Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Here you’ll find out all you want to know about me: Should you hire me to write for you? (Yes!) Should you allow your client to be interviewed by me? (Definitely.) Do I blog? (I do; just look below.) And how do you pronounce that last name? (Check out my FAQs for that answer.) Thanks for visiting and feel free to contact me anytime.
Last spring, I was offered the opportunity to stop hustling for one-off assignments from this website or that magazine and instead take on a long-term copywriting project. The assignment was to write patient-focused content for NYU Langone Medical Center.
I resisted the idea at first. As a journalist, I feared the conflict of interest issues. But after providing full disclosure to all my relevant editors, I went for it. After all, a long-term project meant regular paychecks, and that is the holy grail of the freelance life. Plus, I was in a bit of a writing rut. To get out of it, I decided to adopt a new mantra: Just say yes. Whatever the opportunity, just try it. See where it takes you. And so I did.
For the revamp of the NYU Langone website, I was responsible for writing all of the patient and family support content. Nothing exciting or sexy, but pages such as “what to bring for your hospital stay” will get lots of traffic. As a writer, I’m not hard to please. If what I write helps anyone in anyway, I consider that a job well done.
The project had its challenges. Being a reporter requires that I sometimes be pushy. But when you’re working corporate, you can only push so much. You can’t insist that anyone talk to you, you can’t threaten them with a potentially embarrassing “no comment,” you can’t shame them with a “so-and-so talked with me already.” You just have to be really, really nice, and hope that your courtesy and professionalism get you what you need.
As with all new gigs, I had to learn how to adapt my writing style to the client’s voice. That’s a bit more of challenge with corporate writing, where yes, they want copy to be reader-friendly but not “girlfriend friendly,” as so many magazines and websites ask for these days. So I had to find a way to preserve my voice, while also adapting it to a more reserved audience. A challenge, but I enjoy challenges.
I learned quite a bit about the corporate world, and even considered rejoining it. Was it time for me to leave the insecurity of the freelance life for the stability of a steady paycheck? Was I ready to trade a flexible schedule for an employee handbook? I seriously considered it. On the one hand, I realized how much I enjoyed collaborating with a team. That’s not something you get to do very often when your desk is in your bedroom closet. But on the other hand, I need to be able to work my hours on my schedule, be that at 7 am or 10 pm, so the rigidity of 9-5 just isn’t for me. While the lure of a corporate job was strong, for now I’m going to keep working the freelance life, taking what I’ve learned from the corporate experience and using it to grow my business in new ways.
I’m not sure what is coming next for me, but I am glad that I decided to say yes when a new opportunity arose. I think that by continuing to do that, I will find a new path.
About a year or so ago, I was at the local hair salon, Strands, with my daughter. As she sat down to get her hair washed, I heard a familiar voice coming from the chair next to her. It was deep and friendly, booming yet not loud. When this fellow customer sat up in his seat, I made the connection — it had to be my high school chorus teacher Jim DiBenedetto.
How you can hold the memory of a voice you haven’t heard in more than 20 years is beyond me. But once I heard it my mind was sent back to those days in the second-floor Brooklyn Tech chorus room, the chorus teacher/football coach booming at us “What kind of shells?… read more
A couple of weeks ago, I finished up a year-long blog project called 365to40. I documented my march (slow slog?) to 40, which included an unexpected detour through Superstorm Sandy.
Two weeks later, blog-less, I realized two things. One, I missed the creative outlet that blogging afforded me. No editors, no assignments, just me writing about whatever the heck was knocking around in my mind at the moment. It was a free therapy session, and the feedback and support I received helped me through some tough patches.
Second, I realized that I am incredibly goal-oriented. Part of the success of 365to40 (an attempt, in the end successful, to navigate my midlife crisis) was that I was candid about what I hoped to achieve.… read more
I have very spotty memories of last Christmas: The 2-foot tall “Charlie Brown” Christmas trees in each of the kids’ rooms; crowding into my son’s room to open gifts Christmas morning; my husband’s cousin, knowing that stress had eroded my short-term memory, blessedly texting me every night to remind me to move the Elf on the Shelf.
It was far from my ideal Christmas. We were thankful, yes, for all the things we’d spent the previous two months repeating like a mantra: No one was hurt.… read more
I write that headline as if I am going to give you any advice on how to do this. Ha! Truth is, it’s a cry for help from someone who needs to figure out how to make that happen. Here’s my evidence:
Christmas is in less than two weeks and I, mother, wife, business owner, writing peon and editorial slave, I have yet to do any of the following things:
– Grocery shop for all the cookie baskets I dreamed I’d be making.… read more