Living Rhetorically in the Real World A blog about freelancing, writing, editing, business & social media.


Qui docet discit

Posted by Sagan

I recently came across this line in a handy little book I have; A Dictionary of Latin Words and Phrases:

qui docet discit

he who teaches learns.

It stuck with me. One of my current jobs involves note-taking for education classes, and it is heartening that some of the professors teaching these courses are so passionate and enthusiastic for their subjects, and so encouraging of these soon-to-be-teachers to broaden their minds and be open to learning from their own students.

qui docet discit

Learn by teaching.

There is so much knowledge and information out there, and so many differing perspectives and opinions. Through teaching, we have this wonderful opportunity to brush up on our own skills and learn from our students (and their unique perspectives) as well.

Teaching isn't a one-way street. There is always so much more for us to learn from one another.

qui docet discit.

What do you feel about the phrase qui docet discit? What is your favorite Latin phrase? What are your thoughts on teaching and learning? Share in the comments section below!


Project Management Tips

Posted by Sagan

So you've got a project to manage... now what? These project management tips will help you get organized and get an awesome project going!

project management tips

Get organized and be successful!

Top Six Project Management Tips:

1) Identify all tasks that need to be done.

One of the biggest issues that can come up when managing a project is that it's easy to overlook small tasks. When I was in charge of an event where we had judges tasting food, for example, somehow we overlooked the fact that these judges would need to have forks and knives. Oops! It was such a simple, obvious thing that we didn't even think about it.

Identify all the tasks that will need to be done; categorize them together as needed on a spreadsheet or in whatever way works best for you. The big tasks are the most important ones to think about right now, but don't neglect the little tasks!

2) Figure out your timelines and how you'll measure goals.

When are your hard-and-fast deadlines? What will your internal deadlines be in case you come up against some obstacles? How are you going to ensure the project is successful (what ways will you measure goals and success)? Finalize these details.

3) Get your team together.

Who will be in charge of which tasks? Can one person work on a few items? Can multiple people work on one item? Figure out who will be best for the task at hand, and who has the time, experience, and interest to best complete the tasks.

Be sure to provide everyone with specific details for what their role is, when the deadline is, who they should report to, and how much flexibility they can have in their work.

4) Keep communication lines strong.

You can save yourself so much time and effort by regularly communicating with your team and letting them know that they can contact you if they have questions or ideas. It's amazing how often someone will bring a new perspective to the table that might seem obvious, but which no one else thought about before.

You also can't possibly know about every resource that your team members have access to, so if you make a point of connecting with the team frequently and encouraging them to ask each other for support or ideas, you'll have a stronger team---and a more successful project.

5) Keep the project goal in mind.

While the little details can make a big difference, sometimes we can get bogged down by them! Don't let this happen to you. Instead, always remember why you are working on this project and what this project will ultimately lead to. You'll have a better chance at success with project management if you always have the end result in the back of your mind.

6) Don't be afraid to change your project strategy.

Sometimes things come up and get in the way of the project, or items within the project will change. That's okay! Be open to being flexible with the direction the project takes. You might need to add new members to your team, focus on tighter deadlines, or reduce tasks. Flexibility is a valuable asset to a project manager (as long as you are still able to achieve success with your project, of course!).

What are your best project management tips? Are there any here you would add to or change? Share in the comments section below!


Day in the Life of a Freelancer: January 2015 Edition

Posted by Sagan

This is a pretty typical look at my day these days... if I don't have a networking event to attend, I usually have a class to transcribe or a meeting with a client. Most of my days lately are somewhere in the range of seven to nine hours of work (after taking all of the breaks out) per day, six or seven days each week.

Here's what my day looked like on Thursday, January 22, 2015:

6:45am Wake up, brush teeth, dry-brush skin etc. (this was Day 1 of my 30-day challenge of not hitting the snooze button! A success.)

7am Do a gentle hatha yoga (from with Mr Science.

7:30am Make a green smoothie and do a photo shoot with it (breakfasting and photo shooting simultaneously :)).

green smoothie

Morning deliciousness.

8am Drink some smoothie and have a couple cups of tea while going through emails, checking / updating social media, and planning the day.

8:30am Finalize a social media strategy for a client.

9:15am Watch the #wycwyc podcast while taking paper bag strips out of my hair (paper bag curls can take a lot of time to put in and take out, so I always make sure I have something else to do while I'm doing it!) and washing the dishes.

9:45am Grab a snack and read part of  a book.

10am Do some volunteer work (blogging).

10:30am Work on the Elite Blog Academy for my own blogs (having such fun with this course! It's a fantastic professional development tool).

11:40am Social media updates.

12pm Practice French using the Rosetta Stone.

12:45pm Straighten up around the house.

1pm Do some outreach work and blog management for a client.

1:30pm Break to chat with Mr Science and have lunch together (he generally works at the university in the morning and at home in the afternoon).

2pm Fashion blog photo shoot! This is one of my favorite parts about being a professional blogger.

curly hair

One of the photos we captured during the photo shoot.

3:15pm Write a blog post. Since I had a lot of big photos to upload, this blog post took a while, so I did some social media work while waiting for the pictures to upload. Multitasking!

4:15pm Check and respond to emails, do a little bit of puttering around the house, and read a book chapter.

5:30pm Attend a networking event for creatives.

8:30pm Return home and chat with Mr Science.

9pm Bed time! I read for a bit and fell asleep around 10:30pm.

What did your day look like? What's the highlight of your day? Do you do a lot of multitasking? Share in the comments section below!


The Differences Between Creating and Curating Content

Posted by Sagan

When managing social media and doing social media marketing, it's important to strike a balance between creating vs. curating content. These are two very different things, but they can both make a big impact to your social media platform!

curating content

Content Creation vs. Curating Content:

Creating content...

  • Is when you write the materials yourself.
  • Can take a significant amount of researching, writing, and editing time, on top of the marketing component.
  • Enables your particular voice to shine through.
  • Gives you the opportunity to put your thoughts to paper.
  • Allows you to showcase your expertise in the field.
  • Provides you with the chance to write what you want to write about, and share that with the world: you can fill in the gaps that are missing in other articles!

Curating content...

  • Is when you find content that has already been written, and compile or share that on social media.
  • Can take a similar amount of time as creating content (depending on a number of factors, such as the topic and your own experience with the subject) but involves much more research and reading than writing and editing.
  • Enables you to bring a broader range of ideas and perspectives to the mix beyond your own.
  • Gives you the opportunity to reach out and connect with other brands and businesses.
  • Allows you to learn more about the issues at hand.
  • Provides you with the chance to share a great deal of knowledge and ideas with the rest of the world.

Why do you need to have both?

A combination of content that you created and content that you curated will enable you to have to do less writing yourself, as well as to provide a broad range of perspectives on the issues. Curating content is also fantastic for helping you to showcase brands that you like and want to support, and to spread the word about them.

Of course, if you only focus on curated content, you run the risk of losing your status as an expert in the field, as well as the opportunity to share your unique perspective on the issues (not to mention, creating content also helps to improve your own writing skills and critical thinking skills!).

That's why we need to have a balance between the two. Every niche might need more content creation vs. curating content, so you will have to find the right balance that works for you (which will probably evolve as time goes on!)---take the time to think about what you want to see on social media related to the issues at hand, as well as how you can best engage and share with the community, and create or curate based on that.

Do you prefer creating content or curating content? What balance works best for your industry? Share in the comments section below!


Carlos Ruiz Zafon quote

Posted by Sagan

Happy Saturday! Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Today I leave you with this lovely Carlos Ruiz Zafon quote:

Carlos Ruiz Zafon quote

No matter how busy you are this weekend... I hope you get the chance to relax with a great book.

What book are you reading today?