Tag Archives: author

Writer On: April Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

Writing goals during a global quarantine? Sure, why not? Let’s make the most of lockdown.

If you’d like, take a look at my March goals and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Participate in StayHomeWriMo.
  • Keep working on initial suspect interviews.
  • Write a little (~200-300 words) everyday.
  • Brainstorm new scenes.

Reading Goals

  • Read entire first draft. (because I’m stuck plot wise)

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: March Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

So, the world turned upside down right after I posted my March goals. Did I reach my goals? Keep reading to find out.

If you’d like, take a look at my February goals and last month’s recap.


WIP Novel Plans

  • Reach 30,000 total words. – I’m closing in on 30,000 words, the halfway point of my overall word count. Hoping to fly past that number while in quarantine.
  • Try not to edit or delete anything. – Yes! I didn’t delete anything, which, for me, is an accomplishment. I marked some lines that may need to be revised or cut. Otherwise, I just kept writing.
  • Work on initial suspect interviews – It’s a big job. More work needs to be done. Those initial interviews are important to the story, and they introduce all the suspects to the reader.

Reading Goals

  • Finish reading Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man – And they called Ernest Hemingway a minimalist. The dialogue’s really snappy and the husband and wife duo is one of a kind.

How did your writing endeavors for the month go? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Pen Name VS. Real Name: The Great Writer Debate

Hello writer bees!

So, lately, I’ve noticed a heated debate within the writing community. When you finally publish a story, should you use your real name or a pen name? For aspiring authors, it’s a tough question. Have no fear, I’m here to help!

Today, I’m taking a look at the pros and cons of both sides of the argument, to help you decide what name will be printed on your book cover.

See the source image

Pros of a Pen Name

  • The power on anonymity: Some people find freedom in using a new moniker. And If you are sharing a personal life story, you can keep it private. Your boss and your church friends won’t have any idea.
  • Choose a more ‘writerly’ name: Create a memorable, eye catching name that suits the genre you are writing in. Pen names give you a chance to give yourself the name you’ve always wanted.
  • Dip your toe in multiple genres. Be fluid and experiment in various genres with multiple personas. And if you fail to sell enough books, simply reinvent yourself.

Cons of a Pen Name

  • Difficult Marketing: It’s harder to spread the word on your book under a nom de plume. Keeping your true identity a secret may hurt your book promoting process.
  • Struggle with building an author-reader connection. And it takes some time for the name to gain recognition.
  • Establishing a brand new persona. With a pen name, you may have to balance a double life. That might mean managing multiple social media accounts and writer websites etc.

Authors That Used Pen Names

  • J.K. Rowling (Joanne Rowling)
  • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Lewis Carrol (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
  • Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel)
  • Stan Lee ( Stanley Martin Lieber)

See the source image

Pros of Using Your Real Name

  • Pride: That’s your name on the cover of the book. Sweet success belongs to you. Some writers dream about seeing their name in a bookstore. It’s a major accomplishment.
  • Easier to promote your work with your real name. Friends, family members, neighbors etc. will know it’s you. And you can do more local promos as well.
  • One name, one identity. No need to manage multiple social media accounts or author websites. Also, forget the hassle or confusion of a fake moniker. Readers and business associates know how to address you.

Cons of Using Your Real Name

  • Your name may sound similar to another famous name. That might cause confusion to readers.
  • You may have a forgettable or fairly common name. (Shout out to the John Smiths of the world.)
  • You are writing within a genre where books written by the opposite gender sell better. Unfortunately, sexism against authors is real.

Would you use a pen name or your real name when you publish a book? And what’s your take on nom de plumes? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

To the Teacher Made Me a Writer

In the spirit of International Women’s day, I’ve decided to take a sentimental stroll down memory lane today. Let me tell you the story of the teacher who made me a writer and changed my life.

So Back in High School….

Let me give you an mental image of the kind of kid I was in school. An average B student. Definitely not one of the cool girls. I was awkward and lanky and a total mess. And I had no idea what I would do with the rest of my life.

In Freshman year, I wrote my first fictional story and discovered I actually liked writing. English was my favorite subject. Here was the problem. In my personal life, there was no one to encourage me to pursue my talent, nor acknowledgement that I even had a talent.

Until I Met this Teacher

For now, let’s call her Miss J. She was my English teacher in both my Freshman year and my Senior year. And she saw the potential in me that I didn’t even know existed.

Miss J was a kind and lovely person. She introduced me to literature that initially inspired me to write. Works like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Of Mice and Men’ And Greek Mythology. The first story I ever wrote was probably in her class.

Speaking of Mythology, towards the end of Freshman year, my high school wanted to remove Greek Mythology from the curriculum and planned on throw away a bunch of books away. The horror. Before they were tossed in the garbage, she gave me one of those books. Torn and tattered, it will always remain on my bookshelf.

Struggles with Self Esteem

This one time, we were assigned to write a scene inspired by Hamlet, the play we were reading at the time. I was so excited that I worked extra hard on this two page script. Even researched authentic Shakespearean language. After I handed it in, my teacher was genuinely impressed and asked if she could read it to the whole class. I told her ‘no’.

And even today, I still regret that decision. See, my confidence was under the floorboards at the time. I was incredibly self conscious, and felt like I was rubbing my great story in everyone’s face, and then everyone would hate me. “No, no, it isn’t that great. Surely, my work isn’t the best in the class.”

Man, some days, I wish I had a time machine and could tell my younger self to not be afraid of showing my talent. That being awesome at something won’t belittle others. And honestly, I still struggle a little with that low self esteem logic today.

One of her many sweet notes.

Words of Encouragement

In my Senior year, Miss J asked us to write journal entries, which she would read. I was still nervous about others reading my writing. To break from that fear, I decided to just be funny. My journal was filled with my (embarrassing) humorous observations, kind of like what you see on the blog today. And she loved them.

So, I kept writing. She said I had a natural talent as a writer and that I had a quirky voice. Thank goodness for that quirkiness. I was amazed and humbled and happy. My silly scribbles made someone laugh. Nothing was more fulfilling. Miss J wrote me these encouraging notes, pushing me to pursue a career as a writer. I still have those notes. The most touching note from her is scrawled in my yearbook, hoping that the next time she hears my name, it’s because I’d have won the Pulitzer prize. (Insert tears here.)

Her note in my yearbook, from 2011.

To a wonderful teacher, I’d like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for your encouragement. You inspired me to pursue creative writing and made me the writer I am today. And you also inspired me to start this blog, where my quirkiness has room to roam and where I can encourage other writers to write their story.


[This is a repost, but an important post, nonetheless.]

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writer On: March Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

I’ll be sharing my writing goals for the month with all of you. Come follow along my writer journey and check in at the end of the month to see if I achieved my goals.

If you’d like, take a look at my February goals and last month’s recap.


WIP Novel Plans

  • Reach 30,000 total words.
  • Try not to edit or delete anything. (NaNo in March anyone???)
  • Work on initial suspect interviews (That’s a big job for a murder mystery)

Reading Goals

  • Finish reading Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

How to Find Your First Freelancing Gig

Hello writer bees!

When I posted about the pros and cons of freelance writing, a lot of writers reached out to me, asking for advice on where to start. Well, this post is for you up-and-coming freelancers. How does one start out as a freelancer? Where are all the gigs?

Today, we’ll talk about the secrets behind finding that first freelance job and what you need to succeed in the freelancing world.

Before The Search

Before you begin your freelancing quest, compile writing samples. You can write a mock article about a topic you are passionate about. Or you can start a blog and post regularly. OR you can use those old essays from school (wink wink). Any written example that showcases your unique tone, voice and perspective.

Take it from me, starting out was tough. It took some time until I found any writing job. You’d think a Bachelor’s Degree in English would be enough. Nope. Part of the reason I created the Lady Jabberwocky blog was to build up a writing portfolio. And it did lead me to my first couple freelance jobs.

Check out Job Boards

Look, I found my first freelance gig on Indeed. And at the time, I wasn’t even specifically looking for a freelance job. I was (desperately) looking for any writer opportunity. So check out general job sites and search key words like “writing” “blogging” or “remote” and see what you find.

However, there are job boards dedicated to freelancing. Sites like All Freelance Writing and BloggingPro share both freelance and contract jobs for writers of all skill levels. Now, I haven’t personally tried these websites, but I’ve heard of other writers using them. Just be weary of those “make cash fast writing” schemes and research companies beforehand.

The Freelance Factories

Try Fiverr or Upwork. I’ve heard mixed reviews of these sites from other freelancers. While these websites help freelancers connect to customers and opportunities, these companies do take a cut of all earnings. Keep that in mind.

I was on Fiverr for a few months. It was a platform where I offered my services and set my own rates. Did I find freelance work? Yes. Did I find recurring clients? Yes. Were my earnings equivalent to the work? I don’t think so.

Pitch Perfectly

Sometimes, you have to be brave, pitch your talents and see what happens. Pitching is all about selling yourself to potential buyers. There’s no harm in shooting your ideas out there. What’s the worse that can happen?

Is there a publication you are interest in being a part of? Check if they have a submissions page detailing their pay rates and what kind of articles they ae looking for. Consider sending them an email with your pitch idea and writing samples attached. And don’t be discouraged if you get rejected or no response. Keep at it and a door will open eventually.


For all the freelancers out there, how did you find your first gig? What kind of job was it? And what advice would you give to beginner freelancers? Share your experience in the comments.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: February Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

I set some writing goals at the first week of February. Did I achieve my goals? Keep reading to find out!


WIP Novel Plans

  • Add 5,000 words to total word count. – I kept adding sentences and deleting sentences so my total word count did not change too much. I couldn’t help it. I added about 3,000~ words altogether. Progress is progress!
  • Change setting in one of the final scenes. (Rewrite needed) – Originally, this dramatic confrontation in the story took place at the scene of the crime. By changing the setting, it brought this unexpected plot twist. I love when your own writing surprises you.
  • Give some TLC to a character. One suspect in my mystery needs work. Frankly, I don’t know if it’s me second guessing myself or not. I reworked a character and considered adding elements to make him more complex. I just don’t want him to be the “gay one“. While he might still need a bit more tweaking, it was nice to spend some quality time with a side character. Even minor characters need TLC sometimes.
  • Rearrange sequence of events in the beginning. (Editing needed) – Oh boy, it was like rearranging furniture. This chunk of events in the beginning of the story felt so disjointed and bumpy. I had to find the right order of events, so things made sense. I’m still smoothing out transitions but I think I got it.

Reading Goals

  • Read a book. Literally one book. – I bought more books, but didn’t read much this month. I really need to read more.

Tune in next week for my writing goals for March.

How did your writing endeavors for the month go? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

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