You’re Invited!

I was invited to participate in what’s called a blog tour by author and blogger Sheryl Dluginski. (Check out her website here!)

The plan is to answer four questions about my writing process, then introduce three new bloggers who will do the same next week as the tour continues on. You’re invited to jump in on the tour now!

1. What am I working on?
I am always juggling a number of projects professionally. My most pressing project is compiling all — yes, all! — of the best tips for a better night’s sleep. Coming up will be a piece on spring allergies (yay, spring!), and on the back burner are some fitness-heavy ideas, like all the things you’re doing wrong when you squat and a whole bunch of fun plank variations.

Personally, I journal regularly, often in the form of poetry. Most of these scribblings are not at all intended for public consumption, but every once in a while I let one slip.

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January 4, 2014

2013 didn’t tick by in weeks and months, it passed in a series of three-month chunks, each punctuated by his quarterly visits to his oncologist.

 

On the one hand, each set of follow-up scans after his testicular cancer diagnosis at the tail-end of 2012 has been a little bit easier, for both of us. He knows what to expect, and I’m learning to — trying to — control my accompanying scanxiety. On the other hand, he’s now familiar with drinking contrast and having needles in both arms, and I’m saying things like “quarterly visits to his oncologist”…

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Girl Hate

Think about “how much more kick-ass we could all be if we just stopped tearing each other down.”  – GirlHate.com

There may not be any proof of an uptick in actual girl-on-girl violent crime. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t committing awful, hurtful, and disrespectful acts against each other all the time.

A spate of books released in the early 2000s examined aggression in girls and inhumanity between women, but the idea really took pop culture by storm with 2004’s Mean Girls. Ever since then it has seemed like cattiness is the fashionable accessory of the decade.

But we could all get a lot more accomplished—kick-ass or not—if we’d start lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. Because we’re doing a very good job of tearing each other down.

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I’m Working!

I am so, so, so unbelievably tired of people asking me uninformed, ignorant questions about what it’s like to be a freelance writer. Certainly my background in journalism means I’ve heard of more people choosing this career path, but I didn’t think it was so rare that others in various fields had never heard about it.

To help clear up some of the confusion, here are some responses to the most offensive questions/remarks/condescending lectures I’ve been getting lately.

  1. Well, YOU don’t have to work tomorrow! Not true. I work every day. I just don’t have to go to an office to do it. Every day I am searching for and applying to jobs, improving my resumes and cover letters, researching and writing various blog posts and articles, as well as networking and keeping in touch with contacts. Just because I do this in my apartment (and sometimes admittedly in my pajamas) doesn’t mean it’s not work. So no, I will not stay out drinking with you until 3 a.m. on a Tuesday because I don’t have to work tomorrow. I’m more likely to stay out with you if you don’t say something like this…
  2. But, how do you get paid? Think of freelancing as a service. When a plumber does a service for you, like unclogging your shower drain, you pay him or her for the service. My service just happens to be writing. When I write something for you, you pay me for the service.
  3. Do you get benefits? Essentially, I’m self-employed. I sell my own services. So unfortunately no, I don’t get any benefits. I’m more tolerant of this question when it is asked in earnest, but too often someone laughs after asking it. If you think it’s funny for someone to not have health insurance, you should think again.
  4. You’re still unemployed? Well, don’t worry, it’s so tough right now. You’re right, it is really tough to find a full-time, staff writer position at a number of papers and magazines in danger of folding. But just because I don’t have that, doesn’t mean I’m unemployed. I’m self-employed. I am paying the bills. How many other recent grads do you know that are making it in the creative field of choice they studied in college? I’m willing to bet very few. Sure, I would be happy with the stability, benefits, and routine of a full-time position, but it’s simply not going to happen right now. I don’t need to be reminded of that. Don’t feel bad for me–instead, celebrate the fact that I am living my dream. I went to school for journalism, and now I am a journalist. Pretty sweet when you think about it like that!

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