BlogMutt’s freelance writer spotlight for November is on Patricia Douglas. We are proud to highlight Patricia, who is one of the most dedicated writers at BlogMutt. She is remarkably productive, fast, and good at what she does. She has a background in law and a penchant for the political—both of which come through in her incisive and clear-cut writing.
But Patricia doesn’t just write blogs: she also writes fiction! Please check out her website, Wish Upon The Moon, to read some of her work. She’s a true writer and a professional in every sense of the word.
Read our interview with Patricia for more about how she does it all.
1. How did you get started as a freelance writer?
Patricia: I started my freelance writing business about three years ago, after I retired from my job as communications director for a small non-profit organization and from the practice of law. I started by picking up freelance ghostwriting jobs from various job boards, mostly in the children’s/YA fiction category. Around that time, my dad became terminally ill so I was lucky to be able to do freelance writing while I cared for him. Later, I picked up a job as a writer for another non-profit organization which gave me the opportunity to hone my skills in writing in various non-fiction styles and for varied audiences.
2. What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?
I’m an avid reader and a politics junkie. I also love movies, especially ones that I can pick apart for plot inconsistencies and technical errors. I practiced tai chi (before a knee injury pretty much put that out of the realm of possibilities), and I enjoy aqua aerobics and going for walks in the woods with my dog, Lucy. Other than that, my non-writing time is pretty much taken up as primary caregiver for four of my six grandchildren, ranging in age from 18 months to age ten.
3. What is your daily writing routine?
My daily writing routine is to write from 10-3 everyday, with a break for lunch. Then I try to get back to it in the evenings for a couple of hours.
4. Do you have any tips to help the research process go faster? Good research is really difficult & time consuming.
I find research pretty easy going probably due to my law background. And I enjoy it. I certainly agree that it is time-consuming, but I try to pick to pick topics that will teach me something new. That way, even if it takes longer than I expected, I don’t feel it is time wasted at all. The information I glean is mine to keep forever and often I find a use for the information on other articles later.
I guess the only tip I have is to become really familiar with the various search engines and pick the one that gives you the most on-point results each time. They are not all the same in terms of accuracy.
5. Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is a tough question. If the era does not matter, I would have to say William Shakespeare. I read almost every one of his plays and have seen almost all of them in live productions. The sonnets I used to memorize for fun. (Weird, I know.)
“Modern authors”? I would have to say William Faulkner—love stream of consciousness technique and his character development.
6. What subjects do you most enjoy writing about?
I’ve rather surprised myself with the type of articles that get my writer juices flowing. My blogging profile for BlogMutt shows an eclectic list of topics, I think. Everything from international construction contract law to IT and cybersecurity to pets and real estate. I also enjoy writing children’s stories and other fiction.
7. How would you describe your writing style?
My writing style was probably best described by one of my clients as having a “high educational level” and “practical examples”. I also try to write most of my blogs in a casual tone like two acquaintances having a conversation.
8. What are you reading now?
It’s election year so my reading is pretty much political. I have a couple of Robin Cook books on the back burner, though.
9. How do you combat writer’s block?
I deal with writer’s block by going outside with my dog for a long walk. I need to breathe fresh air and smell the forest and feel the sun on my face and listen to the trees. That usually recharges my batteries and gets me away from the topic long enough to dig back in. Sometimes I just leave it overnight and whatever was bothering me usually clears up by morning.
10. Tell us your favorite joke!
I don’t really have a favorite joke (and I”m really terrible at telling them) but I love Jon Stewart’s political humor and Jimmy Fallon—just because he’s great.