Highlights of my week included:
- Organising the perfect farewell gift for my boss and seeing her reaction
- Pushing myself to the limit and fighting my fear of heights at Tree Adventures
The low of my week was:
Trying to make a booking at a lodge/backpackers via Airbnb. Their response: we don’t accept payment through Airbnb yet, please Google us and book through our site. I almost don’t want to book with them at all on principle now. And I’ll be reporting them to Airbnb.
This week’s links
An interesting perspective on finding the joy in spending, via See Debt Run
How to save by bartering your services, via Making Sense of Cents
Ashley basically sums up all my feelings about documenting travel
We have some totally wacky birdlife in NZ, as Young Adventuress documents
Rachel Hills reflects on what living in London has taught her
All you ever needed to know about the different kinds of Thai curry, via Traveling 9 to 5
Landing Standing suggests a novel way to order when dining out in pairs at a new restaurant
Funnily enough, in the same week that I wrote about our unromantic relationship, Married with Luggage blogged about unconventional romance
Tiny Apartment lists the 5 stages of wedding planning
Makeup and Mirtazapine voices a painful truth: at some point or other, everyone you love will hurt you
Like whoa. This woman wasn’t a Sheryl Sandberg fan – until she couldn’t find a job
Finally, I do like Emily Nussbaum’s writing, and this interview in which she explains how she lucked into her New Yorker job and how much tougher things are today is a revealing one.
I literally feel like I cannot give advice on how to get [my] job, because the obvious ways that the journalistic economy has collapsed and the role specifically for culture analysts within that make it very, very hard to make a living. The clear paths even for people who are already privileged are no longer there. I don’t want to BS people. I feel like I was super lucky—I aged in at a point where when a really desirable job became available that I was actually suited for, I had enough experience to already have the clips in place. But how often does the television critic for The New Yorker step down?
The situation now is biased against newcomers. That’s factual. And I don’t think people should beat themselves up for not being able to make headway in that kind of situation. I feel like young people who get online writing jobs are forced to write a million things with no editing for a small amount of money—that’s not an ideal situation. Sometimes people can become very good writers that way, but it’s not a situation where you are nurtured and brought to the best level of your writing.
I hate that there are unpaid internships, because it means that the only people who can afford to take the gigs are already privileged, but it’s undeniable that once you’re at a place, you can ask to do more, because you’re not a stranger. I’m also seriously worried about what it does to people to get trapped in the low-paid blog mines, but that doesn’t mean that those gigs can’t get you to a better place. Also, while there’s nothing wrong with writing for free early on, the goal is always to get paid. Ask for more, politely. Also, push for more-ambitious assignments—editors want responsible writers, but they also want ambitious ones who have ideas of their own. The worst they can do is say no, and if you don’t ask, you’ll get a no anyway. Might as well go for it.
(It’s true: we editors love writers with ideas. Another reason I would suck at freelancing; I’m not much of an ideas generator. Also, I have never really benefited from much editing guidance myself, having worked almost exclusively online. Nurturing? Definitely not a word that describes this field.)