Career Wednesday: The Freelancer’s Bible

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I dabbled in freelance writing for a month or so. I know, not very long, but I learned that it’s not easy (obviously!). Volunteer writing was easier to get than a paid gig because it’s easier on the client: They don’t have to deal with paychecks (I did a lot of that too).

However, the gig I did land was paid, and paid better than when I was a writer for my college newspaper. I was pretty happy to see my first paycheck! And it was fun, but then it became a chore. Since then, I’ve been reaching out to local publications and am settling for writing for free, again. In a way it’s fine since I’ll be building my portfolio, but it’d be nice to get paid again.

My goal was to become a full-time entertainment writer, and to some extent it still is, but since it’s such a difficult field to break into I decided to have a full-time job and freelance on the side. The freelance doesn’t have to be entertainment because as long as I’m able to write something, I’ll be happy.

And so comes this book that my boyfriend found for me, The Freelancer’s Bible. It’s a beginner’s guide to how to freelance and covers everything from how to file taxes, to finding clients, to marketing yourself online. I haven’t read much (I marked the chapters that were most relevant to me to read later) but what I have read has been helpful. It’s putting this job called freelancing in perspective for me.

Do any of you freelance on the side? Or anybody out there a full-time freelancer? If you’re the latter, how did you make the transition from full-time office worker to being your own boss? Let me know in the comments!

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Random Sunday: The Little Things

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For a while I’ve been practicing being happy about the little things, like eating my favorite meal or a sunny day. As luck would have it, I came across a cute journal called Bright Spots Journal, to help me begin seeing the big and (mainly) little positive things everyday. Ever since I started writing in that journal I’ve found it easier to spot these things and be happy about them.

Here’s my (not complete) list on the little things that makes me happy:

-Sunny days
-When someone waves “thank you” when I let them cut in front of me while driving
-Laughing
-Nailing a tough part in a song
-Green lights on my commute
-Eating a good meal

What little things make you happy? Let me know in the comments!

Cooking Friday: Mug Cakes

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When I first heard the term ‘mug cake’ I thought there’s no way you can make actual cake in a mug and have it taste good. I have yet to try and (hopefully) be proven wrong, but today my friend and I went to BookEnds, and I bought Mug Cakes: Self Melting Cakes Ready in 5 Minutes. I was pretty dang excited about owning it, to be honest!

I’m more of a cooker than a baker, because baking takes too long (all of the measuring) while cooking I can make one pot meals (like chicken Alfredo penne) and it’s SO EASY!!! Baking is time consuming haha. But I think it’s time to venture into the land of sugary sweet goodness. I mean, I love dessert, might as well make it right? 🙂

I’ll try out a few of the mug recipes and give my verdict. But have you ever tried a mug cake? How did it taste? Let me know in the comments!

“The Breadwinner”

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After stumbling upon Bob Odenkirk’s “By the Book” interview for The New York Times (whose book suggestions have made my “To Read” list) I browsed some of the other people profiled and came across Malala Yousafzai’s one. I admire her for being an advocate for education, and for being so strong after getting hurt by the Taliban.

A book she mentioned for girls to read was “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis, about a young Afghan girl named Parvana who, after her father is arrested for being educated in England, disguises herself as a boy in order to help her family survive.  It’s categorized as children’s literature, and it sort of reads that way, with short paragraphs and no big words. But it’s a really fast read–I finished it in a day. It’s the first book in a trilogy, the other two works being “Parvana’s Journey” and “Mud City.”

Ellis does a harrowing job in showing the Taliban rule in Afghanistan and how women and girls are treated there. She also captures the fighting spirit of a girl who doesn’t quit despite tough times. I’m trying to find a way to read the rest of series for free (haha!), because it is that good. Highly recommend.