The Labor of Love


The freelance life is nothing if not diverse. One week I am writing about modern slavery, the next it’s celiac disease or running or business loans or Valentine’s Day gifting or cervical cancer in Latin America. I am thrilled when someone hires me to write on a defined topic because I get to learn something new, interview smart people, practice writing to different specifications and, of course, earn a paycheck. 

But it’s also a thrill to work on an idea that I dream up, get really creative and write to my own specifications (sadly, there is rarely a paycheck benefit here). The problem with these labors of love, though, is that I wantonly trample my own deadlines, and suffer no ramifications for doing so. Which means I have dozens of half-baked articles, essays, poems and pitches lurking around in my computer, wondering where the hell I went.

For the past nine months or so, I’ve been working with a fabulous designer at Big Star Creative to turn a sweet travel log compiled hastily on a whim into a beautiful little handbook about traveling to Paris with kids. And it really is beautiful, as evidenced by the image at the top of this post. But, I simply cannot seem to finish this project. There are just a few more words to eke out, a few more helpful tips to plug in and…voila…there we’ll be, getting fawned over on the pages of the NY Times travel section and very prettily guiding jaunty families through the City of Light.

What’s a deadline-driven girl to do? No, seriously. Somebody tell me. Please.


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