It was the most delicious cookie of my life and it wasn’t even my favorite kind.
But that’s what you get after practically starving yourself for a week for a little extra assurance that you won’t have a breakdown at the podium.
Last week, after my mega migraine meltdown I had an appointment, and just being there made me so anxious and with my body already lost in residual pain I could barely keep myself from puking. I didn’t want a repeat, and after a gastroparesis flare-up early this week–I figured I was better safe than sorry and spent the last few days eating white bread and plain oatmeal.
I had meeting just about every day this week.
I co-hosted a webinar with Dr. Santa Maria. (Hope you all tuned in, it was a blast!) We had taken about a half an hour’s worth of questions and answers and ran through them for between 80-90 live viewers. It was super exciting. We did another half hour of just taking live, specific questions from viewers.
I was still nursing my sour stomach so to stave off my hunger I was drinking a grande chamomile tea–which meant that the second the cameras were off I nearly tripped over my chair trying to get to the bathroom, I had to pee so bad. *For those of you who watched I’m going to try and get the slides and audio from the event up on Dr. Santa Maria’s website this week–Stay tuned.
An event at the end of my week was what was really stressing me out though! I was asked to give a speech a few weeks back for a young writers workshop I’d been involved in during high school–eight years ago (yesh!)
They invited me to speak about my experiences as a professional writer at their book signing event complete with bigwigs from the school district, the town’s mayor, executives from the publishing company that manufactured the anthology created by the students–and all the young writers (nearly 40 of them) and their families.
For those of you who want the live the experience, here’s a snippet of the speech I read:
The life of professional freelance writing is a revolving door of 1099’s and drastically contrasted audiences. Some days I’m writing about the benefits of chapstick and the next I’m editing articles on rare diseases and the Newborn Screening Process.
Freelance writing means non-stop networking and reaching out to every editor, writer, and CEO you can manage to find the email of. It’s an exciting, aggressive, and competitive field—one that allows you to reach across social barriers you never imagined you’d be able to cross let alone while you’re still in your pajamas.
There are hurtles too.
As a freelance writer you have to prepare and expect months of draught. You’re always on the lookout for your next gig and live in a permanent mindset of being practically unemployed. Then some months you’re so overloaded with work that you have to hire a second writer to work under you while you catch up. That’s why it’s great to make friends in the industry—hopefully your feast means they can work during their famine and vice versa.
You’ll set google alerts on your name and flip out every time one of your pieces is syndicated. You’ll send out twenty pitches a night and almost choke on your late-night-snack when an editor randomly responds with a request for more info. You’ll write things you’ll look back on and think “why oh why did I let them publish this” and others you’ll read and think, “Damn. I’m really good at this.”
One day you’ll get brave enough to email an editor back to ask what their rate is for freelancers. And one day you’ll be brave enough to say, “I’ll need more than that for my time.”
On that note, as the next generation of great writers I’m going to ask you a favor—it’s something you can do for the both of us. Ready?
Okay—everyone repeat after me:
My time is valuable.
My talent is valuable.
I deserve to be compensated for my time and my talent.
Alright, don’t be so cocky, you’re still in high school!
If this program taught you anything I hope it’s the knowledge and the confidence to reach out. Never be afraid to ask the hard questions to the people who have been there before you—and don’t forget to help others that will walk this path behind you.
(I took a bunch of pictures with important people at the book signing, but I have no idea if they were actually printed anywhere so I’ll update if I see any!)
After recovering from the “high” of public speaking I spent an hour talking to the students, their parents, some of the staff from the event and of course getting my copy signed!
And after all that, stepping into the reception lobby I saw it. A giant platter of cookies.
I didn’t want to go crazy right there in the library so I just took one cookie and totally savored it.
Then I went home and had a bagel, assuring myself that I would eat a hearty meal that night when R.J got out of the gym.
We went for Greek–to one of our favorite little restaurants that has the best shrimp gyros you’ve ever had.
Here’s me about an hour after having my first meal of things other than bread and more bread in a week.
I was pretty sure my chance of survival was like 20%. Maybe next time I’ll take a little more slowly.
The rest of my weekend has been great. It was so beautiful out today–the first time the weather has actually felt like the sun isn’t just chilling out five feet above us. I took Happy for a long walk this morning and then R.J and I went to go get our Christmas tree. I spent the day alternately napping and looking for our holiday decorations and when I could find them I rewarded my poor organizational skills with a shopping trip to Ross and Michael’s.
Here’s our beauty!
What’s with all the yawning, Bear? Were we boring you?
Guess you’ll find out in the next post…The Bear Post #2.