March 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

March was very long and pretty good. There were some tired and frustrating days but some happy ones too. I made a TON of money, spent time with special people, applied to an apartment, and did a lot of reading, thinking, and forming opinions. It was a bit of a crazy month too–my grandma is getting ready for surgery and my dad took a bad fall and couldn’t work for a week because of a concussion.

In addition to working, obviously, I went to tap class every week; babysat my neighbors once a week; Joshua’s ball games started; and I started a ladies’ Bible study with my church (the small church I attend on Sundays) that is super special and just what I needed right now.

As far as fun stuff, I kicked off the month by spending the weekend with some old family friends, and we saw Les Miserables at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta (my first time to ever go to the Fox). The next weekend, my dad and I saw Beauty and the Beast at a local high school; the following weekend, we went to see our old homeschool co-op’s musical; and the fourth weekend of the month, we went with several friends (Thomas, the Coxes, their grandparents, Brooke and her mom, Mrs. Alvalee, Mrs. Elyse, and Wiley) to see some of our other friends in Newsies. 

Believe it or not, I also did other things this month besides just going to musicals. Andrea and I had lunch at Steak n Shake; Brooke and I had lunch at Panera; Brooke, Brianna, and I saw Captain Marvel; and I got to meet my lovely blog friend, Mikayla, in person for the first time (again, at Panera). I finished up the month by taking a tour of my dream apartment complex and submitting an application!!!

 

This month I’m…

Reading (check out my thoughts on each book at the links): Shoe Dog, Phil Knight. The Prisoner of Cell 25, Richard Paul Evans. Parkland: Birth of a Movement and Columbine (DNF), Dave Cullen. The Wicked King, Holly Black. Brooklyn Rose (reread) and Come Juneteenth, Ann Rinaldi. The Blood Spell and The Shadow Queen, C. J. Redwine. Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson (reread). I Am A Pencil, Sam Swope (reread). #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line, David Hogg and Lauren Hogg. To Best the Boys, Mary Weber. 13 total.

Listening to: Les Miserables. Anastasia. Spring Awakening (Rise cast version). Zero, Imagine Dragons. Personal, HRVY. Mutual, Shawn Mendes. Glorious, Rise cast version. Heads Will Roll, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Wherever You Are, Ben Rector. Quarter Past Midnight, Bastille. Castle, Halsey. Down In the River To Pray, Colorado All State Treble Choir.

Watching: Deadly Class season 1. World of Dance season 3. Captain Marvel. Royal Misfits, Anastasia’s Broadway.com vlog (I’m just a LITTLE sad about Anastasia closing). A Series of Unfortunate Events season 1.

Writing: I finished up the college textbook project with Barnes & Noble. I did all the usual work at the magazine where I’m associate editor. I did tons of blog posts/articles for travel websites, a pet insurance company, an entertainment website, a consumer protection company, an Instagram growth service, and two outdoors websites. I wrote magazine features for two Arkansas-based publications and did some SEO optimization for a product development company. I sent 10 LOI’s, pitched six story ideas to publications, and applied to 54 jobs. Didn’t have time for much fiction, unfortunately, but I broke a number for my monthly income goal that I hadn’t expected to hit anytime soon.

Loving: Featured Blogger: Hailey Hudson, Multitalented Writers. “Do you ever think about me?”: the children sex tourists leave behind, The Guardian. I Am a Strong Woman With Chronic Pain, The Mighty. The guns debate is a culture war. And young people will win it, The Guardian. Why People With Chronic Illness Can’t Simply “Push Through,” The Mighty. Captain Marvel, Double Standards & The Pressure Facing Female-Led Films, The Young Folks. The Problem With Trying to Make Illness “Relatable” for Healthy People, The Mighty. Parkland one year on: what victories have gun control advocates seen?, The Guardian. Why the Church Doesn’t Need Any More Starbucks, FaithIt.

I also was able to contribute my perspective to a very important article, What teen movies like “Five Feet Apart” get wrong about chronic illness by Sara Radin. Please read it–this is an incredibly important topic to create a dialogue around and something that I plan to speak about more.

Grateful for: Stepping outside my front door on a beautiful afternoon and immediately hearing kids call, “Hailey, watch me ride my bike!” Late night laughter (and… politics) over milkshakes and burgers with my favorite people. Cute dogs at the ballpark. Driving everywhere with the windows down (because my air conditioning is broken but, you know). Waking up on a Saturday morning to confirmation of a big retainer deal with a client. Hugs at Bible study and almost crying on the way home because it’s new but familiar and finally. Gear in the mail from clients. Walking down the street under the lights of Atlanta in a beautiful dress. Talking nonstop about my apartment, furniture, etc.

What did you do in March?

February 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

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.

Watching: Blackfish. The Grammys. Titanic. Deadly Class, Syfy. A Plastic Ocean. Julia Robertson’s vlogs from last summer.

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?