{the life} New Writing: February & March

by Rachel on March 21, 2012

“Writing is hard for every last one of us — straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.” (Dear Sugar, The Rumpus Advice Column #48: Write Like a Motherfucker)

My goal this year is to push myself in all aspects of my life, but mostly in terms of my writing. Here’s what I’ve had published outside of my blog in the last month.

An E-mail from Your Period for U by Kotex (This is one of my favorite things I’ve written in a long time. When I finished it, I thought, My younger self would be so excited by this article and would be so proud that I wrote it. It was an amazing feeling.)

How to Fall in Love With Healthy Living on SHAPE.com

I Tried It: Latisse for Your Beauty Advisor

Department Store Make-up vs. Drugstore Make-up for Your Beauty Advisor

Time to get back to digging!

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RunEatRepeat March 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Go go go! Great job :)


2 steph@stephsbitebybite March 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Any advice on how to get offered freelance articles?


3 Rachel March 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

Well, I definitely don’t get offered most freelance work — I ask for it! I think that’s the most important thing, seeking it out. In most cases, people aren’t going to come find you, at least not until you’ve built up some experience/reputation.

Here’s my advice on finding freelance work:

1. Craigslist! Check it regularly for writing gigs. Also check the listings in bigger cities if you’re not having much luck locally. Most freelancing is done remotely so your location doesn’t matter.
2. Start writing the kind of content you want to freelance. That’s the main thing I did. Either start a blog or just a portfolio website where you can post the sort of articles you want to sell or have published elsewhere some day. Write every post as if it’s an audition — because really, it is. You’ll need solid examples of your writing when you pitch, so if you haven’t been published before, you need to publish yourself.
3. Network. On LinkedIn, Twitter, or in real life…do tons of networking with the people who you want to write for.
4. Be patient. I’ve been at this for three years now and I’m just now breaking into bigger markets. The article I linked to in my post about writing like a motherfucker? Read it. It’s a good reminder that this process takes so much time.

My blog friend Julie @PBFingers now freelances full time and she has some good tips on this as well: http://www.pbfingers.com/2011/11/29/blog-talk-tuesdays-part-viii/

I especially like her point about how many of her e-mails go unanswered. Mine too. I don’t get precious about every pitch I send because if I did, I’d get discouraged so easily.

Hope that helps a bit! Good luck!


4 Cher March 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Stellar mug! Where can I buy one?

And keep up the great work girl!


5 Rachel March 22, 2012 at 7:32 am
6 Katrina @ 'Sota is Sexy March 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Yeah…how did you get into freelancing? I’d love to give it a try, but don’t know quite where (or how) to start.


7 Ellie March 22, 2012 at 12:56 am

I love your period article! I actually have a question about something you wrote in it. What’s your source for information about the possibility of getting pregnant while on your period? Of course, I have heard that it is possible, but my impression has always been that it is extremely rare and not really something that you had to worry much about.


8 Rachel March 22, 2012 at 9:27 am

I use a U by Kotex guidebook that has been vetted by doctors, lawyers, etc. when writing for them. To this point it says, “It’s not likely, but there’s always a chance — particularly at the end of the menstrual cycle. What’s more, unprotected sex increases the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections.”


9 Nikki March 22, 2012 at 4:26 am

I love all of those editorials! Congrats on getting more and more involved with the freelance writing. With Latisse, be careful advising people to use it longer than 30 days. Whether it’s an easy to obtain prescription or not, it can still have harmful effects on the eye that might be tied to the shelf life.


10 Rachel March 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

Ooh interesting! Would you mind leaving that comment on the original article too?


11 Nikki March 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm

absolutely! :)


12 Nikki March 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Also.. I want to clarify. I have no scientifically-supported evidence that Latisse is harmful on the eye after thirty days.. but it *might* be, and that might be why there is a 30 day limit. Those limits aren’t selected to push you to buy more, they are often a safety concern.

I was interested to learn recently that my “30 day sleep in contacts” were only tested in clinical trial for… 28 days. Which means they definitely aren’t good for the 4+months I was pushing them!


13 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie March 22, 2012 at 8:24 am

Congratulations!!! These were all quite well written but I have to say that The Email From Your Period was my favorite, pretty hysterical.

P.S. You’ve gotted much further than I have on my writing goals this year! :)


14 Kavi @ Lab to Fab! March 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

“Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal?” Great opening quote! Sometimes it’s all about perspective. Looking forward to reading your other articles!


15 RAIN March 22, 2012 at 10:03 am

Love the Kotex one…really honest, and readable.


16 Dori at Your Beauty Advisor March 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

Putting on my work hat for this comment to say – we absolutely love having you write for yba! Thank you so much for the awesome content.


17 Dori March 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

And now back to regular blogger Dori. I absolutely love your writing style and often wish I had as much drive and motivation as you do to put so much thought and work into your posts.


18 deva at deva by definition March 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I love the linked articles – they’re really fun and informative. As someone who wears makeup every few days, I liked the one about the drugstore makeup kit. My fav eyeshadows are ones I get at Target!


19 Mel March 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Go girl! It is really cool to me how you can do the traditional magazine writing (factual and full of tips?) but still add your own punchy and fun twists and comparisons.

I notice that because I struggle with writing the typical light or tip-centered material. I tend to to xanga-write-feelings explode. LOL


20 Rachel @ Healthy Chicks March 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Rachel, how exciting! Being published (outside my blog) is definitely a big goal of mine this year as well. While I’ve had some luck thus far, I have yet to be published in a magazine which is one of my biggest goals of all. I am so proud of all your success lately, and I’m a firm believer that the more you put out there, the more you get back.

I find that when I’m really pushing myself, writing about what I love, looking for networking opportunities at even the strangest of places, and just simply doing me, opportunities begin to knock.

Keep up the great work Rachel :)


21 Emily March 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm

It’s inspirational to see another woman, my age, setting goals and working toward them! I love it.

And I love that mug.


22 Jacki {a certain type of glow} March 25, 2012 at 11:11 am

So great to see more of your freelance work! I totally have two separate makeup kits. At work we have no customers … I just need to look non-dead, lol.

The “Write Like a Motherfucker” article was something I 100% needed to read this year and I’m incorporating the title sentiment into a piece I’m working on right now – “Why I Write”.

In your comment upthread I kept nodding along especially at “treat every piece like it’s an audition” … that’s what my goal is for my blog this year, to write quality content that I’m proud to put out there publicly and treat it as if it’s all one big audition for my larger writing career. Re-branding and re-designing everything has been frustrating, embarrassing in some ways, and scary, but I finally feel good about where my site is and what I’m doing. Phew. Finding freelance work – asking for it – scares me and I don’t know where to start but that’s another goal for the year.

Keep digging, Rachel! You inspire me so much. It’s wonderful to see a woman writer my own age, someone I relate to and feel like I would probably be IRL friends with, doing this and finding success.


23 Rachel March 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

This comment made me smile several times! Can’t wait to read your “Why I Write” post!

Also, I still struggle to think of myself as a writer so I also forget to talk to other women writers because, well, I forget that I can relate to them, if that makes sense. I think we need to continue this conversation offline and cheer each other on! I’d love to hear more about your re-branding and all the struggles that go along with it because…yeah. Fuck, it’s a hard thing.


24 Jacki March 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

Let’s definitely talk more offline! I’ll email you :)


25 Lane May 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

OK, I’m going to need that mug.


26 Lane May 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Also — get it, girl! Proud of your hard work! I need to start with that…


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