Going viral online changed my life. So, what now?

Right now, I have a lot of titles — poet, performer, ghostwriter, editor, and (to my mother’s dismay) grad school dropout. Figuring out my life in these past two years after leaving school (aka the only thing I knew how to succeed in my entire life) has been both exhilarating and extremely stressful. Still, even though I don’t always know what the heck I’m doing, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Here’s what happened.

The above photo is from 2017. I was on the final stage at a slam poetry competition called Texas Grand Slam (TGS), performing my poem about anxiety…

So, go ahead and take that break

We have all seen some version of the same thing on social media: praise for someone who is “self-made,” any iteration of the phrase “we all have the same 24 hours” or someone promoting their personal brand.

Measuring our worth by how “productive” we are is an ideology rooted in white supremacist and capitalist values that do not serve us.

Society normalizes the idea that “success” only comes from breaking our backs day in and day out, subsisting off of coffee, never getting help from anyone, and never resting. Most of us were taught from childhood that if we work…

No, none of these are Upwork or Fiverr

When I decided to start freelance writing shortly after college, I found myself endlessly scrolling through Upwork and Facebook groups competing with other freelancers for jobs. As a new writer, I landed a few gigs only because I was willing to do them for embarrassingly low rates. I figured I was paying my dues. If you’re a new writer, don’t do what I did.

Even at my low rates, I struggled to find consistent work. Some months I’d be set. Then, the next month the well would dry up, and I’d have to start fighting for gigs again. Finally, I…

Before you take the freelance path, weigh the pros and cons

Very few writers actively choose to be copywriters. Copywriting is something that you fall into because you’re trying to make money from home, or you went on a job board and thought, “Sure, I could write a landing page for that website. Why not?” Then boom, you’re a copywriter.

While copywriting has been around as long as print ads have, the profession has seen a significant recent boom as companies are placing a bigger and bigger emphasis on their online presence. Marketers and business owners understand the importance of having clean and engaging copy for consumers to read that encourages…

Maybe. If you have the time and money.

The short answer is this: whether writing competitions are worth it to you depends on the competition, your writing goals, and how well you handle rejection. A writing contest can be a fun way to flex your muscles, get feedback on your work, and potentially win something.

On the other hand, writing contests uphold the literary world’s existing power structures and faux scarcity model. After all, who decides what’s “good?” Who decides how many entrants can “win?” And who appointed those people to make those decisions? …

Because this is what I think about

As someone who used to work in a coffee shop, I can tell you that the adage is true — you can tell a lot about a person by their coffee order. Since many readers (like myself) subconsciously assign personalities to different books, I can’t help but take a guess as to what these books would order for their morning pick-me-up.

Keep in mind that I’m working off the personality of the book as a whole, not just the main character. Let me know if you agree!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Dirty chai latte.

Wiki summary: “The book is written in the voice of…


A lesson I learned in my first year of business

When you start a freelance business of any sort, you find out a lot of useful information through trial and error. 2020 was my first year as a full-time freelancer, and one of my hard-learned lessons was that there are certain documents I need to have ready to keep my business running smoothly.

As a one-person business, you can’t afford to waste time starting from scratch with each client. While you should absolutely personalize your services, you also want a business method that you can replicate easily. This way, you can work efficiently and remain consistent across clients and projects.

Hold off on that Instagram account just a little longer.

Social media isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s time-consuming, challenging to navigate, and sometimes just downright annoying. Personally, if I didn’t rely on Facebook and Instagram to promote my work, I would delete the apps.

Even if you do enjoy using social media, promoting on various platforms is a different ball game. You have to stay on top of algorithm changes, trends, posting schedules, and interacting with others to succeed. …

Here are some affirmations instead.

When someone interviews an established writer, they almost always ask, “Do you have any writing tips?” We want to follow our role models' footsteps, and we often think that means discovering some magic key. There is a lot of writing advice out there. While some of the tips are helpful, the advice from different writers is often contradictory.

For instance, one writer may suggest that you make your stories personal. Then, another writer will say, “You’re not that special. Focus on the reader!” …

Jae Nichelle

Poet, writer, lover of sweet potatoes. Here are my questions for the world. More at jaenichelle.com and jaeghosts.com

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