What a difference nine months make

It is not lost on me that last October I was just starting to get my writing career off the ground and now I am a reporter with Wired.com. It’s barely been one year since I received my Bachelor’s Degree.

To me, that’s crazy and amazing all at the same time. It’s not my intention to gloat, I’m just immensely proud of how far I’ve come. And to my lovely high school English teach Mrs. Probst, thank you for your inspiring words that led me down the path to becoming a writer. I wouldn’t be here without her.

What a huge difference nine months make, but I still have so much to learn.

Welcome to the Freelancing World

Over the past few months I have embarked on the journey to become a freelance writer. I had a full time paid internship during the day and at night I would write. You can see some of my work in my “Professional Work” section to get idea of what I’ve been doing, but mostly I’ve been taking gigs here and there, along with a standing gig at PCWorld, writing Android app reviews.

Starting next week, I transition into a full time freelancer. I have to admit I am nervous and a little scared. Questions dance around my mind when I try to fall asleep: will I make enough money to pay my bills? Will I go nuts always working from home? Can I make it as a freelancer and emerge will a great portfolio that will hopefully land me a more permanent job?

While I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, it hasn’t deterred me from giving this a shot. After all, I have wanted to be a writer for some time now and this is my chance to really chase that dream. This is the best time in my life to be a freelancer; I am young, unmarried, and don’t have kids. My only vital responsibilities right now are to take care of myself, pay my bills, and be a good girlfriend. What better time then to try to work as a writer?

I was talking with a close friend the other night, a girl I went to high school with. When I told her that I was going to write full time she was so happy and excited for me, remembering the times when we were younger and I said that I was going be a writer someday. She told me that she was proud of me for going after my dream and making it a reality. It helped me see that I had accomplished a lot and that I still have a lot to accomplish.

So, how will I fend for myself as a freelancer? I guess I will have to wait and see. There is so much to think about; taxes, health insurance, time management, which can be daunting. This feels like a part of life that I will just have to figure out as I go along. As I go, I’ll post my experiences and (hopefully) tips that I learned along the way. If you have any advice, leave it in the comment section–I will be grateful!

Favorite Blogs Roundup, Plus Honey Challenge

Never stop learning. Ever since I graduated from college, I have had the pleasure of spending my time learning about food, technology, natural living, blogging, grammar, and so much more. Its refreshing to fill my mind with useful and interesting information everyday.

In order to learn about all these wonderful things, I have been reading blogs like mad. (I just discovered how to use Google Reader about a month ago and I love it!) Below are a few blogs/websites that I love and get especially excited about when a new post is published:

  • Crunch Betty is my favorite discovery. I didn’t realize how “crunchy” I was and wanted to be until I found Leslie’s awesome website. This website/blog is devoted to “crunchy” or natural living; using natural products for home, body, and life in general. The information that fills the site is informative, interesting, and entertaining. This is where the honey challenge comes from, but more on that later.
  • 101 Cookbooks is written by Heidi Swanson, a food writer based in San Francisco. Her recipes are enticing, her photography is stunning.
  • Living in San Francisco, I encounter our main public transportation system–MUNI–almost daily. For helpful information, interesting stories, and funny anecdotes about MUNI, I rely on MUNI Diaries.
  • San Francisco is a theme in my life and my favorite aspect of San Francisco is our baseball team, the Giants. A inside perspective of two of our Giants’ players lives, Brandon Belt and Mark DeRosa, can be found on their blog, The Veteran and the Rook. I kind of, um, have a crush on Brandon Belt, so I really love reading his blog.
  • The Oatmeal is where I go for funny and interesting comics about grammar, animals, and general awesome information.
  • The ProBlogger Blog offers great blogging tips with lots of humor. I especially enjoyed their latest post on SEO titled: “Why Bieber SEO Copywriting Sex Doesn’t Ipad Work Minecraft”.

So there you have it, the list of a few of my favorite blogs. Now on to the honey challenge.

One of the great ideas to come out of Crunchy Betty is to use honey to wash your face. When I first read about this I thought, “What?! Honey as a face wash? Wouldn’t that be hard to get off my face?”. But, because I trust Crunchy Betty to not steer me wrong, I decided to give it a shot and I am so glad that I did. I’ve been washing my face with honey for about a week now and my skin is improving. Overall, its smoother, more moisturized, and I have fewer breakouts. This will very likely be my face wash from now on.

Crunchy Betty started a honey challenge two weeks ago; challenging her readers to wash their face with honey everyday for two weeks, no exceptions. I was a little late to the game with getting into the challenge, but I have still been able to reap the benefits of using honey as a face wash. Head on over to crunchybetty.com for the low down on washing your face with honey and give it a try for yourself.

Time to Be Happy

I am sick of feeling like I should know what I want to do with my life right now. I have lived for many years with the notion that I need to know where I am going, how I am going to get there and when I am going to get there.

Let’s face facts. I have no clue where I am going and no idea how I am getting there. I am 23. It is very likely a fact that by 30 I will be in a completely different place than where I am now; physically, mentally, job wise, etc.

The sooner I accept the fact that I don’t know exactly where I am going, the better. I can finally learn to be happy and stop doing things for the wrong reasons.

Why do I blog now? To prove I can write and to get a job. Why should I be blogging? Because I love to write. I like to share my thoughts, ideas and feelings. Writing the easiest way I’ve found to express myself. Enough of writing to get a job, to prove myself. That doesn’t make me happy, and I’m sick and tired of being unhappy.

Having a job is crucial; I have to make a living. Following some path to my “dream job”– that seems stupid to me know. Especially because I want to write for a living, there is not going to be a clear cut path. I will likely have many different types of jobs, freelancing gigs, and other opportunities that come my way in my quest to be a writer. In order keep myself happy, I need to throw out convention and stop trying to follow a job path.

So that’s what I am seeking now, happiness. Aren’t we all? Don’t we all just want to be happy? Of course.

Let me know what makes you happy, I want to hear about it.

Why I Want To Be/Should Be a Writer

As a child, I didn’t have a particular interest in writing. Science, biology, and astronomy interested me and I fully intended at the ripe old age of 7 to become a marine biologist/oceanographer/astronomer. Yes, I wanted to be all three. Part of me still does (see my Space Shuttle post).

Writing didn’t really cross my mind until I was about 13, when a teacher told me I couldn’t write.
At little back story is necessary here: When I was eleven I moved to Arizona, which uses the Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test as middle school and high school exit exams. Most students are taught all about this test throughout elementary school. There is a specific writing style required for the AIMS test, a style I’d never encountered (and never seen again) and had a lot of difficulty learning.  My fellow students had known it for years and I had to learn it in a short amount of time. As I struggled to grasp this writing style, my rude teacher didn’t bother to help me and instead told me point-blank, “You cannot write” as she handed my F papers.

As I entered high school, I had accepted what my teacher had said as the truth; that I couldn’t write. Luckily, I was met with two great teachers who thought differently. In my sophomore year, I had a teacher who inspired me to write and recognized that I had some talent. Thanks to her, I decided that I wanted to become a writer.

That’s why I want to be a writer. The reason I think I should be a writer is because I have a constant monologue in my head. I am always thinking about how I would write about an experience, or how I would put into words how I’m feeling. Seriously, what I am writing now was thought up as I was walking home from work. I also love grammar, vocabulary, and writing. Yes, I make mistakes sometimes (nobody’s perfect) and yes I still have a lot to learn, but I know that writing makes me happy.