I don’t always do a blog post every time I post a new article to my portfolio — either because I get busy and forget or because I’m behind and adding a bunch at once and don’t want to overload you with a bunch of separate posts. This would be the latter as I’ve been updating the ole portfolio with everything that came in while I was on baby leave.* So I thought I’d do one more post to quickly highlight them all.
I have to say, I’m loving the slightly random mix of stories here. Anyone who has ever asked for my opinion on the freelance life has to hear my spiel about the importance of being a “plumber writer.” As in: If you want to eat, don’t be too precious about your niche. Plumbers don’t agonize over whether a clogged toilet best expresses their voice. They take the job, they unclog the toilet, they get paid, and then the client calls them again when they need a new copper pipe job.
Which is not to say you shouldn’t have a niche. Mine is telling women’s stories, particularly when they intersect with questions about work and beauty. But writing outside that niche pays the bills. Which I like to do. It also makes me a better reporter and writer because non-niche stories stretch me in different ways. And it expands my cocktail party chatter. This is key because the holidays are coming, which means lots of parties and lots of being asked the dreaded “so, what are you working on?” question. (Seriously, is it just me, or is this question completely paralyzing? That and “who do you write for?” In either case, I find myself casting about wildly, unable to remember anything I’ve ever published, and questioning whether I am, in fact, employed at all.)
So anyway, here’s a rundown of these new mostly non-niche portfolio additions, just in case something catches your fancy.
- Pest-Proof Your Home, Safely (Parents, June 2013)
The chemicals you use to get rid of unwanted critters could be harming your family. Try these expert tips to nix pests without endangering anyone’s health.
- All Day Energy, Every Day (Health, January 2013)
Until someone invents a healthy (and legal!) pep pill, here’s the next best thing: Simple, proven tactics that keep you powered up morning, afternoon, and night.
- What Would You Risk to Start Your Own Business? (Redbook, July 2012)
The number of women-run companies in the United States has jumped 25 percent since 2002. But striking out on your own requires serious sacrifices—and the ability to stay calm under freak-out-level pressure. The women you’re about to meet are headed for mega-success, but they don’t sugarcoat what it took to get there.
- How to Save For Baby’s Future (American Baby, April 2011)
I wrote this one way before I had (or even decided I wanted) a baby, so it’s fun to look back and see how much I got right. I think it’s actually still pretty useful, mostly because I interviewed a lot of smart and thrifty parents and used all of their good tips.
*Ahem. As you can tell from the publication dates, some of these actually came in before I went on baby leave… like way before, so I can’t even use pregnancy as the excuse. Let’s just all be excited that I’m up to date now!