It was one year ago when my life changed drastically. Without a warning, my 20-year career came to an abrupt end in what seemed like a New York minute. For at least six months afterward, I asked myself the question (most days while wearing pajamas), “What am I doing with my life?” Since that day, I’ve taken a nosedive into an unknown territory tangled with technology, syntax, and sleepy pants.
I resemble a college student in my new beating-the-clock environs, which includes a dictionary, thesaurus, and the land of social media. What in the hell is social media? After attending an eight-week online boot camp through MediaBistro, I now have a better idea. Times flies when you’re writing…
I have deadlines. I work daily with authors, editors, reporters, bloggers, and photographers. I know the meaning of “TK” (abbreviation in the editing process for “to come”), anchor text, and how to insert key words.
My AP English class came in handy after all, 28 years later. Sister Mariella would be proud as I recall some of those lessons I learned in high school, while I brush up on others, such as the past perfect tense. Not to mention my typing class from senior year (I decided to skip Physics), which was the best life decision I’ve made to date.
After collaborating for several months, I got my website up and running, which has a sampling of what I’ve written, and now I am tying up loose ends on my media kit.
Today, the world in which I work revolves around punctuation, widgets, and a CMS (content management system). Similar to a few past interior design clients, I spend hours each day working with one –– at times it agrees, and at other times, it’s difficult and does not cooperate.
I didn’t understand the meaning of the word “blog” when I started on this road, but now I write for several, including this one –-my very own.
I no longer fluff pillows or draw floor plans for a living; I don’t use Spanglish to try to communicate with contractors, or walk around with a measuring tape in hand. No more cutthroat sales people to tolerate or goals to meet. I have one huge goal of my own though –– to write a book.
Usually, I spend much of my day navigating the internet, researching, interviewing, and bouncing from one website to another to get answers. My high-maintenance assistants include a screaming, furry feline, and a loving, yet neurotic, Labrador Retriever.. They try to keep me in line and get me out of bed, where I sometimes work for a few hours after I wake.
Most days I don’t have any verbal conversation, yet I chat all day online with those I’ve never met, and often work until the wee hours of the morning. When others are getting their best hours of beauty sleep, I’m organizing an editorial calendar or editing an article.
I’ve connected with terrific people, and many I’ve only met virtually. I work regularly with seasoned journalists with much greater experience than I’ll ever call my own. I learn from them each and every day. They’ve written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, AM New York, Barron’s, and other NYC publications. Several of my articles have been picked up by The Real Deal, Business Insider, and Curbed. I consider myself to be lucky. I’m very lucky to have accomplished so much in so little time, and without a journalism degree, as many New York writers have earned from Columbia University or NYU.
Other aspiring and professional writers are partnering with me on this blog, shaping it into something fantastic and unique. I could never do it alone, and I’m fortunate to be working with so many talented, passionate people, who love the way words look on a page and sound when spoken. But more than anything, they, like me, love New York City.
I look back on the past year and think that I’ve not hit any major goals in my writing career yet. I’ve only just begun, and I have little time with so very much to accomplish.
This is the tip of the iceberg.