Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I Resolve to Blah Blah Blah

Why is it that we look to the first day of a new calendar year to kick-start actually living our lives? But instead of looking forward to the promise of that new year, why do we spend hours looking back over the year we’re still living in to qualify the things we plan to do in the new year?

Resolutions are supposed to be about making changes while moving forward. Seems pretty impossible to do while facing the other way right?

It’s like we need to see what great times we had, or mistakes we made, and then we resolve to either fix or do more of that shit starting on January 1. But what’s the point right? I mean all we’re doing is looking at what we used to do; thinking about what could have been.

Not what is.

I’m guilty of doing it too. Especially this year.

But I truly think the people who “fail at resolutions” don’t really fail. They just weren’t facing the right direction.

So this upcoming year I’m facing the future, not the past.

I fully intend to take this year by the balls and make it my bitch.

Or something like that.

The definition of resolution in the case of New Year’s is “firmness of purpose or intent.”

But I’m not getting hung up in the meaning of the word, the definition as purported by millions, if not billions, of people worldwide.

Because as far as I’m concerned the calendar year isn’t really a crucial part of the plans I have, other than it being a gentle guide for the things I plan to do.

See, for me this upcoming year isn’t about resolving to do anything.

I will set goals.

Because goals challenge me. They make me try harder. They make me focus, get down to work, and then get down to celebrating when I achieve them.

And I don’t care if I achieve all of them within the tight restrictions of January 1 – December 31. I’m setting my goals and working to achieve them, so if they come to fruition this year then great! If not, that doesn’t mean I give up. It means I keep trying no matter what the date says.

As we all know goals can change mid-stream. They’re fluid, flexible and always evolving in order to get you to the best version of yourself you can dream up and go after.

New Year’s resolutions come with a built in pass/fail mechanism. You either do the thing or you don’t.

Bleh. How limiting is that?

I have four goals I want to tackle this year:

Release new books (yes, multiple).
Learn to cook (meals that aren’t boring).
Read more (books specifically).
Be more active (watching less and doing more).

Yup. That’s it.

Because if I can set out on a course to do all of those things then all the other stuff I might think about in terms of resolutions will just fall into place.

Eating healthy, exercising, getting my career on track, traveling, saving money, or anything else I could dream up that I’d love to change about myself, I’m simply striving to be a better version of me in 2015.

But I’m not going to consider the whole year a failure if I take 3 days off from writing or veg out in front of the television occasionally either.

I’ve always got the next day to get back on track. There’s no point in looking at a little misguided step as a fail. Like I said, facing backwards doesn’t help me achieve my goals.

So as my vacation comes to an end, and a brand new calendar year gets started, I’m looking forward to doing my best to achieve all the goals I’ve got laid out in front of me.

Have a safe and festive New Year everyone!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Off the Deep End

So here we are again. And by “we” I mean me and all the characters that live in my head. It’s November and for the first time in four years I’m back doing NaNo.

Yup, that’s right kids. The time for fiction has returned!

What’s that you ask? Have I gone off the deep end? Let’s just get all the questions out of the way now so we can push on unfettered:

“Um, are you crazy?”
“Didn’t you just start a business with a partner?”
“Aren’t you already working as a writer?”
“How do you plan to find the time?”
“Won’t you miss showering?”
“Won’t you miss your friends?”
“You won’t try to sell this thing you think will be a manuscript, will you?”
“Um, are you crazy?”

For those not in the know on the NaNo skinny (and why any and all of those questions up there are totally valid points)…

The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel during just the month of November.

Sounds scary right? Well trust me, it is every bit as scary as it sounds. But I’m doing it anyway because fuck it. If I’m going to be a writer then I’m going to be the type of writer I want to be.

That I’ve always wanted to be.

But, there are so many reasons I gave up on the whole idea of being a freelance writer after 3 years. I had to have a long sit-down with myself to figure it all out. Which wasn’t too challenging considering I broke my wrist at the beginning of October. I had more than enough time to ruminate on life and career while I sat around doing nothing.

And, boy, do I ever mean nothing.

I was in a ton of pain, could not type, and I could barely move my left arm at all. Hell, I’m still in a temporary cast right now!

Last month was really a wakeup call in so many ways – personal and professional. I discovered many things that I never would have thought about before the moment when I incapacitated myself.

The biggies:

- Freelancing is not for me after all. Hey, I tried. Honestly I threw everything at the wall on that one and really wanted it to work out because it would’ve been nice to make a steady paycheck as a “real” writer. Alas, no matter what I did or what wall I tossed it at so little stuck that I just couldn’t justify wasting perfectly good shit like that anymore.

- I’m way to narcissistic to be a ghostwriter. Yeah, I really do need to see my own name, in print, on the cover of some amazing book that I wrote. I was good at ghostwriting but part of what I discovered is that my ego needs to release work into the world and, when people read it, they’ll know I wrote it.

- My words are worth more to me than the frustration of working like a dog for peanuts. I can make that writing fiction and have more fun in the craft again. I did make some money as a freelancer, that’s true, which of course was nice because I worked my ass off for it. I just couldn’t ever feel what I was writing.

- Freelance ghostwriting is essentially all marketing all the time. Sure, marketing is super important no matter what field you’re in, but I was always writing with a spin in mind – be it for a product or service – everything I wrote as a freelancer had the end goal of bringing in a sale. Hey, I’m all for that because I have shit to sell too. Which is why I’m glad I took a few years to really learn the concepts so I can now market my books instead of someone else’s product or service I have no vested interest in.

- I was reminded of something I’ve been saying since I worked in retail (circa 1996-ish.) I hate people. Most people are crazy, only out for themselves and pay no mind to your schedule, your business needs or anything else that matters in your life because they’re too busy worrying about all that same stuff for themselves. Just like me. It was time to get out.

Bottom line was that I missed writing from the imagination and not the wallet, I’m glad I learned better ways to sell my books though, and I’m using NaNo as the catalyst toward getting at least four out next year.

Yup. Four.

My goal is to get the heroine from my second book into a series and have her solving crimes all over this great nation for the next year.

Which reminds me…

Side perk of fiction I don’t get as a freelancer? A trip to Colorado can be a write off. Or a trip anywhere for that matter. Score.

By the way, I’m totally using this as word count today.

Just kidding.

No I’m not.

Or am I?

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Friday, September 26, 2014

So Many Updates, So Little Time

Other than my last rant post about my inner turmoil, I realized today that I haven’t shared anything since June. That’s just nuts!

So in what will probably be far too wordy a post for most people to deal with (unless you’re awesome of course) I’ll update you on the happenings of my entire summer in one easy to digest package.

Work took over my life, then crushed my soul, then made me realize hope is not lost

Life as a freelancer is going nowhere. And it’s kind of funny but I really don’t care. I mean, sure, having a teeny-tiny "income" was a side perk for a while but I honestly think I’m just over it.

I’m over doing great work with no feedback and no repeat business.

I’m over trying to help companies who absolutely could benefit from my help with their copy but who try to get me to take $15 for 2000 words of heavily researched writing because they saw some ad on a content mill where someone who doesn’t speak the same language as them promises to “write the quality contents” for money that no human can live on in this country.

I’m over apologizing for charging a professional fee for professional work or being outright laughed at for wanting to make a living running a business doing something I have oodles of experience doing and am pretty kick-ass at.

Over chasing people who don’t understand that a contract is a binding document.

Over having to ask my lawyer for help so I can make a measly $140 that was 6 weeks overdue.

Fucking freelancing.

Yup that’s right kids! If you want to run your own freelance writing business you too might be able to be poor, work your ass off well over 50 hours a week and be shunned from future work because you opted to take a weekend off instead of being a slave to your email!

This really is the life isn’t it?

Good thing my husband makes an income too because living on the street isn’t on my bucket list.

But all snarky realism aside this whole tragic dance taught me one incredibly important lesson:

I need to be in control of my own destiny.

And by that I mean realize my talents and put them to use for once.

I have kick-ass writing skills, am a detailed and organized business owner who never fails to deliver on time, over-delivers most of the time, applies creativity to all of my projects and charges appropriately and if other business owners can’t understand why that’s light years ahead of other freelancers then, in the immortal words of Burton Guster, they can just:

Suck iiiiiiiit.

So with all that said it should be crystal clear why my friend Kate and I are launching our very own venture and why I’m so freaking excited about it!

It’s called Blogging Your Book.

This is our “first student” logo, what do you think?

This venture couldn’t be more necessary for both of us.

I’m an author turned copywriter who has taken so many online courses now that my hard drive is probably hedging on max capacity of pdf documents. Kate is a ghostwriter and general web copy guru who is maybe even more tired of the trying-to-land-a-client run around than I am.

Last spring we went to a presentation together and had the biggest light bulb moment of our lives. (If you want to read about that experience check out our Go Team! Page)

We knew we could structure a course on how to promote yourself as a first time author with the most powerful form of marketing available online – a blog.

Since April we’ve been putting this thing together and I have to say that in all my years of learning about blogging/freelancing/copywriting for income, NOTHING has ever made me as excited as the possibilities that exist through this business venture we’ll be launching next spring.

We are dedicated to creating the best product possible.

We genuinely want to help authors get their stuff out there in the world.

We both know it’s time to take control back in our businesses and stop relying on the clients that never come to make our dreams come true.

It is SO TIME to make it happen for ourselves!

So the site is up and we’re slowly starting to populate the blog with content, get our newsletter together and craft some AMAZING module content so we can really give a quality class experience to all of these authors who have no idea what a platform even is let alone how to build one to sell their books.

(By the way, you’d be my new BFF if you’d sign up to get our newsletter which should start running in October sometime. It will have all kinds of great blogging for marketing tips and other stuff so get in now!)

In other news…

This will be happening in the next 3-5 years:

This is one of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s larger plans at 777 sq ft and it’s for their B-53 model. However, it is very likely that Matt will be using things like this as inspiration but designing our new, much smaller, more efficient and more functional house from the ground up all on his own.

I do love our house but after being here for a couple years (as well as being in Phoenix, still having weird sickness symptoms on and off that I attribute directly to this geographic region) we know this isn’t the right place for us for the long term. We have way too much house, way too much underutilized land, and far too big a pool for what we really need.

Aside from the heating and cooling costs to own a home this large in the desert there’s just the overall waste of space that the environmentalist in me can’t justify anymore.

So you can understand even more now why Blogging Your Book needs to get off the ground!

You want even more? Okay!

In late June we went back east to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. She was a beautiful and happy bride, the ceremony was just perfect and we felt so honored to be invited to share that special day with her and her amazing groom. Plus it was awesome just to get a few moments to see a good number of our family and friends we haven’t seen in far too long. The week flew by but we ended it on the best note ever:

You're damn right that's Bianchi's!

I also made this homemade toothpaste recently and it was the first step in living a bit more chemical-lite.

I’m planning to start experimenting with laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, Dryel/Febreze alternates and a lot of other household cleaning products. We already ditched the toilet bowl and bathroom cleaners in favor of vinegar and baking soda.

Matt hates the smell but it dissipates pretty quick and has good properties for killing germs.

And I finally quit smoking cigarettes. I’m only 5 days in but have switched exclusively to an e-cig. I’ve had a pang here or there but not letting it suck me back in. Hello, can’t really live chemical-lite and still smoke now can I?

However there are a few things I’m not going to stop doing that are still chemically based (even though I try to go 3-Free as often as possible) because, well, I just love doing it.

And more still…

This summer was the summer of concerts let me tell you!

I had the pleasure of feasting my ears on some artists who had about 5 people in the room as well as some who had 5000 or more. I was lucky enough to share these wonderful nights and day-drinking days with my sister, her boyfriend, my mom, my step-MIL and her sister, friends, and/or Matt.

Marc Norman, Tony Bennett, Bushwalla, and Mötley Crüe were all touring either local bars or cross-country venues. They were great and all but for the first time in way too long I got to hear and see the live musical stylings of Jason Mraz (with Raining Jane) who are touring a new album titled YES!

The album rocks. The show was so fucking kick-ass I could hardly contain my excitement. I still can hardly contain it! It was a rare appearance for my favorite wordsmith here in Phoenix and it was great to have a chance to be in the crowd. 13th row at that. Boom!

Saw a few ball games, bought our season tickets to the Coyotes (13 days!) and got to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary on the shores of California with Matt for the 3rd year in a row.

We spent time chilling with family, drinking with friends...and vice versa.

As ranty as my last post might have been about the way I go off the deep end sometimes, this summer is a perfect example of how much awesome there really is in my life.

I’m truly a lucky gal.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Have You Ever Just…

…wanted to scream, laugh, cry, shake, dance, yell, applaud, thank and shout all in the exact same moment?

Well if you have then you’ve got a teeny clue about what the inside of my brain has looked like for the past couple months. I used to come over here and use this space to rant as my personal form of therapy when I felt like my head might just pop off at any second.

But since this summer started my ADD and overwhelmed, overflowing, over capacity mind has been in full-steam overdrive and I couldn’t seem to reign it in enough to even rant.

Every last word of that song just segues so perfectly into the entire point of all of this stupid bullshit that I couldn’t figure out how to stop from taking over my life. But then it all took over anyway.

This past weekend Matt, my mom & I went to see Jason Mraz perform live here in Phoenix. It was the first time I’d seen him take the stage in over four years and I was looking so forward to the show that I could hardly contain my excitement.

As I predicted, the show was amazing. I soaked in all the positivity he spewed from the stage. I let the whole vibe just wash over me like a big fuzzy blanket of awesome and I felt so great.

Then something really weird happened.

The next day we were invited to go and enjoy an afternoon with some great friends. Nothing fancy. No pressure. Just some pool time, wine, fun in the sun. And I couldn’t get my ass off the couch.

All of the blackness that had been bubbling for so long came flooding up through that blanket of awesome, coated it in sludge, and pulled me into its depths of suckage.

Quicksand inside my head that folds my good thoughts into suck-tion and no matter what I do to try to swim out, I just can’t break free.

I was in such a terrible place in my head that I couldn’t imagine spending one second with anyone. I felt insanely vulnerable. Overly self-conscious. But I know it was for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Seriously, no reason. I look fine. I don’t have any weird health stuff going on right now (thankfully). I just couldn’t wrap my head around anyone being around me. I disconnected. I was sitting here on my sofa with my mom and Matt but I was so far away from present I wondered if I would ever get back.

My mind was racing at a billion miles a second with way too many horrible things. Stuff that doesn’t matter for shit in the grand scheme of life. But stuff that makes me feel like I’m balancing precariously on the edge of that proverbial razor blade.

But I know it’s just me. Sometimes it happens and I have no choice other than to sink into it and let it happen.

I hate it though, especially when it stops me from having a good time, but I realized this morning that I can’t feel bad about it. Because when it happens I always come out the other side of it understanding more about who I actually am. I have a greater sense of what I want, what I need in my life. And also what I don’t.

A big house. A cool car. Half an acre of underutilized land. Makeup in every shade under the rainbow. Area rugs for every room. 6 colors of the same pair of jeans.


So much fucking stuff.

I should really follow around one of these urban legends I’ve heard about and find out how they do it. You know the people – they only work 25 hours a week, make over $100,000 a year, have a spotless fresh smelling home, totally weed-free front yards at all times, homemade organic non-GMO meals on the table every night, and bath towels that don’t smell because there hasn’t been a moment to wash them in 3 weeks.

Yeah, I know they don’t really exist, but in this world of “everything in my life is fucking great!” internet perfection it’s easy to be convinced that they do.

And it’s just too much for me to deal with anymore.

I’m weeding down.

Starting today I’m fleshing out all the things I don’t need in my life. I don’t need a Pinterest account. I don’t need a twitter account for my old company. I don’t need email addresses of people I never communicate with. I don’t need tax files from 1999.

And I don’t need a house or yard this big.

Another thing we did over this past weekend was watch the short documentary movie Tiny: A StoryAbout Living Small and it finally hit me:

Matt and I are killing ourselves just to keep up with some perceived notion of what we should have and how we should live. And for what? So I have a place to store books I haven’t read since I was 10 years old just so I can say I have them?

I started thinking about Jason being on tour. Sure, he’s got a home base where he can house all the things that mean something sentimental or otherwise, but for months at a time he lives out of a bus, or a suitcase even, but he’s enjoying the things that matter and not needing to be surrounded by copious crap all the time just to feel fulfilled.

At least I think that’s the case. I don’t know the guy or anything but based on his own statements I believe that all to be true.

And I believe it to be the most inspiring thing I’ve ever heard.

Because, why should Matt have to work 50 hours a week, me at least 45, just to make the money to pay for all of this stuff we don’t really need? It’s a pitiful existence and causes stupid shit like this to spew out of my fingers but it doesn’t actually do anything for either of us.

All it seems to do is make me feel like crap because I have too much crap. An avalanche of stuff that doesn’t help me feel any happier.

The time has come to sit down together and figure out how to release all the things that don’t matter so we can embrace more of the stuff that does.

Laughter. Hugs. Family. Friends. Passion for my career. Music. Travel. Love.

Maybe if I do that I’ll be able to make it to the next pool party my friends invite me to. Because instead of feeling chaotic, like I’m nailed to the floor but could tornado across the world at any second, I’ll have a fighting chance for a calmer mind. 

It's time to fight for focus.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Should Just Stop Saying “This is What I Want to Do!”

Because the minute I start doing the thing that I really want to do I end up losing all my inspiration.

Maybe I’m just meant to be on this planet to be a muse for everyone else. I’m like Salma Hayek’s character in Dogma. I can come up with a million ideas for everyone else but can’t seem to keep any for myself.

But does that mean I should just go be a stripper?

<insert hysterical laughter here>

Because, yeah, I’m sure that an almost 41 year old, pasty white and 25 pounds overweight woman with sagging boobs is exactly what all those drunk guys are looking for in a stripper. Then again, maybe they are…

Anyway, I’m not going that route but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around anything anymore. Not where my work is concerned anyway.

I’m planning and working toward launching a new venture later this summer that’s plucked right out of my writing experiences. There’s going to be a new book and I’m going to start formatting a coaching/mentoring program for self-publishing Authors so they can actually finish a book and bring it to market. The same basic gist of what my book is going to be about.

Sounds great right? I’m excited about it but every time I sit down to start populating my blog or getting some stuff together for guest posting opportunities that will help with my authority in this niche I literally go freaking blank.

It’s hard to pull out just a portion of the information I want to share with would-be Authors so I can get my posts going when I’m also going to need to create a small giveaway, then a book, then a coaching program all based around the same concept.

But the thing about today’s market is that if you have a product to sell you have to give away free informational shit first so people want to buy your even more informational stuff. Or at the least look forward to engaging with you about the content.

All the business owners in the world who have started something and run it successfully would say this is the part of the process where I need to push through, continue to try my best to get things going. Because this is the part where fear stops most other entrepreneurs in their tracks.

I want to be a successful business owner. I’ve wanted to be a successful business owner since I picked up my first package of Avon catalogues about 100 years ago and tried to sell makeup for a living.

Over the years after that I moved on to every other possible product that I could sell door-to-door – Tupperware, knives, memberships, and maybe more but I’m blanking now on what they all were. But I avoided selling the one thing I knew I really wanted to sell because I was so afraid that when I got there it would all end in a similar fashion and I’d have to admit defeat.

Of course I’m talking about books.

But I said screw it and wrote one anyway. The sense of accomplishment I felt after getting that first proof copy in the mail was like an enormous weight being lifted off my entire body. I felt like my efforts, all the odd jobs, the time I’d spent doing everything I didn’t really want, led me to the very thing I was born to do.

I got a plan together, finished it and put it out there.

And guess what happened when I finally lived my dream, wrote some books and tried to market them? Yeah. Epic fail.

But it had less to do with my writing (I hope) and a whole lot to do with my knowledge of marketing. I just can’t seem to break through that little wall in my brain that allows me to market appropriately. Hence the lack of inspiration now.

And so the merry-go-round spins. And I’m still on it, going around endlessly where I know I’m really good at what I do but struggling big time with how to get the rest of the world to see that while I’m moving in slow, measured circles that never get me closer to anything.

How am I going to coach other Authors if I can’t even do the stuff I plan to tell them to do?

I’m so sick of starting, going nowhere, stopping then starting over again. Especially when this is it. This is the thing. I’m done searching endlessly. I know what I want to do with my life. So why the fuck is it so difficult to just make it happen?

I get that whole bullshit cliché about nothing worth it will be easy but I’ve been working for this for what feels like forever now. Can’t I just get a little something for all the fucking effort I’ve been putting into being a full-time writer for the past 5 years? Can’t I just inspire myself for once and figure out how to make this work?

Because I can’t go back to working as a corporate drone. I can’t NOT be a writer now. But I need to make this a real business because I can’t stop eating or paying my bills either. I’m not afraid anymore. Not afraid of being successful.

So where the hell is the success? I’ve been asking for it for so many years now that I can’t help but think of a couple more clichés – quitters never win but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over expecting different results and never getting them.

Maybe I should just chuck it all and move into a tiny house with Matt in upstate NY, eat twigs and trap geese. Abandon the internet altogether and become a crazy shut-in lunatic who writes a 4000 page manifesto.

Of course, then I’m going to want to sell it…

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Model Example?

This morning I read an article posted by a woman who clearly has a very strong and negative opinion about getting the Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalog*. The post was filled with images from the catalog and she tossed out numerous jabs at both the clothes and the women wearing them. After a couple paragraphs I started wondering the following:

Why is it okay for average Janes like us to say that models are too skinny, too tan, too sexy looking in their photographs but the moment someone comments on our weight, our skin tone, our facial expressions we get all up in their face like they just called the Pope an Atheist?

I can say with 100% certainly this statement is true – models are people with feelings and just as much ability to have them hurt by words tossed in their direction because the people who say them seem to think their life and career choices are somehow superior.

Let me say right now that I’m not jealous of supermodels, Victoria’s Secret models, catalogue models or models in general. In fact, I might even respect them more because I don’t have that talent. I take horrible pictures most of the time and I accept that. What I lack in visual appeal I make up for with my glorious, witty personality.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I’m not a model and I don’t know any models but I feel it’s my duty as a woman to put this out there as a rebuttal to the common misconceptions many people have about models: 
  • Just because a woman is skinny doesn’t mean she doesn’t eat.
  • Just because a photo appears in a magazine doesn’t mean it started out looking exactly how the finished product appears.
  • Just because a woman is beautiful, sexy, can wear tiny little clothes and sell those clothes because of her look, it doesn’t mean she should be open to public ridicule for doing her job.

Sure there might be some models who have eating disorders or other issues but it isn’t just models who face these problems. Lawyers, school principals, stay at home moms could have the same body/food issues but no one seems to harass those people about their weaknesses in public.

I really started wondering why the public seems to think it’s alright to scorn someone else for having something they don’t have – money, love, a rockin’ body, sex appeal. Is it jealousy?

For me, the real issue is that I’m disappointed in myself for not getting off my lazy ass and working out, for not eating healthy enough to still have the tiny frame I used to have. My feelings and my body image have nothing to do with the woman who has somehow managed to find the time to do all that stuff.

It’s not her fault I’m overweight. It’s not her fault I have cellulite and it’s not her fault I can’t rock the swimsuit that she can (yet). It’s my fault.

Yup, I said it and I stand by my choice.

Bear in mind, I don’t harbor delusions of body where I think that if I work out all the time and stop eating I’ll suddenly grow 6+ inches in height and lose every curve or varicose vein on my body. Come on now, I’m not young and stupid (anymore). But if I stopped being lazy and started taking better care of myself I actually could rock this bathing suit:

Yes she’s beautiful, yes she sells sex through her eyes and body, and yes the scene around her is picturesque.

Now, here’s some other things to think about when you look at that picture:

► Most swimsuit photo shoots happen in winter. Yup. This woman is probably freezing her tight, tan ass off but do you see that in her face? No. Models have to rise above being totally uncomfortable in order to do their fucking job. And that ain’t easy.

► What if she’s got the flu but scheduled for a photo shoot they’re paying for her to be a part of? You think she gets a sick day? Uh, no not so much. At least, not if she wants to pay her mortgage.

► What if the only time they could book for a shoot is on her kid’s 5th birthday? You think they’ll reschedule because she ordered up a bouncy castle? Try again.

► The chances that this woman just got 2 hours of sleep on a plane, spent 8 hours “frolicking” in ice cold water then got right back on a plane to travel 10 hours for another shoot where she has to be professional and upbeat (aka not cranky and tired) is pretty high. How much of a toll might that kind of schedule take on someone’s body?

► Speaking of body, models contort into positions no human should be able to pull off so you can see as much of the product as possible. Seriously, I dare you to get in front of a full-length mirror and try to get your body into the position in this photo. Then stay there for 4-8 hours with little time for a break.

► Oh, and don’t forget your face because getting in that position for that long is painful and you can’t let that show on your face or your photos will suck and you won’t get paid to do your job.

► Then, while you’re doing all that other stuff, don’t forget your light source must hit the right places on your face or again you’re going to look kind of weird.

► And weirdness might sell some stuff – see tortoise framed glasses, hipster music, books – but it doesn’t sell swimsuits. Sexy sells swimsuits.

So here’s my big overarching question:

As women, shouldn’t we be embracing of WHATEVER other women want to do for a living (you know, as long as it’s legal)? Are we seriously persecuting each other for being too sexy now? How fucked up of a female double-standard is that?

If I met whoever that gal is in the picture up there I’d give her a high five and thank her for taking care of herself. I’d thank her for getting her ass off her sofa, going out and using the thing she has to her best advantage to make a career for herself.

Remember how women used to not be able to do that? This woman should get a medal for doing what she loves AND getting paid for it.

And I’d thank her for pushing me to go that extra half mile on my stationary bike. Because, while I have ZERO delusions that I’d ever have the same body type or shape she has, I use the image as inspiration to better myself.

It’s hard enough for women out there so I see no reason for other women to shit all over each other just because we make choices to make the most of the gifts, skills and talents we have. Regardless of what those gifts, skills or talents happen to be.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get back on my stationary bike to do my 5 miles this morning because I’m going to get back in shape for me so I can buy that bathing suit and love how I look in it.

Non-model flaws and all.

Image courtesy Victoria’s Secret

*Sorry I can’t seem to locate the link to this story. If you read it please feel free to share the link in the comments.

A new window opens when you click to comment. Also, I get lots of spam comments so if the post is older than 3 days, your comment will be moderated.

Friday, May 2, 2014

I Stopped Blogging Because I Started Blogging

Here’s the thing, I love writing over here. This space was my first internet presence that was truly me. No filter, no holding back.

But that was back when I was a different kind of writer. Now I blog for a living. Or write blogs for other people for a living, more specifically. So to me it feels weird to blog in my spare time.

Instead, that time has been filled with lots of family and friend time, sports…okay, specifically hockey both live & NHL playoffs on TV, and just living life in general. Which, in the past, I always came over here to blog about.

Crazy, now I write more words a week than I ever did when I was writing fiction (NaNoWriMo excluded) but can’t find time to write about the stuff I want to write about. You know, Me. Just kidding. No I’m not…

Sometimes it makes me sad that I gave up on writing for fun (or to rant or whatever) because that kind of writing is always so cathartic. But now I freelance for income so, like I said, writing more is sometimes a stretch.

Can I confess something? This is the fifth post I’ve started writing to go up over here in the past two or three weeks. I get to about 400 words and can’t keep going. Not because the thought is complete or the story is done  but because I can’t figure out how to complete the thought. Five half written posts are getting moldy in a folder on my computer somewhere.

And I really have no idea if I’ll be able to finish this one either but something tells me I will.

Because today I’m supposed to be writing pitches to a bunch of Green companies offering my blogging services.

Then again, if I want to keep that paycheck showing up every week maybe I should continue working. Guess that's what got me into this situation of not writing over here in the first place, huh?

And it all comes full circle.

This one isn’t even going to come close to 400 words. But somehow it feels finished anyway.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are You Always an Asshole or Is It Just When You’re Online?

A couple months ago I joined a few groups on Linked In as a way to promote my work, get to know some other freelance writers (networking!), and possibly connect with people who (I’ve been told) frequent those groups looking for writers to hire.

I wanted to make sure I was in the right places if I was going to spend time in online communities chatting. It needed to be worth my while because I wanted to give the most benefit to the most people by sharing my experiences.

Weeding down to the basic groups that applied to my current position seemed like a smart idea. Groups geared toward freelancers, journalists, writers, etc. Everything was going great.

That is, until I started posting helpful articles.

Because as soon as I started sharing my experiences ofpersonal development as a freelance writer, the jack-assery started to fly.

Of course I want people to hire me but what I was sharing had little if nothing to do with asking people to do that. Quite the contrary, I really just wanted to help other writers. Because we’re all in this together even if what we do is a solopreneur enterprise most of the time.

I wanted to help struggling freelance writers see that it was okay to struggle, that it was normal to have questions. And then I wanted to help by giving my story of breaking into this industry as personal accounting for the answers to those questions.

But apparently some people don’t really want answers. Apparently many of the people in these groups spend little or no time reading the content and show up to do nothing more than attack the poster. It isn’t just my links, I’m seeing these same people belittle everything that’s posted.

They like to battle the advice, not in a challenging way that opens debate or engaging conversation. No. They simply set out to be mean.

And I just do not get it.

The reason it makes no sense is because those same people pose questions and they appear to be looking for answers. They ask how to break in, what kinds of things you need to do to break in, how to be a better writer. Then they stomp all over the people who provide those answers because it appears the advice wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

Sorry to disappoint but there is no magic formula to get rich overnight as a writer. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that you’d actually have to work for a living. And work hard. That there are things you need to learn how to do before attempting to freelance for income online.

Now I’m not saying I think I have all the answers, I’m not that egocentric, but I have been doing this for a while, have found some clients and made some decent money from my efforts. I thought that’s what they wanted to know how to do too. You know, since they asked.

But apparently their main goal is to waste their own time and everyone else’s by being an asshole. I’m just glad I don’t have to live with these people. If that’s what you’re like online is that what you’re like in life? Yikes.

Maybe you should take some of that snark and channel it into a book or a blog post. Perhaps that’s your voice and you’ll find a few freelance clients who love to pay combative people who already have all the answers to the questions they asked in the first place.

There’s my free advice of the day to all the trolls who find it fun to battle those who came before you - Use your aggression in a more productive way.

Though I highly doubt you’ll take the advice if past history is any indication.

Go ahead, bring on the evil comments. I can take it because in the end my skin is thick enough to shake my head and sigh. Then smile because I’ll be helping the writers who want the help and both of us will be padding our bank accounts with client work that pays while you waste hours you could have been writing for money by being an evil online troll.

Sucks to be you.

I won’t stop posting my advice and suggestions because there have been a few people who have seemed to genuinely benefit from what I’m putting out there. But I won’t engage with people who feel it’s their duty to be a tool just to look like a big shot.

This isn’t grade school people, it’s the internet. Get over yourself.

And now I’m going to get over myself and get back to doing what I do for a living. Writing for writers who want to make money. Just like me.

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I'm Jenn, a Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger for hire and owner of Copywrite That. I can write your blog posts, articles, emails, newsletters, web copy and more. Contact me today: info[at]copywritethat[dot]com