How My Words Got Me in Trouble

As a writer, you’ll have many editors. And many of them will know each other. Don’t make the mistake of talking too much—like I did.

What not to do
I wrote a guest column for a newspaper. But I made the mistake of talking too much with that new editor. Once I complained to her about the unprofessional way the competition (who I also wrote for) covered a story. Bad move.

Editors know each other. They attend the same conferences. They do lunch. They laugh about rookies like me.

I lost both writing gigs. I am sure my loose lips doomed me.

What to do

  • Be professional. Always. Be friendly too, but don’t gossip.
  • Be concise in your emails and when talking face-to-face.
  • If you have an appointment with an editor, dress professionally and show up on time.
  • Turn in your assignments on time.

As a writer, you have a boss: your editor. Don’t give her reason to fire you.

Pauline Hylton, a Journeyman student, is a freelance writer who lives in Clearwater, Florida.

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