It all began with an email. On an otherwise ordinary day, I opened my email inbox to find a message with the subject line “October ELLE.”
I clicked on the message to find correspondence from an editor at ELLE magazine who wanted to know if I would be interested in writing an article for the magazine for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
At first, I was certain I was being Punk’d (Remember that show?). But after finding the editor on LinkedIn and other sites I realized this was real. I realized I had just been asked to write for a magazine in the top 3 of my byline bucket list. I was so excited I ran laps through my house for a solid minute before I calmed down enough to share the good news with my husband.
The article was hard work. I had to interview several sources and the assignment required a quick turnaround on the first draft and the revision. But I did it. The article — For Breast Cancer, 40 is the New 50 — ran in both the October issue of the magazine and online.
The experience taught me so much about freelancing. Here are three of the most valuable lessons learned.
If you’re a multi-passionate writer, See Jane Write is the community for you. LaKisha Cargill knows this. She’s been a member of the See Jane Write Collective for years and during that time has dabbled in many genres of writing.
“I write just about everything,” LaKisha says. “I am a blogger turned essayist turned aspiring children’s book author turned poet. I love the written and spoken word, so I express myself in many creative outlets.”
Lately, LaKisha has been leaning into her love for poetry and it’s paying off. She recently won an award for one of her poems. LaKisha is a breast cancer survivor who has been using her writing to share her story encourage other women affected by the disease. But these aren’t the only reasons why LaKisha is the See Jane Write member of the month for October 2021.
LaKisha knows that writers need other writers and she takes community seriously. In the See Jane Write Network Facebook group, you will often find her sparking discussion, offering words of encouragement, and posting opportunities for her fellow scribes.
Every December I choose a word that will be my focus, my theme for the year to come. My word for 2020 was growth.
I was determined that 2020 would be the year I would level up in every aspect of my life.
In my freelance life, I wanted to start writing for more national publications. In my blogging life, I wanted to reach new readers. In my personal life, I wanted to be healthy and happy with my body and I wanted to do 40 fun and new things before I turn 40 in 2021.
But here’s the thing – when you pray for growth, be prepared for pruning.