Freelance

:: Mid Month Check In – Jan. 2018 ::

We’ve officially passed the midway point in the first month of the new year. Whew.

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I was vibrating with ideas, and goals, and plans, and… and then January actually arrived and I remember that this is when I deliberately go into hibernation. It’s winter after all. The days are still short, the weather frigid (well, that is if you live anywhere other than Southern California. We hit the mid-80’s this past weekend.), there are still 11 more months ahead in the year to tackle all of the things I’ve set out to accomplish, and I’m on a serious slow living kick right now. So why rush?

But despite taking it “easy”, I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m writing! Freelance projects are starting to trickle in. I’m in the process of drafting an article for an online magazine and working on a second to submit to another publication. I’ve written another chapter for my manuscript.

In other areas, I’m on track with my workout goals. I did four unbroken kipping pull-ups this morning among other milestones in the past couple of weeks. There has been a lot of reading and studying up on a variety of topics I want to explore on a deeper level.  I’ve also been invited back as an ambassador for Sportland Tea Co. which produces a fantastic line of tea blends aimed to help athletes (or anyone who loves good tea!) perform at their very best.

The Sportland Team.

All-in-all, 2018 is off to a great start!

Advertisements

:: 2018 Reintroduction ::

Happy New Year!

I hope 2018 is off to a great start with the promise of good things to come. To kick off the year, I thought I’d take this opportunity to reintroduce myself, my services, and what you’ll find here at www.hylaridenour.com.

Hyla Ridenour, Writer

First and foremost, this website houses all of the information pertinent to my business. I’m a freelance writer offering a variety of related services including copywriting, blogging, product descriptions, copy for web and print, and social media content. You can find a complete list of what I offer on the services page.

You’ll find my rates and contract for services housed on the pricing guide page. New this year, I’ve eliminated a package pricing structure. Working with a number of clients over the past two years, I’ve found that an flat or standard hourly rate better meets the needs of my clientele so, in an effort to simplify, I’m no longer offering packages.

To get an idea of my offerings and writing style, you can view my portfolio page to see a sample of my work.

Finally, there is my blog. Here, I cover a variety of topics; some related to writing and my professional services, others not. I occasionally write about other themes dear to my heart including sobriety, adventures, and other miscellaneous topics. I’ve wrestled with whether or not this space is appropriate for sharing more intimate details about myself – such as my choice to ditch booze in 2017 – but I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to compartmentalize my life, my work, my adventures, or my stories.

Beyond my website and identity as a writer, I’m a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, sister, and friend. I’m extremely physically active favoring Crossfit and running, and eating (mostly nutrient-dense foods) is one of my favorite hobbies. I’m happiest outdoors and love hiking, backpacking, camping, kayaking, and beachcombing. I derive a lot of pleasure from bookstores and libraries. Travel is a high priority and I long to visit Iceland and Costa Rica. Within the next five years, I want to live in an Airstream fulltime and travel around the western U.S. while writing novels.

New year, same me.

Speaking of novels, I am writing one! I’ve actually been working on a historical fiction manuscript for a year a now and have more than 54,500 words written. I have a lot of work ahead of me – completing it for one thing – but I can’t wait to see my book out in the world and being enjoyed.

I also want to extend a thank you to my followers, visitors, and of course, my wonderful clients. Since focusing solely on writing, I’ve never felt more fulfilled or sure of what I have been called upon to do with my life. I look forward to doing more of what I love in 2018 and would be honored to help you with your copy or content needs in any way that I can.

One more quick thing: do you love coffee? My goal this year is to build my business via word-of-mouth and referrals and will be offering an incentive for each qualified referral I receive (i.e., the referral leads to paid business). If you refer a new client to me who enlists my services, I’ll send you a $20.00 Starbucks gift card as a thank you!

Coffee is on me!

Wishing you all the best in 2018!

Hyla

:: Mid Month Check-in ::

This morning, after a period of disbelief over the fact that it is officially the middle of November and one week until Thanksgiving (how can that be?!), I started to slip down the slope of self-criticism. For starters, my intention to write a 50,000-word novel as a participant of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) went down the shitter about three days in. I also promised myself that I’d practice my handstand skills every day. And seek new freelance writing gigs. And… I’ll stop there. The kicker is that I also volunteered myself to work behind the scenes on social media content for a film being shot on location in various parts of Idaho. So all of that while traveling and spending several hours each day on set too. Doh.

Almost two weeks ago, a newsletter landed in my email inbox from writer, artist, and fellow sober sister, Tammi Salas, that really hit home. In it, she talks about how, and I’m summarizing here, overachievement is a type of drunkenness. We set these lofty goals and create high expectations and it does feel a little like being drunk; because when we’ve altered our state of being and inhibition has left the building, anything is possible, right?

Here is an excerpt from the letter:

You see, just because I quit drinking alcohol over 1,000 days ago doesn’t mean I still don’t get drunk. I get drunk on ideas and to-do lists sometimes. I get drunk on overachieving and seeing if I can channel my inner-Martha Stewart on-demand. I get drunk on unattainable goals. And, I most definitely get drunk on unrealistic expectations. This, my friends, is when I am most definitely NOT (emotionally) sober.

She goes on to say that we can give ourselves permission to stop the insanity and that it is okay change our minds, our direction, our plan, our whatever. We have the power to quiet that nagging, insistent voice that says we have to do ALL THE THINGS. We don’t. We really don’t.

This has been a recurring theme for me quite some time and I’m so over it! I will definitely be doing some personal work in the coming weeks and months to free myself from this cycle. (In fact, I’ve been trying to read Present Over Perfect for a few months now and it seems fitting that I dive back into that asap!)

I should note that while the past few weeks have been a whirlwind, I’ve gotten to explore Idaho and see parts of the country I’d never seen before. I fell head-over-heels in love with the city of Coeur D’Alene which is now in a heated battle with my number one dream city to live in, Bend, Oregon (or central Oregon in general). I’ve met a number of great people and spent time with old friends. I’ve worked alongside my husband on a film set for the first time and in a few days, will witness my son act for the first time as one of the characters in the film. And, I’ve still got ideas and stories floating around in my head that I am determined to craft into manuscripts.

Oh, and today I practiced my handstand so not all is lost.

If your curious about my behind the scenes work on the film Mischief Upon Mischief, follow along on Instagram at @MUMMovie.

::A CURATION OF OBSESSIONS 5/5::

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It’s been another wild week behind-the-scenes around here! I’m extremely grateful for each and every opportunity I’ve received to follow my passion and grow my business. My vision is starting to become my reality and there is something so satisfying about seeing your hard work pay off!

But enough about business. I’m not an “all work and no play kinda gal!” I’ve curated a list of my current obsessions for your amusement so read on and have a fantastic and safe weekend!

Girlboss

I’ve been mildly obsessed with Sophia Amorusa for a while. When I first jumped into the realm of freelancing and owning and operating my small freelance business, I was looking for inspiration. One such form came from the book #Girlboss. I bought it as an audiobook and listened to it each morning while commuting to my “real” job. While I’ve never been fond of the clothing brand, Nasty Gal, that Sophia started as an eBay shop when she was 22 years old and grew into a multi-million dollar company (which also just recently filed for bankruptcy), I admire her ambition and drive. Despite the company’s financial woes, she has rebranded herself and her #Girlboss trademark. In fact, there is a new Netflix series “loosely” based on her life and the start of Nasty Gal.

Lauren Fleshman and the 5k

Another mild obsession I have is with Lauren Fleshman. She’s an all-around cool chick and role model for female athletes. I recently listened to an interview in which she talked about an article that she wrote for Runner’s World regarding why she thinks the 5k is so “freaking” awesome. The opening of the article sets the stage with a funny story about a conversation with a guy on a plane about running, who wasn’t impressed with her status as “just” a 5k runner. Anyway, her argument is that 5k’s aren’t just a stepping stone to longer distances. As I analyze my relationship with running, and particularly with long distances, it was refreshing to find reassurance that shorter distances matter. Not only that, you can train and race for a 5k without burning yourself out or induce an injury, especially if you’re already prone.

Instagram

It’s my guilty pleasure. Mostly, I follow people, organizations, and companies that inspire me so I like a pretty eclectic assortment of accounts. Currently, though, I’m dreaming of adventures… so these are a few feeds that I’m drooling over.

And for fun, a couple of photos from my most recent outing; an overnight backpacking trip with my brother.

::measuring success::

Podcasts have recently become my “thing”. I love listening to stories about how others have foregone the norm to seek a fulfilling, creative life. Or found success with the development of some awesome new idea, product or service. Or have altered behaviors to overcome challenges holding them back. You get the idea.

A recent podcast I listened to on The Good Life Project talked about how we measure success. For those of us, like me, who have an entrepreneurial spirit, we want it all now, now, NOW! The visions I’ve created for the life I want are so close that I can practically taste them. However, I’m not there just quite yet and that sometimes feels like the opposite of success. When you want something so badly and feel you are on the verge of it becoming your reality but, alas, you’re still hustling and trying to figure it all out and sometimes it feels like failure…

The whole point of this was that I wanted to share the message that I received from that podcast and that is this: sometimes we have to redefine what success is. Sometimes it’s not a single point that we reach after a period of hard work. (Admittedly, sometimes it is. But not always.) I’ve started to reframe my definition of success and by doing that I, I’ve realized that success can be measured by what we learn along the way.

For years and years, through job transitions and financial hardships and relocating and… the list goes on, all I’ve know is that I wanted to write and that dream is still very much alive and well inside of me. I want to offer freelance writing services to help others build their businesses. I want to open up one of my favorite magazines and see an article I wrote. I fantasize daily about seeing my book on display at a bookstore. I dream about having lunch with my literary agent to discuss my next book deal and planning the promotional tour. I look forward to receiving an invitation to be a guest on a podcast.

Am I there yet? Frankly, the answer is no. Not even close. But I’m working on it. And that, my friends, is how I’m measuring my success. After all these years, I still want it and I’m still working to make these dreams and goals a reality.

Looking back, I’ve learned so much. Looking ahead, I’m excited about what I have yet to learn. From here on out, that is how I’m going to measure success.

HR