approval seeking,  Newspaper columnists,  Work and professional life

Knock, knock …. Who’s there?

“Not every person or opportunity that knocks on the door of your life should be let in.” ~Meggan Roxanne,

In my early days of freelancing, new writers were advised to accept nearly any project that came our way. We had to build a portfolio and create a brand. Sometimes that meant writing free articles or giving free talks at local events. Occasionally, it advanced my career. But most of the time it only benefited the editors, publishers, and organizations with small budgets.

Later, when I became a regular newspaper columnist, I was encouraged to answer all the mail I received from readers, which I did to please my editors. I paid attention to everyone who asked for it. As much as I enjoyed my work, it was hard to juggle it all while raising a child and making a home.

I had to learn how to manage my time — and how to discern which “opportunities” were right for me. I had to learn how to value my own skills and priorities. As today’s quote reminds us, just because something is being asked of us doesn’t mean it’s in our best interests to do it. It pays to remember this in personal as well as professional situations. ~CL

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Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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