tell me…

Molly: You remembered last Christmas, the day that you were bombed out of the Scotland Yard building?

Sherlock: (frowned) Yes…but not very much. I was unconscious most of the time afterwards.

Molly: (nodded, her eyes filled with tears) I stood there in front of the ICU for hours, doing nothing. (Sniffled) To put it right; I could not do anything. A doctor came to me and asked if I could sigh a consent form for your operation but I could not because I am not officially your family. (Sobbed) I was there but I could not do anything for you, Sherlock. All I could do was, praying for you and waiting for Mycroft.

Molly covered her face with her hands, her body shook slightly as she sobbed her frustration and pain out. Sherlock kneeled down in front of her, untied the rope and wiped some tears away from her cheeks.

Sherlock: Marry me, Molly Hooper.

Molly: (looked up ) What?

Sherlock: I might not be the wisest choice when it comes to your matrimony, Molly, but you will make me the happiest man alive if you accept my marriage proposal.

Molly: (frowned) But you have never wanted to get married, Sherlock. You don’t have to do this for me. We can figure somethi…

Sherlock pressed his fingers over her lips.

Sherlock: Shhh…., Molly. Just say ‘Yes’.

Molly: (smiled warmly) Are you sure about this?

Sherlock: Let’s say that I trust you with my medical authorization papers more than Mycroft. What do you say, Molly?

Molly: (chuckled) Yes…Sherlock, of course, yes.

Sherlock grinned brightly and kissed her fiercely. William rushed in.

Will: Dad, Mum, I hate to interrupt your special moment but….

Two helicopters were flying outside the window with Greg Lestrade commanding the armed troop. He was surprised to find that the kidnappers who had kidnapped his bride were actually Sherlock and William Holmes.

Greg: Sherlock?? Will? Stop!! Do not fire!! Repeat, do not fire!!

Sherlock and William put their hands up in the air. Molly stood protectively in front of the Holmes duos, blocking them from the firing range.

Sherlock: (whispered) I must admit that I have underestimated your ex fiancé’s ability to solve a crime, Molly.

Molly: Oh…Shut up, Sherlock.

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Sherlock and Molly Holmes got married in August. The consulting detective had received several hard punches on the face from Greg Lestrade before the wedding could actually happen though.

As for William Hamish Holmes, he attended his first audition for a school play that year. The boy began his acting career as Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s squire.

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