I’d like to share some of the knowledge gained during that fruitful hour by going over a few of the topics discussed, just in case they happen to be what is on your mind as well. (Participants’ names have been omitted out of respect for their privacy.)
1. A taxing situation. Speaking of privacy, this topic had to do with concern about providing one’s Social Security number on those
W-9 forms we often have to fill out when we land a new client. The advice: Instead of entering your SS#, contact the IRS to obtain an E.I.N. number (Employee’s Identification Number). Come tax-filing time, an E.I.N. will enable the IRS to connect with your SS#, while keeping the latter under wraps.
2. Multiple submissions conundrum. What if you wish to pitch the same idea to several editors of various publications? For fear of offending any of them, do you submit to one at a time? And then how long are you supposed to wait for a response? That could take, like, forever! The upshot advice: For each submission, you could make a slight change on the angle of the topic. That way, it doesn’t look like you’re submitting the exact same thing to all the editors, which could raise a red flag. (And the ire of competing editors.)
3. Is it ok to say “no” to an assignment? The consensus: Only when it is so out of your wheelhouse, way above your pay grade, against your religion or moral fiber – or the thought of it just turns your stomach. If it doesn’t do any of those things, just say “Yes!” You’ll surprise yourself at what you can do, and the satisfaction you’ll feel when you’ve tackled it. Plus, taking on something you’ve never done before will add to the diversity of your portfolio. As for the assignment you declined, perhaps recommend another (IWOC) writer who may be perfect for it. (Just make sure you first get permission from that writer!)
Much more was covered – and discovered in our session. Wish you were there! If you were, thank you so much for attending. If you’d like to mention other helpful advice that was shared ‘round the table, click the dots next to the headline to comment below.
-- Laura Stigler
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