When I got news of the bomb, I was at mile 23, walking towards the finish line. I was in my first year of journalism school at Boston University and we’d been assigned to cover one of the city’s largest sporting events: the Boston Marathon. A friend who was working closer to the finish line heard the explosions and called to make sure I wasn’t there.

“A bomb,” she shouted. “There was a bomb.”

Shocked, I hung up. Then my phone buzzed again: Another journalist friend, this one covering the Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

“Did you hear?” he…


Now that you’re your own boss, you need to knowing what you care about at work

I first tried freelancing in 2015. I was so burned out by my journalism job that I needed an escape, fast. I had no prospects but I needed to get out for my mental health, so I quit and decided that freelancing seemed like a great route toward freedom.

I wasn’t wrong; freelancing is a great route toward freedom. But during my first try as a freelancer, I couldn’t make the lifestyle work. My husband was between jobs and our state-sponsored health insurance was…


My plan for taking 12 weeks off when my first kid arrives

When I found out that I was pregnant, one of my first thoughts was, What about my small business? How in the world would I run my writing and editing business while taking care of a baby? And perhaps most importantly, how would I take maternity leave now that I was self-employed? I really wanted to take a full three months off to bond with the baby but as other freelancers will tell you, this isn’t an easy ask.

Because I’m a journalist by training, I leaned into what I knew best: research. I talked to everyone I knew about…


I was pregnant and uncomfortable, but yoga helped me get through

I took my first yoga class when I was 13 and it was not love at first sight. I spent most of the YMCA class sighing about how slow the class moved, how annoying the teacher’s voice was, and how bored I felt as I stayed in downward facing dog for “just one more breath.”

It would take me another 10 years to fall in love with yoga, this time at a studio in Boston where the walls dripped with moisture and the speakers vibrated with hip hop music. …


Trash drafts, your best writing time, and knowing when it’s time to get up

Today someone at my co-working space asked me how I deal with those days when I just don’t want to write. I offered three pieces of advice.

1. Write a Trash Draft

A lot of my writing coaching clients come to me asking for help with their writer’s block. One woman, in particular, was very talented but she had trouble getting herself to actually sit down and write. Thus, she had very little writing to show for her talent. …


Welcome to the new world of brain-sensing and brain-training devices

Chris Aimone and Ariel Garten, cofounders of InteraXon, are sitting down in seated positions wearing the Muse headband.
Chris Aimone (left) and Ariel Garten, cofounders of InteraXon, developed the Muse headband designed to help you meditate. Photo: Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star/Getty

It’s 4 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon and I’m sitting on the couch, surrounded by the noises of a virtual rainstorm. I’m wearing a metallic headband that loops behind my ears and across my forehead, stuck tight to my skin with suction. As I sit still, the headband hums slightly, collecting data about my brain through EEG sensors. When my brain becomes more active — specifically when my dog drops a toy on my lap or when I’m thinking about what to make for dinner — the sound of the rainstorm increases to a loud din. When I focus on…


Those supportive DMs and niche Facebook groups can have a positive impact on your well-being

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

In 2016, 39-year-old Arizona resident Laura Willard became ill, but nobody could figure out what was wrong with her. She gasped for air after walking up the stairs, had serious heart issues, and half of her face drooped. Her eyes were red, her muscles twitched nonstop, and all of her joints were swollen and painful. At one point, Willard could barely swallow food.

Dozens of doctors reviewed her case and came up with nothing. As her symptoms progressed, Willard started to do her own online research. It was, she says, a matter of life or death. Eventually, when her ear…


The Health Diaries

Why the author writes best when the sun goes down

There are many ways to live a healthy life. The Health Diaries is a weekly series about the habits that keep notable people living well.

If you’ve ever read an article, book, or piece of commentary by Roxane Gay, you know she doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff. Feminism, body image, sex, gender, race, and so much more are all fair game. Gay — who has many jobs, including editor of Gay Magazine — has written several acclaimed books in recent years (Bad Feminist, Difficult Women, and Hunger).

Why is she so prolific? “I think I stay motivated with…


Referrals, job boards, and cold pitches are still the best ways to get new gigs

When I talk about my job as a freelance writer, the most common question people ask is about finding work. They want to know how I get assignments, how I connect with clients, and where all the money comes from.

There are three routes through which I find most of my gigs:

1. Referrals

After I was laid off last March, I sent out emails to nearly everyone I’d ever worked with to let them know that I was available for freelance work. In my email, I outlined the specific kinds of work I was willing to take on (primarily writing and…


THE HEALTH DIARIES

‘I’m doing the best I can to teach people that fitness is not about how you look. It’s about becoming stronger than who you were yesterday.’

There are many ways to live a healthy life. The Health Diaries is a weekly series about the habits that keep notable people living well.

Cassey Ho had just graduated from college when she got her first taste of internet fame. During school she taught a Pilates class at the local 24 Hour Fitness, and her students were sad she was moving away after graduation. She promised to post a video of a 10-minute class for them on YouTube before she departed.

Two weeks later, Ho logged back into the website and found that thousands of people had watched her…

Jenni Gritters

I write essays, test products & produce content marketing for brands. I’m also a career coach for freelancers and the co-host of The Writers’ Co-op podcast.

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