I met a friend of mine for coffee last week, who I hadn't seen in months. Over steaming mugs and a belated glass of orange juice, we caught up on creative endeavors and landed on one main topic: the fact that we both don't often talk about what we're currently working on in favor of waiting for the "cool" projects, or even the "completed" projects.
And we agreed this is silly. But we do it all the time, still, and we firmly shook hands on a promise to stop. To promote our middle ground work. To say, "I'm currently trying to X, and I'm slogging through an essay on Y." To say, "I finished a collaboration with A, and look at this other neat thing I made yesterday about B."
So here's what I've been up to in 2018 thus far, on the creative front:
- Writing about 20-25 freelance articles a month for a handful of core clients, mostly on parenting, wellness and fitness.
- Finally done with a major leadership speech for the CEO of the company I work for.
- Getting outside my comfort zone with some brand work at my day job (i.e., radio copy, woo!)
- Completed 3 articles for SELF.com, all from pitching efforts, all within the same month (two published, one still in the editorial process).
- Tried to pitch a major magazine about a topic I've had outlined out for a year now, still haven't heard anything back yet. So it goes.
- Followed up on an approved pitch from late 2017, based on editor requests, only to learn that editor has now left that publication (sigh). Starting over from scratch now.
- Renegotiated a contract for a higher flat rate per story, which was successful but also slightly uncomfortable ("Hi, please pay me what I'm worth but also don't view me as asking too much").
- Barely blogged due to being out of creative energy for above work/deadlines, which is a bummer but also fine.
- Took a social media hiatus for Lent.
- Survived the first trimester of another baby, arriving later this year! Which is so lovely but also, I basically sat on the couch and ate bread outside of working.
- Nailed a pitch for a national client that I'm SUPER EXCITED ABOUT, more on that later.
- Working on a career profile for The Everygirl, and collaborating with one of my fave people for the photos later this summer.
- Opened the doc for my short story/novel pitch approximately once a week, and mostly stared at it wondering what to do next (As the aforementioned friend, Laura, suggested, "Maybe just print it out?" Okay, that I can do.)
- Paid off $10K in student loans due to freelance work and set a related financial goal for 2018.
- Rewrote "update portfolio" in my planner every week; still haven't done it.
Plus, you know, all the usual stuff that comes with life, like eating and sleeping and going to yoga once in a while and renewing our house warranty and returning maternity clothes that don't fit and trying to plan date night and making grocery lists and meeting a new nephew and planning a girls trip to Chicago and seeing Sylvan Esso for the second time and savoring cups of coffee around Des Moines (I see you, St. Kilda and Horizon Line) and missing my friends and playing phone tag and visiting grandparents and redoing our bathroom and cleaning up cat pee and forgetting to call my mom and trying to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning to write and failing at meditation and picking up little plastic animals every day from the floor.
Life is good, and full, and I feel solidly present in it. I know so much will change late summer, with the introduction of baby no. 2, and I'm trying to hustle quite a bit in these next four months as a result. I've got about five blog posts in the works, so hoping to show up here a bit more. I'm lucky to be able to do so much professional writing, but I've been missing writing for myself, too.