The first thing I learned when I started writing about lingerie full time was that I was never going to be able to have a normal social life again. Telling people you’re a freelance writer is one thing, but telling people you write about lingerie all the time makes them look at you like you’re some kind of alien freak.
Making polvoron was as much a part of my childhood as Mama’s absence was. It was a tradition, then a rite of passage made more poignant by my mother’s brief visits home. With each return came the knowledge of a new step in the polvoron process, and with each new step came the promise of my mother’s permanent return – her homecoming.
Erica Westly tells the story of the National Soccer Alliance, the first professional women's soccer league, and the decades of unequal treatment leading up to the current pay dispute between members of the USWNT and the US Soccer Federation.
I started working as a writer for reality TV the same week I graduated from my MFA program. For eight hours a day, I sorted through footage of uniformed men and wrote deep-bellied voiceovers full of puns that would make your dad cringe for a show that I will refer to as "Rural Cops."
When we were sailing I felt borne up by wings capable of taking me much farther than I’d ever thought possible, to places where I could watch the storm petrels glide before the rising and falling walls of waves. Where a calm night’s watch was spent watching the swirling bioluminescence in our wake while trying to think of the ways and whys I could and should steer my professional life away from the noise and…
Even if you’re not afflicted with Must Always Make Everyone Like Me Syndrome (which I definitely suffer from), anyone trying to move forward in their career is going to feel a certain pressure to agreeably take on as much work as they’re capable of doing. The line between “happy to help out” and “being a doormat” is often both fine and blurry.
You might call it a story of blurred lines, perhaps, but the lines weren’t blurry to me. I was terrified that I would be kicked out of my graduate program because a professor wanted a sexual relationship with me and I turned him down.
I trust book buyers to read beyond their immediate experience, beyond their census box. This is what readers have done since literacy became commonplace, so I don’t know why that’s a great leap for our industry today. But I still hear it all the time: “Does this group buy books?” “Is this group enough of an audience?” I hear real fear in that question.
You don’t have to stick it out indefinitely in an environment where explosive rage is the norm. While you’re there you might as well treat it like bootcamp, where you can learn to inoculate yourself against taking things too personally, but you might also consider following in your former coworkers’ footsteps and developing an exit strategy of your own.