Create the Life You Want… Not the One You Think You Should Want

Almost two weeks ago, I was on the phone with a reporter from a national magazine, talking about solopreneurship and personal branding. We were having a lovely chat — though I felt like a bit of a spaz; that’s why I’m a writer, you guys — when he asked me about my income.

“I make about $30k a year,” I told him.

“You can live on that!?” he asked.

I mentioned that I was lucky enough to have a husband who made way more money than me, so that I could create a life in which I only worked part-time hours. I told him I was building a career in which I could stay home with my future (as-yet-unconceived) children and not take a huge, unprepared-for blow to my paycheck. And if I needed more money, I said, I could always hustle a helluva lot more instead of sitting back and letting the work come to me (which is my current, lazy-ass m.o.).

He asked me what I’d do if a media company offered me a staff position at $75k.

“I’d turn it down,” I said. “No question.”

“What about $100k?” he asked.

“Nope,” I said. “I never want to give this up.”

Two days later, my bread-winning husband lost his job. [Read more…]

How to Avoid Homelessness and Starvation When the Checks Aren’t Regular

This self-portrait, by William A. Clark, is both brilliant and eerily familiar. (Whatever. I love ramen noodles.)

My writer-buddy Stacy Lipson recently moved to NYC to pursue her word-nerdy dreams. Stacy is a hard worker. She has a lot of drive and determination. And I’m pretty sure she doesn’t get enough sleep. Still, the city life is proving a bit tougher than she expected. Especially considering how wishy-washy clients can be when sending out paychecks. So she asked me to do up a post on surviving in the city as a freelance writer.

I was happy to comply. There was just one… small… thing…

Though I once worked at the Feminist Press, volunteered my time to a sex-positive feminist mag for sex workers, and declared that I would never be dependent upon a man, I’m now living in a condo in the suburbs, sponging off my husband’s health insurance and his considerably larger income.

God I hate myself.

Still, I’ve learned a thing or two about best business practices and, for everything I don’t know, I’ve provided tips from freelancer friends of mine living in the city. So yeah. I’ve got you covered.

[Read more…]

Check Me Out on BlogHer!

Hey there y’all! For those of you who are regular readers, you’ve already read my post on how to bring in new work without lifting a finger. But check it! BlogHer was kind enough to syndicate my blog post!

For those of you coming here from BlogHer, welcome! I hope you have fun digging around my archives and, please, by all means, stay awhile. We love having new people to hang with. 😉

Link Love: December 12

Hey there. Remember me? I’m Steph, your friendly neighborhood blogger, who just happened to drop off the face of the blogosphere due to her new, part-time freelance gig as Assistant Editor for YourTango, in addition to other copywriting, newspaper, and magazine deadlines. And career coaching teleclasses. Not to mention Christmas.

As you can imagine, I’ve saved up quite a few links for your reading pleasure in the past few weeks. Please read them instead of dwelling upon how I’ve let you down:

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He Said/She Said: Our Income [Now and Later]

money grab

[Photo via]

My husband and I are…different.

He is rational, while I am emotional. He is cautious and conservative, while I preach the necessity of taking risks in order to move forward. He worries about immediate income — ensuring that we don’t go homeless or hungry — while I give him an ulcer by concerning myself with the future.

Last night, our differences sparked a major argument.

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Side Jobs: Go Back To School


Since money became especially tight about four months ago, my mother has been suggesting that I become a substitute teacher. My response? I’m the type of person who can’t even control 4-year-olds. An entire classroom full of any age would eat me alive.

Still, as far as side jobs go, teaching is a good one for freelancers, and I don’t mean subbing. Those who teach classes and workshops in their area of expertise can bring in a good amount of extra cash, in addition to extending their brand, establishing themselves as an expert in their field.

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Coffee Break: Let’s Passively Make More $ While We Drink Our Coffee

Things have been looking up here, finance-wise, despite the fact that I still haven’t found another regular gig. I’ve gotten three new clips, with a fourth on the way, and also talked my way into a bit of a “raise.” Huzzah!

It’s not enough, of course, which is why I read the following two blog posts with such interest:

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My 5 Favorite Things In: ProBlogger


I’m a bit of a booktard.

I started out with Golden Books, moved on to Nancy Drew, graduated to John Saul, V.C. Andrews, and Stephen King, and finally ended up with Barbara Kingsolver, Lorrie Moore, etc.

When thoughts of freelancedom completely hijacked my brain, I naturally moved on to how-tos. Now, to show my gratitude, I feel I ought to highlight some of the books that got me to this point.

This week, I thought I’d mention ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger and Chris Garrett of chrisg. While most of you may not necessarily aim to be career bloggers, I believe it’s a great tool to have in your belt when trying to launch your own business. After all, blogs can showcase your talents, acting as a virtual portfolio. Or they can function as promotional tools. Or they can keep present clients updated on your business. My five favorite things in this book?

[Read more…]