How do you pronounce Dávila?
It’s a Spanish name, with the emphasis on the first syllable. Start with DAH (like a Russian in the affirmative), then just slip the rest in like an after thought: v-la. DAH-v-la.
How did a white girl like you get such a cool name?
My maiden name is Collier. Dávila is the name of my husband’s family. He was born in Ecuador and came to the states when he was just a baby. His dad’s family is still in South America, but they trace their roots back to the little town of Avila in central Spain. The name Dávila began as “de Avila” (which means “from Avila”).
How’s your Spanish?
I understand it better than I speak it, and much better than I write it. I love Spanish. Someday I will take the final step into fluency, but as of right now, I tend to answer in English.
How can I become a writer?
A professor of mine once said that if you write, you’re a writer. That’s the short answer: write.
Of course, making a living at it is another thing all together. Before I found full-time work, I busted my butt as a freelancer. Most of us know someone who runs their own business. Ask them if you can draft their website content, or write their brochure. Writers should almost never work for free, but when you’re just getting started, doing some work for friends and family is a great way to build your resume. Then set up a website where you can showcase your clients and blog about writing. In my early days, pretty much everyone who hired me said they had read my blog and liked my writing. You have to have a way to show people what you can do, and a blog is a great way to do that.
So you recommend working for free?
In very limited amounts. And I mean VERY limited. I don’t charge my sister, when I draft webpage content for her, but everyone else pays. Working for free can be a good way to get started, but I would advise that you only do it for friends and family. Anyone who offers to let you write for them “in exchange for the exposure” of having your work on their site can go find another sucker. Writing is a professional service, and you should be paid for it.
How much should I charge?
That’s a tough one to answer. I highly recommend the book “My So-Called Freelance Life” by Michelle Goodman. She has some great advice on how to come up with rate structures and make a living working for yourself.
Do you get paid to promote and or advertise things on your blog?
I am an active affiliate for Scrivener and IndieBound.com. As such, I collect a small payment from those two websites when people click through from my newsletter or website and make a purchase.
Have a question I didn’t answer?
Contact me here, and I’ll do my best to answer it if I can.