Making it as a freelance writer

It's about time I update my blog. I'm sitting in a coffee shop with Robby and we look like we belong in Seattle. Robby is looking handsome and hipster (ironically or on purpose? Maybe we'll never know) and my hair is unruly and curly. I'd like to think it looks deliberately "boho," as I filed (writer speak for "sent to an editor") a story yesterday for New Hair Trends magazine about boho hair and am now am expert on the subject.

I've been writing from home full time for a just over a month now and am finally getting into the swing of things. When Robby and I first talked about me doing this, I was worried I wouldn't get enough writing jobs to make this sustainable. The funny (and great) thing is, I've been slammed with story assignments! I've been writing for American Survival Guide magazine pretty regularly and now New Hair Trends, too. My first personal essay published on xoJane.com and I started working with a new business client. The company had me rewrite a press release to give it a more news feel to it, which was fun. And I wrote a few stories for Foster Focus magazine, too; so stay tuned for those.

I've been hanging out with my friend Charyn, who has been a successful freelance writer for around 15 years and who I'm learning a lot from. Not to mention we have a lot in common and I looooove being able to meet her during the day for happy hour, when I'd usually be stuck at work if I weren't working from home.

Another plus about this working from home/focusing-on-writing thing is that I had the time to revise my newest manuscript and send it to the literary agent representing me. As all of you probably know, the publishing industry moves at a snail's pace, so it might be years before anything happens with it. I'm still excited, though.

I'm working on revising a personal essay I wrote for a literary nonfiction class I took in college. After my xoJane piece went live I had a difficult time dealing with some negative comments I received on the website, but the overwhelming response has been positive. In addition to visible comments on the site and social media, several people sent me messages telling me their stories and how me sharing mine helped them in some way. Huffington Post Weddings shared the story on its Facebook page and it continues to get more and more clicks.

I just looked on the website and it's been shared off of xoJane more than 1,800 times; that doesn't include people sharing off their own Facebook pages, Twitter, or even how many people read it without sharing. Several foster care-related organizations promoted the piece; FosterClub even shared it on its website. 

Since then (although not necessarily because of the post), I've been approached by two people who wanted to interview me. One was by a man who runs a podcast about people who have set and achieved goals. The idea is for listeners to learn from the people who are featured. I'll be interviewed for the podcast next week; the interview won't go live for a while, as the podcast hasn't launched yet, but I'll keep everyone posted.

The second person who approached me about an interview is the lovely Fiona Quinn. She runs a blog called ThrillWriting, which aims to help writers "write it right." For ThrillWriting, which I believe has some 150,000 readers, Fiona shares information from experts on the subjects writers might not know about but would want to include in their writing. In my case, that's the perspective of someone who grew up in foster care.

I found Fiona on Twitter because another writer recommend I get in touch with her regarding a story I'm working on for a magazine. I followed Fiona on Twitter, planning to message her the next day about my story, but she beat me to it asking if she could interview me! The interview can be found here.

That's pretty much all that's going on with me. Robby and I returned last weekend from a wonderful getaway along the Olympic Peninsula, hitting "Twilight" sights in Port Angeles and Forks, Wash. (I abbreviated Washington here because that's standard Associated Press style, but it feels kind of silly to use that in a blog; I'll take your thoughts on the matter if you feel so inclined to share.)

Forks!  

Forks!

 

Just hanging out at a rainforest, nbd.  

Just hanging out at a rainforest, nbd.

 

The weather was phenomenal; the sun was shining, the sky was clear and it was warm outside. Not bad for Forks, the wettest place in the continental United States!

"It's La Push."

"It's La Push."

 

I'm also planning  a trip back to Nevada to visit family and friends. I haven't been there for more than a few days at a time since I graduated from college and moved away in 2011. Another perk of the freelance writing life, ability to travel (if I have my assignments filed early and we have the money, that is). I think I can get used to this...

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