There’s something unique about you.

Woman wearing colorful makeup in hi-tech fashion. Her hand is painted gold with splashes of color.
Woman wearing colorful makeup in hi-tech fashion. Her hand is painted gold with splashes of color.
Photo by ldutko — licensed via Freepik premium

Finding out who you are — what you’re good at, what you stand for, and what inspires you to travel down certain paths — is an amazing adventure. If you asked me five years ago who I was, my answer would be quite different from today. I’ve spent quite a bit of time discovering not only what I can do but also what makes me tick.

Self-discovery is both a scary and exciting process. The more we learn about ourselves, the more apt we are to not lend so much weight to what others think. …


Originality is paramount

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Photo by seventyfour — licensed via Freepik premium

Writing is a highly competitive market. Sometimes you’re even competing with yourself. Void of fresh ideas, you may be tempted to dig into your archives. We all do it, and it’s not necessarily wrong.

I often siphon through old articles to see if a light bulb goes off.

  • Should I modernize the main points this article makes?
  • Could I create a spin-off series?
  • Might I restructure this concept to suit a different business sector?

Reimagining can turn an outdated piece into a now relevant work of art. Expanding on the initial premise can turn the original story into a reference…


The writing process is free, but you still need the tools.

Vintage typewriter with the words ‘Invest in yourself — It pays the best interest’ on the page.
Vintage typewriter with the words ‘Invest in yourself — It pays the best interest’ on the page.
Photo by stokkurs — licensed via Freepik premium

A while back, I talked about how 2 Minute Madness’ rejection rate was increasing. Rather than stifle any writer’s growth by over-editing or rejecting without reason, we started encouraging them to fix mistakes and resubmit. Overall, writers’ responses have been positive.

But there’s a common thread when it comes to sending stories back to address correctness issues. Countless writers confess they use only the free version of an editing tool — mostly Grammarly — with no indication of a plan to take things up a notch.

Writing itself is a low- to no-cost process. The only required investment is time…


It’s not the price of things — it’s your attitude.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Every time the cost of gas goes up, Americans shake their heads. Some merely deal with it, while others exclaim they can’t afford it. The same goes for groceries, health insurance, and school supplies.

Trust me. I get it. At the beginning of 2010, my medical premium was $230 a month. I could see any doctor in the country and had a paltry $1,500 deductible. Today, I’d have to spend over $15,000 in a calendar year before my plan kicks in. That’s a big chunk of money, and I’ve no choice but to pay it.

Can I afford the rising…


Dealing with others’ need for drama in a healthy way

A woman stands with her arms wide open. She’s looking at a calming landscape of water and greenery.
A woman stands with her arms wide open. She’s looking at a calming landscape of water and greenery.
Photo by gajus — licensed via Freepik premium

Drama is one of the biggest stress inducers, yet millions of people embrace it — some even look for it — daily. Don’t believe me? Just open your favorite social media network and start reading.

After declaring 2021 as the year of self, I dug deeper to keep the resolutions I set. Nothing sticks out more prominently than the quest to experience less drama.

While at home, at work, and out with friends, triggers surround us. How we deal with it is dependent upon our personality type. Ignoring one’s need for drama (NFD) comes easily to some; my husband has…


In the quest to crack down, big tech is “guiding” the conversation.

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Photo by annastills — licensed via Freepik premium

Instagram’s latest stance against online bullying reminds us that big tech, and law enforcement, have unfettered access to our private social media conversations. The Facebook-owned platform’s terms explicitly state it will ban users who send abusive messages. And they don’t even need to be reported by recipients.

On February 10, 2021, Instagram updated its policy to include:

Today, we’re announcing that we’ll take tougher action when we become aware of people breaking our rules in DMs. Currently, when someone sends DMs that break our rules, we prohibit that person from sending any more messages for a set period of time…


Tracy Chapman‘s fight reminds us that perception is everything.

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Tracy Chapman (left) and Nicki Minaj (right) — Wikimedia Commons

In January 2021, Tracey Chapman and Nicki Minaj reached a settlement to avoid an expensive trial over the track “Sorry.” Initially recorded for Minaj’s 2018 album Queen, “Sorry” was ditched after Chapman denied multiple requests to clear samples from her original, “Baby Can I Hold You.”

“Sorry” was reportedly leaked into radio play, which opened the door for Chapman to file suit.

The settlement is both a big win and a crucial lesson for all types of creators.

Here’s what you can learn from Minaj’s $450,000 mistake.

Plagiarism checks can save you from unintended infringement

Minaj says “Sorry” was inspired by Shelly Thunders’ reggae-style song of the same…


By that logic, most of us couldn’t form a decent sentence.

A woman covers her mouth and nose with her hands. Here eyes convey a slight level of shock.
A woman covers her mouth and nose with her hands. Here eyes convey a slight level of shock.

The most pressing question budding writers have is: how do you write better? The common answer to that question is wrong. Writing like you speak sets you up for a slew of unnecessary work and potential failure.

Conversational writing has its place. But this lax way of explaining things is better suited for text messages and emails to family and friends. It’s informal, so it’s not the most effective way of making clear points.

If I’d learned to write by the way I speak, I’d have heard bicycle horns every other sentence.

In my 20s, I joined a local Toastmasters


It’s not all fun and games

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Photo by user15327819 — licensed via Freepik premium

For nearly a month, I’ve dealt with the aftermath of a story going viral. It’s not the first time it’s happened, but the pain is real.

I’m talking about the after-the-high come-down when you look at your stats and realize everything else you’ve written lately looks like a total failure. You can say you’d never let it get to you. My wager is you’re lying.

For me, it’s always a result of current events. When Eddie Van Halen died in October 2020, I wrote a tribute. Various outlets shared it, and in came the traffic.


Or, more ways to get instantly rejected.

Young woman stands with a smirk, holding both hands out. Her gesture is asking, ‘who, me?’
Young woman stands with a smirk, holding both hands out. Her gesture is asking, ‘who, me?’
Photo by stokkurs — licensed via Freepik premium

Rejection responses rarely explain all the reasons a writer’s work didn’t make the cut. How you respond to editors can wreak havoc on the submission process.

As an editor, I’ve heard hundreds of excuses for receiving less-than-ideal work. Here are five that encourage editors to say no — sometimes to otherwise exceptional writing.

Sorry, Grammarly was down

In the workplace, we could never get away with submitting a half-done report. So why is it okay to submit work riddled with misspellings, incorrect grammar usage, and broken sentences? It wastes everyone’s time.

If you cannot access the necessary tools for your craft, hold off on…

Pamela Hazelton

Avid writer, marketer & business consultant. // Reward yourself a little every day. 🆆🅾🆁🅺 + 🅻🅸🅵🅴 🅱🅰🅻🅰🅽🅲🅴

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