This was a busy and exhausting month, but also an exciting one. Most notably, I started Carol Tice’s Den 2X program, an intense six-month course for freelance writers to double their income. That has kept me busy with trainings, homework, and Zoom calls galore, and I’m absolutely loving every minute of it–I have been in desperate need of a freelance writing mentor and a freelance writing community for a while now, and I know this is going to take my career to the next level!
What else happened this month? We had Claymation Discovery camp at my nonprofit one week, where I served as a counselor + photographer, and I also tutored at a local elementary school one day a week. The week after summer camp, I taught music at my new church’s VBS. Trying to manage camp, VBS, and all of my freelance work was absolutely exhausting and I feel like I’ve basically been in a flare for all of June. Sigh.
I had the amazing opportunity to serve as the volunteer photographer for a fantastic nonprofit that provides support to moms who were under pressure to abort, but chose life. Look at all these sweet, adorable families I got to meet!!
Fun stuff this month: we had a surprise party for my brother Joshua’s 13th birthday, we had a swimming and board game night with friends, we went swimming in Cleveland with other friends, Dad and I had “the best pizza in metro Atlanta,” Joshua and I saw Bandstand in theaters (SO SO SO SO SO GOOD), and I visited Emma at college for a day.
This month I’m…
Reading: Caraval, Stephanie Garber. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi. Baby Island, Carol Ryrie Brink. No Promises in the Wind, Irene Hunt (reread). Undaunted, Josh McDowell. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett (reread). Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling (reread). We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (reread). Rilla of Ingleside, L.M. Montgomery (reread). The Green Glass Sea, Ellen Klages (reread). A Thousand Perfect Notes, C.G. Drews. 11 total.
Listening to: Drive, Ben Rector. Reckless Love, Cory Asbury. Dear Theodosia, Hamilton. Follow the Sun, Caroline Pennell. Finding Neverland original Broadway cast recording (especially: All Of London’s Here Tonight and When Your Feet Don’t Touch the Ground).
Writing: Den 2X has been fantastic–1:1 coaching meetings, coffee breaks with my accountability buddy, and masterminds with the whole class. The month 1 materials involved analyzing current clients and making a list of 100 prospects (for me, these are fitness, nutrition, and education companies with a certain annual revenue). I took a LinkedIn training and an LOI training.
I wrote three blog posts for Valnet and three blog posts for JenReviews. I wrote two blog posts for Forgetful Chef via ContentPros. I wrote an article about service dogs for Just Labs magazine plus an article for Craft Your Content (forthcoming). I wrote 10 City Lists, five Unique Dream Experiences, and eight Human Dream Stories for Pepper Storm Media. I wrote two articles for Georgia Family Magazine and proofread the magazine before it went to press. I had a devotional published here, an interview about my daily life with chronic illness published here, and an article about a doable routine for writers published here; plus, I had an article about Flannery O’Connor come out in Authors Publish magazine. I finished out the month by landing a fantastic long-term new client! Plus, I applied to 48 jobs and pitched four magazines. I made a lot of money in June, but saved almost none of it because I do my taxes quarterly and they were due. Oh, the joys of being self-employed.
Sadly, the only fiction I had time for this month was to research and plot a short story for a contest my publisher is holding, plus submit short stories to nine publications. But I also had a flash fiction piece, Garden Party, published with Student Wordsmith (picture below).
Loving: I didn’t have much time for reading blogs, but loved all of Brooke N’s blog posts. I blogged two times here (Sophie: One Year Later and Blog Tour: Story-Eyed [You Don’t Want To Miss This!]) and two times at THC (C.G. Drews: Hardworking Creative and 4 Ways To Break Out Of Creative Burnout [That Aren’t What You Think]).
Grateful for: Being sent home early from tutoring and taking the principal’s advice to relax and go swimming (the only time I’ve been to our pool this summer!). An adorable two-year-old at my new church walking into the nursery and coming right to me. Leaving the last day of summer camp with an arm full of Sharpie messages, names, and inside jokes (“I love you” “pls don’t leave me” “single lady”). Spending time talking with some amazing women at the pregnancy center I shot for. Friends who let me borrow their camera when mine has the audacity to break at the worst time ever. Having a freelance writing accountability buddy who texts me encouraging gif’s before meetings with prospective clients!
What did you do this month?