If you can’t root for your colleagues, just be quiet

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By now you may have heard that NewsBreak got rid of base pay for a large chunk of its writers. You can still earn money from the site, but you’ll get rev share instead of a set amount plus residual earnings.

Not surprisingly, numerous writers handled the news badly. Many were upset about the loss of income, which is understandable. Losing a revenue stream is stressful no matter how many times people preach about not putting your eggs in one basket.

Some writers were proactive and decided to write to NewsBreak seeking clarification about the payment changes. I support this…


Why are we so angry at Simone for protecting herself?

Image of Simone Biles by Petr Toman

Lazy. Selfish. Undisciplined.

These are just a few of the adjectives I’ve heard describing Simone Biles after she withdrew from the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, citing mental health issues. Once a fan favorite, Biles has been reduced to tabloid fodder and has become the target of numerous social media rants. How quickly the public’s perception changes when a celebrity no longer meets their expectations.

There’s an insane amount of pressure placed on anyone in the public eye, so perhaps it’s not surprising Biles told reporters, “The Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself. But I was still…


No, I can’t babysit your kids today

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When you’re a writer, people make numerous assumptions. Typically, they either think you’re a lazy idiot or a generous genius. The latter is bad news if you don’t want people constantly begging you to edit their stuff for free.

There are people who offer to help you find a real job, and there are folks who want to learn how to do what you do. You’ll also deal with people who don’t understand boundaries and have no qualms asking personal questions about your career.

Here are the top 10 comments and questions that I get when people learn I’m a…


Don’t be scared to iron out the details before accepting freelance work

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Many freelance writers, whether they write for content mills or have a long list of private clients, spend a good portion of each day hunting for the best freelance writing gigs. Freelance work is never guaranteed, and nobody wants to be left with an eviction notice or an empty fridge at the end of the month.

It’s smart to apply for writing jobs regularly, but some writers fail to ask a few simple questions before accepting new gigs. Before you commit to a project, ask your potential client these 5 questions:

How much does this writing gig pay?

Rates for freelance writers vary drastically, so it’s hard…


Some unsolicited yet freeing advice

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You don’t need toxic people in your life, so get rid of them. Seriously. Just do it.

Block that annoying coworker who posts racist jokes on Facebook. Unfollow that cousin who always bullies you and then says you’re a liberal snowflake or a Republican crybaby when you get upset. Unfriend your manipulative ex. Stop giving people access to your life when they don’t deserve it.

Ask for a new cubicle if you’re stuck by a perverted coworker who sexually harasses you. Quit attending office happy hours and company-sponsored events if you hate your job. Resign from a volunteer position where…


Most of us already know how taxes work

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“Tax season is open!” I excitedly announced on Facebook. Several of my friends were expecting refunds, so I wanted to make sure they knew it was okay to file. Some of them desperately needed the funds for car repairs, medical treatments, and past-due daycare bills — and this year, I could relate. When late January rolled around, we celebrated the start of tax season like it was opening day for our favorite sports team.

But someone always has to cause problems on social media, and this time, it was an acquaintance named Josh. …


I hate that I feel this way, but it’s just so unfair

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My friend lives off burgers, beer, and bacon. He hasn’t exercised in months. His blood pressure is normal and he doesn’t take any meds. I know this because he shares screenshots from his biannual checkups on social media.

Another friend replaces most meals with cigarettes and iced coffee. She’s thin, energetic, and happy. She can run faster than me and rarely gets sick.

“You should come out with me,” she always pleads, even though I remind her that I don’t drink because my body can’t handle it. She gets completely trashed several nights a week and then rolls into work…


If you can’t donate, you can still raise awareness about chronic conditions

No, this isn’t Shannon’s hand. Photo by Dids from Pexels

I don’t know Shannon Ashley. We’re in a few Facebook groups together, but I’ve never talked to her.

Well, I take that back. I’ve commented on some of her articles in the past, but we’ve never had a conversation. I don’t know her, and she doesn’t know me.

However, I know enough about her life to feel comfortable writing this post. I’ve been following Shannon for years on Medium. In fact, she’s one of the writers I read regularly here.

I can’t remember her exact age, but I know it’s close to mine. I turned 39 last month. I also…


I guess that’s what happens when you take a break for a couple months

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I didn’t get the June bonus from Medium. I’m disappointed, but I’m not surprised. I mean, I haven’t done much around here lately.

I wrote a few articles in March, then took off the entire month of April and May. I was drowning in other projects, plus had some health issues that needed attention. I returned to Medium in late June, when I pounded out three articles.

My self-published article about surviving a career you hate was picked up by Index at the end of the month. It’s been live in that publication for just over a week, and I’ve…


It’s not always that simple

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One of my kids sucked at taking care of their room, and I let it slide because I was battling some health issues at the time. By the time I was feeling better, the cheap carpet was ripped in several spots and stained with hair color, food, and God only knows what else.

My steam cleaner didn’t do much, so I decided to replace the carpet with some durable flooring. I posted on social media asking if anyone could help and offered to pay for their time.

The comments came flooding in immediately. “Don’t you rent your home?” one friend…

Missy Crystal

Mom. Writer. Student. — — Some details in my Medium posts have been changed to protect the privacy of other parties and/or allow for creative freedom.

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