Y’all. Nothing like staring down the barrel of multiple writing deadlines to make all my words go POOF! and the only words that come out are ridiculous and off-topic and thus, here we are.
So, my theory then is to vomit all my non-paid words out and then perhaps – per-fucking-haps – I can finally write the pieces that I’m supposed to. ONE CAN HOPE.
It’s two weeks from my 41st birthday and yesterday, I was wallowing in my feelings a bit about it. But then, I was reminded by several friends of varying degrees of closeness so perhaps they are lying but I choose to believe them. (Whew – what a run-on sentence.)
I may not be where I wanted to be, but I’ve accomplished a LOT this year thus far and the year is only 3/4 the way done.
My Word of the Year for 2019 is Consistency and though I may have fumbled everything in my personal life with my family and my health and my disaster of a house, the ONE thing I did right was my writing. Not perfectly, of course, because I still let an inordinate amount of fear dictate my actions. But a reasonable, non-zero bit of stretching, reaching, and improving.
Things I’m Proud Of
As a reminder to myself because my brain is sieve, I am here to build a figurative altar to commemorate the things I’ve done as of Q3Y2019.
1) Closing out a long-term contract with Sagebooks.
While this may seem a source of sadness, (and trust me, I am bummed about the effect on my wallet!), I am ultimately so very, very grateful. Because of this contract, I was able to make money for the first time on this blog. I learned so many things professionally about writing for a long-term client; adjusting my voice; and creating viable weekly content twice a week for 82 weeks.
But ultimately, what I gained was confidence. Someone was willing to pay me to write! And because of this freedom from financial worry, I was able to see myself as a professional writer and carry myself accordingly.
Impostor Syndrome is a nasty thing and I kicked its ass thanks to my long-term partnership.
2) I Pitched Publications Run By Strangers
Until earlier this year, I only pitched online magazines where I had a reasonable shot at getting in. What do I mean? I mean I usually knew the people who ran the publications or I was approached first.
This year, though I met the editors at Romper through the Mom 2.0 Conference, I still did the work of pitching with no actual guarantees. Am I a fan of pitching? NOPE. Did I get everything I took a shot at? NOPE. But I stepped up and it got less awful.
I have a few more pieces coming out in additional publications, but I need to write them first! Now, I just need to continue this momentum.
3) I Stopped Caring about Keeping My Interests Segregated
For a long time, I kept my interests separate because I wanted to present a professional image of being a Writer who did Writerly things. Or Bloggery things. Whatever that means. I carefully lurked and tried to erase my Kpoppy/BTS footprints all over the internet.
And now? Now people associate me with BTS and I have been able to turn my obsession into actual articles and pieces – both on and off my blog.
4) I Tried Lots of New Things
I wrote flash fiction challenges for a month. I filmed a writing series. I changed my goals for blogging conferences. (Thanks, Brandi!) I joined KakaoTalk group chats related to BTS and made new friends that I love dearly. I decided to join the Asian American Journalist Association and consider myself a professional.
5) I Finally Started Doing Some Long-Needed Professional Maintenance
I invested money into my site and hired the incomparable Kuleen Lashley to re-categorize my site and organize my bjillion posts into some sort of coherence and through-line. And because of this process (and all the work it took), I thought more about what I want to talk about here, what my mission is for my voice, and how I already have the platform to say what I want to say and don’t need to be some famous celebrity to do so.
I also finally started collecting all my writing for other publications into a portfolio. The side-effect being that I realized just HOW much I have written and contributed. That I was no longer an amateur and that I have actual skills and ability and should be paid accordingly.
6) I Leveled Up My Skills
This summer, in part because my contract with Sagebooks is ending, I actively pursued freelance writing and editing positions. So I applied and now I’m a new Staff Writer and Content Editor at Mochi magazine, an online publication focused on content for millennial Asian American women. Because of this, I now have access to celebrities and authors and AM NOW ONE STEP CLOSER TO BTS. (The only thing that matters, duh.)
I will also be sharing the position of Living Justice Managing Editor with the awesome Stella Won Phelps at Diverging Magazine. If this magazine looks familiar, it’s because I have contributed a few pieces there in the past few years. I am SO excited (and slightly terrified).
Okay. I’m now both super proud of myself and also nauseated at the amount of work I have in my future. But I used to be smart and capable so I think I can do it. I have so many more things that I want to do and we still have 3.5 months left in 2019.
Watch out, world. I’m coming for ya.