It’s Kelly’s turn to tell-all about her writing endeavors. It was fun to find out which posts were her personal favorites and have her reflect on how much learning goes on in one year of freelance writing. Make sure to check out some of her other published work mentioned below.
Why did it take you until your thirties to start really putting pen to paper?
I loved writing in college and wrote a ton for my major and even had a concentration in English so that I could do more reading and writing. I was definitely the student who loved essay questions. I did a lot of technical writing for my old, insurance job, but I always missed having the chance to be creative. I think once I hit my 30’s I was able to acknowledge that if I didn’t start doing something I loved now, then the window of time to begin would pass and I would always wonder if I could have done something more. Pretty much the basic cliche of “It’s now or never.” I am busy with kids, a husband, and a regular life, but it took entering my third decade of existence to realize that I am always going to be busy, so why not write while being busy and enjoy it all?
How has your writing life changed in one year?
It has changed some, in that I feel like I know more about the freelance writing business. The first year was full of learning curves where I had to research how to pitch, where to pitch, what articles could get published, who would make a good story source, etc. It feels good to have some staple publishing sites that appear to appreciate my style and voice because it cuts down on the logistical work and let’s me focus more on writing.
What are the challenges? Deadlines! Like any other job, career, or parental duty…there is typically a running clock going on certain projects. It is hard to say no when multiple sites want something from you (all in the same week) and you have to really focus and work an extended period of time to finish articles, re-writes, and submissions. This challenge coupled with the frustration of having writer’s block and slow weeks where you worry that no one will ever publish you again definitely add an element of drama.
What is your favorite blog post that you have written?
I love writing about books because I enjoy reading so much. I also like the pieces where I get to interview others for my articles. However, if I had to narrow it down I would probably say “Wanting Something More” and “Sisters” were my two favorite blog posts. The “Wanting Something More” surprised me because it was Tessa’s topic pick, and I was sort of dreading it. I just didn’t know what I would say when it came to fueling one’s internal fire, but then I started typing and the piece came together really well. I sat back and was happy with how I captured my feelings about quitting my old insurance job to start being more focused on what I wanted to be doing professionally. I also loved my “Sisters” blog because my daughters are the epitome of sisters and friends, and they remind me everyday that I must be doing something halfway right as a mom because they are pretty much the sweetest creatures on earth (in my overly biased opinion).
What is the piece that you are most proud of and why?
I appreciate the pieces I have done regarding food allergies and diabetes. They make me proud because I learned ways to be helpful to parents and kids facing these challenges by writing about them. My family (knock on wood) has no dietary restrictions, but it feels important to learn about what others in those situations have to do to overcome their challenges. I hope it makes readers more empathetic because I know it gave me a huge dose of empathy just by writing those blog posts.
Name some publications that you have outside of our blog.
I have done some regional writing for Living Here Magazine and Black Hills Faces Magazine. They are beautiful magazines and it is fun to get to include my own pictures for articles. I mostly write interview type pieces for them, and I have enjoyed meeting a lot of new and cool people for certain
stories. I recently wrote an article about home brewing beer that is set to be published in a few weeks. I got to interview my husband, but then also met some total strangers that had great beer brewing stories. It was a fun experience! MockMom, Sammiches & Psych Meds, and Parent.co have also shown me a lot of love.
What about pushing “publish” or “submit” makes you nervous? (What goes through your head?)
In the beginning I really, really, really (did I mention REALLY) worried about negative reactions to what I wrote, so there were a lot of nerves. It is very hard to put yourself out there in print. However, those nerves have slowly started to be replaced by a nice sense of anticipation because I hope what I write gives people something, be it: a laugh, valuable information, or just the feeling of understanding that we sometimes need as stressed out adults.
Where do you want to be next year at this time?
I would love for Family Footnote to be as big as Scary Mommy, or even just cross the threshold of becoming a somewhat familiar name among parenting/fun family sites. To have our blog get shared more and reach a bigger audience would be amazing. We currently have over 400 “likes” to our Family Footnote Facebook page, but I would love to reach 500+ likes. There are also over 40 subscribers to the blog, and it would be great to get that number to 100 subscribers (hint, hint to our readers).
How has support from your friends and family aided in your writing endeavors?
Support from those you love is the best confidence boost, even their constructive criticism shows me that they care enough to read what I write.
I must echo Kelly’s sentiment about her family and friend support. We can’t thank you all enough for the encouragement you’ve shown us at Family Footnote. It makes chasing this dream so much better. This year, we plan to continue our blog endeavor with even more intensity. There is so much to learn, but that’s the reason this is incredibly fun and worthwhile.