Last week I attended an event in Brooklyn hosted by the group Her Girl Friday. The event was titled Throw Like a Girl: Pitching The Hell Out Of Your Stories, and featured a panel of esteemed writers and editors from publications like The New York Times and The Atavist. The event focused on the gender disparity in bylines and published editorial, and how female journalists can work to bridge that gap. It was pretty fascinating stuff, but what I found truly interesting was the hundreds of other women packed into the room with me, grasping for a little bit of advice.
Even though I’ve considered myself a writer for my entire life, I have spent the majority of my twenties trying my hand at other (more lucrative) professional pursuits. Writing full-time has never really been a financial option for me (though I admire those who have the dedication to commit to it), so I have worked as a receptionist, a marketing manager, a PR consultant, and a social media maverick. I did what I thought was the responsible thing to do and got an M.A. in Media Studies and Management, as opposed to an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. I put a dream on hold in order to pay some bills, but I never fully deferred it.