Does Not Work Well with Others, or: Why Freelancing Is Never What You Expect

Around the time I first joined Toastmasters, the club president gave a speech about leadership. In Toastmasters, members typically work their way through a Competent Communicator manual, and often neglect the other manual they receive upon signing up: the Competent Leadership manual. Our president spoke of the importance of working on leadership, and urged us all to start making [...]

How I Went From Being the “Vibrator Queen” to Being the Senior Writer of a Sexual Health Organization

Thirteen years ago, I set out for an interview at the Boston Phoenix. I was up for an editorial internship in their new media department and, upon my arrival, I was ushered into the private office of the man who would eventually become my supervisor. He sat before me, rifling through my clips and pointing out [...]

Will the World Spin Off Its Axis If I Take Time Off?

I don’t like taking time off. When I honeymooned with my husband in Mexico in the summer of 2007, I chastised him for bringing his laptop, then used it to periodically check in at work. When I went to Europe for two weeks this past summer, I was ready to come home after two days. [...]

Making a Plan for 2014… But Not Being Married to It

2013 was my lowest-income year since I first entered the publishing industry back in late 2004. I became disillusioned by the freelance writing game and stopped pitching. Stopped blogging. Stopped coaching. Stopped working on my manuscript. I flailed about for something new to do, but discarded each new option as the wrong one. I threw [...]

7 Things I Worry About as a Pregnant Sex Writer

Two months ago, I found out I was pregnant, and I immediately burst into tears. They were happy tears, because my husband and I had been trying for the past three and a half years. Not only that, but we’d been about to try a third round of IUI. Talk about dodging a bullet. That [...]

Can I Still Call Myself a Writer?

I’ve had plans to be a writer for the past 28 years. And for the past 28 years, I’ve done a pretty good job of achieving success in that endeavor. It started with published poetry and both lit mag and school newspaper involvement when I was a young twerp. Later on, I was an editor [...]

How To Be Open To All (the Right) Opportunities

Several weeks ago, I shadowed one of my OMies as she taught kids yoga as part of the Newark Yoga Movement. It seemed like a fantastic program. The children were adorable. My friend was brilliant. But in the end — remembering how ineffective I’d been when doing volunteer work with kids in the past — [...]

How To Think Outside the Box When Developing Multiple Revenue Streams

Before I went full-time freelance nearly six years ago, I secured a permalance copyediting gig, an internship at a web magazine, and freelance publicity work from my former employer. I figured that — beyond that — I would just frolic about, getting assignments at a variety of magazines and magically paying my bills. And it [...]

Why Freelancing Is Like Juggling a Bunch of Flaming Chainsaws

I went full-time freelance almost six years ago, and I feel as if the entire expanse of it has been one big experiment in finding (and maintaining) the right balance. And I’m not talking work/life balance. Please. Let someone else write 2,000 words about work/life balance, and whether or not I, as a woman, can [...]

What Got Me Here: Self-Education, Goal-Setting, Hard Work, and a Helluva Lot of Privilege

When the Nate Thayer / Atlantic kerfuffle occurred, I cycled quickly through a series of reactions. First, I felt a knee-jerk “Damn the man! Save the empire!” swell of joyful rebellion. Then, after reading senior Atlantic editor Alexis Madrigal’s response — an explanation of the limits of digital publishing — I felt recognition. That’s when I wrote this on [...]