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When I discovered my slight addiction to writing, I realized I was so gripped by the safe invitation of blank paper staring back at me. It resembled an unassailable world for my thoughts. It is liberating to have an open space to think and create sentences flowing straight from your mind.
I stopped saying I wanted to be a writer around my sixth rejection letter from various publications. This was also around the same time that one of my sophomore literature professors told me my writing was good, but that I had to believe it was good. That I was good.
I’ve spent a lot of time and effort in my adult life looking for safe spaces, both internationally and around the US. I keep coming back to the truth that safety is something I carry inside of me wherever I go.
In June, I hit launch on my website. I was inexperienced and knew nothing about blogging, but I was happy. Even though there is no secret recipe for blogging success, I wanted to share some mistakes and lessons I learned from my first three months of blogging.
Jacy Topps is a freelance writer based out of New York City and Atlanta. Her work focuses on feminism, relationships, mental health, race, culture, the LGBTQ community, and politics. You can find her work in Slate, Glamour, Oprah Magazine, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, and Allure. When she’s not writing, you can find her enjoying a glass of wine and binge watching Lifetime movies.
While the publishing industry is absolutely a business, it is still an art, and that means the straight lines aren’t always straight or connected or even lines at all. And people “higher up the ladder” are really just a little farther west on this giant landscape of a million places to go.
Jana Meisenholder is a freelance journalist living in Los Angeles with her husband and fur baby, Benji. She's always looking for people to talk to, ideas to explore and stories to tell.
Day after day, I pour energy into telling stories that aren’t mine, often with words that aren’t quite mine either. My stories take form through interviews and quotes. Often I’m writing about the world around me through someone else’s lens. It’s easy to lose myself when part of being a journalist is keeping my voice out of a story while finding a unique way to tell it.
If you are an aspiring writer, one of the first pieces of advice you will hear from other writers and industry folk is read, read, and read some more… The advice makes sense. Of course, if you want to write you have to read. Only an idiot would argue the opposite. But, for me, the wisdom behind it remained a mystery for a long time.
People don’t come to New York in the fall to watch the leaves change. They come for the back-to-school energy, the bouquets of sharpened pencils, and apple-fresh crispness of morning. Fall turns me into a magical creature and I love it with all of my heart.
On National Suicide Prevention Day, I posted a picture on Instagram that received more likes and comments than anything else I’ve ever posted.
I travel a lot and the marks on my carryon are there to prove it; the scuffs serving as evidence of the journeys. This time, I was going to San Francisco. It would be my third time in California, my second time in the Bay Area, but my first in San Francisco.
This will be a old-fashioned 800, like the good old days when I wrote what was on my mind and told my stories, the best and the worst.
One day in early April, when the flowers were just starting to blossom in New York City, I walked by the bodega on 82nd and Amsterdam and was draped in the sweet scent of lilies—like Easter and weddings and childhood. It was like getting smacked in the face with the pleasant sting of nostalgia.
I learned a lot about myself during #1000WordsOfSummer. I’ve never written so much in such a concentrated time period, by the end of it coming out with 14,000 more words than I had before, which is wild. I think that knowing ourselves as writers is an important part of the process, so I want to share with you what I learned throughout my experience with #1000WordsOfSummer.
On a private rooftop at 86th and Columbus with a gorgeous view of Manhattan, a long table was set with pink plates, fresh flowers, cloth napkins, and wine glasses that would be refilled so many times we’d lose count.
I wish I’d said something, but I didn’t. I was just the thick girl who had never, in her life, had someone say they were jealous of her body. The whole situation was like I set it up for myself, but I said nothing.
I’ve woken up early on a Sunday morning to write. Without trying, this has become a bit of a routine. I go to church in the evenings and keep my mornings deliciously free, quiet and slow like dew. This is where I recenter myself, among coffee and instrumental music and empty space. Sometimes the most beloved, necessary routines develop when we’re not looking.
May is mental health awareness month, and I have both everything and nothing to say about it.