Author: Missy Sheehan

photo show a cup of tea

Living on Deadlines, Word Counts, and Plenty of Tea

“One forges one’s style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.”  ― Émile Zola Deadline—the very word has the power to spark fear in the hearts of professionals in any field, that dreaded date often inspiring the same anticipation as a dentist appointment. As a freelance writer, assignment deadlines are part of my life nearly every day. I always have a deadline—or more likely, several—looming in my immediate future. And I’ve had to learn to live with that fact given my chosen profession. It can be difficult at times to flex your creative muscles when you’re under the pressure of a deadline. So like many writers, I’ve developed my own method for coping and keeping myself motivated. It usually involves lots of tea—black, with milk and a little bit of sugar—and locking myself in my home office for several hours at a time. And sometimes pizza. I have to admit, though, that there’s nothing like an impending deadline to inspire you to get things done. There have been times when I’ve been working on an …

Image with black background asks "Want your words to make an impression?" in white letters, and "Hire a pro," in blue letters.

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Copywriter for Your Business

It takes a lot of work to run a successful business. That’s why business owners tend to be such busy people, and, as I’ve learned from my own experience, we often end up wearing many hats. You might be running the show as owner, president, or CEO of your company, but if you lack a dedicated communications expert on staff, you also may have found yourself managing areas like marketing and public relations at some point. Maybe you’re even handling those tasks now. Instead of getting bogged down trying to write blog posts and press releases or copy for brochures, websites, and social media pages on top of your other daily tasks, why not seek outside help from a qualified professional who specializes in those services and knows how to use words to make a lasting impression? Consider these five situations where hiring a professional copywriter can help your business: 1. You aren’t that good at writing. We all have our own talents. If you struggle with writing or simply detest it, there’s no shame …

Creating my own dream job

Creating My Own Dream Job: My Journey From Freelance Writer to Business Owner

Earlier this week, I met a local college student for coffee. An aspiring journalist, she wanted to interview me about my own experience in the field for her senior capstone paper. Besides being extremely flattered that someone would want to interview me, I have to admit that the experience left me feeling pretty proud of how far I’ve come since I started my career as a part-time editorial assistant/office manager for Hagerstown magazine five years ago. My own path to becoming a journalist was different than most. I didn’t go to journalism school for one, nor did I major in English when I attended Shepherd University. I majored in Spanish, thinking I’d eventually become a translator. After I earned my degree in 2009, I traveled to Valencia, Spain, and worked as an intern for a nonprofit organization for a few months in an effort to bolster my speaking skills—which even after nearly ten years of academic study were woefully lacking. During that trip I realized I neither had the verbal skills I needed nor the …

Sheehan Writing & Editing: Making Words Memorable

When it comes to working with words, there’s no denying it—the skills of an experienced writer and editor can make a world of difference to a busy business owner who doesn’t have the time to write blog posts or an anxious author who needs a second set of eyes on her novel. Besides taking the weight off others’ shoulders, an experienced writer and editor who’s well-versed in crafting polished and professional prose can give a document or a manuscript the time, attention to detail, and oomph it needs to be truly memorable to readers. That’s what inspired me to found Sheehan Writing & Editing in December 2014. Every day I see businesses, organizations, and even well-known people like authors and public figures putting their messages out there—through their social media pages, blogs, websites, or marketing materials—but their messages aren’t clear. They aren’t concise. They aren’t compelling. So they often go unnoticed, or worse, they actually alienate readers who expect a higher degree of professionalism. I’m aiming to change that. I founded Sheehan Writing & Editing to …