Note: This is an essay that was written for and published on The Frisky in 2011. However, the site has since shut down and my essay has disappeared… But the internet gods allowed me to find it in its entirety, so I am re-posting it here since a) it …
Please subscribe to my newsletter: Self-Care For Writers. Last month was rough. I probably worked at about 60% of my capacity, and it certainly showed in my total April 2018 income earned ($2816), which is just over $2k below my goal of $5k a month. That’s really …
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Well, here we are. It’s the end of my #yearofwriting and I have some hefty writing goals to live up to. I’ll get into more of that later in this post, but first I just wanted to talk about December. What happened in December?
Well, for one, it was a VERY busy month for me personally. Not only did I have plenty of socializing and family things to do (what with the holidays and all) but I also got married at the end of the month. Yes, that’s right, I did a big thing and ended my year as a married lady. But enough about that because, really, you’re here to read about my writing, right?
So here’s the deal: December was pretty much a wash for me, work-wise. I didn’t really pitch (except follow-up with a couple of editors) but I did write a ton of stories that were previously assigned. The one new story that I wrote was actually for Glamour, which is one of my absolute favorite magazines. THAT was a huge win. I also started a new blog on Medium called Married Feminist and wrote my first post the day before my wedding. Hooray! Otherwise, here’s what I wrote this month.
What was published:
- I Cancelled My Wedding Because It Was Getting Too Expensive—And Regret Nothing [Glamour]
- Why Do We Still Tell Women That Their Lives Begin When They Get Married? [Married Feminist]
- 10 Things You Need To Know About Postpartum Depression [MamásLatinas]
- 10 Ways That Yoga Can Improve Your Love Life [MamásLatinas]
- 5 Creativas Tarjetas De Navidad Para Hacer Con Tus Niños [MamásLatinas]
- Best Ways To Lose Weight If You’re Lazy (And Proud Of It) [MamásLatinas]
- 10 Traditional Latin Desserts To Celebrate Christmas! (RECIPES) [MamásLatinas]
- 15 Memes That Prove National Sangria Day Is The BEST Day Ever [MamásLatinas]
- Lose Weight In 2018 With These 10 Healthy Trends [MamásLatinas]
- Here’s Why Mermaid Beauty Was The Trend Of 2017 [MamásLatinas]
- I Don’t Believe In “The One” And It Makes My Relationship Stronger
- 13 Women Share Bad Dating Advice They Happily Ignored
- Why Telling Your Partner Your Needs Is So Important
- Lin-Manuel Miranda & Wife Vanessa Expecting Baby Number 2—and Fans Rejoice!
- Why ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Rosa Coming Out as Bi Is Good News for All Latinas
- 14 Signs You Grew Up In A Machista Household
- Dascha Polanco Fights for Incarcerated Women of Color—Inspiring Us All
- Miguel’s ‘Now’ Music Video Shows the Upsetting Truth About Immigration Detention Centers
- Salma Hayek Calls Harvey Weinstein “My Monster” During ‘Frida’ Filming
- I’m Fed Up With People Calling Me ‘Half-Latina’
- What It’s Like to Date an Introvert When You’re an Extrovert
- 11 Recipes to Celebrate National Sangria Day From Our Fave Latina Food Bloggers
- There’s a Special Message in Eva Longoria’s Pregnancy Announcement That We Love
- LGBTQ Characters Invisible on Spanish-Language Television
- 10 Incredible Cuban Restaurants in the United States
The month definitely went very well for me, honestly. Although I didn’t have a huge variety in where my pieces were published, the pieces that I did write and see published were very, very exciting. Other than loving my Glamour piece, I am also particularly proud of my story on 2018 health trends, writing about Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Rosa coming out as bisexual, what it’s like to date an introvert when you’re an extrovert, and why it’s really not cool when people try to label me a “half-Latina”. Plus, I finally go to write about my Copenhagen trip!
All in all, I am increasingly proud of the work that I am doing for my regular publications, primarily HipLatina and MamásLatinas, and plan to continue to do more for and with them in 2018. And, above all, as I was hoping for last month, I hit my financial goals once more AND also a pretty sweet word count.
How much I wrote: 27,828 words
How much I made: $2000
I’m really curious to see what my “how much I wrote” and “how much I made” totals are for Q4 and for the year but, all in all, November and December went really, really well for me. It’s been really fun keeping track of these numbers to see how successful I have been.
If I were honest with myself (and with you), then I would say that this hasn’t been easy. Keeping track of everything I wrote and how much money I made was kind of exhausting, but really fun too. I was nervous a lot of the time and didn’t have solid financial goals for each month until the end, but it still feels like a HUGE accomplishment to have tracked the entirety of my 2017 to see how everything went down. And YAY for making my financial goals in December!
Pitches sent out in December: 0
Pitch rejections: 0
Pitch non-replies: 0
Pitch acceptances: 0
Pitch reply with question: 0
Follow-ups with previous pitches: 2
Pitch rejections: 0
Pitch non-replies: 1
Pitch acceptances: 1
Okay so pitch-wise, I didn’t do much in the month of December. What can I say? It was a busy month and… also, I didn’t really plan on pitching. I was busy just keeping up and doing everything that I needed to do for work while simultaneously putting the finishing touches on wedding planning and doing holiday stuff and I don’t even know what else.
I think it’s absolutely okay, though, that pitches were just not on my priority list this month. The good thing I did is that I followed up on some of my pitches and got an acceptance from Glamour for doing that. Woo!
And now, for the big math…
Quarter 4 totals:
How much I wrote: 78,045 words
How much I made: $5,325
Pitches sent out: 10
Pitch acceptances: 1
I have to say: Quarter 4 went really well! Not a whole lot of pitches or acceptances (as predicted) but my word count was high and the money I made was pretty sweet. I think the biggest thing I learned is that I *can* do it. It takes a lot of hard work and determination, a lot of days of being stressed and overwhelmed and needing to practice self-care, a lot of naps and sleeping in because I need the mental break, and a lot of freaking out to my wonderful (new) husband Adam (who is thankfully always there to listen to my rants, no matter how often or how lengthy they get).
But ultimately, it was a big year of learning and I am glad for every step that I took to get here. My original writing goals for 2017 were difficult, but I accomplished almost all of them. And the ones I didn’t accomplish was mostly due to me changing my mind or deciding to take my career in another direction, and that’s okay too. So how did I do over the year, overall? Well, let me take a DEEP BREATH and tell you:
How much I wrote: 277,889 words
How much I made (freelance writing): $19,451
How much I made (freelance editing): $42,930
How much I made (total freelance): $62,381
Pitches sent out: 92
Pitch acceptances: 16
Just… whoa. Looking back on the year, I honestly cannot believe that I wrote almost 300k words. Do you know how much that is? That’s, like, three to four books. I basically could have written three or four full-length books in the year, and it’s absolutely insane to think of it that way.
As a journalist, I have honestly never thought about tracking my words in this way. I know that I have written a lot in years past, especially in my time as a staff writer for MamásLatinas, but this felt ASTOUNDING to me. I mean, truly astounding in that I could have never imagined that I would write this much in a single year. Doing this—truly doing it—during my first full year as a full-time freelance writer and editor, I’m so very proud for how much I was able to accomplish.
Beyond the word count, though, is looking at my finances.
My goals for this year was to save for my taxes (which I did!) and to publish in 17 different publications (which I also did!). I also wanted to launch a newsletter (which I didn’t) and finish my memoir book proposal (which I did, though I am still editing it). When I revised my writing goals for 2017, I added earning $2k a month in freelance income and also publishing five travel articles before the year’s end. Here are those articles:
- 7 Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale When You’re Tired of SoBe[HipLatina]
- As a Cuban-American, I Can’t Help But Feel Jealous of My American Friends Traveling to Cuba [HipLatina]
- 12 Romantic Couples-Only Getaways In Mexico, South America & The Caribbean [MamásLatinas]
- 10 Incredible Cuban Restaurants in the United States [HipLatina]
- From Tacos To Castles – 10 Fun Things To Do In Copenhagen, Denmark [HipLatina]
All in all, I think I did pretty well. My income this year is pretty much in line with what I was making in my last year as a full-time staff editor, which was a big (secret) goal for me this year too, so I’m very glad for that. And, beyond that, I also had a 17% pitch acceptance rate—and that’s pretty awesome, too.
There’s a lot more I will be reflecting on in the coming weeks and likely months and even years, but all in all I would say that my #yearofwriting was a HUGE success. When I started this, I really wanted to know exactly how much I was writing and how much money I was making. It was all in an effort to improve my writing and grow my career, and boy did I!
For now, I will close out 2017 and say this: If I can do it… Start cold pitching for the first time in my life, give up a good career in NYC to freelance, work on a memoir while also working, get part-time and regular writing gigs, and earn a real living… All while having a personal life and taking plenty of time for self-care, not working evenings or weekends, enjoying my life AND my work… Then you can too, baby.
Please subscribe to my newsletter to get writing news and updates. “Tomorrow my life begins.” I can’t even tell you how many times I have heard this phrase uttered on the various wedding blogs, websites, and groups that I have been a part of ever since getting …
Please subscribe to my newsletter to get writing news and updates. Exactly one year ago today, I said “I love you” for the very first time in a relationship. That might sound crazy for a variety of reasons: I am 31 years old, I have been in …