Whew, what a year, right? As 2020 started to wind down, I was thrilled to get my first paid commission for anti-racism writing, for UK equality charity, brap. The title says it all, really: Reflecting on 2020: A Year of Hurt, A Year of Hope.
I also continued publishing my anti-racism newsletter, with slightly fewer articles as we headed into the holidays. Here’s what I published in December 2020:
Yes, even as an online freelance writer, racism rears its ugly head. This article talks about that experience.
“During my session, I discovered that for my trainer Black + quiet = stupid. So he was amazed by my off-the-charts scores in English and high scores in other categories.” …
It’s hard to believe that I only started writing regularly about anti-racism six months ago. So much has changed since then. I’ve had a paid commission for an anti-racism article, I’ve taught anti-racism workshops and classes, and of course, I’ve continued to publish new articles and highlight anti-racism writers in my newsletter. Here’s what I published in November:
This article talks about the “mistaken identity” that can occur for Black people who aren’t the only one in a given work setting. It’s perplexing and often hurtful.
“There’s underlying racism in seeing all Black people as a homogeneous and interchangeable group. …
I’ve been writing about digital marketing for more than ten years, and I have a reasonable idea of what’s supposed to get visibility on social media. But in the five months that I’ve been writing regularly about racism and anti-racism, I’ve found that a lot of what’s supposed to work doesn’t for those writing about diversity, anti-racism and related issues. So, here’s an unscientific guide (based on my own profile stats) to what’s working right now.
I’m not yet using live video, but it looks to me like if you do, people see it. That’s perhaps because it’s one of LinkedIn’s shiny new things (the other being Stories, which I haven’t used yet). Unlike other content that seems to mysteriously disappear from my feed, a lot of video shows up. …
Juggling has become a way of life, especially for solopreneurs. And with all the changes in 2020, the chances are you’re juggling even more. First of all, there’s the juggling you do for your business, where you have to be the entire C-suite on your own. After all, if you don’t look after the work itself, the marketing and your business finances, who will?
Beyond the four corners of the screen, there’s even more juggling. You may be looking after children or elderly relatives, or you may have volunteer commitments. Plus, there’s the additional stress of coping through a pandemic, when there’s more to think about, and income may be under strain. …
I’ve been asked a couple of times recently about the advice I’d give new freelance writers, and whether there’s any difference if those writers happen to be Black. The answer is: yes and no.
There are certain foundational things that all new freelancers have to take care of. But there are also a couple of additional considerations for writers with that extra bit of melanin.
(And before anyone starts with the “not all…” arguments, this is based on my own experience as a Black woman writer, and actual incidents I had to deal with.)
So, let’s dive in.
One thing that hasn’t changed since I gave my first piece of online writing advice 15 years ago is what you need to get started as a writer. …
Welcome to my monthly roundup of anti-racism articles from my fairly new newsletter. I know many of you enjoy those articles and I want to make sure you don’t miss any.
If you’re wondering about the weird title, the explanation is my September roundup.
So, what did I write about in October 2020?
Early in the month, I talked about internalized racism, which is endemic among descendants of enslaved people. In fact, it’s what happens after centuries of the “white is always right” approach. In this article, I talk about how it happens, and suggest some approaches for moving forward.
“For generations you have been denied a true account of your history and taught to hate your Black skin. …
By Sharon Hurley Hall
Is it possible to start a writing business with no contacts, and still get plenty of writing work? I’m here to tell you it is.
Over the years, I’ve transformed my writing business so that instead of getting small one-off jobs, I get multiple jobs from each of my clients. And, instead of chasing writing gigs, these days they tend to find me. Here’s how that happened.
Let me say upfront that I didn’t become a client magnet overnight. …
by Sharon Hurley Hall
I’m a lifelong Star Trek fan. I’ve always loved the values, and I’ve always loved the tech. And Vulcan Science Officer Mr. Spock (he had other roles later) is and has always been my favorite Star Trek character. Though I’ve enjoyed some of the more recent iterations of my favorite Vulcan, in my opinion, no-one can touch Leonard Nimoy’s original portrayal.
Spock was a man of few words, often choosing to let an arched eyebrow speak volumes. (Oh, how I wanted to arch my eyebrow precisely like that!) …
by Sharon Hurley Hall
One of the best developments so far in my freelance writing career is moving from bidding for work on jobs sites to having clients find me. It’s what Jenn Mattern calls “query-free freelancing”, and I’m a fan. Here’s how I’ve made that happen.
Having my own website is a key component of client engagement. It’s my home on the web, and the one place where clients are guaranteed to find out what they need to know about me.
You can’t just throw up a couple of pages and hope for the best. …
by Sharon Hurley Hall
Anyone who knows me knows I suffer from shiny new object syndrome, though I’m trying to recover.
I’m also always looking for better ways to do things. So when Basecamp said they were launching a new, improved email client called Hey, I didn’t think twice before signing up.
It’s not the first time I’ve tried new approaches to email. I was an early user of Gmail, and of the now-defunct Inbox, and I’ve tried other desktop email clients, too. Several years on, Gmail is the only one I use regularly.
Still, I was as curious as the next person to see if email really could be reinvented, so I had to try it out for myself. A few months on, my answer to the questions is sorta kinda. There are a couple of features that have improved my email workflow, and a couple that, in my opinion, still need work. …