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30-year freelancer. Found on: Newsweek, Cruise Critic, MSN Travel. Writer’s Toolkit weekly series on The Writing Cooperative https://melindacrow.substack.com/

We now have another reason to visit each other’s profile pages: Lists! I’m as anxious to see what lists some of my favorite writers are building as I am about…


Have you played with the lists feature yet? Here’s my first go at it. I made a list of a handful of my own stories about life in general. I…


Writer’s Toolkit

Why it takes equal parts of each to keep your career moving forward

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Picture yourself thrust into the limelight of a celebrity chef cookoff television set. As you would expect, the kitchen is equipped with all the tools a chef could possibly need to whip up a winning dish. The twist (there’s always a twist, right?) is that you’re limited to four ingredients which you must choose from the overstuffed pantry.

You’ll be given a time limit to make your selections, create your masterpiece, and present it to the judges, who of course, are jaded and semi-bored with tasting the same old stuff program after program. To win them over you must create…


From one of those clingy writers still refusing to break up

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I’m generally a realist. I know that NewsBreak is never going to support me. When we first met, I had stars in my eyes for a minute or two about all the possibilities. But cynicism built on thirty-plus years as a freelance travel writer, including wading through the muck of more than one failed publication prevailed and I adjusted my inspirations down a notch.

Then another notch in February when the terms of endearment changed (perhaps endenturement would be a better word if it existed). And another notch last month as they changed again.

Yet here I am. I wrote…


Writer’s Toolkit

Hucksters are getting better at sucking money from our wallets. Here’s my safety checklist.

Photo by Emil Kalibradov on Unsplash

Russian hackers apparently shut down the U.S. beef industry and one of the most important oil pipelines in the country. Chinese hackers have figured out how to fake the Prime badge and the “ships from Amazon” notice on listings where they pretend to sell you something, when they actually have nothing to sell. In case you aren’t aware, all hackers have to do to collect a payout from Amazon is remain undetected for two weeks.

So what makes you think you can’t be tricked out of $97 of your hard-earned dollars when an ad for a promising new publishing tool…


Writer’s Toolkit

I may have created a new book category with number one

Photo by Alexandre Lion on Unsplash

First, let’s remind ourselves what the whole MVP thing is all about. A minimum viable product (MVP) is a simplified, scaled-down version of anything you might produce that you can use to promote your business, use as a giveaway in exchange for email addresses, or even something you sell at a low price point. MVP’s are often used to test market an idea or theme before you invest time and money in a more in-depth version.

Example: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone may not have been designed specifically as an MVP, but if it had not sold well, the…


Just hanging with the cool kids this week on the Top 10 Page over on The Startup. The page features some intriguing stories worth reading or bookmarking. Topics include NOT…

Melinda Crow

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