Archive for September, 2012

Cornered Office

with Mir Kamin

I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.

To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at

On Mentoring, and Openness

Categories: Deep thoughts, Now I'm free(lancing), Things you should be reading


Last week I saw about twenty different people link to this post on Penelope Trunk’s blog about mentoring and so of course I went and read it. And then I was confused. Because I was expecting kind of a how-to about mentoring, and that wasn’t exactly what it was. But Cassie Boorn (the writer) did drop this interesting gem at the end:

This is the part where I give you career advice. You can’t hide who you are and make genuine connections at work. Eventually it comes out and you make everyone around you feel like they have been duped. If you want a great career you have to have a good network and you have to have good mentors and people can’t mentor you and be your network if they don’t know you.

I suspect that’s why everyone is lauding this as a must-read piece, even though the mentoring relationship described in the article is perhaps a somewhat unconventional one. I also suspect this is part of why this piece bothers me so, because I would hate for someone who’s never experienced good mentoring to read Boorn’s words and conclude that her relationship with Trunk is the only way mentoring can or should work, which I don’t think is really true. And finally, I’m not entirely sure I even agree with the conclusion.
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Relearning balance, a.k.a. “for me”

Categories: A mother's work is never done, My boss is an idiot, Now I'm free(lancing)


Balancing all the various facets of my life has never been my strong suit; sometimes I manage better than others, but the fact remains that even during my “best” times I often joke about my life being a series of “short attention span theater” vignettes. I race around, wearing my various hats—I’m a mom! I’m a writer! I’m a wife! I’m a volunteer!—and if things are going relatively well, most everything gets done and I feel pretty good.

But right now I don’t feel good. In fact, I pretty much feel like crap all the time. I’m tired, I’m cranky, and the last however many months of stress have definitely left their mark. I’m working less, ostensibly to give me the time to take care of everything else, yet I feel like I’m accomplishing pretty much nothing in every area of my life, at the same time. (It’s a nifty party trick, if you feel like accompanying the final “TADA!” with a demonstration of exactly how long it’s been since you bothered to, say, dust your house.)

And then came the inevitable question: “What are you doing for you?”
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Blogging awards: My love/hate relationship

Categories: A mother's work is never done, Like talking but with more typing, Now I'm free(lancing)


I am blogger, hear me… pimp myself?

In my experience, there are two kinds of bloggers out there: Those who write because they love writing, and those who write because they love attention. (Occasionally you find a third type: those who love writing and love attention, but overwhelmingly I would argue most bloggers are one or the other.) Now, you could make the argument that someone who only loves writing would never put their words “out there” for others to see, but to me having an audience reading what you write is part of the overall process. I love to write, but I also love to share that writing with others.

I don’t love attention so much, but of course to some extent it’s part and parcel of the blogging life. Put a website online and people are going to see it, comment on it, want to interact with you—that’s kind of the point. But as an introvert writing online suits me because I an interact with others in a way that’s limited; responding to comments and emails is easier for me that lots of face-to-face interaction.

Every now and then, I find myself receiving some sort of nomination or award and then I’m… deeply conflicted.
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Surviving election season when you live online

Categories: Like talking but with more typing, Now I'm free(lancing)

1 Comment

I write for a living. I write online for a living. I write online about many very personal aspects of my life for a living.

But I don’t write about politics, particularly with a presidential election looming.

There are a lot of reasons for this, and most of them boil down to “I don’t wanna.” I feel like political opinions tend to be deeply personal and—for a lot of people, particularly people with whom I don’t agree—not necessarily based on facts, but on feelings; and I’m not in the business of trying to change people’s feelings. Also I dislike the kind of debate that tends to turn ugly and rarely actually changes anyone’s mind. I’m comfortable chronicling my day-to-day life, but I am not comfortable laying bare my political beliefs, essentially inviting people whose beliefs frighten me to attack my position.

I’m a wuss.

Okay, I really am kind of a wuss when it comes to public political debate, but I’m also someone who lives and works online and isn’t interested in being branded as an extremist.
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