February was an okay month, but not great. I hit some big financial goals with work, which was very exciting, but my health suffered: I had a bad cold for basically the first two weeks of the month, and as soon as I got over that, all of my other health problems went into a flare (from stress, not taking one of my prescription meds for two months, and who knows what else).
I turned 20 years old and Brooke and I took a road trip to Chattanooga for three nights to celebrate. Joshua and I had a donut date; I went to tap class and picked up my neighbors from school each week; my dad and I went out for dinner and shopping; and I went to my informal small group once and my parents’ small group once.
This month I’m…
Reading: Fiercehearted, Holley Gerth. On My Own Two Feet, Amy Purdy. A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer. Around the Way Girl, Taraji P. Henson. Finishing Becca, Ann Rinaldi (reread). In The Water They Can’t See You Cry, Amanda Beard. The Cruel Prince, Holley Black. The Deceivers, Kristen Simmons. King of Scars, Leigh Bardugo. Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell (reread). What’s Best Next, Matt Perman. The Peterkin Papers, Lucretia P. Hale (kinda a DNF). What The Night Sings, Vesper Stamper. Overdressed, Elizabeth Cline (DNF only because it was due at the library). 14 total.
Listening to: I Am and Back From the Edge, James Arthur. Nearer My God To Thee, BYU. Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. Vapor, The Liturgists. Why, Perfectly Wrong, Particular Taste, and When You’re Ready, Shawn Mendes. Nervous (acoustic), Gavin James. When The Party’s Over, Billie Eilish. Castle On a Hill, Ed Sheeran. Love Again (stripped), Dylan Jordan. How Long, Charlie Puth. This glorious Anastasia piano medley for hours on end while writing textbooks.
Loving: A Curse So Dark and Lonely and Queen of Air and Darkness, Cait (Paper Fury). Active-shooter drills are scaring children away from school, NY Post. The Modern Trap of Feeling Obligated to Turn Hobbies into Hustles, Man Repeller.
Writing: I reached a milestone number in my savings account this month and also not only reached my monthly income goal for the first time, but surpassed it, which felt SO good (although unfortunately I had to work several evenings and a couple of Saturdays). I got a new client this month, a curriculum development company; I spent about 20 hours a week writing child development college textbooks (for Barnes & Noble Education) and the other 20 trying to cram in all of my other pre-existing client work.
That other client work consisted of four blog posts for a pet insurance company (example); proofreading, social media, a feature, and a department for the magazine I work for (follow our Facebook page here); some work for a consumer protection website; 15 short travel articles (examples here, here, and here); a couple of outdoors articles (example); some blog posts for an Instagram marketing company; an article for Just Labs Magazine; some work for a content writing company; articles for an entertainment website (examples here and here); an article for CYC (read here) and some other random small projects like advertising copy for a sportswear company and an article for an old client.
As far as marketing, I pitched 21 story ideas to 12 publications, sent 19 LOI’s, and applied to 77 jobs. (It felt like every time I applied to a job, I either got shortlisted or hired, and it was to the point where I was turning stuff down left and right and exclaiming “NO!” aloud anytime I saw something new in my inbox.)
I had a little time to work on my ice skating novel, which was SO wonderful that I wish I’d had more. I was also interviewed on a podcast about how I grew my business as a teenager and that was a fun “first.”
Grateful for: Clients with a sense of teamwork who foster camaraderie. Waffles for dinner on a Wednesday. The fun One Line A Day journal that I’ve been wanting forever and finally bought. Mentor meetings with fellow freelance writers with chronic illnesses. Driving down the road on a rare sunny day with my eight-year-old passenger asking me to turn up Panic! At The Disco. The cutest one-year-old high fives at small group. Having a phone that works, finally!
What did you do in February?