Is your computer after your writing job? Artificial intelligence and copywriting

Would you trust writing that had been written by a computer algorithm? Perhaps not if you knew its origin but artificial intelligence and writing are already working hand in hand and the time may well be coming when human copywriters will be required to pit their skills against artificial intelligence alternatives. There is still a place for person-generated web and social content but how long is it going to be before AI takes over the copywriter’s role? And more to the point, how on earth are we supposed to keep up with the natural language generation revolution?

Continue reading “Is your computer after your writing job? Artificial intelligence and copywriting”

Too much work or not enough? How to manage the boom or bust side of freelance life

I have been working as a freelance writer down here in Devon for almost five years now. Long enough for me to understand but not necessarily appreciate the feast or famine side of freelance work life. Being unsure of how much money I am going to earn each month makes for a lifestyle that is interesting, in every possible sense of the word. I will confess to having moments of worry when work doesn’t come in as regularly as I would like it to. I will also confess to having feelings of mild panic when I have a list of writing jobs that includes a number higher than five. Here are my five top tips for managing the boom or bust side of freelance life.

Continue reading “Too much work or not enough? How to manage the boom or bust side of freelance life”

National Get Outside Day writing tips – how to enjoy the outdoors and improve your writing

Tomorrow is National Get Outside Day, which means that I won’t be sitting at my desk or even typing, digital nomad style, in my camper van. Tomorrow I will be out and about with Two Blondes Walking, enjoying the outdoors and getting a bit of inspiration for my outdoor writing. Most of us have experienced the clearer-head feeling that goes with being outside but the great outdoors can go even further than that to encourage, energise and enhance our writing. We have three tips about how to get outside and improve your outdoor writing:

Continue reading “National Get Outside Day writing tips – how to enjoy the outdoors and improve your writing”

How to become a freelance outdoor writer

Freelance outdoor writing offers plenty of reward for those who love the outdoor lifestyle. Paid opportunities to travel, explore and spend time outside are wonderful when they come along but, compared to other areas of freelance writing, this is a competitive industry.

Campaigns such as Sport England’s This Girl Can and Ordnance Survey’s Get Outside are starting to work and the numbers of people spending time in the natural environment are increasing. This has led to an growth in requirements for outdoor writing but breaking into the industry still takes time and persistence. We have five top tips on how to become a freelance outdoor writer.

Continue reading “How to become a freelance outdoor writer”

Devon attractions or Devon distractions? Freelance writers be warned

When spring hits and the sunshine comes out, Devon can be a pretty (actually pretty) good place to be living and working. With beaches, moors and a whole load of other outdoor places to explore, a freelance writer in Devon could feel spoilt for opportunities to get outside and find out more about her lovely home. Which, of course, is exactly what I spend a lot of my time doing. Unfortunately some of this is time that I should be spending at my desk writing and paying the mortgage. Here are a few of my thoughts on how to deal with distractions when you are working from home. Continue reading “Devon attractions or Devon distractions? Freelance writers be warned”

Can’t they make jam? The post-Brexit food crisis.

I am in the grip of a writer’s conundrum here, on one hand I am doing my utmost to sit on my frustrations and stay out of the Brexit debate, on the other, I like talking about food (and of course eating it). Continue reading “Can’t they make jam? The post-Brexit food crisis.”

Frankly-incensed by Christmas spelling mistakes? We have a few helpful turkey tips…

For many of us, Christmas is one of the few times in the year when we pick up a pen and remember that handwriting exists. This is great and no doubt good for us but, after a year in the company of spellcheckers and predictive text, it can be hard work grappling with Christmas wordage. We have a few Christmas spelling and grammar tips for you so that your stables remain steady, your mangers don’t go mangey and your holly and ivy behave.

Continue reading “Frankly-incensed by Christmas spelling mistakes? We have a few helpful turkey tips…”

Paradise Lost? 5 life skills we could do with remembering

2018, my third year of full-time freelance content writing work, has brought about an unexpected, but much appreciated side effect. I have started to remember some of the old skills. I’m not talking here about ancient skills or even specialist ones, the skills to which I am referring are ones I remember from my childhood. Simple things like shopping in the high street and picking apples, or more complicated ones like preserving (easier than you think). It’s hard to fathom how change can have happened so quickly but it has and this particular brand of change has not been good for us, our environment or our planet. Here is my list of lost skills that we perhaps could all do with holding onto a bit more tightly.

Continue reading “Paradise Lost? 5 life skills we could do with remembering”

The day I taught Brexit to read a map… or did I?

My name’s Fi Darby and, when I am not busy freelance writing, I teach people to read maps. I don’t often get lost but have recently found myself wishing the irritating news elf Brexit would take himself off up into the hills and do just that. I have, however, so far resisted suggesting this as a possible solution to our current troubles because the hills are just about the only place left where it’s possible to hide from the latest ‘B’ news. It was an interesting thought however, to consider what would happen if, when out walking, I discovered Brexit, lost and confused at a summit (I have a feeling I wouldn’t be the first person to whom this has happened).

Continue reading “The day I taught Brexit to read a map… or did I?”

From moor to sea – the life of an outdoor writer in Devon

Devon is definitely a beautiful place to visit but for me, it is also the perfect place to base myself for my outdoor writing. I discovered a long time ago that, in order to write about being outside (and keep a successful outdoor blog going) I needed to spend as much time under the sky as possible. My writing, even when it isn’t about the outdoors, is stimulated by my time outdoors. Whether I am writing a children’s book or investigating the latest thing in business apps for a client, the outdoors is as necessary to me as coffee, frilly knickers and soap operas are to other people (not that I have any objections to coffee!) Here’s how I make getting outside and copywriting in Devon work together.

Continue reading “From moor to sea – the life of an outdoor writer in Devon”