It’s midnight and I’ve just finished my final Women Crush Wednesday column. As expected I cried. For the past two years, I’ve been privileged to profile the work of influential female creators using YouTube to make positive change in a multitude of ways. Essentially, it’s been a long running love letter to the women who inspire me and somewhere along the way, it turned into a long running column. How crazy!
As my time with the Daily Dot comes to a close, I feel both nostalgic and inspired by the change. Following a cheese-filled pottery party, I got a call from my editor that the magazine could no longer be supporting its freelance budget. This year marked my two year anniversary with the Dot, a publication I quickly joined following my leave from NewMediaRockstars. Through the new jobs, the move to New York, and the roller coaster that is freelance journalism, the Dot has been my green light shining across the bay. My column has allowed me the space to champion women, to interview tiny YouTubers brave enough to have conversations about race, and openly discuss the implications of paid content on creator’s content. When nothing else worked out, when all my pitches were ghosted, I still had the Dot to come home to — which as a young writer is something I don’t take for granted. I have yet to take down my “Daily Dot Ideas” list from my wall; the names of unwritten profiles continuing to stare back at me while I organize pitch letters and not let the vastness of the writing world overwhelm me.
The truth is, it was time for me to go. It’s time to pursue new projects, to finally send out those pitch letters I’ve been too afraid to write. Because by putting my long talked about ideas out there, I’m setting myself up for the chance they will be met with radio silence.
But if there is anything my #WCW column has taught me it’s the scariest leaps of faith are often the ones most worth taking. Dive into the fear, the rejection; keep hustling until someone says yes to your idea. You’ll learn to feel grateful for both the roadblocks and the victories. And while sometimes you’ll yell — “It’s not too late for me to take the fire department test and leave all of this behind!” — in the end your passion and stubbornness will keep you reaching for the impossible.
So right now, I’m leaning. I cross my fingers with every pitch while realistically knowing many will never garner a response. Through the rejection, I’m attempting to grow with as much grace as possible. (You’ve met me, it’s not that much grace.)
Sometimes I try and think about what life would be like if I stopped writing. I’d never be stressed about deadlines or be staying up till all hours to transcribe. I’d have more time for hobbies, I wouldn’t have bags under my eyes and my coworkers could stop asking me why I look tired. But even as this thought flits across my mind, it never sticks. Writing is the first thing I think about in the morning and the thing I look forward to returning home to at night. It’s one of the few things I’d be so lost without. Even standing on 7th and Barrow crying, feeling the weight of the Daily Dot’s lay off, I knew that in a couple days I’d be jumping back onto the writing carousel.
Thus is journalism I suppose. So to the Daily Dot, thank you for giving me the space to experiment and yell about the power of women. You did me proud every week and for your lessons and edits, I will be forever grateful. Should you need me, I’ll be the woman eating soup dumplings and yelling about consent in Park Slope — and yes, continuing to write as much as possible.