For over 15-years ShawnTe has provided freelance services for private clients and major companies. Since 2008, she has focused her talents to freelance writing providing clients with her years of experience in fashion, beauty, finance, Judeo-Christian studies, and other topics. Her work is featured on various websites, blogs, and online magazines such as Woman's Day, Daily Glow, Florsheim's Style Blog, Buyer's Zone, Yahoo! Shine, and Vista Magazine.
Hello ShawnTe and welcome to Mandy’s Pages? It is a great pleasure to have you here today! Please introduce yourself a bit. How would you describe yourself as a writer?
Hi, my name is ShawnTe Pierce and I am a fashion designer/freelance writer. I am a teacher/coach when it comes to writing. I like to use my knowledge and talents to teach and coach others. I’ve also been that way. One day I wouldn’t mind being an instructor for a class on fashion design. I love explaining why certain elements are important, which I think is why my fashion articles are slightly different from others out there.
I really like your well-rounded perspective regarding yourself as a writer. So, what triggered you to start writing? Was there any special motivation?
Leaving my job at a bank and needing to bring in money. I always did freelance design work on the side but those projects were months apart. I needed to bring in money during those sparse times. I found some ads looking for freelance writers and really haven’t looked back since.
How do you usually find your ideas?
My friends both online and offline tend to give me great ideas. So many ideas can come up in the course of normal conversation. I also look at news stories that grab my attention and illicit a reaction from me. I read fashion and beauty magazines. Of course, my own life. Especially when I find a solution to a problem, I just want to share it with the world!
From all these ideas, are there any special topics that you mostly write about?
It may surprise many but the majority of my writing is on business and finance topics. I do a lot of ghostwriting for private clients. My last major project was blogging for a freelance marketplace. Giving tips on working as a freelancer. Also, showing how certain issues in the economy affect freelancing. What you will find if you Google my name is beauty and fashion content.
Many experienced writers follow some sort of Writing Routine? Do you?
I am really bad when it comes to sticking to a routine. However, I do have one when I am in a time crunch. I always tackle the hard stuff first. The ones that require a lot of research, maybe interviews, and have a lot of style guidelines that have to be crossed off the list first. The stuff that requires little effort or prep work for, I leave for the end because I can write them quickly.
As a matter of fact, you sound like a super-organized writer. So, would you consider yourself an expert in your field?
When it comes to fashion, I would consider my expert. Sure, I know about style, trends, and when the big shows are. However, I also try to teach fashion fundamentals to help women and men know why certain items of apparel look better on them than others. Learn what style features to look for.
Talking to fellow writers, I’ve come to the conclusion that most of them struggle with writing blocks. Does this sound familiar to you?
YES! I come across this often. Typically because I have other things going on and my focus just is not there on writing. One time I had a set of fashion articles due at the end of the week. All week I could not come up with any ideas for the assignments. Then on the day they were due it hit me. I realized how to approach the articles and typed my little heart out! To be honest, I should have already known how to approach them but I let other things distract me.
Do you face challenges as a writer?
I think we all do from time to time. Sometimes the creative juices dry up and I have not one idea in my head. Other times I feel burned out. I just do not feel like writing. When those times hit, I know I need a break. I will take a day or even a week away from writing. It is like a reset for me. By the time my break is over I am ready to write again.
Being such a prolific and dedicated writer, you are probably able to answer the following tricky question: How do you think they a publisher would grade your work on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best?
Hmmm. A seven. I write in a “girlfriend”, conversational tone, with the bad grammar included.
And, how would you rate your quality of writing from 1 to 10?
Of course a 10! That is based upon what I do as a writer.
ShawnTe, do you have any Writing Tips you would like to share with us? What is your Top Five?
Find your voice. Every client has a specific tone they want for their brand and you have to adhere to that. However, everything you write should have your signature on it. A specific tone or style that still creeps in letting people know they are reading your work.
Don’t be afraid to try out new topics/subjects. Try writing about something that falls outside of your comfort area. You may shock yourself and find that you really like it.
Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. If you write books, also do other writing that will bring in income while you are finishing your literary masterpiece. Have more than one client. Just like you, a client can fall onto hard times and might not be able to pay and end a project.
Do not work seven days a week!!!! Trust me you will burn out quickly having more down time than productive time. Take one or two days off each week. Give your brain a break away from writing.
Do not compromise yourself for a gig. If a client wants you to write something that goes against your beliefs or that you feel is unethical refuse the assignment. Even if your name is not attached to the work, it could still be found out that you wrote it. Your name and brand could end up tarnished.
Most writers love to read. So, what are your favorite books? Do you think they have an impact on your writing?
I love “end times” books, romance, horror/sci-fi, and thrillers. No they do not, thankfully!
Any favorite quotation or any personal advice you would like to share?
Be true to yourself and believe in yourself.
What stands out for you when you visualize your future?
Odd question. I never thought about what stands out for me when I visualize the future. What I see when I visualize my future is contributing to Allure and InStyle Magazines, while my Christian thrillers are on the best seller’s lists. Ha ha!
Why should a publisher or client hire you?
I provide quality work, giving each client professional service with a personalized touch.
ShawnTe this was a truly wonderful interview! You are a really inspiring and honest person and someone fun to be around! Thank you so much for joining Friday's Stars and I wish you all the best for the future!
For more information on ShawnTe, check out her personal profile:
Image Credit: ShawnTe Pierce
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