Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm Writing a Dating Book(!!)

BIG NEWS: my first book

From the moment I began my career, I wanted to cover dating and relationships. I grew up fascinated by the fairytale; so hard to obtain, yet some version of it seemed almost inevitable if you just did your own thing and waited for love to "find you." (When you least expect it...right?)

Reality, as I came to find out with observation and investigation, was an ever-evolving mess of romantic entanglements leading to heartbreak and despair. Dating got more and more confusing with each new rule and listicle that hit the internet. Research on relationships complicated matters even further; headlines said things that did not reflect what women felt. Gender roles changed within couples; breaking-up-and-making-up became the norm; apps hit the scene, causing perfectly reasonable men and women to throw out prospects early and often, never settling down... and I was watching it all unfold very carefully.

Most notably, some of the best catches out there -- amazing women with otherwise full, exciting lives --- were always single and frustrated. What was playing out in real time seemed to flip conventional wisdom on its head. I started to have a slew of revelations about these emerging, shifting dynamics between the sexes, leading to loads of dissatisfied singles -- revelations that inspired the book I am now working on, to be published in early 2018 by Grand Central Life & Style. 

For any woman who's ever been told she's a catch, yet can't seem to catch a break when it comes to guys, hang in there! I can't wait to send answers your way.

Writing this book is a dream come true, for many reasons. On a professional level, it's the opportunity to extensively investigate something I'm deeply passionate about. On a personal level, I've always been interested in love and how to find it -- but increasingly, I've been interested the pursuit of dreams. 
The first dream many little girls have is to find love. But somewhere along the way, they start to have more dreams. Important ones. They find passions. They start careers. They develop ideas. They create systems. Those dreams turn into vision, and they aspire to affect change.

A woman's every dream and aspiration matters; one is no more important than another, because it came first, or it developed with time, or it conforms to some ideal. Sacrificing one love to acheive career success is a form of settling -- and more women contemplate that route than would dare admit to it.

"Settling" is a dirty word when it comes love, and for good reason. There's nothing more comforting and exhilarating than feeling as though you've met someone who is your equal, complement and true partner in life. I don't want any woman, who wants a great career and a supportive relationship, to settle for less-than-fulfilling love.

This book is my manual for the woman who knows she just can't settle, in love or in life. All her dreams can coexist -- even in a dating landscape as confusing as today's. 

More to come. xo. 

If you're a woman or man in your 20s, 30s or 40s and interested in sharing your insights on love, dating and relationships today, don't hesitate to contact me:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Here's to 2014. (A Very, Very Good Year.)

via Pinterest

It's been a while since I updated this blog. It's been a while since I've had time to pause and just 


I always feel reflective this time a year. Am I where I thought I'd be? Hmm... Good question. Bear with me as I flesh this out.

It really has been a good year. It's been a year of imploring, exploring, learning and growing. I've written a lot, I've learned to have thicker skin, I've learned to measure risks and choose paths wisely. And hey, I've also learned that failure is part of the process. I've fallen short an appropriate amount. My perfectionist side has had to recognize, finally, that failure is just figuring out ways your goals can't be accomplished (รก la the Thomas Edison approach). You have to fail to break new ground. From now on, I'll keep in mind every time I do.

I've really transformed by career emphasis to center primarily on health, relationship and beauty writing, with touches of general wellness, psychology, style, food + nutrition, fitness and culture (pop, and otherwise) thrown in for good measure. Some of my favorite pieces were a silly mix of all things, like "The Science of a Hot Girlfriend" for Yahoo Health, "How to Pick the Right Running Partner" for the March issue of Runner's World, "11 Reasons Brunch is Everything" for, and "Why Women Like D-Bags (And How to Stop Dating Them)" for

I will forever be fascinated by how people tick, digging inside their bodies and brains for explanations, and I think that will always drive everything I love to write about most.

As I kiss 2014 goodbye, and step over the boundary line into the New Year, I'm feeling inspired to be better and just pursue more. I'm feeling entirely, fully, completely blessed. And I hope you are, too. I think it's the best possible way to end a year.

See you in 2015, kids. May it be the best one yet. xo.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Work + Life Balance: One Can't Live On Work Alone

I feel like I am always "on."

I'm an Eastern Time Girl, with Pacific Time regular clients. What do you do when your phone buzzes while doing yoga at 8:25 PM, and your editor asks for a quick addition to your story? I respond.

I talk to experts for stories, who are across all time zones and have crazy schedules that don't always fit a 9:00-5:00 block of time. So, when your contact says she can do 7:00 AM or 9:00 PM, what do you do? I take the 7:00 time.

I work on a do-it-my-way schedule. If I want to write a story at 10:00 PM, I do it. If I want to spend the morning on Pinterest and write a piece in the afternoon, I do it. But even when I'm not working, I'm still working. I'm answering emails. I'm monitoring Twitter. I'm promoting. What's a woman to do? Keep on keepin' on.

I am always on.

While I pride myself on being reachable, and try to respond as soon as humanly possible to requests, emails, calls and stories on deadline, I realize it's a vicious cycle that can leave little time for yourself. Sooner or later, it catches up with you and things start falling off the plate.

For me, it's a social life. It has always been a social life.

I am one of those solitary people who does really well on her own for long spans of time. In high school when I edited the student newspaper, I sighed with relief when people left me to finish it alone. College brought independent studies and tutorials instead of seminars and lectures. The working world brought quiet time instead of an office space. And I love it. I really love working now, because I can be plugged in and connected to tons of people while writing entirely on my own. It's a great thing for oft-times socially-awkward, wannabe-but-not butterfly like me. (It's cool. I own it.)

But it's not enough.

Eventually, no matter how independent you are, solitude catches up with you. You are sick of the voice in your own head crafting little nonstop sentences. You miss people's faces. You even miss the faces of the Starbucks baristas and check-out folks at Target. You have to get out and see the real world, which doesn't exist behind a computer screen.

I learned that lesson this past month, and disappeared a bit from the Internet. I called up some friends and made a few plans. And wanna know what? I feel better. Wanna know what else? My web world was still here when I got back.

Writers and creatives struggle with it. But please, remember to look for that work/life balance. You cannot always be "on." Put the phone away with friends, and get it off the table while on dates. Don't worry if you can't respond to an email until the next morning. Don't worry if you can't make that expert's first available call time. Schedule some life. If you don't, you'll start hating what you do, which takes up a good chunk of said life. Who wants to live like that?

So, put down the phone. Log off. And I'll see you out there in the {real} world, OK?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Time Management: How to Kick Your Own Butt

I am a natural-born procrastinator and Doubting Thomas. All writers are.

The thought of actually sitting down and writing a story used to intimidate me. What if I start writing and realize this isn't translating from my head to the page? What if I need more expert info, and can't get a hold of anyone before deadline?? What if the concept for this story, one I've personally pitched, falls flat???

*Cue freakout*

Right? Anyone else? Ah, those little seeds of doubt we plant within ourselves while writing anything and everything: stories, pitches, personal essays, book proposals, and so on. As long as you listen to them, though, you can't have a writing career. 

Let's be real. You cannot spend two weeks focusing on one story, and do no other writing work. That would be nice, but it's impossible. It's not lucrative. Let's be honest about why we're here: although we love writing, for many of us, this is also our day job. We need to work. (And as an aside, despite what others might say, we are not selling out as creatives by putting price tags on assignments. Let's stop that ridiculous idea. We're using our God-given gifts to earn a living. Nothin' wrong with that. Anyway, moving on...) Even if it's not your day job, fretting still keeps you from putting anything on the page.

The seeds of doubt are your writing's biggest adversary. They will hold you back, keep you from submitting your ideas, and inspire lackluster work. Been there, experienced all that.

I had to try different things to oust them; had to search around for the ultimate way to kick my own butt and get writing. To stop wasting precious time. Want to know what I did? It's SO FUN, y'all:

I scared myself silly. Not just with doubt, but with actual pressure to perform and execute.

When I know my byline is going on something, I work hard to make sure it gets done right. When I'm writing for a new client, I work hard to make sure it's perfect. When the story feels big or it's extremely important to me, I work hard to make sure my message holds the right weight.

And hard work is all well and good -- but to truly be productive, you also need to set a goal you can't get yourself out of.

When there's an extremely short deadline, I freak out. But then I work hard and get the dang job done.

Example: Early in my writing career, I accepted an assignment from a new client. The editor wanted it turned around by the next morning. Literally. The. Next. Morning. 9 AM. At the time, it was 4 PM, and it was also expert-based. Naturally, my first thought was no flipping way. But on second thought, I really wanted the assignment -- and the client. Would it really be so hard to find an expert? We live in the Internet Age, after all...

Before I could talk myself out of it I responded that I could do it.

I got an email back in a matter of minutes: "Great! And I also have this other assignment, still due tomorrow. Eek! Would you want to do that one, too?"

Also expert-based. Also due 9 AM the next day. I'd have to bust my butt all night to get it done. But before I could let it sink in and appropriately send my nerves and fears into action, I shot back a quick response: "Yes, I'm on it!"

I allowed myself to freak out for, like, five minutes about how I was going to pull off two expert-based stories in a matter of hours. WHAT HAD I DONE.

But then I got to work. I hunted down the right experts and worked on assembling both stories at once. I turned one in that evening, and the next in the following morning. My editor loved both pieces.

A little bit of extreme fear is a good thing. Pressure, along with a very specific goal, made me realize I could actually manage my time and get myself on track. I could pull off stories on a tight time frame -- which I now keep myself to on a regular basis.

The reality is, I can look at a story I've written hundreds of times and find new things to edit and tweak with each read. But I can also do a story along a reasonable timeline I lay out for myself. I can choose to write, or I can choose to let the doubt creep in and slow me down.

Right now, I try to write a few stories each week. I have a running list of tasks to complete, and pull assignments off the list, in order of approaching deadline, to work on. I wake up early on my "writing days," setting aside a few mornings to just work on the writing part of my job. And when I'm writing, that's it. I'm writing. I pretend the piece will be due that day, and I won't be able to work on it anymore after my deadline is up. I give myself a certain number of hours to assemble and work on it, telling myself I will be done at a preset time. And usually, I get it done. Sometimes I bleed over an hour or so, but for the most part, I stay on track. Then, I read through a time or two and submit.

I create the pace for myself. I create the pressure on myself. I create a goal. Then, I write the story, hit send, and stop worrying so much. Chances are, the sentence is perfectly fine whether I leave the in the comma or take it out. (Seriously.) I've found this is a solid method of action -- for blogging, for writing, or even just for my own personal projects.

...I just have to have a mini-freakout session first. Catharsis. That's all. (And I'd recommend it.)

OK, spill time. I want to know: How do you kick your own butt and stay on track while writing?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome to the Blog. So... What Should We Talk About?

Since I closed up shop on my fashion blog a little more than a year ago, I have been looking for a place to share my thoughts. Not about style anymore, per se (although that's certainly part of what I do), but about writing. About the process. About this crazy ride that is freelance writing. 

A lot of people have come to me over the past couple years to ask me how I got into freelancing, and how they might be able to do it, too. I've never quite known how to answer. I've tried, but what resulted was a muddled and oversimplified version of the real deal. There was so much to say on the topic. It's so vast, so expansive, and always a little different for everyone.

But I'm going to do my best to finally come up with a suitable answer. My answer is this blog.

I know there are a lot of writing blogs out there, blogs about freelancing, and they are phenomenal. I read them. I admire what those writers have built. But my blog? We're going to do things a little differently. We're going to make this blog a fun ride.

I don't want my site to read "business-y," because I think you can find that elsewhere. I'd rather it be like a chat with friends about a topic we're passionate about: writing. Aren't those the best conversations? I think it'll make for a great blog experience, too.

With that in mind, I want to leave you with one question: What do
you want to talk about? Seriously. I don't want to be the long-winded friend who doesn't let anyone else get a word in! You pick the topics; I will discuss with you. Sound cool? Leave me a comment.

Thank you for joining me. I'm so excited to chat!