Feelin' Groovy Or Possibly Just Very Cluttered
Masterfeces Theater Presents

Even Dream Jobs Get The Blues

The first thing I did after accepting my first non-mommyblogging-related job in a bajillion years was rush to Target for pens and file folders. The second thing I did was glare at my husband for laughing at me. And my pens and file folders. I did realize I would still be working on a computer, right? With a keyboard? Just like I've been doing for a bajillion years in a happy, paperless worky bubble? 

I can't really explain it. But if you get me anywhere near anything that remotely resembles Actual Office Work, I am completely seized with the need to scribble things down on Actual Paper. I require Post-Its and notepads and file tabs and a pen to write with and one to chew on. I want to print things out and stare at them and cover them in proofreading marks and bullet points and chicken-scratch notes to myself. 

I ask myself questions a lot. Category aggregation slider at top? Slideshows? Talking clients? News items round-up SUSTAINABLE? PLAGIARISM??

I stare at these half-formed questions later and am basically like, "Bitch, the hell if I know." Sometimes I answer myself with more scribbles: WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT??????

The good news is that the job is going...uh, good. Well. Excellent, even. I am getting the shit out of shit done, yo, and people seem to like me.

And none of them read my blog.

I mean, they know OF IT, and understand that I am a blogger who knows about blogs because I blog and I blog far and wide and empire-like, but I am 99% confident that nobody I interact with on a daily basis has ever read a single post about my boobs. Nobody knows about my love for personifying deodorants or the time I mistook a fruit sticker for a grave bodily injury or that I am sometimes just a giant walking sack of neuroses and fail. 

At least a couple times a week, I get emails from new or hopeful bloggers, asking for advice about ads and sponsorships and wanting to know how long it took before I started making money blogging. I try my very best to answer the majority of these (though I know I have a backlog of them in my inbox right now I AM SORRY), but I always...cringe when I write my response because I know it's probably not what anybody wants to hear.

It took years. It took a little bit of luck and a lot of good timing and many, many months of posting to the sound of crickets day after day. It took writing because I loved to write and not because I was hellbent on a book deal (HA!) or quitting my day job, because that just didn't happen back then. But it took years, not weeks or months, and it also involved a lot of side gigs -- some good, some not -- and a lot of stress and networking and adapting and people writing shit about you and a lot of lessons in self-awareness and boundaries learned the hard way.

Would I do it all over again? Abso-fucking-lutely. I mean, Jesus. I love my job, I love my life, I love you guys. All of you.

(Well, except for that one person I met in real life several years ago and thought maybe I could be friends with, and then later randomly discovered she was relaying everything I said and did and wore to a message board comprised of people who hated me, like what the fuck, I sometimes wear yoga pants and have visible roots, ZOMG IT'S ALMOST LIKE BLOGGERS ARE REGULAR PEOPLE OR SOME SHIT.)

(I should delete that. It's petty. Eh, I'll leave it for now and delete it before I publish. If I forget it's probably because I DIDN'T WRITE IT DOWN.)

(Delete?????? You over-sensitive baby?????? Brand dilution synergy????????????)

Whatever, I still can't quit you, Internet. 

But I didn't realize how badly I needed...well, not a break from blogging about myself, because look! Here I am! Still blogging about myself! But...something different. Something where my day revolves around something besides a breakneck pace of writing deadlines, where there's no pressure to be FUNNY! Something that doesn't involve me mining my life and experiences and OH MY GOD, something besides kids kids babies diapers sleep boobs kids

But I did. Did I ever. 

(I also didn't realize how badly I needed to bust out my super-old reading glasses that I used to wear to combat eye strain and maaaaybe also to look older and more responsible at work.)

Amalah5812

(Needless to say, I'm no longer concerned about that second part. Yikes.) 

Comments

Chi Sherman

Love the glasses and I can't *wait* until you write a book. :D

Karianna

Your glasses and your hair are both hot. I like office supplies too. We can start a club.

Dawn

You go girl! And love the glasses - wear them because I have to but you look so adorable in them. And I mean that in a completely non-stalkerish way. Everyone needs a break and that is so awesome that you got one when you needed it!

Corey Feldman

That's funny. I have an office type job and I use post its all the time regardless of how inclined I am to the electronic world. Sometime post its and pens are just necessary. I hope you are enjoying your new job.

Lisbeth

Breaking years of silent lurking here to say holy bajeezus, your hair looks amazing. I want it. No, not really, but it is awesome. As are you.

Jaime

Your hair looks awesome!

jonniker

I honestly don't know how professional bloggers do it. I love blogging, I love working, but I don't think I could ever have it in me to do it as a PROFESSION, you know? I am pretty thick-skinned, but it would take precisely ONE of those people selling me out to a message board to have me hanging up my spurs.

As for talking about how to get started, I have a similar story about freelance editing and writing. It's YEARS of networking, taking shitty jobs and a lot of, um, luck. I never know what to say. Do they want me to offer up my clients to make it easy? Because I can't really do that. But I always feel dumb writing it out, because it took, yes, years of mining contacts I had from full-time jobs, part-time jobs and oddly, contacts I met through my blog.

I think that's the hardest thing to explain. You can't just quit your day job and build a freelance career of any kind right out of the gate.

Megan

I think what's so hard about blogging - and making money from blogging and freelance writing in general - is that you see people who are successful *after they have reached success*. So, of course it looks super-easy to the outsider; they don't know of the years and YEARS of rejections, of "taking a crappy job because you need it now," or "writing for free because you have to start somewhere."

So to new bloggers, they think they can just write a few words, hit "post," and land big sponsorship deals. There are a few who can do that, but they're few and far between.

Karen

I, sadly, do and do not find it hard to believe that someone would friend you only to make fun of you on a message board. I just do not even know what to say to that.
PATHETIC people. All of them. Ick.
I stopped blogging due to comments from strangers that were only kind of harsh. You are my hero.

Melissa

I work from home, a full time gig as a web developer. The office just happens to be in another state, so I work here. Which has excellent perks for me and my two girls. But I also have pens and paper and post its. And honestly, if I don't write it down, it WILL NOT get done. Be that work or household related, I needs the office products.

jill (mrschaos)

Office supplies are my security blanket.

Sara

I love seeing this new turn your life is taking. I'm currently in the "corporate" world expecting my first baby this summer. I have NO idea what my life is going to look like once this baby comes along. I love working, and after years of complaining I've realized there is a lot about my job that I like (including my salary). I daydream about making money through blogging, but in reality I don't know that I'll have the energy to do what it takes to get that started.

Rita Arens

Congrats on the new gig!

Neena

This probably doesn't belong here, but I just have to tell you that I found you ages ago when you were featured in the Washingtonian. I read your current post and then stayed up until odd hours of the night reading your archives. (So, even if you wrote to crickets in the beginning, I'm sure I'm not the only one who went back to the vault.)

Anyway, I just want to say thank you. Thanks for making me laugh, cry, want more baby boys, relieved that I'm not the only one with slight neuroses, and admire your marriage/family. I'm sure there's more I should thank you for :)

I've been in DC for almost the last decade and there are moments when I *swear* I've seen you in a grocery store, at 2 Amy's, at the park, but 1, I don't think it's ever actually been you, and 2) if it were, I'd probably make a ginormous fool of myself.

On a couple of occasions, my husband has seen me reading your posts and asks whose cute babies those are. I tell him it's my friend's babies, and then probably gush about your boys as I do my own. I'm sure that's a little strange, but I feel like you and I would totally be friends, if we had time for that sorta thing...and I would never be a mole for some message board (WHO DOES THAT?!)

So, yea, thanks Amalah! You rock!

Ladotyk

You make me happy :)

Korinthia Klein

I would totally buy your book. And you look beautiful in those glasses. And I like to write everything down when I'm doing office-type work too, so you're not alone!

Elizabeth Newlin

I always think I might like to only be a blogger. To actually get paid to write and have people laugh and not have to do it in and around my 'real job'. But then I remember that at least 75% of the ridiculous stories I write about come from my 'real job' (real estate). So I think maybe for now I'll just consider the two a symbiotic relationship and enjoy the fact that each feels a need ($/creative fulfillment).

BTW, I read your blog all the time and love it. And I'm attending BlogHer for the first time this year. Hoping to at least glimpse the fabulousness that is your weird MamaPop party.

-k-

I'm so glad that you're getting a breather, and even more so that you are Still Blogging After All These Years.. Many of my favorites have closed up shop--and who can blame them?--but it's somehow comforting to be able to come here and get a dose of your unique brand of humor and good sense (I'M SORRY ABOUT THE PRESSURE, BUT YOU REALLY ARE FUNNY AND SMART).

So yeah- thanks, and congrats on the new gig. :)

Carrie

god, some days i type something in my blog and i pretty much hate myself. like SHUT UP NOBODY CARES. so i get it. and i don't think i would be able to do it as a full time gig. i'm glad to hear you found something new to give you a little variation in your writing.
omfg i had to use thesaurus.com to find the word "variation". shoot me.

Suzy Q

If I could, I would give you a bouquet of freshly-sharpened pencils.

Glad your new gig is going well.

Leah

Amalah you're the bomb. I am so mad at that lady who faked being your friend because you are (and I think have been recognized/awarded for being) the most friendly, friend-seeming blogger out there. That lady ruined it for the rest of us ... otherwise you were totally planning on being our friend in person, right?

Joy@BundlesOfJoy

I too have a weakness for office supplies.
I could spend hours in the Staples pen aisle.
I think it means we're optimists ("I'll get so much done when I have the right supplies!"), well-prepared ("Doh, if I only had the perfect pen to write down this brilliant idea!"), or both.

Or maybe just a holdover from beginning-of-school-year shopping trips as a child.

Whatever. Just look at your gorgeous new office supplies and know that I'm jealous.

Dawn

People actually spend time on message boards hating a blogger they've never met? Seriously? Has anyone told them about how short life is? Not to mention that hate only poisons the hater. What a f**king waste of time! You don't like? DON'T READ!

As for Mole Woman, get yourself some help, already, lady. That is some pathetic life you're leading there.

Ah. The catharsis of giving assvice to strangers on the Internet. It's better than an SSRI.

I, random lady on an island in the North Atlantic, thoroughly enjoy your writing and reading stories about and seeing pictures of the boys. Glad to hear you're loving the job.

Cari

I don't have kids, but I started reading your blog when I was nannying. Then I read the post about when Noah stopped daycare and I cried a little bc I was ending a two year full time gig with one of my fav families. I was one of your archive readers as well, and I have loved being able to be a part of your family's journey.

My cousin just had her first baby in Sept 2011, and you were the first (and actually only) "mommy" blog that I shared with her. :)

Cari

I don't have kids, but I started reading your blog when I was nannying. Then I read the post about when Noah stopped daycare and I cried a little bc I was ending a two year full time gig with one of my fav families. I was one of your archive readers as well, and I have loved being able to be a part of your family's journey.

My cousin just had her first baby in Sept 2011, and you were the first (and actually only) "mommy" blog that I shared with her. :)

Erin

My two favorites: "Bitch, hell if I know" and "I am getting the shit out of shit done". These two lines will get me far in life.

And I would by the shit out of your book.

Laura B.

I hear you on the office supplies! I quit my job, delved in to SAHM for all of 6 weeks before taking on a full-time contract from home. I hurriedly bought file folders, binders and pens to keep all the projects separated... which I used for all of two weeks before realizing I just keep everything organized on my computer anyway.
I still totally make lists and doodles though. Lots of lists, lots of doodles.
Keep up the blogging, k? We'd miss you tons if you were gone.

kim

I get it. Sometimes it's not so much a need for a break as it is for a stretch of your intellectual muscles. I joined the board of my co-op preschool for just that reason.
So good for you and your supplies and your scribbles. Go do what's good for you - i'll be here waiting when you get back.

David

HATERS GOTTA HATE! So F me, we need more positivity up in this piece anyway. Btw nothing better than pen and paper. Electronic filing is not my friend.

Katie

I love me some office supplies! And I am also very happy for you!! All the best on your new endevours!

Amy in StL

I discovered last week that I now need reading glasses to read the little tiny dimensions on bridge drawings that have been reduced to letter size. I was a little upset at this; but it's better than headaches. Also, I have the cutest ones from Walmart that I spent waaaay too much time picking out.

So, how are the deodorants?

Angella

You look adorable, per usual. Congrats on the new job!

Y

"Bitch, the hell if I know" is going to be my answer to every question today.

Erika Mitchell

I LOVE writing stuff down!!! There's probably some scientific neuro-science explanation for why writing stuff down helps you think it through, but I'm to lazy to look it up right now.

But yeah. Post-Its = LEGIT.

Nelia

Someone hates you?? Thats nuts! (they must be) crazy talk I tell you. Love the blog.

Shannon Lell

1.) I liked your advice to new bloggers. It's real, it's honest and it wasn't titled "Five Things Every New Blogger Needs to Know" because I really hate that shit.

2.) Someone really did that to you? I mean talked shit on a message board and 2.5) You have a whole message board full of people who hate you? I would take that as a testiment to your awesomeness.

3.) I can't believe you feel pressure to be funny because it always sounds so natural. I guess that's what real talent looks like!

... and that was "3.5 Things to Say About Amy's Latest Post.

Michele

You're right - it wsan't what I wanted to hear when I asked you how you got started, blah blah. But it WAS honest and I appreciate that. Like I said - I will be published before I pass and to get a response from you just added to my enthusiasm. Good luck with the new job. I am a post-it note addict and at any one time, have at minimum, five post-its all over my computer screen or door frame to remind me to do X or Y before I leave the office today. Thanks for everything you do!!

Michele

Just to clarify - I was being sarcastic when I said it wasn't what I wanted to hear if I've offended anyone. I wanted to hear it was easy and quick and sponsors beat each other up to get on your blog. Like anything worth it's time, etc, it will take work.

shirl

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Shirl Hinkle

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Rachael

I know a bunch of people have already said it but I can't stop myself - your hair is so FABULOUS!

Mom101

1. You still answer all your emails.
2. You are kind but honest.
3. You bring passion to your work, regardless of pay.

If you carry these traits over to the new job you will be running the place in no time.*

*As long as it's not a whorehouse. In which case I'll assume that you're just there temporarily and your position** is administrative in nature.

**Ha, position.

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