5 ways to use your passions to fuel a freelance writing career

This is a sidebar to “How to use your passions to jumpstart a freelance writing career.” Click on the link to view the rest of the article.

 

  1. When travelling, be observant and take notes detailing your experiences and other details that might be useful to other travellers. Read travel magazines like Travelife to sharpen your travel writing skills, and don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas to an editor. Just make sure to feature angles that have not yet been used in other articles.
  2. Use your appetite to sniff out the newest foodie haunts, and write online reviews ahead of everyone else. ClicktheCity.com features the latest in dining, entertainment, arts and culture, and lifestyle—and they could use your insights for their website. Again, just make sure that you’re writing something totally new and fresh and has not yet been previously published.
  3. Start a blog to develop writing practice and discipline. While there’s nothing better than getting approval from an editor and being published in a credible publication, blogging can help you develop your skills, get a feel of the audience’s needs and wants, and learn important editorial disciplines that will make you more marketable to publications out there. Read award-winning travel blogs like OurAwesomePlanet.com and WhenInManila.com to get an idea of how it’s done.
  4. Be social media-savvy and get an opportunity to freelance for advertisers and media firms that contract social media managers for their respective brands. Who would have thought that Facebooking and tweeting could be such lucrative activities?
  5. Develop an expertise out of your own hobbies and interests, and become a credible authority on the subject. The more credible you are, the more attractive you will be to editors and brands that need subject matter experts and advocates for their respective features or brand campaigns. Who knows just how far your passions can take you?

 

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All of these elements are integrated into JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER 4.0, a two-day workshop designed to prepare participants for a freelance writing career through a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises, and talks by guest speakers from the industry. The next workshop will run from April 30 to May 1, 2011, 10AM to 6PM at Powerbooks Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

Testimonials from past participants show the following statements:

“Thank you for creating Writer’s Block Philippines. I’m proud to belong to a community of writers who have passion for and respect the craft. The workshop is excellent. It would be nice to have monthly meetings for follow-up.”

“Writing the pitch was really practical Also, the opportunities and advice were very structured and practical.”

“The workshop gave me a lot of information on how to really start a career as a freelance writer.”

“You guys did a great job team-teaching. You are great at conveying your enthusiasm. And it was a valuable experience. Thank you.”

 

Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career 4.0 is supported by PowerbooksTravelife Magazine,ClicktheCity.comNiveaMiLi, and WheninManila.com. For more information, please contact Writer’s Block Philippines at (0927) 850.8280 or writersblock.ph@gmail.com. Online reservations and payments are also accepted through www.writersblockphilippines.com. For fresh updates on Writer’s Block Philippines events, follow WBP on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writersblock.ph) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/writersblockph)

How to use your passions to jumpstart a freelance writing career

For Nikka Sarthou, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer, the perfect life consists of frequent travels and the opportunity to write about her trips. Whether she is watching the French Open in Roland Garros, Paris; taking a heritage tour in Taal, Batangas; or whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Nikka travels with notebook and pen in tow, always ready for inspiration to strike. She is also a foodie and enjoys going around town sampling the latest food trends and the newest restaurants and then reviewing these for various online and print publications.

For Nikka Sarthou, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer, the perfect life consists of frequent travels and the opportunity to write about her trips. Whether she is watching the French Open in Roland Garros, Paris; taking a heritage tour in Taal, Batangas; or whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Nikka travels with notebook and pen in tow, always ready for inspiration to strike. She is also a foodie and enjoys going around town sampling the latest food trends and the newest restaurants and then reviewing these for various online and print publications.

Although Nikka began her career working full-time in a publishing house, she eventually embarked on a freelance career to have the flexibility to pursue her passions while making a comfortable living. She is now Contributing Editor for Smile, Cebu Pacific’s inflight magazine, as well as content manager for the travel website OfficiallyPhilippines.com.

“Schools do not really teach its students how to go about freelance writing. I had to learn the ropes myself,” she points out. “It took me some time before I was able to have a sustainable freelance writing career, and now I’m enjoying its benefits. Since I’m now a full-time freelance writer, I get to be my own boss and marry my two other passions, which are writing and travelling.”

Ana Santos, on the other hand, embarked on a freelance writing career in a roundabout way, having been in the banking industry for nine years before finally leaving her post as Assistant Vice President of a multinational financial institution to do what she really loves to do: write and support the women’s reproductive health movement. Since taking on the plunge to write full-time and create the website www.sexandsensibilities.com in 2010, Ana has been invited to numerous speaking engagements and media appearances and has also been featured in Cosmo’s feature on Women Warriors  in the November 2010 issue. Ana is also a foreign correspondent for the United Nations, as well as Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos.

For her, even the perks of a bank executive—including the designated parking slot—don’t compare to the fulfilment she feels when she is able to write in support of a cause that she is truly passionate about.  However, she is quick to point out that her mix of marketing, PR, and hard-core corporate skills are useful in building her personal brand as a freelance writer.

“The marketing skills I picked up during my banking days come in handy now that I manage my own ‘by-line’ which we at Writer’s Block Philippines, liken to managing your own corporation. Thinking of writing as a career rather than a ‘gig’ or ‘sideline’ is the key to making it a sustainable passion.”

Niña Terol-Zialcita, meanwhile, fuses advocacy, travel and arts & culture in her writing, shifting easily from political writing and consulting to writing and editing travel features—sometimes in the span of a few hours. With a career that has spanned working for a telco, a non-profit consulting firm, the Philippine Senate, and a national electoral campaign, Niña finds a way to fuse her various skills and balance her many interests through freelancing.

She shares: “For someone like me who enjoys exploring many different fields and expressing myself across different disciplines, I find that freelancing has given me the opportunity to widen my network and horizons, and enhance my competencies. Writing also immerses me in the creative sphere, balancing my cutthroat political-corporate sensibilities with my need for softer artistic outlets. Even while holding a full-time Senate post, I enjoyed writing and editing for lifestyle and travel publications.”

At present, Niña is a political and corporate communications consultant while being a book author and editor-in-chief of asianTraveler Magazine.

Writer's Block Philippines
Writer's Block Philippines: Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, Nina Terol-Zialcita

All three ladies are also co-founders of Writer’s Block Philippines, an organization dedicated to helping writers and communicators sharpen their skills and find profitable, sustainable opportunities in writing. When they are not busy with their respective editorial and consulting engagements, the three conduct writing workshops to share tried-and-tested tips for breaking into the competitive world of freelance writing.

“There was a large gap in the market that we wanted to fill,” shares Ana. “While attending Maven Secrets, a course taught by Anton Diaz on professional blogging and Internet marketing, we realized that there are not enough  courses that teach people how to write and communicate better.”

Nikka adds: “We also saw throughout our respective careers that there are many opportunities for freelance writing that can fit people’s varied interests. Our courses aim to teach participants how to break into freelance writing through various channels, such as print, mobile, online, and social media.”

“More importantly, we teach our participants how to not only get published but also how to build their respective brands and how to sustain a profitable career in freelancing. This isn’t about one-shot deals but about building a life that you want out of the things that matter most to you,” reveals  Niña.

All of these elements are integrated into JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER 4.0, a two-day workshop designed to prepare participants for a freelance writing career through a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises, and talks by guest speakers from the industry. The next workshop will run from April 30 to May 1, 2011, 10AM to 6PM at Powerbooks Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

Testimonials from past participants show the following statements:

“Thank you for creating Writer’s Block Philippines. I’m proud to belong to a community of writers who have passion for and respect the craft. The workshop is excellent. It would be nice to have monthly meetings for follow-up.”

“Writing the pitch was really practical Also, the opportunities and advice were very structured and practical.”

“The workshop gave me a lot of information on how to really start a career as a freelance writer.”

“You guys did a great job team-teaching. You are great at conveying your enthusiasm. And it was a valuable experience. Thank you.”

Indeed, Writer’s Block Philippines and its founders have proven that it is possible to build an enjoyable and profitable career in the pursuit of one’s passions. All it takes is an acute awareness of one’s gifts and talents, an openness to keep learning, and the courage to take the inevitable leap of faith.

 

Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career 4.0 is supported by Powerbooks, Travelife Magazine, ClicktheCity.com, Nivea, MiLi, and WheninManila.com. For more information, please contact Writer’s Block Philippines at (0927) 850.8280 or writersblock.ph@gmail.com. Online reservations and payments are also accepted through www.writersblockphilippines.com. For fresh updates on Writer’s Block Philippines events, follow WBP on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writersblock.ph) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/writersblockph)

 

Talk SASsy to me

The founders of Writer’s Block Philippines are all women with super-charged professional and social lives. This week, join Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Ana Santos as she empowers women through yet another sexy and sassy event for her website and advocacy, SexandSensibilities.com

Talk SASsy to me

A fabulous girl power session on men, relationships and positive sexuality with US-trained relationship coach Aileen Santos and Sex and Sensibilities.com Editorial Director, Ana Santos.

Feb 9, 2011, Wednesday, 6:30PM

Bo’s Coffee, Glorietta 5, Makati

Call or text 0927.850.8280 to reserve a slot.

Registration Fee of P100 covers coffee and a light snack. All proceeds of this talk will go to the H.E.R.O (Help Educate and Rear Orphans of soldiers killed in action) Foundation.

This event is supported by PhCare, Myra and Swish.


The “Talk SASsy to me” series of girl power talks is a trademark campaign of Sex and Sensibilities.com

Walk Write This Way with Writer’s Block Philippines and Carlos Celdran

Writer’s Block Philippines is once again holding a one of a kind travel writing workshop with Carlos Celdran.

A group founded by freelance writers Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Nina Terol-Zialcita, Writer’s Block Philippines believes in conducting writing workshops that are both experiential and inspiring.

“Combining something we are passionate about–like food and traveling–with writing has been our formula from the start. It’s proven to be something that participants look for and look forward to,” says Ana Santos, who writes about sexual health rights and women in armed conflict.

Take a walk around the famed city of Intramuros and listen to Manila tourist guide extraordinaire Carlos Celdran regale us with his own kind of history lesson / tour that is also a one-man theatrical performance.

Workshop participants will start the morning with the Carlos Celdran If these walls could talk” walking tour of Intramuros and then be given free time to write about their experience.

Later, these writing pieces will be discussed with Writer’s Block Founders and a guest speaker from Travelife Magazine who will share what really makes a good travel piece and provide an editorial perspective on what editors look for.

“I see travel as a learning experience–whether it is a local or foreign destination. Traveling is a nice opportunity to learn about the things beyond the four walls of the classroom. For me, the best way to document each travel experience is to write about it. Walk Write This Way 2.0 will help aspiring travel writers become more effective in their craft, as the founders of Writer’s Block Philippines will share tips that every writer will find useful,” says Nikka Sarthou, a lifestyle and travel journalist.

Writer’s Block Philippines also dispels the myth that traveling entails a lot of time and money. “Sometimes, the most surprising discoveries await us just in our own backyards,” says Niña Terol-Zialcita, who writes about themes on “changemaking” and culture and the arts. “Those of us who live in Manila tend to take it for granted because all we see is the traffic, the pollution, and the stressors that accompany our daily grind. But if we peel all those layers and look closely, we will discover that we live in a vibrant and culturally diverse locale where there are so many stories to be uncovered and shared.”

As Writer’s Block Philippines is a firm believer in freelance writing as a career, various writing opportunities in travel writing will also be discussed.  We hope that at the end of the workshop, the participants will have learned the basics of what they will need to combine their passion for writing and traveling and earn from it!

You Go, Girl (published in Travelife Magazine)

Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou and Nina Terol-Zialcita, of Writer’s Block Philippines, contribute to this issue’s Survival Guide (You Go, Girl) a very practical take on girls traveling solo. Mostly borne of painful experience, we hope it helps spare you trouble. Yes, guys, too.

Here are some excerpts from the contributors page of Travelife and some unpublished tips on traveling solo.

Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou and Nina Terol-Zialcita, of Writer’s Block Philippines, contribute to this issue’s Survival Guide (You Go, Girl) a very practical take on girls traveling solo. Mostly borne of painful experience, we hope it helps spare you trouble. Yes, guys, too.

Here are some excerpts from the contributors page of Travelife and some unpublished tips on traveling solo.

What for you is the holiday destination?

Ana: Amsterdam! I want to see the infamous red light district and learn why Amsterdam is considered the world’s most sexually liberated city. As a journalist and sexual health advocate, part of my trip is documenting attitudes toward sexuality and women’s issues, traced back to a nation’s history or religion.

Nikka: That would be Amanpulo where I can bask under the sun, frolic in the sand, and cool in clear, blue waters. I just want to immerse myself in one of the Philippines’ most beautiful destinations. Nothing spells holiday like your own private paradise.

Nina: Greece, because I would love to see the birthplace of democracy and philosophy, where empires rose and fell, and the Mediterranean Sea. Besides, I can imagine the great photo opportunities!

You Go, Girl

More (unpublished) travel tips about flying solo and surviving the experience:

  • Since you’re traveling alone, make sure that someone else knows your itinerary and check in with them frequently to let them know that you’re safe–especially when traveling cross-country or moving from one destination to another.
  • Check your hotel for free WiFi, and maximize Skype whenever you need to get in touch with family and friends from another part of the world.
  • Try not to draw too much attention to yourself through your clothes or expressions. You never really know what can provoke someone else to pose a threat to you. And when someone DOES cross the line, keep your cool and DO NOT engage them–especially if you cannot speak their language. While in the Paris metro, a small bald man rushed up to me and whacked my head with a rolled-up newspaper or magazine. I didn’t know why, since I didn’t even notice him during the trip, but I chose to not engage him and just let him walk away (after making sure that I didn’t get pickpocketed or violated). I didn’t want to provoke any more hostility on his part, and since I came out of it pretty much unscathed, I just charged it to experience–and a good story to tell. ~Nina, during her side trip to Paris when she went to the European Journalism Institute in Prague for a scholarship
  • Allot a budget for your trip, including shopping money and emergency cash, just in case. The first time I went back to the States after ten years, I realized that I forgot to bring a camera. Since I wanted to document my trip, it was necessary for me to purchase one there. Good thing I had extra money with me so I can do so. Having a credit card would also be helpful for emergencies, but keep in mind the conversion rates before you make that first swipe. ~ Nikka, during her vacation in the U.S.A.
  • Always carry some loose change. You’ll never know when you’ll need it for emergency phone calls, metro or bus tickets, vendo snacks and drinks, and others.
  • It is important to list down the toll-free numbers of your credit card issuers and keep them handy. In Rome, on the way to the Vatican, I was pickpocketed and had to call my two bank issuers to report the loss using their landline number. I could have saved on roaming charges if I had known the toll free numbers. ~ Ana, during her European tour
  • Always bring a medicine kit wherever you go.
  • Adjust your beauty practices depending on your destination.
  • Your hand carry should always always have your basic toiletries, night clothes, underwear and an extra set of clothes because you never know if you baggage would be delayed or lost.

Food Writing Tips: Earn Some Cash in Between Bites (featured in OurAwesomePlanet.com)

Excerpt from “Food Writing Tips: Earn Some Cash in Between Bites,” published in Anton Diaz’s Our Awesome Planet.

Here are some pro-food writing tips from my friends from Writer’s Block Philippines:

How do you cross over from being a passionate foodie to a credible and published food writer? Try these tips from the writing experts:

Excerpt from “Food Writing Tips: Earn Some Cash in Between Bites,” published in Anton Diaz’s Our Awesome Planet.

Here are some pro-food writing tips from my friends from Writer’s Block Philippines:

How do you cross over from being a passionate foodie to a credible and published food writer? Try these tips from the writing experts:

1. Select an interesting subject that has not yet been featured in other websites or magazines

Food features can be more than just about food. Aside from the food itself, other possible features may include new restaurants, chefs, and recipes. Just make sure that the topic is unique or that’s you’re presenting it in a different angle.

For instance, when writing about family recipes (sometimes called “heirloom recipes”), mention its unique history, what makes the family behind it special, any unique innovations that have been passed on through the generations, and so on. Magazine editors value writers who can present ideas from a perspective that sets the publication apart from the rest of the pack.

2. Practice your keen observation skills

Use all your senses when describing the food.

How’s was the dish presented?
How does it taste—too sweet maybe or a bit salty?
What flavors and aromas does it remind you of?
What is its texture?

Describe all these in a way that make the dishes come alive, such as “its sweet, nutty taste and earthy, organic texture made one feel closer to nature.”

Describe its “star ingredients” and what makes the dish special–especially if it’s a popular or well-loved dish such as adobo, sinigang, paella, pasta, or steak.

Be very detailed when you explain your eating experience so your reader would want to experience it, too.

3. Accentuate the positive

Doing a restaurant review could be a bit tricky if you’re not happy with your dining experience. As much as possible, focus on the positive aspect of the food or place when writing a review. If something is not to your liking, say it in a nice way—in the form of constructive criticism. A bad review is not worth the time and effort you’ll put into it, not to mention the space you need to allot for it. Also, editors might be uneasy publishing a piece that reads more like glorified bashing.

READ MORE TIPS HERE.

Travelife Magazine’s Suitcase Tales: Everyone’s Dream: To Foodtrip for a Living

Excerpt from “Travelife Magazine’s Suitcase Tales: Everyone’s Dream: To Foodtrip for a Living,” published in Travelife Magazine blog.

Excerpt from “Travelife Magazine’s Suitcase Tales: Everyone’s Dream: To Foodtrip for a Living,” published in Travelife Magazine blog.

Writers’ Block Philippines, a group designed to bind and inspire the writing community, is once again organizing a very interesting activity for potential writers, and we at Travelife Magazine are very happy to support it. Travel and food go together, after all!

Niña Terol-Zialcita, one of the group’s founders and a lifestyle journalist, agrees. “Food is a common denominator among those who enjoy culture, travelling, and adventure.”

Eat, Write, Love

The food writing workshop, entitled, “Eat, Write, Love,” will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant inQuezon City. Like their other trademark experiential workshops, “Eat, Write, Love” will combine the gastronomic experience of eating and the equally satisfying activity of writing about it. Adarna Executive Chef Giney Villar will also talk about the history behind her food creations for Adarna, while popular food writer Lori Baltazar of DessertComesFirst.com will talk about building a career from food writing.

Incidentally, NiñaAna Santos, and Nikka Sarthou, the three ladies behind Writer’s Block Philippines, have also contributed a great article on travel survival tips in the latest issue of Travelife Magazine (October-November 2011). The issue is on sale now, so read about their adventures and advice in our magazine.

READ MORE HERE.

Hooters Girl for a Day: Ana Santos on Freelance Writing

September 24 is International Freelancers Day. To celebrate this event and the freelance path, we are publishing our own thoughts on freelance writing.

🙂

Yes, that’s me dressed in a Hooters girl uniform.

That photo was taken in 2008. Hooters had just opened in Manila and I was going to write a story about the famous Hooter girls for UNO Magazine. Apparently, every other men’s magazine worth its salt had the same idea.

Since its opening, magazines (along with photography clubs) were queuing up at Hooters. I was upset that just days before, another men’s magazine had come in and interviewed the Hooters girl imports –who were in the Philippines briefly to train the new local recruits.

I was a few days late. I was desperate to find another angle, otherwise my story would look like  a “me,too-press release”. So I decided to dress up as a Hooters girl and write about what it was like to be one.

It took awhile to convince the manager, but after explaining the story angle I wanted to take, he eventually agreed. I was whisked off for make-up and wriggled into the iconic Hooters girl uniform. I took dance lessons with the other girls, took direction on how to pose, made some drinks and served them, danced on the  bar and posed for photos with customers.

The glares from the girlfriends/wives who came in with their partners, notwithstanding (that’s a whole other articIe altogether), I had a good laugh.

I posted the photos on Facebook after and one of my former subordinates saw it. She was completely mortified.

At this point, I think I should go into a bit of background. Just months before this “Hooters” incident, I had unceremoniously quit my PR job. For the first time in my life, I was trying to live off my writing.

My former subordinate, thinking that I had to resort to moonlighting as a Hooters girl to make ends meet, told my former boss about it.

I’m sharing this story today, International Freelancers Day, because I think it says a lot about what it’s like being a freelance writer:

1.       You literally have to make your own money

Before becoming a freelancer, I would get paid just by showing up at the office. I could toil the whole day or just sit at my desk – it didn’t matter, I would still get my pay check every month. On days that I was sick or on holiday, I didn’t even have to be in the office physically and would still get paid.

As a freelancer, you operate under a “no work-no pay policy”. In the beginning, I waited for writing assignments to be given to me.  It came in trickles and it wasn’t enough. I had to actively look for restaurants, date places, events – anything to write about; anything to get me another writing assignment.

2.       You have to be unique to stand out

The impetus for me to put on the Hooters uniform was anxiety. I was afraid that editorial would not run another Hooters story, if already covered by a competing magazine. I had to find a different angle, impress my editor and get published otherwise, I would not get paid.

On a more macro-scale, in our writing workshops, we tell our participants to think of their byline as a brand name that needs to be built and protected. Being unique is the start of that process.

3.       You shouldn’t care what other people think

I already knew what other people would think if they saw me in a Hooters girl uniform. But I didn’t care. I wanted my story. And if I had let what other would think consume me, I might not have gotten it.

4.       You will need gumption in generous amounts

Whether it’s to follow up a check, negotiate a rate, interview celebrities, meet with heads of state or just network, you will need courage and confidence.

Oh, and copious amounts of patience.

5.       You will have many many reasons to believe that you have the best job in the world

I lived out my fantasy of being a Hooters girl for a day. I was tickled pink right down to the ends of my toes to see that that after one child and a full decade more on the calendar, I still fit into a uniform meant for a 20something Hooters girl.

More importantly, after that day, it all became clear to me. I knew that I had what it took pursue an even bigger dream. I knew I wanted to be a writer and was ready to do anything to become one.

I know, I know. It sounds just like me to think of being a Hooters girl for a day as a defining moment in my career as a writer.

It’s all in the way you chose to view things, really.  I guess it’s also called angling.

Front and center: Ana Santos as a Hooters Girl for a Day
Front and center: Ana Santos as a Hooters Girl for a Day

Ana Santos shows how to pick the right OB-GYN (FemaleNetwork.com)

Excerpts from Female Network: How to pick the right OB-GYN for you (published in FemaleNetwork.com in May 2010)


Is she non-judgmental, patient enough to explain jargon, and accessible at all times? Consult FN’s checklist of questions. By Ana Santos

Most women spend more time picking out a hairstylist than an OB-GYN, or so goes the complaint of many doctors. Perhaps it’s because with a hairstylist, we know exactly what we’re looking for in terms of cut and style. It’s time we exercised the same scrutiny when picking out a OB-GYN. After all, this is the doctor you go to see about your deepest, darkest secrets—or so to speak. Without the right doctor, things can get very awkward very quickly.

Here are some questions that may help narrow down the search.

When do I need to start seeing an OB-GYN?

According to the Dr. Donnica website, there are certain triggers that signal the need for a woman to see an OB-GYN. Visit the OB-GYN:

  • Annually after age 18 or after becoming sexually active, whichever is first.
  • When considering becoming pregnant for a preconception counseling visit.
  • As early as possible in a pregnancy.
  • When you have any unusual signs or symptoms in your breasts, vagina, lower abdomen, urinary system, period or PMS problems, hormonal concerns, need for contraception, etc.

__

Read the rest of the article HERE

"The Single Mom’s Guide to Dating" by Ana Santos (in FemaleNetwork.com)

An excerpt from: The Single Mom’s Guide to Dating (published on July 14, 2010 in FemaleNetwork.com)

Raising your child alone does not mean that romance has to fly out the window. By Ana Santos

KEEP YOUR EXPECTATIONS REALISTIC.

Don’t expect to get it right on the first date. On the contrary, there will be men you wish you had never met, and dates that will make you wish you had stayed home watching animated movies with your kids in your jammies, but that’s what dating is all about. It’s a trial-and-error exercise, and this isn’t a problem restricted to single mothers—anyone in the dating game will have both funny, endearing, and horrific stories to tell you about life “in the wild.”

Dating someone means getting to know him to see if you will suit each other, and as the cliché goes, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince. That means not letting one, two, or even three bad experiences make you a quitter.

GOING OUT DOESN’T MEAN PUTTING OUT.

Engaging adult conversation, getting the attention from a man who finds you attractive, even just considering the prospect of having sex again—all these may make you weak in the knees. Don’t let it cloud your judgment. Casual sex is not for the faint-hearted; you should know when you are ready for a level of involvement that involves getting between the sheets.

Be prudent and wait until you know each other well enough; if he’s a keeper, he’ll respect you enough to wait. Besides, sex carries a risk, and before you take a gamble on your future and that of your children, shouldn’t you make sure he is worth it?

Read the rest of the article on FemaleNetwork.com.