Looking for Fulfillment? Don’t Hold Out for Perfect

For the past seven years, I’ve had a love affair with the self-help genre. I’ve devoured books like Only French Women Get Fat and The Flex Diet looking for solutions to my body hate. I’ve gobbled up books like Introvert Power looking for validation. I’ve read and re-read books like Naked, Drunk, and Writing and The Boss of You, chasing career success. I’ve turned to cliche classics like Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in order to manage my mood.

There’s a lot of hate out there for self-help books, from people saying they provide false promises and lead readers to fruitlessly pursue perfection. And while I don’t look at these books as the answer to my everything, instead opting to apply what resonates with me and leave the rest, there’s definitely truth to the fact that people have a hard time being happy unless they feel they’ve achieved it all.

The other week, J. Maureen Henderson of Generation Meh wrote something on Salon that resonated with me. She described happiness as a jigsaw puzzle we could only lay claim to “once we’d carefully laid all of the pieces — careers, relationships, sense of self — into their rightful place.”

It was something that rang true.

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Freelancedom and Moral Ambiguity


[Photo via]

It can be tough to make money when you have a conscience.

Over the weekend, I asked tweeters whether they thought their feelings toward a manuscript’s subject matter subconsciously affected the way in which they edited it. I was slogging my way through a particularly arduous manuscript, and the contents weren’t helping matters. “You’re getting a paycheck,” my husband told me when I complained.

True enough. But have you ever found yourself turning down a project because of personal biases? Or turning down advertising dollars or freebies because you couldn’t bring yourself to endorse a profuct or service?

After the jump, various sources of freelance-y moral crossroads:

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Coffee Break: How Do You Handle the Holidays?

coffee break

As Fridays are a cool-down sort of day, I thought I’d designate a weekly coffee break, during which we could discuss a specified topic. This week, I’d like to bring up the challenge of handling business during the holidays.

In the magazine biz, special issues always correspond with seasonal occurrences, resulting in back-to-school issues, or holiday gift guide issues. As a blogger, I have more flexibility in terms of content development (magazines tend to work three to six months in advance), and so take advantage of holidays and events in my various blogs.

For example, this past week, I actually blogged about seasonal content, given the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend.


On another blog, me and my fellow bloggers blogged about “green” products and happy hour possibilities all day long, in honor of St. Patrick’s day. Later that same month, I did a week’s worth of cupcake-related posts in honor of the Martha Stewart-designated Cupcake Week.

How have you guys tied in business with seasonal pleasure?