Styleguides are tools that companies and publishers use to keep the brand elements consistent, to ensure nothing goes out into the world that contradicts their message to customers.

Styleguides are essential resources for building a healthy, consistent brand that people remember and relate to.

The best style guides accomplish several tasks at once:

  • Clarify the nuances of brand voice.
  • Make that information easily accessible to everyone who needs it.
  • Stay up-to-date as things evolve.

Accomplishing all of these tasks is easier said than done, and it’s always good to have a guide to lead the way when it comes to developing your own style guide. …

Writing is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s often a significant part of working professionals’ lives. Luckily, writing better at work is a skill that can be learned. And if you’re willing to do the work, you can easily improve your business writing style over time.

Most people know that you should cover your bases with things like correct grammar and punctuation as well as following the accepted practices of the medium you’re using, whether it’s a business email to a prospective client or a report to your boss. …

Does this sound familiar?: You create a system, it works like a dream, but you end up abandoning it two weeks later. Here’s why that happens, and how to fix it.

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From time to time, I used to feel this rush — This thing that told me it was time, once again, to figure it all out.

It’s the rush of a fresh start, it usually comes after a bad mental health spell, and I reveled in the thought that I could organize my life, get my work-life in place in a way that outshined all previous systems and, most of all, would be a long-term solution to the problems that always seemed to plague me.

It was the promise of the higher-self, that person who has it all figured out…

When you first start writing, the idea of opening a new document can be intimidating. Here’s how to get around that.

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

I used to think that writers were these weird creatures who somehow managed to get words down on the page in the perfect order. They were able to synthesize these amazing, brilliant sentences day after day, night after night.

And maybe some people can write brilliant ledes right off, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better. What truly matters is the end result. I’m trying to keep this in mind as I work through my debut novel, a story in the epic fantasy genre.

Staring down the blank page for my manuscript was a bit intimidating, and I avoided even…

We all know it’s a good thing to do, but no one tells you what it’s really like. Especially if you have mental health issues.

Photo by Sam Truong Dan on Unsplash

I like to take the simplest approach when it comes to my personal finances. I use a zero-based budgeting system to ensure that every dollar I make does something valuable for me. I revel in the simplicity that is a well-crafted spreadsheet or a quick calculation that tells me if I’m over-budget and need to scale back.

And part of this is because money is hard, but — and this is really hard to admit — a part of this is because I want, at least in one part of my life, to be normal.

And I liked to pretend…

Because it’s always good to have examples to draw from, especially when your job doesn’t come with clearly defined rules, and you’re dealing with mental health issues.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

As freelancers, we get to create our own schedules. But as much as we like to think we invented this new way of life, the truth is that we’re still playing within the bounds of certain rules. And that means it isn’t as unique a workstyle as we may think it is.

Take my average workday, for example. I thought I kept a strange schedule, but when I told my mom about my odd hours and mid-day breaks a few days ago, she said that it must be my Italian side coming out. …

We’ve all been told that clutter messes with our minds, but sometimes we need a little inspiration to get us going.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Mental illnesses have a way of draining you. But usually, there are also times when you feel the opposite of unwell. Those are the days when you’re able to make a mad dash to the finish line, ahead of schedule, and get a bunch of things done. Or maybe when you just feel like yourself again, energized and alert.

Those days are the best.

And it’s in your best interest to take advantage of them in whichever way seems like the most necessary. That may mean taking advantage of your positive mental state to enjoy time with friends and family…

A look at how one person is making freelance writing work alongside mental health issues.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

I think it’s important to have realistic and honest representations of the various experiences people have in the work sphere.

And when it comes to freelance writers, all I seem to see are those of extremely motivated, extremely successful, extremely ‘balanced,’ and probably well-meaning, individuals whose idea of chill is taking a ‘light work’ weekend and never seem to burn out let alone take real time off.

They also don’t seem to have mental health issues (or at least they don’t mention it), which is great for them, but I personally can’t relate to that.

So I’m sharing my experience…

It’s good to have goals — but you have to make sure you can actually accomplish them if you’re going to move forward.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

I used to have this idea in my head, of the person I wanted to be and the things I wanted to do with my life. And some parts of that picture are the same as they were back then, but some of them were so unrealistic they almost make me laugh.

And a lot of them were predicated on perfect mental health. (Does anyone actually have this? Asking for a friend.)

Over the years I’ve learned how to be better at this, to keep a more realistic version of myself in mind when I lay out the steps needed…

I wouldn’t call myself a doomsday prepper — but I can definitely relate to that whole just-in-case-of-zombie-apocalypse mentality.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

For freelance writers, prepping for the bad days usually means spending long hours on good or ok days writing.

And yes, you could always write articles far in advance of their deadlines to get around the potential for bad days. And, at the very least, I do advise setting an internal deadline that’s at least 24 to 48 hours before the real one to help you accomplish that goal as well.

But sometimes, when you already have a ton of work to do, that just isn’t a possibility. Or you may be close to creative burnout and while you aren’t…

Devon Delfino

Independent journalist, SF/F writer. Bylines: the L.A. Times, Teen Vogue, the Establishment, etc. | Twitter: @devondelfino | IG: @authordevondelfino

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