This is how memories are made

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Dessert time! — photo by the author

Everything was on schedule. Anything that could be prepped before family arriving was done. The 26-pound bird was going in the oven at 12:30 pm. The nephews would soon after peel the apples and potatoes. I’d bake the pie in the countertop oven around 1 pm, and the mashed potatoes would be kept on warm in the slow cooker. Every dish and utensil would be washed prior to the turkey coming out of the oven.

A mixture of taking on too much and not-so-ideal Thanksgiving Day time management often leaves us eating so late we don’t finish dessert until 10 pm. …

Don’t label this publicly-edited directory as an authority

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Photo by andreyphoto63 / Logo by Wikimedia Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0

As modern writers struggle to follow through with evidence-based concepts, it’s easy to get lazy and rely on less than ideal sources. It’s the perfect way to tarnish one’s reputation and put writing careers at risk. Citing sources is about more than attaching a name to a quote or paraphrased statement. Writers must use due diligence to ensure the accuracy of credited sources.

One of the most common websites credited is Wikipedia. Yet, it’s not a source. Wikipedia merely collects information from various places — sometimes 50 or more — and restructures it in digestible chunks. However, there’s no initial vetting of volunteer editors or the details they submit. …

Tried-and-true easy methods

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Photo by timolina — licensed via Freepik

I’m all about Thanksgiving. The appetizers, dinner at a fully set table, delicious desserts. In my house, it’s an all-day and night affair. We kick off appetizers about noon, have dinner around 5pm, and cap the night off with homemade pie and eggnog about 8pm. We continue mingling well into the late evening.

With decades of Thanksgiving dinners under my belt, I’ve narrowed the best method to produce a delicious and juicy bird every single time. I also have tips on making the fluffiest mashed potatoes and easily creating heat-and-ready meals for down the road.


I start with a frozen turkey. You can go with a name brand, organic, or a store brand. The process is the same with each. …

Be aware of what goes on behind the scenes

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Photo by user18526052 — licensed via Freepik

How writers manage the submissions process matters, especially on Medium. There’s no working inside your own little bubble unless you self-publish, and that has its downsides. Publications are crucial in our quest to reach more readers and gain additional followers.

As a writer who also edits for various publications, I’m sometimes amazed at what I see on the backend. For the sake of transparency, I want to explain further how some things beyond the story itself can affect submission statuses.

When submitting drafts or published stories, you’re granting editors access to make adjustments to titles, subtitles, text, graphics, tags, and SEO settings. But it doesn’t stop there. …

Don’t underestimate the power of self-education

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Photo by karlyukav — licensed via premium Freepik

“I don’t care about your credentials.”

It’s what I said to an image creator when, after realizing I was thinking things over, he tried to justify his going rate. It was a knee-jerk response to a moment of silence.

“Your work speaks for itself,” I said.

It was clear he didn’t know how to respond. So he remained idle on the other end of our online chat. I stepped away from the computer, letting him think for a bit, hoping he’d understand what I was saying. …

Set mini-milestones to stay motivated

Hand holding up an ice cream cone. The background is a brilliant blue sky.
Hand holding up an ice cream cone. The background is a brilliant blue sky.
Photo by aleksandr_gavrilychev — premium license via Freepik

The traditional method of reaching a goal is to set up a timeline of tasks that lead up to the grand finale. But what if the process is destined to take months or longer? The lengthier the process, the higher the risk of failure.

According to Ashira Prossack of ForbesWomen, people often underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks. This often leads to goal abandonment.

“It’s easy to get frustrated if you think something will take three months, but at the end of that time period you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do. …

It’s the final step before sending a draft to editors

Laptop and cup of coffee with a scenic background. On the screen are results of a plagiarism check.
Laptop and cup of coffee with a scenic background. On the screen are results of a plagiarism check.
Photo by @goodphoto — licensed via Freepik; modified by author under license

I’m no word thief. You can hang me out to dry if I ever lift someone else’s work. Yet, I run a detailed check for plagiarism on everything I write — twice if I make any significant changes. You should do the same.

As an editor, this crucial check to make sure I’m not approving a piece riddled with stolen words is step number one. I don’t even consider a submission until the report is complete. Who wants to waste time reading and editing something that belongs to someone else?

Most writers, though, don’t even think about it. Why run your writing through such a test if you know it’s entirely original? Because chances are, something’s going to pop up. …

A slow, yet quality start

Welcome to Write, I Must — a publication for all types of writers. Write, I Must was started to embrace everything about writing, including its rich history. We’re thrilled you’re along for the ride.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be opening up challenges. Mainly for bragging rights, these will center around writing and reading tasks, thinking outside the box, and learning more about writing itself. We’re thrilled to not put time caps on the stories we publish. We think it’s better to focus on what can be learned rather than unnecessary omissions or fillers.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted as new features arrive. Until then, here are the first stories accepted into Write, I Must.

Keep your submissions short, sweet and readable.

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Photo by @kailash-kumar — licensed via Freepik

As a native English speaking editor, it’s sometimes difficult to truly grasp the hurdles non-native speaking writers have. Many publications automatically reject stories by writers who have difficulty conveying thoughts in English. At 2 Minute Madness, we’ve had some of our own struggles with the idea.

Diversity is a beautiful thing. We embrace it and never want to let it go. Readability, though, plays a massive role in whether or not a piece is accepted or curated. Sometimes I’ve fallen into the internal trap of accepting a piece without realizing how much work the editing process will be. …

Things to consider before spreading your wings

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Photo by @travnikovstudio — premium license via Freepik

Creating or reimagining content for multiple self-publishing platforms sounds enticing — who wouldn’t want to be read more and cash additional checks? But is that latest and greatest outlet worth your time? I’m contacted by content publishers all the time. It started long before Medium existed. The number of requests only goes up, as does my amount of polite declines.

It’s easy to get sucked into working for exposure that never comes to fruition. And let’s be honest: exposure doesn’t pay the bills. Heck, it rarely gets you seen by the right people. Before joining additional platforms, you need to consider the potential pros and cons. …


Pamela Hazelton

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

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