Writing experience

A few of the ways my writing has gotten betterer.

This is not to toot my own horn, though I am always looking for reasons to write out the word “toot.” This piece is just to highlight, if not only just for myself, some of the ways my writing has improved along my journey and some of the people who have helped along the way.

When I look back at some of the earliest pieces I have written online, I cringe a bit. To me, this is a great thing, as it shows that I have improved in just a few short years.

IN THE BEGINNING, I started this blog and decided I needed to read more. Those two things allowed me to set up the starting blocks needed to begin the road to writing. I have wound up reading mostly sci-fi, which I do not write at all, but it still allows me to see what good writing should look like.

As for this blog, it has allowed for practice and repetition, though it clearly does not see heavy use at this stage.

It is difficult to get paid for writing online at the start. All the freelance books and sites say so and I can confirm this. I submitted five pieces to a site called Grown Gaming that John Santina was kind enough to allow on his page. This was my first experience having correspondence with someone who was actually willing to host my work.

My interest in writing about NBA hoops led me to another for-free writing gig for the Fansided page, Thunderous Intentions. At TI, I worked closely with Site Editor, Tamberlyn Richardson. She and the Fansided brand taught me a ton about SEO and keywords. I wrote for the site for a year before finally being able to dedicate my writing time to paying gigs.

My basketball writing and connections paid off when Robert Yanders of The Basketball Movement approached me to write for him and control his site’s blog. The relationship quickly grew, as I took the reigns of Twitter and Facebook and began writing for and controlling the social media of his other business – Yanders Law Basketball as well.

Working with Rob has helped me hone my skills writing to suit a brand. He does not want cheesy (something I sometimes use as a crutch), but intense and concise. I also gained email marketing experience working with Rob on top of everything else.

Once that partnership grew, I was able to stop working full-time at the bank by cutting out daycare costs and becoming a stay-at-home dad and professional freelance writer and social media manager. Since then, I have been able to stop supplementing with things like Uber by writing for other companies as well.

Michelle Cramer reached out to me on LinkedIn with an offer to be a freelancer for PoolPro and SpaRetailer Magazines. Michelle is an editor for both publications. Through her guidance, I have learned a great deal about writing in AP style, which is a valuable skill for a freelance writer.

In 2019 I was contacted by Shanda Trautman of Old Missouri Bank to provide copy for a special project they had going for a few months. More recently, I ran all of the bank’s social media pages from September 2020 through February 2021 as they did some rearranging and strengthening of their marketing department.

Shanda has been another great teacher, as she emphasizes the importance of consistency, brand, and tone as it relates to each individual social platform. I am excited for more collaborations with OMB in the future.

Being a S.A.H.D. with two boys is certainly my main gig. About 16 hours each day actually (with more than a little help in the evenings). I do my best to write way too early in the morning or in the glorious moments of coinciding naps.

As a freelance writer, big projects come and go while my steady work currently stays at a manageable level. I am still so pleased with all the decisions that led me down this path and I am excited to continue to grow as a writer and as a parent through it all. Thanks for reading!

Stay-at-home life with two kids

This may be more difficult than I thought. Great, but difficult.

I am sure it would surprise no one that raising two boys would have challenges. But really for me, just one is a boy and the other one is still just a needy squish that has little to do with gender. We have not even gotten to the jumping off of high things stage for either of them.

Regardless of what kind of kids they are, one is two and the other is just over three months old. My wife has been back to work for a couple of weeks now, so I have been adjusting to solo parenting for the bulk of the workweek.

It is going well, but I have to admit that it is harder than I had envisioned. I anticipated our two-year-old, Luke to be the easy one and wee baby Carter to be the handful. It is much more balanced than I had originally guessed.

Emily had nearly three months of maternity leave, so both boys had become very used to Mama being around. The first week of her return to work led to some teary mornings for our big fella. She has to leave the house early, so he has been setting his internal alarm for around 5:30 am, kickstarting my day with both boys a bit earlier than I would prefer. At least let me get my cup of half-caf first, man.

Despite the early starts, a good breakfast is enough to distract anyone, so we have already begun adjusting. Fortunately, Luke has remained a solid napper, so I have maintained some afternoon time to get some writing or social media management work done.

Disobeying and generally poorer behavior have crept in since bringing a baby home, but hey, he is a two-year-old boyo; it was bound to happen sometime. He is still polite, tender-hearted, and the best little friend anyone could hope for.

Carter is shaping up to be a stellar companion as well. He does have stretches of crying immediately when I try to set him down, which can make the day tough to navigate. Again, probably due in part to Emily’s lengthy maternity leave, in which they were rarely separated. Other than those tough moments, he has truly been great. He sleeps well (daytime only tho) and adjusted to breastmilk in a bottle well also.

Honestly, I will admit that one of the biggest game-changers in this transition has been TV.

For his first two years of life, we tried to avoid television. Luke had seen maybe 10 episodes of Paw Patrol prior to Carter being born. Other than that, he mostly thought the TV was for basketball, God bless him.

Now, he still does not watch in excessive amounts, but he does usually catch an episode of something a day, either when I am trying to get some work done or when he needs to slow down near bedtime. Not only has it helped me, but I have watched his imagination grow during playtime, usually due to situations he’s seen in these shows. Shoutout Mickey Mouse.

We still spend most of our mornings reading and doing tummy time and most of our afternoons outside. I am confident that we will continue to strike balance and create routines just in time for them to be shattered in new, but exciting ways.

I am tired but thankful that I have the chance to spend so much time with my sons and continue to raise them the way we want, the best I can. Just don’t ask when we will be ready for another. Too soon.

Making babies in the kitchen

Since announcing the arrival of our newest son, we have been fielding some questions concerning his dramatic entrance.

Quite a few people have inquired about the details of the delivery of our new baby and I would like to spell it out here for those that are curious!

As scary as this experience was, we got lucky three times for every one bad thing that happened. I am not trying to one-up anyone else’s experience or complain about ours. Almost every pregnancy and delivery borders on impossibly difficult. Our baby and his Mama were and are perfectly healthy and it is not lost on us that so many people are not so fortunate.

Our Saturday morning began at Table Rock Lake, sipping coffee and eating breakfast outside my in-law’s camper where we stayed the night before. Our son Luke did not sleep well, but we eventually found out that his lack of sleep would mean he’d later become tired at the perfect time.

Emily text me and said that she did not feel perfect and was ready to leave whenever to drive back home. She made it known that she was having contractions, but the timing and duration were not in a range that meant we needed to hustle.

She began to feel better and we picked up lunch and went home. After lunch, I put our tired boyo down for a nap and mowed the yard while Emily took a shower. After I was finished, I came in and did the same, so we could both be ready for our planned date night.

Luke was still sleeping and my parents were getting ready to come up from Miller to watch him. Emily had begun to feel contractions more strongly, but they were still a bit less than a minute long and just over five minutes apart, so we knew the hospital may turn us away.

Still, we would probably need a hospital visit to check and see, so I began loading our pre-made bags (Emily is a big planner – we were only at 37 weeks) while she put on a dress and got ready.

Her contractions quickly turned near-constant, and she was struggling to get her hair curled. I asked my parents to hurry so that we could see Luke before we left to explain to him where we would be going.

It was quickly becoming apparent that it was hospital time. Emily text my parents to tell them that she was doing okay and that they did not need to hurry (2:49 pm). I simultaneously text them in a separate chain to tell them to please continue speeding.

Suddenly, things changed for Emily. She started feeling pain and began heading downstairs to the car. She almost made it, stopping at the kitchen sink, screaming in pain as her water broke (3:09 pm). Apparently, that was the last line of defense holding this naughty baby back.

I snipped away her undergarments and called 911. My parents had just pulled in and were getting out of the car and I told them to run. Emily, now quite exposed, told my Mom to not look at her. That ship had sorta sailed. I told Mom to check on Luke, who it turns out, was miraculously sleeping through the screams. That was about the biggest win of the whole fiasco.

The man on the phone said that we had to get her lying down. I had Mom grab some towels and a pillow, but Emily wasn’t feeling it. We convinced her that the baby probably shouldn’t drop to the hardwood, so my Mom and I were able to get her down.

I won’t go into detail about how close this rascally baby was to coming right then. Instead, I’ll tell you a sad side-story:

I was instructed to remove the bright white shoelace from my immaculately kept LeBron 15s – the operator said I would have to use it to tie off the umbilical cord. Devastating, right? Anyway…

We had heard the sirens outside once, but apparently, they missed our house the first time. Unbelievable. Luckily my Dad was flailing like a mad man in the middle of the road when they circled back around.

The Cox EMTs, Greene County deputies, and Battlefield firemen all barged in, and just in time. I (happily) relinquished my spot of honor to an EMT to scoot up by Emily’s head. Emily asked how many babies he had delivered and he gave just the answer you would expect at this point, “None in the field, ma’am.” I then stepped in and lied, telling her somebody else in the room said eight. #HusbandLife

Having replaced me maybe 15 seconds prior, the inexperienced EMT told her to push, and by the time I looked back down, our son was out in one incredible jolt, face down and successfully caught (3:22 pm).

The little guy cried a couple of times before going pretty quiet, looking a little purple. He was fine though, despite my fatherly fears. Another EMT ripped Emily’s shirt open for some quick skin-to-skin time with the baby. In retrospect, I’m quite jealous of the steamy maneuver, but I have decided to let it slide.

There were maybe a dozen people in our kitchen by that time and once we determined the baby was fine, Emily was feeling a tad exposed as you can imagine. I took the baby in a beach towel, and they helped Emily stand and walk (this lady is wild) to a gurney.

Emily then went through an awkward receiving line of “congratulations” through our living room from all of our new best friends. I will add that the firefighters cleaned our kitchen and threw everything in the washing machine. We are planning to spot them some donuts for that.

I couldn’t ride in the ambulance, so I got my keys and tailgated them all the way to Cox. I tried to inconspicuously park in the ambulance area, but was told I’d have to move. I told them (maybe demanded) to open the door so I could see my wife and son. They did, and I told them I was there and would see them in a minute.

Everything on the Cox campus is jacked up thanks to covid, so I wound up doing a lot of running. I parked, went in one door, was directed to the ER, told she wasn’t in the system, directed to a locked door, and finally to the correct door to get to labor and delivery.

I was sweating, swearing, missing a shoelace, and may have been lucky to have not been escorted out. Also lucky to have had an appropriate forehead temperature to get in the building.

We were reunited in labor and delivery and had a pretty normal hospital stay from there. Emily was great and had a nice recovery since she did not get any medication. Carter Daniel Harrington was 7lbs 1oz and 19 inches of good-looking baby.

Luke slept through the entire thing somehow and was unfazed. My parents stayed with him and he got to stay with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins the next day. He is the best big brother.

Like I said, every pregnancy and delivery has its own ups and downs, but this was our experience. For being traumatic and untimely, it also could have gone so much differently. We were very lucky.

The luckiest part of all? My Mom found my shoelace perched, untouched on top of the other garbage in the trashcan, completely salvageable. You have to love a happy ending.

PoolPro and SpaRetailer

PoolPro and SpaRetailer magazines have been using the services of yours truly!

PoolPro and SpaRetailer are print and online magazines marketed towards pool professionals and spa retailers, respectively. I have been fortunate enough to be commissioned as a freelancer to write several pieces for each.

At the time of this post, three of my articles have been published with a few more waiting in the wing. Check the below link to see the published articles:

https://poolpromag.com/author/wil-harrington/

https://sparetailer.com/author/wil-harrington/

As you can imagine, I do not necessarily know that much about pools or spas. That said, the articles lean heavily on interviews that I conduct with business owners and professionals, so most of the work happens through those interviews by phone or email and making sure I am asking the right questions.

The writing is strictly AP style, which has been excellent for me in terms of gaining experience with professional, reporting-type work. I have also made some good contacts through these assignments.

The content linked above is not necessarily for everyone, but I just wanted to show off some interesting new experience in my portfolio that shows I can do more than sports writing or lighthearted blogging.

My personal blog continues to be a bit stagnant, but thank you for checking in! Also, if you or anyone you know needs some professional writing done, you know who to contact. Thank you!

Dirty secret: Men have been able to change diapers this whole time

Men have had a good run but the secret is out; they can change diapers too.

I hate to be the narc here, but it only seems fair that everyone knows the dirty secret about dads and men in general; men can change diapers. This is obvious to many of you, but somehow a completely foreign concept to others.

When we first had our son, I was spooked because I had never changed a diaper in my life. The first few times I saw my wife change my son, I was prepared to study very closely and take mental notes on this intimidating process. Then, I remember asking, “That’s it?”

Changing diapers is easy. Remove diaper, wipe up any waste, apply new diaper, crack a cold one (optional).

Sure, there is the occasional stray urine stream, a bad smell, or intense squirming sometimes when they get older, but overall, the most daunting aspect is frequency. The frequency becomes a non-issue if the duty is split instead of being unnecessarily forced on just one person/gender.

I understand generally how society arrived here, but not so much why it would continue in 2020. Fellas, you’re not so worn out from hunting and gathering that you can’t take the time to be a 50/50 partner in parenting. That especially goes if you and your partner both work.

As a stay-at-home writer and dad, I am aware that my circumstance may be unique (less so all the time though). During the week, I probably change five diapers to every one my wife changes. On the weekends, however, those figures swap. Not because she is home and it defaults to her womanly duty, but because she wants to give me a break.

Our household dynamic may be a bit unconventional, but it isn’t because we full-on deny gender roles. I open doors, kill spiders, and investigate noises at night. I don’t mind those things. She does most of the cooking – I don’t like to cook and she doesn’t mind.

I will even grant you that there is a bond between a mother and child that is intangible and unique. It is a subtle difference between a man and a woman that I cannot deny. However, I went into this parenthood thing as a willing participant and as an equal partner with my wife regardless.

Changing a diaper is simple, but being a parent isn’t always easy. Even if you stick with a designated diaper changer in your house, make sure that everyone wants it that way and that you are balancing parent duties as much as possible.

Sorry to rat you out guys, but I’m just saying, men can change diapers too.

Not enough time to do all the nothing

A favorite quote that hits close: “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”

Bill Watterson is the genius behind the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. Growing up, these comics had an inordinate amount of influence on me. I liked most comic strips out of the paper, but Calvin and Hobbes stood out as being relatable, hilarious, and deep. Also, I constantly had to ask my parents what many of the words meant, and I now have a decent enough vocabulary to beat most children at Scrabble.

“Deep” is a word that would not often be associated with a three or four-block comic strip. Through the eyes of Calvin and his imaginary friend/stuffed tiger Hobbes, Watterson turned simple situations into philosophical conundrums, quips, and reflective moments.

One of my favorite quotes came from a strip in which Calvin and his pal were reflecting on the end of summer. “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do” could be my daily Twitter update.

I don’t own this image. Don’t sue me plz.

I’m not looking to get philosophical here myself, or even complain about the lack of time in the day. I just relate to this line; it is a small window into who I am. I like to do nothing. Not sit on the couch and glaze over watching the wall – I mean watch a movie, play video games, window shop with my family, drive around, walk in the woods, read, and so on.

Accomplishing things is great, I do it quite a bit. Most of the time even. Luckily, the stay-at-home parent thing lends itself well to this. Playing with toys, telling made-up stories, and chasing my son around the house feels like goofing off, but it is definitely accomplishing something.

That’s why I feel like this transition has been easy on me. Little kids “work” by playing, exploring, and experiencing. These are a few of my favorite things! To have a tiny partner to do nothing with brings out the kid in me. Even though we have our tough moments like every parent and child, every day still feels like summer vacation, which is definitely good for my soul.

There is never enough time to do all the nothing because I am writing during naps instead of watching a movie. I’m doing dishes and laundry instead of playing video games. I’m trying to feed my kid broccoli for an hour instead of reading. So yeah, you could say there isn’t enough time, but who actually has that much time that isn’t also headed for the Dr. Phil show because they won’t leave their parent’s basement?

The moral of this story: I have it made. Anyone can put a positive spin on their daily life if they really try, but I believe I am genuinely in a great fit for how I am built as a person.

Every day we go to the park to swing, stroll, and climb (or bonk our head on) the jungle gym. It doesn’t get better than that. I look around the park and see moms frustrated with kids over little things, which helps me put in perspective what my day looks like. Your kid tried to eat a worm because you’re at the park at 2:00 pm on a Tuesday, Sharon, soak it up.

There will never be quite enough time, but we make SO much time to do nothing and I couldn’t be more pleased. Life is good.

You can’t just be a “fun dad”

When envisioning fatherhood, it isn’t a stretch to say that guys like to imagine being a fun dad.

In public, you come across many different kinds of parents. Some of the seemingly happiest are the ones that are carefree, playful, and forgiving. Everyone is different, but I would imagine that when many young men imagine fatherhood for themselves, they do so by envisioning tossing their baby in the air, playing catch out back, and razzing their kids about girls/boys.

As it often is, the reality is a bit different than what you may see out and about or imagine in your mind. Renowned philosopher and boxer, Mike Tyson once said something along the lines of “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” In parenting, the punch in the face is more like: getting vomited on, being up all night, and foregoing fun activities.

You can’t just be a “fun dad” 24/7 – that just isn’t realistic. You will need to get your hands dirty, dive in on chores and blown-out diapers, console worn-out kids and/or their mom, and (in my experience) sweat at all hours of the day. So much sweat. All the sweat.

Photo of a sick boyo, moments before aforementioned vomiting. RIP, loveseat.

So being just the fun dad at all times is probably just not going to happen. Every literal second won’t always be fun.

What a downer right? Don’t worry, I’ve found that as a dad, there is so much silver lining lying around that you could probably use it all to make a good 25 to 30 swords. Those may not be useful in this day and age, but would still be pretty dope.

The good (great, actually) news is that though there are so many ways to remain a fun dad in all situations, even if every single moment is a stretch. The biggest key is to smile. Happiness and humor are applicable in almost all situations. Humor less-so, as sometimes s*** can get pretty real/devastating, but you know what I’m getting at.

Discipline is admittedly something with which I have little experience, as my son only just turned one. Those times aren’t “fun dad” times, but teaching opportunities, which are much more important. Being an ally for your child is a better goal than being their friend. I mean, you can still be their friend too. I’m just saying. Priorities.

Positivity is important because your kids are always looking at you and learning. Even when things aren’t fun, be positive, encouraging, and understanding.

Those parents that always seem upbeat, laid-back, and fun are having tough times too that you don’t always see. Kids are hard, but also rewarding, and yes, a ton of fun. A fun dad that is also a good dad is being positive and energetic with his kids, but also helpful, constructive, and serious when need be.

If you are a good dad, then you are already interacting in positive ways with your kids daily, so you will be a fun dad too. So, don’t focus on being carefree and fun; focus on being the involved, well-rounded good dad that your kids need.

Good luck with that, the vomit, and the sweating. So much sweating.

A real spectacle

I’ve only been a dad for 10 months or so, but I’m afraid I already have the look.

I wasn’t sure what fatherhood would look like for me, but that’s probably because I needed glasses. Yes, after 27 years of seeing scenic Missouri and beyond unaided by a lens, I now have specs.

It turns out I am near-sighted – something I have been slowly realizing over the past six months or so. After struggling to see street signs while trying to Uber people back to their homes, I realized that it was time to get checked out.

The “aha” moment had already happened when I tried on a near-sighted friend’s pair of glasses and could suddenly read the digital clock on the microwave. The true final straw was getting tucked in a corner table at Buffalo Wild Wings and not being able to read the score of an NBA playoff game.

As a basic white boy, no one messes with my beer/wings/sports trifecta at BWWs; not even my own eyes.

I opted to forgo the frames and lenses at the optometrist’s office and was glad I did, nabbing a pair for a third the price at Sam’s Club. I’m still getting used to them, but it is certainly a marked quality of life improvement.

The dad look

Glasses are really just the icing on the cake as I continue to round out my classic dad look. My dad bod is in full form, with a beer belly that hangs over the waist of my pants and a tan line that screams “I mow and grill, but that’s about it.”

I feel like I still look college age, though that gets thrown in my face often when I see college-age adults. They look like wee babies.

My wife and I have a guilty pleasure of watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette every Monday. The participants usually cap in age around their low 30’s. The ones my age look like old people and the ones that are younger than me look like they aren’t ready for marriage.

Most of the viewership of that show probably say things like: “UGH I hate her – she is SO skinny.” In my case, it is: “How TF does he still have so much hair?? Screw that guy.”

Aging happens to everyone and I acknowledge that I am super lucky that I got 27 glasses-free years under my belt. Still, it is an interesting thing to change into a full-fledged adult and father. Now all I need are some nice white New Balances to mow that yard in. Then I can completely become a fatherly spectacle.

Need blog or social media posts for your site? Willing to hire a handsome stranger?

If you or someone you know is in need of concise, engaging content, look no further! (Well, keep reading at least)

This site has been a fun way for me to practice writing while establishing myself as a freelance writer. Through added experience with Grown Gaming and Thunderous Intentions, my practice and growth have paid off. I have now gained footing as a freelancer and social media manager.

Propelled by my passion for sports, I have been able to grow in the world of online content creation through The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law. I have authored over 200 blog posts, taken the reigns of Facebook and Twitter for both organizations, interviewed athletes from local schools to the pro level, and sprinkled in some email marketing as well.

As much as I love basketball and sports in general, it should also be noted that I do not intend to limit myself to this lane of content creation.

But enough about me!

Actually, wait a second… Here is a bit more about me.

My degree in general business and background in financial analysis aid in my ability to write for organizations or brands in any field. I would love to provide a sample blog or social media posts to demonstrate the positive light I can shine on your business or brand!

Being a remote independent contractor, I can work with anyone. I still love that the organizations I currently work with are native to Southwest Missouri. I have a community-centered mentality in all of my work. Whether online-only or locally, I enjoy building relationships with clients from all walks of life.

My work is primarily conducted remotely, though I can be available to travel for interviews, events, or anything else you would like me to write about. I think you will find me wildly pleasant in person. Fingers crossed.

If you or someone you know has a business of any size that could use a more engaging website or dynamic social presence, email me at 237wil@wilharrington.com and we can discuss the benefits I could provide.

Side hustling my way to stay-at-home parenthood

After a couple years’ worth of grinding, I am finally able to stay home with my son full-time.

Many people know my Father to be an excellent banker. He started his own bank and has grown it in impressive fashion. It was because of him that I wanted to give banking an honest shot.

Though I admire my Dad’s success and passion for his career, that wasn’t enough to inspire me to follow the same path. What has always truly inspired me is the relationship I have with him. I knew that if nothing else, I wanted to be a dad so that I could always cherish an incredible bond like the one I have with my Father.

That was a path I could follow. That was an example I could mold myself after.

Though my son, Luke is only eight months old, I have been working towards staying home with him for almost two years now. The journey really began a couple of years ago while I was with my wife at a business conference in Atlanta. She was attending workshops and seminars while I just read in the hotel room, close coffee shops, or parks.

It was in those parks that I learned not to open my wallet in front of people asking for money. Sometimes you don’t have small bills and will wind up being more generous than you mean to be. Completely unrelated, but a good lesson.

Anyway, my wife, Emily is pretty easily inspired and is always setting new goals for herself, so she was eating up this conference. She was thrilled to be soaking up new info that will be helping her in the field that she enjoys. I was just happy to have an excuse to take a few days of vacation time away from spreadsheets and number crunching.

Leading up to the trip, we had been discussing my future on and off. I had plenty of reasons to get a business degree and give finance a shot, which I did. However, I was discovering that most positions in the financial world would not necessarily align with my strengths.

More creative avenues are unfortunately rare where I am. There aren’t many realistic options to make a living doing comedy, acting, entertaining, or whatever my skill set would lend itself to in Southwest Missouri. So, before the trip, we had discussed writing as a possibility.

I took a book with me (Halo: The Fall of Reach) on our Atlanta trip because I knew you are supposed to read constantly to improve as a writer. I hadn’t read a book since college, so I started with something easy to get into. So, I’d spend my day reading (often in apparently shady areas) and then the evenings discussing with my wife about everything she had learned that day.

Much of what she learned about was developing people and getting the most out of them by playing to their strengths and insulating areas that weren’t as strong. To explain everything, she used me as an example for most of what she was telling me, and we both quickly realized that it was time for a change.

I decided to pursue writing as my path to a more creative career. I knew the change would be a lengthy process, but though my job wasn’t for me, I was always surrounded by great people. I don’t regret my degree or time spent working in finance. I’ve had great experiences that will apply to everything I do with my life.

In becoming a writer, I finally had a goal. Knowing that my priority was to enter a flexible, creative space that would allow me to focus on my family was so refreshing. Even before I had a child, I knew I was on my way to something that suited me at last.

When we got back from our trip, I bought a book about freelance writing and started this blog to establish a portfolio. I was constantly searching around online to find writing gigs but had no luck. My lack of experience and a professional portfolio of work made it essentially impossible.

While filling this site in with occasional blog posts, I also attempted to increase my social media activity to grow my online presence (It wasn’t too hard – I was the kind of person whose only Facebook activity was making sure their profile picture changed every three years). I had a few articles that I donated to a gaming site and eventually started as a (volunteer) Contributor for a fan-powered NBA website. After a full year of unpaid labor, I called it quits on the for-free stuff, as it had gotten me noticed elsewhere.

I started writing blog posts for The Basketball Movement and actually making money! Apparently pleased with my work, the basketball facility’s founder asked me to write for his four-state AAU program as well. Now, in addition to the blogs, I have taken the reigns of their Facebook and Twitter pages, do basic website maintenance, and even some email marketing. Now, it pays for our mortgage each month.

Now armed with a solid portfolio, I am looking to expand my freelance writing work (post on that coming soon). I have been Ubering as well to fill the cracks and am finally confident in my ability to continue to provide for my family while keeping my son out of daycare.

I have plans for additional business ventures as well and am not going to stop working hard for the three of us. I am proud of what I have accomplished to this point and am also incredibly thankful for another large part of what we are doing: my wife.

With a kid as excellent as ours, you would have to be crazy to not want to be around him 24/7. Emily would like to stay home as much as I would, but we agreed that it makes more sense for us to do things this way. It is not easy and still not quite a social norm, but for her to be such a successful, hard-working woman while still balancing her roles as mother and wife is nothing short of spectacular. I have no doubt that working full time or not, she can continue to mother with the best of ’em. She has already proven that multiple times over.

There is still plenty of work to be done. We have been prepping for months but will need to continue to find ways to get by on a tighter budget. In the meantime, I will be seeking additional writing gigs, pursuing some remote business opportunities, and ride-sharing at night.

I am continuing to find my “voice” as it pertains to writing. I have been at it for a while, but am excited to continue to improve and allow my personality to come through in text. I managed to type all this without saying “butt” or “fart,” so I think I’m off to a good start.

Wait, do those count? Doesn’t matter. IN CONCLUSION:

This is a bit of a scary chapter in my story, but also the most exciting one yet. I like to think that it is big a win for our little family and I will do my best to make it last. Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for a post about the services I can offer soon!