Disclaimer: In no way is this post a means to throw shade, but I get asked often if I’m still freelancing for certain media sites and my answer is NO. I’m just putting it out there for inquiring minds before I get started. 

Monday mornings, 3-5 pitches a week, research, deadlines, and pay per work contracts were a normal part of my daily routine as a freelancer. I would have to brainstorm 3-5 pitches each Monday to send to my editor for approval. There were days when my “word well” ran dry and I found myself surfing the web and other media sites targeted to my audience to see what was popular or trending. I would even use personal experiences and encounters as the basis for many of my articles.

There are several perks to freelancing should you decide to make a living out of it, but there’s also a high level of discomfort and unrest when trying to make it your sole means of income. First, the perks…you in a way work for yourself. You create your pitches and sometimes when you find yourself stump on ideas, they’ll provide some for you. You can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access.

On the downside, however, you are working for someone else when it comes to getting paid, although you can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access, you can’t really afford to be anywhere in the world other than home or local because you just don’t get paid enough with these pay-per-work contracts. Worst of all, you don’t get paid when you’re supposed to.

Whenever you sign a freelance contract, there are pay dates. Some freelancers get partial payment if it’s a one time project and will get the rest at the completion of the project. Some freelancers get paid bi-weekly just as a regular employee and then some get paid an accumulated sum of money for the work they’ve done for the month. Finances are unpredictable. You save, but then an unexpected bill surfaces, or you have to tap into emergency funds or you’re expected to get paid on a certain date per your contract, but when it doesn’t happen it messes up your entire flow. I found myself there all the time. Pushing deadlines, trying to keep my content creative and original, late nights because I can’t seem to get what’s in my head onto the computer screen only to be told that my payment will be late without even knowledge of when I can expect it by. So I’ve found myself in the red with so many bills, things getting cut off, subscriptions being cancelled, not being able to pay for things because I couldn’t get paid. We’re halfway into October and I’m just receiving payments from July. I haven’t even gotten August’s payment and I have no idea when I will.

So my logic is…you want your work on time? Pay me on time? Other wise I can do this s**t for myself.

What am I doing now?

My own s**t. I’m resurrecting this blog site after a two month hiatus. I’m editor in chief of Black Girl Magik where I’m managing writers and contributors. I’m also editing a teen fiction manuscript. At the end of the day, you can’t make people appreciate your work and your time, but you can do that for yourself.

xoxo

This year I’ve found myself heavily immersed in the Knowles doctrine with Lemonade earlier this year and now A Seat at the Table for the later half. I found myself connecting with both on a spiritual level. I appreciated the evolution of a woman scorned in Beyonce’s Lemonade and from that I found that it’s okay to have the feelings that we have without falling privy to the Angry Black Woman stereotype. For the first time, I didn’t see Beyonce, I saw a woman. A woman dealing with grief, breaking unhealthy patterns, heart break, bitterness and still CHOOSING to transcend. Still choosing to turn those bitter lemons into something sweet.

5e6f4255-dc48-4ad8-858b-ce91a1e0db19

I listened to A Seat at The Table feeling proud. Proud that a woman released a 21 track womanifesto on taking up space and creating our own ish. “What can you bring to the table?” I brought the damn table! I got my life this weekend at the neighborhood bar in Jersey City when they decided to play “Don’t Touch My Hair” and all the white folk was staring like “what is this?” Go off. My hair stands up and my skin rises a little when I proudly proclaim, “this shit is for us…”

Far too often, I hear women saying they’re waiting for their seats at the table. For any of us, at any given moment in our lives, that table has no many different meanings whether you’re trying to find your footing in your career, get a handle on your love life, or just be a different person than you were last year, I say, f**k that table. I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I’m tired of waiting, expecting, and anticipating. I realize I can set up my own table and pull up my own seats to that table and brew my own lemonade.

I was sitting in the coffee shop on Saturday, reading a book and reflecting and I thought about how tired I am. Like emotionally and physically exhausted and I thought about my emotions in particular. I thought about how I’m just so disappointed in people these days and I decided in that moment that I don’t have to be.

So I’m brewing my own lemonade. I’m not waiting for life to turn those bitter things in my life into something sweet, I’m doing it myself. I’m not waiting for someone to give me a chance. I’m creating my own opportunities.

tumblr_oehpaqhfau1u1vglno1_1280

So I leave you with this:

  • Think about what you want to be
  • GO BE IT!
  • Think about what you want to do
  • GO DO IT!
  • Think about the things you need
  • GO GET IT!

xoxo

When life comes at you, sometimes it comes at you hard…and fast and there’s never a way to be prepared for it. Some days you just have to say f**k it and let the waves carry you. Sometimes what you thought you were scared of and weren’t ready to handle actually turns out to be quite a beautiful journey and a story.

IMG_3771

This story is about connecting dots. A few days ago I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. As usual, I was looking at the covers of the unorganized rows of magazines to see if there was anything interesting. So after checking out the food and bridal magazines, I saw tucked neatly near the register was a “connect the dots” book and I said wow I haven’t seen one of those in a long time. You know, the connect the dots activities where you have to find the consecutive numbers and trace them until what’s left is a picture. I thought about that in terms of my life.

At first glance the dots just look like a bunch of nothing. There’s dots everywhere and numbers everywhere and nothing makes sense. The 1 dot is next to the 50th dot and the 2 dot is next to the 30th dot but the more you connect the dots, the more clear things become and you begin to see the bigger picture.

I thought about why I had been so unhappy and why things just weren’t falling into place the way I wanted. I got lost in the jumble of dots and wanted so badly to leap from 1 to 40 so that I would be more than halfway there. There being my “destination.”

It wasn’t until I acknowledged the divine order over my life did I learn that fulfillment comes in the connecting of the dots. To stop looking to the future for my answers and instead be present. To peel away the layers to find the dots. They were there all along, as they are for each of us. If only we wouldn’t pave over them with messages of “I’m a failure” or “That was a big mistake” or “What’s next and where will I find it?”

What’s the moral of my story? Start at 1 and then 2 and then 3 and even if you have to erase a few lines and redo them…even when it feels like things are taking forever to make sense and even when things aren’t looking as neat as you’d like, just know that no matter how you began, life will come full circle because you can’t finish the bigger picture until you connected the final dot back to 1.