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5 Thoughts on My First Two Months of Blogging

December 22, 2017
2 Months of Blogging

On October 22nd, I officially launched my blog.

I’ve learned a lot in the two months since.

In this post, I’ll share my thoughts on the past two months, reflect on some of the choices I’ve made for the blog, and share what my goals are going forward.

Without further ado, I give you 5 thoughts on my first two months of blogging.

2 Months of Blogging

1. On why I started blogging.

2 months of blogging

Over the past two months, I’ve shared a bit about why I decided to start blogging on the blog and around the web.

My November 10th post, “What I Learned from my First Feature on Scary Mommy” described the first steps in my writing journey, which began in January 2016 when I was first published on Scary Mommy.

Then on November 27th, Literary Mama ran my piece “Chasing My Autumns” for its After Page One series.

There, I shared my motivation for starting to write again after becoming a lawyer and a mom.

In sum, I have always loved to write, and I knew I eventually wanted to do more with my writing.

When I first began submitting articles in January 2016, I wasn’t ready to be known as a writer or a blogger. This past fall, I decided I was ready to make the leap.

Part of my decision was motivated by the fact that I was working less, having changed status to “of counsel” with my firm over the summer so that I could work from home exclusively with my son.

I enjoy practicing law and I enjoy being the primary caretaker for my son, but it also felt like the right time to officially add “writer” to my résumé.

I am happy to have made the leap.

2. On social media.

2 Months of Blogging

When I created the blog, I also created accounts for the blog on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Doing so was a little out of character for me. Besides my personal Facebook, where I’ve always kept a modest friend count, I had never really used other types of social media.

I had a Pinterest account, which I used infrequently in recent years, and I had accounts with Twitter and Instagram that I also never used.

I didn’t have anything against the social networks–I just didn’t really develop a personal need for them.

That said, I’ve enjoyed sharing and connecting across social with the blog’s accounts.

Facebook and Instagram were the easiest to get the hang of since I was most familiar with them.

Twitter was a little confounding at first, and Pinterest is still something I’m trying to master in terms of utilizing its maximum potential.

I know that Pinterest is key for many bloggers in driving traffic and income.

I’ve read about it. I’ve made pins and boards, and I spend some time each week pinning, but I haven’t made Pinterest my main priority, mostly due to time constraints.

Perhaps that will change over time. I do get a fair percentage of daily traffic from Pinterest, primarily to this post, interestingly enough.

In the meantime, I have also enjoyed connecting on the other social networks.

I definitely like exercising my sense of humor on Instagram every day.

I’ve seen some bloggers rapidly accumulate large followings on Facebook soon after launching, and that’s great!

I don’t have a massive amount of followers on any of my accounts, but they are growing steadily, and that’s good enough for me right now.

I, of course, do hope to grow a larger following over time, but it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

3. On connecting with other writers/bloggers.

2 Months of Blogging

Connecting with other writers and bloggers has been another aspect of this journey I’ve enjoyed.

Over the last two months, I’ve gradually joined writers’ groups for sites to which I contribute, and I’ve also gotten to connect with other writers and bloggers generally through social media.

While I am still getting to know these groups and individuals, I have already found much support in them, and for that I am certainly grateful!

It’s been a couple of years since I first took a stab at freelance writing, but it’s been just two months since I started identifying myself as a writer/blogger and getting to know other writers and bloggers.

While each community I’ve joined is a little different, they have all been welcoming and supportive.

If you are a new writer/blogger, connecting with others in your niche is key.

Don’t feel that you have to dive into every single group that’s out there (there are a lot of them). Not every group will be for you. Not every post or thread will be for you. But do join the ones that make sense to you, and then read, observe, contribute, share.

It’s all about helping one another.

4. On balancing it all.

This has definitely been a challenge at times!

There are only so many hours in a day.

While I am not working full-time as an attorney right now, I am still practicing, and so I must still devote time to client matters.

Additionally, I am a regular contributing writer for a couple of websites, and I also write and submit articles to other sites as well.

Throw the blog into the mix, and being home full-time with my son, and the days can sometimes feel a bit full.

I have gotten into a good groove though, and I’ve been able to continually update the blog with new content, so I see that as a win.

I’ve ranged from posting 3 to 5 times per week. I’m sure that will continue to evolve, though I do like to be consistent with post frequency.

I am also grateful for the writing opportunities I have had.

Since starting the blog, I’ve had the following pieces published on other sites:

I’m A Self-Professed ‘Neat Freak,’ But This Is Why I Learned To Change My Habits for Scary Mommy.

Watching My Toddler Grow Is Joyful and Painful for the Parent Co. December 2017 Writing Contest.

Chasing My Autumns for Literary Mama.

How To Be A Success In The Eyes Of Your Two-Year-Old for Fairygodboss.

6 Qualities Of People Who Are Confident — But Not Cocky for Fairygodboss.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: What You Need To Know for Fairygodboss.

Hostile Work Environments: How To Deal, How To Cope, And How To Get Outta There for Fairygodboss.

I don’t plan to stop contributing and submitting writing anytime soon, so I will continually work to strike the right balance amongst my various obligations.

I regularly update my Featured Writing page with new work that is published, so if you’re interested in keeping up with my musings around the web, stop by the Featured Writing page periodically!

Or better yet, subscribe to my newsletter and receive a weekly update directly from me.

5. On what’s next.

2 Months of Blogging

So, what’s next?

I plan to continue regular posts about law, motherhood, and more on the blog and around the web.

I would also like to continue featuring interviews with advocates for working parents and workplace rights since that is another passion that drives the blog.

To date, I have shared interviews with Lori Mihalich-Levin of Mindful Return and Liz Morris of the UC Hastings Center for Work Life Law.

I also enjoyed doing the book review for Back To Work After Baby by Lori Mihalich-Levin, and conducting the giveaway for the book.

I foresee other book reviews and giveaways in the future, so keep an eye out for those!

I also plan to continue brainstorming other ways to bring value to readers.

If you are a working parents or workers’ rights advocate or organization, a blogger, a writer, or other group, and would like to collaborate with me, feel free to reach out!

I can be reached at [email protected]

Thanks for reading and following along!

What has been your favorite part of the blog?

Do you have a favorite post? 

Is there something you’d like to see more of on the blog? 

Let me know here on or social media!

 

 

Featured Maternity Leave Working Parent

11 Questions: Lori Mihalich-Levin of Mindful Return

November 22, 2017
mindful return

Lori Mihalich-Levin is the working mama guru behind the successful program “Mindful Return.” I recently had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Mihalich-Levin regarding what Mindful Return is and how it helps working mothers. I am pleased to share this interview on the blog today.

Mindful Return

1. For readers who are unfamiliar, can you describe what Mindful Return is, and why you started it?

Mindful Return is a 4-week online program (and a blog!) designed to help new parents return to work after parental leave in a more calm, empowered, and successful way.  I started it, because while there seemed to be a curriculum out there for everything baby-related (how to make a birth plan, puree baby food, massage your baby…), there didn’t seem to be a course one could take on “how to navigate maternity leave and the return to work without losing your mind”!

For the past 3 years, about 500 women have taken the Mindful Return course, and the paternity leave version just for dads will be launching in January 2018.

2. What led you to create Mindful Return? Were you prompted by something in your personal or professional life? 

Mindful Return was definitely born of my own experiences returning to work full time after my two boys (who are now 4 1/2 and 6 1/2).  I returned to an employer where plenty of people had gone out on and returned from maternity leave, but no one seemed to be talking about how challenging this transition could be.  I was first inspired to launch a “Returning to Work Group” at my office.  (More on how to form a “Working Mom Posse” at your office here.)  Then, taking the Abundant Mama e-course with moms from all over (with kids of all ages) inspired me to develop an online program where new working moms could connect, mentor one another, and learn how to do this transition in a better way.

3. In your opinion, what are the biggest difficulties women face in returning from maternity leave?

Oh, there are many!  But here are three I hear frequently and have experienced myself:

(1) Sleep deprivation is high on the list; it can be a huge struggle to figure out your new life and balance work demands while having your sleep interrupted every two hours.  American maternity leave policies, as you probably know, aren’t known for their generosity; so many moms end up heading back to work right around the time of that dreaded 3-month sleep regression.

(2) Finding the time and energy to pump milk during the day is another challenge many moms confront.  With the irony being the more you stress, the less milk you produce.

(3) Guilt.  New moms returning to work are trying to figure out their own new identities, trying to be good moms, and trying to be good employees.  We often hold ourselves to remarkably high standards and feel guilty when we come up “short.”

4. In your opinion, are the struggles working women face in returning from maternity leave primarily related to inward pressure, outward pressures, or a combination of both?

Definitely a combination of both.  Society often holds up the image of the “you-can-do-it-all mom”, and social media doesn’t exactly help to dispel these myths.  Workplace policies tend not to favor working parents, and it’s well known that there’s a “motherhood penalty” in the workplace (there’s even a Wikipedia entry on the topic!).  At the same time, many of us put an incredible amount of pressure on ourselves to be all things to all people at all times.  It’s okay to ease back into work, find new rhythms, and just “be” in our new lives as mothers.  But we often don’t give ourselves permission to do these things.

5. Following up on the last question, how does the Mindful Return course help women navigate these pressures?

The Mindful Return course focuses on a different theme each week, as follows, to help take some of the stress (and feelings of being alone) out of the return to work:

Week 1: A Mindful Mindset for Return.  This week of the course helps new working moms develop skills that will help keep them from going off the rails, mentally, when they return.  We work on gratitude practices, perspective, coping with new motherhood and anxiety, and self-care.

Week 2:  Logistics.  During this week, we focus on learning all those logistical ninja tricks around things like transitioning to childcare, negotiating flexibility, coping with sick days, snow days, and the unexpected, nourishing our little ones (whether we’re pumping or not pumping), and putting food on our own tables at night.

Week 3:  Leadership in the space of return.  Yes, working mamas can be amazing leaders at work upon their return.  During this week of the course, we focus on things like taking credit for a well-planned leave and return, learning delegation skills, naming those skills we’re gaining as parents that are applicable at work, and being a role model for other parents.

Week 4:  Community.  This week reminds us of the power of “me too” and the importance of not isolating ourselves.  We remind ourselves of the perils of isolation and explore things like the new parent communities that are most helpful and ways our villages (from caretakers to in-laws to friends) can support us.

Beyond the curriculum, the course helps new moms feel like they aren’t alone.  Everyone going through the course is in the same position, facing the same fears.

6. Beyond the 4-week course, what other resources does Mindful Return offer to mothers returning from leave? 

7. From your experience, what are some of the biggest concerns women have about returning to work after having a baby? And do concerns change in relation to whether the woman is a first-time or second-time plus mom?

Some of the biggest concerns women have include: (1) will my baby be okay with this person I’ve chosen as a caregiver (but may not know well)?; (2) will I miss seeing my baby’s milestones?  (Read this if you’re worried about this one!); (3) how will I regain my focus at work and be as productive as I used to be; (4) how will I afford the ridiculous price of daycare?

A large percentage of moms who take the Mindful Return course are second, third, and even fourth time moms.  Which tells me it’s still a struggle, no matter which time you do it.  While you may, for example, already trust your daycare provider by the time your second baby arrives, other logistics are infinitely more complicated when you add another baby to the mix.  When our second son arrived, my husband and I used to joke that 1 + 1 = 85!

8. If you could offer one piece of advice to a woman who is currently on maternity leave and having difficulty navigating her return back, what would it be? 

To say two things to yourself every morning when you take a shower: (1) you are enough, mama; and (2) comparison is the thief of joy.  You WILL get through this (fleeting) time in life, and you don’t have to go at it alone.

9. What are some ways non-parent colleagues can help facilitate a new mother’s return to work? 

Great question!  We working parents are always in need of allies at the office.  I think the number one way non-parents can help is to show compassion for the new mother.  To understand that things have changed in her world, and that the hours between 5 and 8pm are both insane and precious.  Believe in her for the long-haul, too.  Yes, these first few months back are crazy; and she will be the most loyal (and efficient) employee you can imagine if you give her the time now to find her new groove.

10. Do you have a particular Mindful Return success story you’re interested in sharing with readers?

Absolutely!  I have two, actually.

  1. Not long after a Mindful Return course session ended, I had lunch with one of the participants, who had just returned to work the prior week.  When I met her, I was anxious to hear how her return went.  “Oh, the return was totally fine, thanks to the Mindful Return course,” she said.  “Now let’s talk about something more exciting, like my baby and your boys!”
  2. After taking the lesson on negotiating flexibility, one of my mamas mustered up the courage to meet with her boss over lunch to ask for adjusted hours (i.e. starting and ending her workday earlier).  She was terrified to make the ask, and was afraid of what her manager would think.  The reality?  Not only did her boss say yes to her request, but her boss declared, “Oh, take anything you need!  I thought you were asking me to lunch to say you weren’t coming back!!”

11.If nothing else, what is the one thing you’d like readers to take away from this interview today? 

Working mamas rock.  We gain superpowers of efficiency, patience, the ability to meet the needs of clients who can’t communicate their needs, and we become problem-solving ninjas.  Be proud of yourselves, working mamas.  You are truly amazing.

Thank you to Lori Mihalich-Levin and Mindful Return for this interview!

Featured Working Parent

10 Questions: Liz Morris of The Center for WorkLife Law

November 15, 2017
interview liz morris

Liz Morris is the Deputy Director of The Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of Law. I recently had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Morris about her work for The Center and The Center’s many initiatives for workplace equality. I am pleased to share this interview on the blog today. 

liz morris interview

1. For those who are unfamiliar, what is the Center for WorkLifeLaw? 

Formally: The Center for WorkLife Law is a research and advocacy organization housed at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. We seek to advance gender and racial equality in the workplace and in higher education by focusing on initiatives that can produce concrete social, legal, and institutional change within three to five years.

Informally: WorkLife Law is a group of badass, driven advocates and scholars working together to make things right in this world. We wouldn’t accomplish half of what we do without the camaraderie of our engaged team. I consider myself lucky to be a part of this incredible organization.

2. What is your role at the Center for WorkLifeLaw?

I’m the deputy director of the Center and an adjunct law professor at Hastings.

3. Can you describe what your responsibilities are and what a typical day looks like for you?

I definitely do not have a typical day, which is one of the things I love about my work. One of the highlights of my day is collaborating with my colleagues at WorkLife Law and our partner organizations, looking for creative ways to tackle gender inequality. I spend time at my desk researching and writing for a range of audiences, and time out in the field giving presentations about our work. I focus largely on tackling family responsibilities discrimination, which is employment discrimination against caregivers like pregnant and breastfeeding workers, new dads on family leave, adult children taking care of aging parents, and anyone else who cares for a family member. Our strategies include, for example, educating people on what the law requires and creating practical tools that support caregivers to secure their legal rights at work, conducting research to identify problems caregivers face in the workplace and potential solutions, and developing novel legal theories and filing briefs in court to advance the law to be more protective of caregivers at work. I also co-teach Advanced Employment Law at Hastings, incorporating the Center’s work into lessons on how to use the law as a tool for social change.  And I manage day-to-day operations at the Center, like our budget.

Actually, my workweek has changed in the last couple months after coming back from maternity leave. I now spend every Wednesday taking care of my son (my husband takes Fridays). We definitely practice what we preach here at the Center!

4. What recent initiatives has the Center taken on?

We take pride at the Center in how much we’re able to accomplish with a relatively small staff size. Our current major initiatives include programs for advancing women leaders, eliminating barriers for pregnant and breastfeeding workers and students, preventing Family Responsibilities Discrimination, and helping companies prevent or interrupt bias in the workplace and create more stable schedules for hourly workers. Reports and practical tools for these projects can be found on our website.

5. One of the Center’s major projects is “Pregnant at Work.” Can you tell readers a little bit about the goal of this project, and what it does?

PregnantAtWork.org is a website created with the goal of ensuring pregnant employees are able to continue working and earning an income while maintaining a healthy pregnancy. The website is a repository for all of our informational resources, practical tools, videos, and more aimed at pregnant women, their health care providers, their attorneys, and their employers.

The website is full of pragmatic tips for navigating what can often be a challenging time in women’s lives. All of the guidance on our site takes into account existing legal protections for pregnant women. For example, along with our partner A Better Balance, we created a document called Talking To Your Boss About Your Bump that helps you figure out how to talk to your employer about pregnancy and explains your workplace rights during pregnancy, depending on the state where you live. It’s particularly useful if you need a work accommodation–or a change to where, when, or how your job is done that will allow you to maintain a healthy pregnancy while continuing to work.

Since launching the website a few years ago, WorkLife Law started the Nursing Mothers Law Project, which has the goal of increasing protections and education about the legal rights and practical needs of nursing mothers at work. PregnantAtWork.org now has tools for breastfeeding employees, and their healthcare providers, lawyers, and employers too.

6. What, in your opinion, are some of the biggest obstacles pregnant women face at work?

Pregnant women often face bias at work–or assumptions about how they will behave, or how they should behave, now that they’re pregnant.  Managers may assume pregnant women are not as committed to their jobs as they used to be, or that they shouldn’t be performing their normal duties because it would be unsafe (even when the employee disagrees and wants to keep working). As a result, pregnant women may face what we legally refer to as discrimination, or negative treatment at work (like firing, demotion, harassment, etc.) because they’re pregnant. We often see requests for accommodation as a flashpoint for illegal discrimination. Pregnant women may be fired or put on unpaid leave for asking for accommodations as minor as additional bathroom breaks, permission to carry a water bottle to stay hydrated, or being excused from heavy lifting. This is very often against the law (depending on the circumstances and state), so our goal is to spread the word to pregnant women that they have legal rights, and to employers that they are exposing themselves to costly lawsuits when deny needed accommodations.

Nursing mothers similarly often need accommodations at work–like break time and a private, clean space to pump breast milk. No less than 60% of breastfeeding employees do not have the time and space they need to pump at work. That’s pretty remarkable given that four out of every five women start out breastfeeding. Workplace barriers are a major indicator of whether these women continue nursing, as recommended for the first year of a baby’s life for the health and well-being of both baby and mom. So we’re trying to spread the word about legal rights for nursing mothers, and shift the cultural understanding around the needs of breastfeeding women.

7. Besides the Pregnant at Work website, are there other ways the Center for WorkLife Law disseminates this information to workers/companies/attorneys/HR?

We publish articles (check out my blog on HuffPost: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/liz-morris), write legal briefs, operate a free legal hotline, and make public presentations to a wide range of audiences, including trainings for managers and attorneys. One of my favorite trainings occurred last year when I gave “grand rounds” at over a dozen medical schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Baylor, and others across the country. Grand rounds are an opportunity for doctors, midwives, med students, and other health care providers to learn about cutting edge issues in their field. It turns out that the work notes prenatal and postnatal care providers write for their pregnant and breastfeeding patients can have a huge impact on whether their patients get the accommodations they need at work, and surprisingly whether they keep their jobs. We’ve developed a program to train health care providers on how to effectively write work accommodation notes for their pregnant and breastfeeding patients that increase the likelihood they’ll get the accommodation they need to continue working. The written guidance we developed is available on PregnantAtWork.org.

8. What is the most positive feedback you’ve received about Pregnant at Work?

It is hard to pinpoint the most positive feedback, and the initiative has so many projects under its umbrella, but I knew we were making a difference when I read the evaluation results from the grand rounds lectures I just mentioned. The health care providers we trained told us that they had been writing their work accommodation notes wrong for years and that due to the tools we created, they felt they were equipped to write them more effectively in the future – and that they were committed to doing so after learning about the impact that they have on their pregnant patients’ abilities to continue earning an income and support their growing families.

I want to mention that credit for the doctors’ notes program and many of our other projects also goes to other organizations we’ve worked with over the years to identify problems faced by pregnant and breastfeeding employees and solutions to those problems. WorkLife Law convened a Pregnancy Accommodation Working Group that brought together advocates, scholars, government officials, health care providers, and others to study these issues, and a lot of our work wouldn’t have been possible but for the brilliance of our colleagues in that working group. There are too many to name here, but much of our work stems from this team’s collective efforts.

9. If someone is interested in connecting with the Center for WorkLife Law, what’s the best way to do so?

We’re always happy to share information about our work, learn about speaking engagements, and direct people to the resources we’ve created. Just give us a call (415-565-4640).

Family caregivers seeking information about their legal rights at work can call our free legal hotline where lawyers provide information about your legal rights and, if appropriate, make referrals to attorneys located in your state who are knowledgeable about family responsibilities discrimination. Contact info for the hotline:

Email: [email protected] (Email is the fastest way to get in touch);

Phone: 415-703-8276 (Leave a voicemail with your contact information and someone will return your call.)

10. What is the #1 thing you’d like readers to take away from today’s interview?

Working people should never be forced to choose between their jobs and the meaningful, essential stuff of life, like a healthy pregnancy, feeding your child, bonding with your newborn, or providing comfort to a dying parent. If you’re a caregiver and think you’re being treated unfairly at work, I hope you’ll access our online resources or contact our free legal hotline. We want to be of service.

Many thanks to Liz Morris and the Center for WorkLife Law for this interview!

Featured

What I Learned from my First Feature on Scary Mommy

November 10, 2017
Scary Mommy

Almost two years ago, before I ever started blogging, I had my first featured post on Scary Mommy.

Though I had always loved to write, writing for fun had taken a backseat to legal life and motherhood.

As an attorney, you are constantly writing, but it is always on behalf of someone else. Additionally, your work is typically civil but adversarial, meaning you’re constantly engaging in a polite war of words. While I enjoyed my work, I still wanted to write for me. I also eventually wanted to start freelancing and it felt like the right time.

Having become a mom the year before, I also felt myself suddenly overcome with the urge to write again. There’s something about the first year of motherhood that leaves you feeling like a seasoned veteran. I had experienced a lot since becoming a mom, and I had a lot to share. I didn’t want to become the creepy lady hovering over new parents in Buy Buy Baby, so I did what most people do when they desire an audience: I took to the Internet.

Scary Mommy

Publishing my First Article

Scary Mommy

I knew exactly where I wanted to submit my first piece. Having recently entered the world of motherhood, I had scoured the pages of Scary Mommy that entire year, relating, laughing, agreeing–and sometimes disagreeing–with the variety of stories shared.

The very first article I wrote was called “Three Postpartum Rules I’m Glad I Broke.” I wrote it with the goal of uplifting other new moms who are frequently told to expect the worst once their babies arrive. I wanted to let other new moms know that, while new motherhood is no cakewalk, becoming a new parent will not completely destroy your identity. You can still do the things that you care about and that make you feel like yourself.

I wrote the piece, double-checked Scary Mommy’s submission guidelines, drafted my e-mail to the submissions editor, crossed my fingers, and clicked “send.” I knew there was a statistical certainty that I would not hear back, so I was shocked–and delighted–when I received an e-mail from Scary Mommy’s submissions editor the very next day confirming interest and a publication date.

The post went live that same month, and over the course of the next several months, several other posts were accepted and published as well.

While each submission is special to me, there are several lessons I cherish from that first featured post.

Sharing your creative work requires bravery.

Scary Mommy

When I wrote my first article, I didn’t yet feel comfortable writing under my name. I was practicing law full-time and not sure if my side writing would ever go anywhere, so I came up with the pen name “Mom at Law.” Still, even though I was writing anonymously, sharing my experiences with the world still took courage.

When you share your creative work, especially on the Internet, you are opening yourself up to criticism and judgment you wouldn’t otherwise receive. It’s like voluntarily submitting your diary to a panel full of Expert Judgers. But that also brings me to my next point.

When people judge you, they aren’t really judging you.

Scary Mommy

I was slightly surprised when many readers reacted negatively in the comment section of that first post. There were also many people who reacted positively, but the theme among those who did not seemed to be that I was a sanctimommy judging them for not doing exactly what I did after having a baby.

That was, of course, not my intention at all. I wanted my post to be inspiring and uplifting, but I also appreciated the fact that it started a conversation. That is, after all, the goal of any literary contribution–to generate thought and discussion.

My biggest takeaway though was that you are not responsible for the thoughts and reactions of others. No one knew the writer behind the post when it went live, so they had no knowledge about who I was as a person.

When people judge you, they aren’t really judging you. They are simply judging their perceptions of you, and those perceptions are informed by their own personal beliefs and experiences, which also have nothing to do with you.

In other words, don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t like you or what you have to say.

There’s never a wrong time to chase your dreams.

Scary Mommy

I wrote and submitted that first post during one of the busiest seasons of my life. I was a new lawyer and a new mom working hard to stay on top of every aspect of my life. I could have easily brushed off the desire to start writing again. I could have decided to wait until a “better,” more convenient time. But instead, I decided to start right then and there, and I’m so glad I did.

I applied this same logic to my decision to take on other freelance projects and to start blogging. While certain factors were right, there were others that could have deterred me from starting when I did. Nevertheless, I dove in when my instincts told me to do so–and I don’t regret it.

Opportunity is found when you seek it.

Scary Mommy

Sometimes opportunity finds us, but most of the time, we need to first seek opportunity if we are to find it. Opportunity grows from opportunity.

Don’t be daunted by the size and scope of your goals. Get after them.

You shouldn’t fear rejection.

Scary Mommy

I am so thankful to Scary Mommy for accepting that first post and the ones subsequently published. I sent them my first piece as a complete unknown, writing under a pseudonym, with no accompanying social media megaphone. They could have passed me over immediately, but they appreciated the content, and that’s all that mattered.

I did not let my fear of rejection stop me from submitting my first post. I also didn’t let it stop me from submitting again after they did pass on other pieces. As long as you are putting yourself out there, you will always run the risk of someone saying “no thanks.”

This also applies to how a potential audience may receive your message. Not everyone will appreciate what you have to say (see above), but you shouldn’t let that stop you from sharing something meaningful to you.

That first featured post gave me the experience and motivation to build on my freelance writing and eventually start blogging.

In sum, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and do work that is meaningful to you. It might be scary, and you may encounter judgment, but you are worth it. 

If you’re interested in reading my articles on Scary Mommy, you can find them on their Mom at Law author page.