A Holiday Recipe for Freelance Success

I've opted not to show you the flour- and batter-spattered countertops.

It’s five days until Christmas, and Holiday Brain has reached a fever pitch.

Yesterday, I baked two Nutella Swirl Pound Cakes while my Christmas mix played and the tree lights twinkled. It was so effing cozy and festively charming that my brain almost imploded. This morning, I baked a lemon pound cake and, tonight, I’ll be doing up five varieties of holiday cookies with my mom and brother.

I still have two more pound cakes to go.

I’ve also spent the past three weekends driving around with my husband and looking at holiday light displays whilst sipping eggnog lattes and mint hot chocolate. And doing up ridiculous holiday e-cards that heavily feature my cats being forced to wear holiday outfits. And planning holiday dinner parties and party parties.

Clearly, my mind is on one thing, and one thing only.*

Don’t worry. I won’t hold out on you. Here. Let me share one of my favorite holiday recipes: [Read more…]

Are You a Typical Freelancer?

When Thursday Bram approached me with the idea of a post exploring the idea of the “typical” freelancer, I was intrigued. I’m of the mind that there’s no such thing as “typical,” that the best freelancers carve out their own, unique path, and that a successful freelance career can look different to every freelancer. But as Thursday points out, beginning freelancers often want to know the right way to do things. They’re desperate for answers. So what does the typical freelance path look like? Thursday — a full-time freelancer and the co-founder of  Enhanced Freelance, a membership site for freelancers ready to up their game — has your answers. [Read more…]

PSA: Steph Auteri Has Finally Gone Rogue

My new, improved head shot with my new, improved boobs (I was a late bloomer).

Over the past four years, you’ve revealed your fears to me regarding freelancing. You’ve talked about money issues. You’ve talked about health insurance. You’ve talked about the fear of failure. You’ve talked about self-doubt.

And I totally get all of those.

I, in turn, have always held the opinion that freelancing doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. You can write in the evenings, after coming home from your full-time job. You can supplement a part-time retail gig with a handful of copy editing projects. You can go permalance, or you can go whole hog. The right balance is different for everyone.

For me, the right balance was always a mix of part-time permalance, supplemented by a handful of other writing and copy editing projects.

Still, at times, I had an underlying feeling that my permalance gigs were holding me back. They were taking up the majority of the time, and at less than ideal rates. They were keeping me from really giving my other business pursuits my all. Sure, there was the promise of a regular paycheck. But could I possibly make more money without the security?

A couple of months ago, I decided to find out.

[Read more…]

How To Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind

According to an infographic recently put together by the American Museum of Corporate American History and Solvate, the average commuter spends 429 days just commuting over the course of their lifetime.

Which makes me feel relieved that I put a stop to that bullshit early on.

I mean man. What a waste.

Not to say that working in an office isn’t better for some. Office culture provides structure. A social outlet. A separation between work and home.

But still.

You can have that at home, too. In fact, you can have it even better.


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Merry Christmas! My 12 Favorite Freelance Tools and Resources

My gift to you. Go ahead. Open it.

Just yesterday, Deb Ng wrote a fantastic post on the 10 Ways to Give Back to Your Favorite Bloggers for the Holidays. I loved it because I’ve always felt that generosity toward your fellow freelancers was key in achieving career success… and in experiencing the warm fuzzies. In fact, I’d advise all of you to show generosity to your fellow freelancers year-round, with feedback, advice, contacts, support, resources, and more.

In that spirit, I’d like to leave you guys a Christmas gift before shutting down my laptop for the holidays and gorging myself on Candy Cane Kisses and eggnog.

I eschewed fancy wrapping paper, as my cats tend to eat any curling ribbon I  leave languishing beneath the Christmas tree. (And then they puke it up later. Fun!) But even though my gift’s not super-fancy, I hope you’ll find it helpful.

Go ahead. From me to you, my 12 favorite freelance tools and resources. May they bring you career success, and/or make your day-to-day freelance life a bit more bearable.

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Bringing More Life To These Writerly Life Lessons

[Obviously, this is what I look like when I work from home.]

The other day, I tweeted about how I’d been making preparations to sell my condo. Specifically, I said: “Our condo has never looked better. But do u think buyers will be scared away by the ‘intimate portraits’ in the bedroom?” And then I linked to this old post from my now-defunct personal blog, containing pictures of said “intimate portraits.” The post itself was about new things I had experienced lately thanks to various writing assignments.

Reading back through that post made me realize that my blogging had been missing something crucial for quite some time now: the personal. Is that why I’d been feeling so stuck lately? (Well. Aside from the whole being-too-busy-to-blog thing.)

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Link Love: April 10, 2010

I feel as if this week was a perfect example of how much I was missing when I was playing recluse for the past year. (The positively balmy weather didn’t hurt.)

On Tuesday, I went to the #nyblogout — a happy hour for NYC dating bloggers — and met a few people I had previously only known online. On Friday afternoon, I went to an open dress rehearsal for Armida at the Metropolitan Opera, and then went to a Ben Folds concert in the evening. And today, I went to the local university to rehearse a choral piece an old high school friend had composed for his grad school recital. It felt good to get away from the computer screen.

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Crowdsourcing: Does the Corporate Ladder Still Beckon?

A few weeks ago, one of my YourTango co-workers got a (totally deserved because she’s awesome) promotion.

It got me thinking: What’s the next step for me at this company? And do I even have a future here if I’m unwilling to go full-time?

Because while I love working for this company, and it feels like such a perfect fit for me, I’m a freelancer through and through. I have so many other projects on my plate, large and small. I have a new coaching practice. I plan on having a child soon. I enjoy the flexibility, and the diversity of projects. And I don’t want to have to give up anything!

This led to a late-night conversation with my husband, in which we discussed the fact that neither of us has had any interest in the traditional, corporate “ladder” for quite some time now. Rather, what we both enjoy is the act of creating. Management? A completely unattractive prospect for the both of us.

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Link Love: March 27, 2010

It’s been a busy week, and my poor ebook keeps falling to the bottom of the heap in terms of priorities. After all, who has time to whip up a book when there’s an office job to stay on top of, clients to coach, copy to be written, and blog posts to be…well…blogged? Still, my new web platform is slated to launch at the beginning of April (see: clock ticking). And my new web platform will have a products page filled with coaching packages that can be ordered directly through the site. And an additional item — available to order as a standalone product — will be my ebook. Yes, I am currently employing my oh-shit face.

Which is why I’m hunkering down this weekend (my sniffles have effectively quashed the desire to go outside, anyway) and working on nothing but Job Hopping for Word Nerds. Luckily, a good number of you have weighed in with ideas on what I might include in my ebook. Which makes my job a lot easier. (I love you guys.)

Before  brew another pot of coffee, however, and chain myself to the laptop, here are a few pieces you might find worth a read:

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Link Love: March 19, 2010

It’s been a long, ridiculously busy week and, I must admit, I’m feeling a bit burnt out. Which is why, last night, I forced myself to step away from my laptop and indulge in an evening of Netflix+hot cocoa. Still, work goes on, and I completed a copywriting project for a new client, had my very first career coaching appointment, and got back into the bloggy swing of things. I’d still like to write up a guest post, organize the content for my new online portfolio, and make some headway on my e-book but, you know…we’ll see how that goes. 🙂 In the meantime:

[Read more…]