Hi folks, I’m Lara.
I’ve been a freelancer of one stripe or another for most of my adult life. These days, the bulk of my living comes from writing. I’m a pretty flexible generalist who does everything from ghostwritten business books to web content to paranormal romance novellas.
I love what I do. Every day is different. One day I’m adapting someone’s business parable, another I’m doing a deep dive into the fascinating (yes, really!) history of air conditioning.
Although I call the Tampa Bay Area home, incurable wanderlust has propelled me up and down the Gulf Coast. Future plans…
Working from home doesn’t always mean “home.” Sometimes, it can be hard to switch gears from stuff that needs doing around the house to the writing you want to accomplish. Sometimes, other people are around and just too distracting. And sometimes, what you need is a change of scenery to get your brain into writing mode.
Coffee shops and coworking spaces get most of the attention, but there are other places that make great writing spots. I’ve written in every one of these at some point in my writing life.
Possibly my favorite spot for writing.
Most laundromats smell good…
A good friend started writing here right around the time that I did and it made me realize something. Medium has a gorgeous, clean interface that is great for readers. But, it can be pretty confusing for new writers.
While I was new to Medium, I’d been working in online content management systems for years. As a result, most functions were pretty intuitive for me. My friend was new to writing outside WordPress. Her questions made me realize just how much I’d started to take for granted, and how steep the learning curve can be when you’re new.
I’ve been quiet on Medium lately. It’s because I took a full week to go back home to the Tampa Bay Area and spend time with friends and family who we’ve missed.
Besides these beautiful intangibles, my trip back home brought me a few gifts I didn’t even know to look for.
I constantly look for new foods to try. Huitlacoche, a type of mushroom that grows on corn, has been on my list for ages. My favorite taqueria had small cans available in their market section. …
There are a lot of lies you’re told as you enter the workforce. Perhaps the most likely to derail lifelong earnings is that you can’t talk about your salary.
Telling coworkers and people in your network what you make is seen as rude at best and breaking confidentiality at worst.
There is nothing wrong with talking about what you earn or comparing with coworkers. In fact, it can provide valuable information you can leverage to put yourself in a better position.
Most of the advice below is US-centric, but some is universal. …
Making money while traveling is a hurdle all extended travelers and nomads need to clear. Travel writing can be a way to make those trips pay for themselves.
Making money from travel writing can be done through Medium, but it can take time. Writers can diversify their travel writing income by adding websites and magazines that pay immediately for travel content.
Getting a few clips in your name can also have a booster effect on your other writing efforts. Readers are more likely to check out stuff by trusted, published writers. …
My mom’s talking about selling her house. The discussion started five years ago, but she’s no closer to moving than she was the day she decided she needed to sell.
The place too big for her to easily maintain on her own. Maybe she’d like something smaller and closer to town.
But first she needs to get rid of all her stuff.
It’s a daunting proposition. Things like my dad’s old train set have value, but she has no way to assess their worth herself. …
I just got back from a week away, and I haven’t been to the grocery store yet. With my boat’s tiny refrigerator, that has meant that ingredient choices are a little slim.
But, with as much as we spent while visiting family up north, takeout is off the menu for a bit.
I keep a stash of shelf-stable staples to make cooking at home possible when I haven’t been to the store in a bit. Together with the bits leftover after our time away, I was able to put together a Salmon Chowder, a dinner that was nourishing and inviting.
There’s a lot of on-platform Sturm und Drang about people who don’t follow back. People who have many more followers than people they follow. People who play the senseless follow/unfollow game.
If you’re reading this, chances are you are a writer on Medium. But, it’s important to remember that this platform isn’t about you.
As a writer, getting follows is nice. It’s validating when you see that number go up. And, of course, a certain minimum must be met to keep your ability to get paid when people read.
But, if you are locked in a follow-for-follow, read-for-read mindset, you…
Some days, you need to play hooky.
I woke up with burning in my wrists one Monday (eff you, tendinitis) and told Simon I was going to take it easy. His hours at his job are flexible, and he made the spontaneous decision to take a day off, too. Before I knew it, we were zipping up the Overseas Highway, bound for the last resort you’ll see before leaving the Keys.
Key West, the island chain’s best-known destination, is a commitment. It’s a three-hour drive from Homestead, the nearest mainland city.
Tucked away right off the highway, however, is a…