Monthly Archives: March 2018

What I Learned From an Unpaid Writing Internship.

[Quick tragic, then not tragic, backstory]

After I graduated from college with my English degree, I had a tough time finding a writing related job. A really tough time. I felt incredibly defeated and discouraged. I’d like to think I worked hard in school, even got my bachelors. Was it all for nothing? Was I just going to become a another barista with a college degree?

I heard a lot of no’s. A lot of ‘sorry, you’re just not quite what we’re looking for’. I was under a lot of pressure at home to find something, anything at that point. Even finding a non-writing job never seemed to work out.

Then I heard a yes. Granted, a small yes. Unfortunately, an unpaid yes. But a yes, nonetheless. The dog was thrown a bone.

I got an internship for a website called MickeyBlog, a blog about everything Disney related. Seriously though, if your a Disney fiend like me, it’s a blog you should definitely check out. This site was connected to a larger company called MickeyTravels that plans free vacations to Disney theme parks. MickeyBlog, not only being a hide to all things Disney,  was meant to boost traffic to MickeyTravels and convince people to book a trip to Disney park with them.

Me being a huge Disney fan, and thinking to myself “something is something”, I began to write articles for MickeyBlog. I wrote a couple articles a week, about 500-700 words a piece. Schedule was really flexible and I was working from home. Overall, a good experience.

The internship also lead me to a paid writing job. For that, I’m grateful.

(I’ll talk about my new job another day. And no, it’s not crazy, big money. But again, something is something.)

This isn’t business advice, or some statement on the job market. This is just my experience as a writer in a writing/blogging internship. (Although, i’ll admit, not being paid wasn’t ideal).

However, even though I wasn’t paid, it was still a rewarding experience and I grew as a writer because of it. It was my first step into a writing “career”.

This is what I learned from my internship with MickeyBlog.

—–

Published Authorship

It’s nice to have your name credited to something published. Even if it’s a small article or a short story. I wrote about 20 posts, all ranging from the best restaurants at Epcot to fun facts about Mickey Mouse. It was fulfilling to have my name tagged on an article as a writer. Be proud of the work that has your name on it. Every little bit helps in the long run.

The Work Experience

Meeting certain word counts. Learning about what is acceptable to post on a website/blog. Writing for a larger audience. Taking topics given to me and running with it. How to create eye-catching titles. These are just some of the things I learned about during my internship. What I learned is so valuable and important, especially for other job opportunities in the future.

Good For Resume and References

Writing for MickeyBlog allowed me to build up a writing portfolio. Providing blog posts and having articles published, I think, looks good on my resume. I had experience blogging on two different platforms. While I was still in the internship, I was still job hunting. And being able to send a link with all my articles was awesome, I never had to rummage for my old material. (If you’re interested, you can check them out). I really do think writing for the blogs, both MickeyBlog and this one, Lady Jabberwocky, helped me earn a paid position for another website. Also, I earned a great reference for future job prospects.

How to Sell

Part of the internship involved convincing readers to book a trip through the main, trip-planning website. I learned how to make things sound appealing to potential customers. Really paint the picture for them. I’m a writer, not a car salesmen, or a travel agent. But I used description to create an image. The image of an ideal Disney Vacation. Describing how magically delicious Disney food is or how one-in-a-lifetime activities are at a Disney Park. Stuff like that gets people’s imaginations going.

Researching Skills

Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, but I had to make sure everything I wrote about was accurate. Since most of my work involved writing about the Disney parks, and since I wasn’t traveling to the parks myself (which would have been so cool), I needed to do a lot of research. Cross reference with other blogs, check official Disney media, even peek at social media images from Disney fans. I had to be 100% sure there was such a thing as a Mickey shaped waffle (yes, they exist), or certain facts on films were true (Did you know Sebastian from the Little Mermaid was almost British?) or else I’d be misinforming readers.

Starting Somewhere

Future authors, we have to start somewhere. That’s part of the reason why I started this blog, to put myself out there (as terrifying as that sounds). So, the unpaid internships and small writing gigs, they made lead to something a little better, like a medium sized writing gig.

For the writers for are having a hard time finding work that actually involves writing, It takes time, but “yes” does happen.


Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Are you a Morning Writer or a Night Writer?

Okay.

I’ll admit it, I’m a Night Writer.

For me, I feel more creative and write better at night. The time when normal people are supposed to be in comfy pjs and sound asleep.  Not me, not while fictional characters are pitter-pattering in the attic.

Like the other night, around midnight, my fingers were flying on the keyboard. Work writing, blog writing, fiction writing, for some reason, I get any kind of writing done with heavy eyelids in the wee hours of the night.

It got me thinking about what time other writers write. It can’t just be me writing at 1 in the morning, like a vampire, can it?

Is there such a thing as the best time to write? What kind of writer are you?

Morning Writers.

There are advantages to writing first thing in the morning. You have fresh and clear mind, before you start your day. More willpower and motivation early on in the day. Some people wake up bright and energized and ready to write. Word on the street, with the scientists (Yeah, I’m bringing the scientists into this), say that creative part of your brain is most active during and after sleep. Isn’t that cool?

Night Writers.

The day is done, no more distractions.  Writers who work at night tend to have stocked up ideas throughout the day. When your brain is tired, you start thinking out of the box. You can actually relax and be creative without being too critical of what you put on paper.

Night and Day

I heard a quote the other day, by E.B. White, that gave me the shivers.

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

Don’t just wait for the right time to write. Make do with the time you have. Yes, there’s school, work, kids, life, but don’t let all that stop you. There’s always time to write.

I know I need to work on that, making good writing habits for myself. Sometimes I feel like writing is like flying a kite and I’m waiting for the wind to be just right before my story flies. That’s not right, I need to fix that.

And if you are feeling a bit stuck, or want to shake up your writing routine, maybe try writing during a different time of day. See if that changes anything.


What time of day do you write best at? Are you a morning or night writer? Let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear for you.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Writing Prompt Weekend #14

How does your character pass the time when they are alone?


It’s one thing to see how a character interacts with others, in public. It’s another to to see what a character does when they are by themselves, when no one else is around.

Write your response in the comments below, best entry gets a shout out next week!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

A Jabberwocky Does Tags: The Writer Tag.

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I’ve mostly written short stories, but I’d like to have a novel on the shelf someday. In terms of fiction writing, I love writing stories of fantasy and mystery. I’ve always been split between those two genres though. I’d like to think there’s a bit of curiosity sprinkled into the stories I write, If that makes sense. Topics? Well, I try to include elements of real life in my stories. Like real issues people deal with, like strained relationships and personal struggles. (Does that answer your question?)

How long have you been writing?

Since high school, way back in Freshman year when I was an infant. I started writing a few short stories here and there for fun, to make people laugh, not to spark some profound emotion. Later on, I had a few assignments where I had to compose scenes based on works we read in class, like Shakespeare and Greek Mythology. I really enjoyed those kind of assignments. Using my imagination and molding a story just felt right, but I was so shy and insecure about my writing, I let very few people read.  I did have one teacher who was really encouraging about my writing and thought I had a unique, “quirky”, voice. She influenced me to earn my degree in English after I graduated.

Why do you write?

You know when you pick up a book and you can’t put it down? Because you’re so absorbed in the story and characters? I want to write a story that grabs the reader’s attention. A story that makes people feel a deeper emotion and they can relate to the characters in some way. When words on a page can connect to someone like that, that’s special. To me, writing is like magic.

When is the best time to write?

For some reason, I write best around Midnight. When I probably should be in cozy pijamas and asleep, is when I usually feel like writing. But I do have the occasional afternoon writing session, but mostly I tend to write after the sun goes down. (Plus, right before a deadline, because I’m a procrastinator and pressure makes diamonds)

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

I love…

  • Dialogue, like conversations between characters. That’s usually what comes first to me when I start a scene, I write around the dialogue. (Is that weird?)
  • Creating Characters, building them up to be flawed and real and wonderful.
  • When you find that “right word” that you’ve been searching for that just fits. Feels like hitting the ball out the park.

I hate…

  • Descriptions of the setting, especially when describing the outdoors and nature.
  • When ideas come to me and I can’t get to them right away. Or no idea comes at all.
  • When that teeny voice in your head tells you all your work is terrible. (Every writer has one, not just the crazy people)

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Still learning how to overcome writer’s block, if i’m honest. But when I am stuck, talking my ideas out with someone or taking a break to reconfigure my thoughts, helps. Sometimes, I just need to forget about being perfect and allow myself to write utter garbage.

Are you working on something at the moment?

Slowly but surely, I am writing a mystery. It takes place in New York, 1924, and it’s about a detective and his apprentice solving the murder of an actress. Recently, I just got hired to write reviews on comic books for a website, so that’s exciting. That is taking up most of my time at the moment. Also, keeping up this blog too. So, juggling a couple of writing projects here.

What are your writing goals this year?

  • Set a routine for writing. Right now, I’m focusing on work writing and not on my personal writing projects, like this blog and my fiction writing. I want to establish a schedule, actually stick to it, and find time for everything.
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again. Last year was a fun and well needed challenge. I definitely want to try again.
  • To continue writing my detective story. Smooth out all the bumps and really focus more on what I want to write.

Found the writer tag on Drizzle and Hurricane Books ! Check out her answers!

Think this is going to become a new series on my blog, doing some tags for all you guys. So, send me some fun tags you’d like me to do. Tags about writing, books, being a human, anything.

I believe the expression is “tag me” (Do the kids still say that?).

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

To The Ladies (A Poem)

To the ladies with hearts like a monarch butterfly.

To the ladies who pirouette through hurricanes.

To the ladies scribbling the story in the quiet.

To the ladies worshiping every curve on the road of their silhouette.

To the ladies who untied their corset strings and broke free.

To the ladies with history painted on their skin like graffiti.

To the ladies who have an opera in their spirit.

To the ladies refusing to apologize for a bold footstep.

To the ladies plucking stars out of the sky for their children.

 

Let glasses be raised.

Let the applause be thunderous.

Redefine what it means to be a woman.


A love letter to every kind of lady there is out there and every lady who has come before us on this International Women’s Day.

P.s. – I don’t consider myself a great poet, but today, I had the writing bug, and didn’t have the heart to ignore it this time.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Prompt Weekend #13

Suddenly, the power goes out! Your character(s) are stuck with no electricity, no internet. Just darkness. What happens now? What caused the lights to go out? How does your character  handle the situation?

Can be any genre, any time period.


Unlucky #13, lovelies! So, yesterday, a big storm hit New York, and we lost power for a couple hours. That’s what inspired this weekend’s prompt. Makes you take for granted the little things, y’know? Like electricity and internet. Anyways, write your response in the comments, best one gets a shout out next week!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.