In my time as a writer I have learned a few rules that I really NEED to learn to follow;
1. Quit underestimating the time a job will take. I need to start doubling my estimated time, if it takes less I can always bill less
2. Stop giving the customers free work. If the assignment is 300 words then give them 300 words not 700.
3. Stay in the correct tense. If the writing is in the third person stay in the third person.
4. When the husband is home, put my earphones on. I don’t need to listen to every comment he makes to himself.
5. Quit underestimating the time a job will take
6. Ask questions
7. Ask if they want U.K. or American English. Don’t assume that just because they are from Europe that they want U.K. English.
8. Quit under estimating the time a job will take. If husband is home, triple your estimate
9. Actually read all of these e-courses you signed up for
11. Learn new media, no matter how boring it might be.
10. If all else fails lock child and husband in the bathroom and take laptop to some remote wi-fi location where you can work undisturbed.
Most of the jobs I am getting seem to be because I know the difference between American and U.K. English. There are different ways of talking and spelling that people do not realize, even the punctuation rules are different. I’m going to summarize a few of the most basic differences;
- Last letter of the alphabet in England it is pronounced ‘zed‘; in the U.S. ‘zee‘
- In England punctuation goes outside the quotation marks (i.e.: ” I kept thinking of you”, Ayla said.); in the U.S punctuation goes inside the quotation marks (ie: “I kept thinking of you,” Ayla said.)
- In England the past tense of many verbs uses the irregular form of ‘t’, though the standard form of ‘ed’ is commonly used. In the U.S. the past tense of most verbs uses the standard ‘ed’ ending, exceptions include burnt and leapt. (ie: leapt/leaped, burned/burnt, smellt/smelled, spillt/spilled)
Other common past tense items are;
saw – sawn (U.K) and sawed (U.S)
got – got (U.K.) and gotten (U.S)
- Shall and shan’t are common in the U.K. But rarely used in the U.S. they prefer will and won’t
- In the U.K. river comes before the name (ie: the river Thames); in the U.S. river usually comes after the name (ie: Mississippi river)
- In the U.K. the punctuation at the end of a sentence is a ‘full stop‘; in the U.S the punctuation at the end of a sentence is a ‘period’
Maybe next time I will cover the slang, different spellings, or different names for the same things.