Sometimes You Have to Quit

My junior year in high school, a friend suggested I join the newspaper. I loved to write, I was kind of a weirdo, and our school’s journalism class embraced both of those things. You couldn’t just decide to be a high school journalist, though. You had to apply. So I...

read more

I’m Officially in Holiday Mode.

So I just don’t feel like working. And this time, it’s not because I’m stuck in a rut or because I’m depressed or anything like that. I’m in full-blown holiday mode, completely caught up in that end-of-the-year vibe that makes me want to do nothing but wind down with...

read more

“Why Don’t They Teach This in School?”

“Why don’t they teach this stuff in school?” I often hear people say when it comes to personal finance. It's a fair question. In sixth grade, my young and irreverent science teacher wrote SEX on the chalkboard in big capital letters to introduce us to an ongoing...

read more

Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

Finding work is perhaps the biggest challenge for any beginner writer. There’s no magic formula, no tried-and-true blueprint to ensure your success.  Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you work hard and it pays off, but mostly it’s a strong combination of both. As a...

read more

The Psychology Behind Clothing

Researching an article for a client, I recently stumbled upon Lauren Messiah, a funny and down-to-earth personal stylist who explains why style matters, despite your aversion to it. Yes, she shares the standard practical advice, like how to dress up a white tee, but...

read more

An Introvert’s Guide to Navigating Conferences

I am not sure how or when it happened, but at some point, I became a person who attends conferences. You never think about this when you envision the freelance life. You assume freelancing means you'll sit in seclusion all day, become best friends with your computer...

read more

Hey! I’m Kristin, a freelance writer and journalist (you can find my stuff at NY mag’s The Cut, the New York Times, Lifehacker, and more). Here, I share what I learn about the freelance life, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn’t working. My book GET MONEY will be out in March 2018 with Hachette Books.

What You're Saying

  • Jessia Kay: Kristin, your post shot an arrow into my...
  • Steveark: Wow, for a kid (relatively speaking) you...
  • James: As a highschooler close to graduation, this...
  • Done by Forty: I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro...
  • Kathy Bartoy: Are you doing any inner circle tours...

Sometimes You Have to Quit

No one wants to be a quitter because we equate it with failure. But ironically, a fear of quitting can get in the way of success.My junior year in high school, a friend suggested I join the newspaper. I loved to write, I was kind of a weirdo, and our school’s journalism class embraced both of those things. You couldn’t just decide to be a high school journalist, though. You had to apply. So I wrote the teacher and editor-in-chief a letter, sent them some writing clips, and I got the job. If I wanted it, I could be a reporter for The Badge.  

There was just one problem: I already had too many electives, so one of them had to go. I decided to ditch the one I found most boring. Ironically, that was drama.

Drama wasn’t for me. I hated performing, I wasn’t great at it, and I only continued to do it because, up until then, I didn’t know what else to do. I was nervous to ask our drama teacher, who was notoriously already kind of an ass, to sign my drop form. I knew he would razz me about it, but the lack of punches he pulled was pretty astounding.

He signed the paper, heaved it at me without making eye contact and said:

“I always knew you were a quitter.”

It felt strange to be given this label. “Quitter” was not a trait I’d ever considered for myself. I was on the soccer team, where I was forced to keep running when my legs felt like jelly. I made good grades because I forced myself to stay up and study, even though I was tired. I had an after-school job because my parents told me if I wanted to drive their car, I’d have to pay for my own insurance and gas. With all of that going on, I would now have to squeeze in writing for the newspaper.

But no. I was a quitter. 

I took the drop form and walked away, wondering if I should just stay in drama and tell the journalism crew I couldn’t accept the position. Thankfully, a good friend and fellow high school journalist gave me some sage advice. “Don’t listen to that *$%*ing guy,” he said.

I took the advice and spent my junior year chasing stories, interviewing subjects, designing pages, writing essays. Journalism was the best thing I ever did in high school, the first time I felt fulfilled and the first time I felt a sense of belonging. Still, the drama classroom was right next to the journalism classroom and every time I passed by, I was reminded of that shameful title. Quitter was a strange badge to wear, but it was worth it to find my passion.

No one wants to be a quitter because we equate it with failure. But ironically, a fear of quitting can get in the way of success. If the only reason you’re doing something is that you’re afraid to quit, it’s probably time to stop doing that thing.  read more…

Hey! I’m Kristin, a freelance writer and journalist (you can find my stuff at NY mag’s The Cut, the New York Times, Lifehacker, and more). Here, I share what I learn about the freelance life, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn’t working. My book GET MONEY will be out in March 2018 with Hachette Books.

What You're Saying

  • Jessia Kay: Kristin, your post shot an arrow into my...
  • Steveark: Wow, for a kid (relatively speaking) you...
  • James: As a highschooler close to graduation, this...
  • Done by Forty: I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro...
  • Kathy Bartoy: Are you doing any inner circle tours...

Sometimes You Have to Quit

My junior year in high school, a friend suggested I join the newspaper. I loved to write, I was kind of a weirdo, and our school’s journalism class embraced both of those things. You couldn’t just decide to be a high school journalist, though. You had to apply. So I...

read more

I’m Officially in Holiday Mode.

So I just don’t feel like working. And this time, it’s not because I’m stuck in a rut or because I’m depressed or anything like that. I’m in full-blown holiday mode, completely caught up in that end-of-the-year vibe that makes me want to do nothing but wind down with...

read more

“Why Don’t They Teach This in School?”

“Why don’t they teach this stuff in school?” I often hear people say when it comes to personal finance. It's a fair question. In sixth grade, my young and irreverent science teacher wrote SEX on the chalkboard in big capital letters to introduce us to an ongoing...

read more

Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

Finding work is perhaps the biggest challenge for any beginner writer. There’s no magic formula, no tried-and-true blueprint to ensure your success.  Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you work hard and it pays off, but mostly it’s a strong combination of both. As a...

read more

The Psychology Behind Clothing

Researching an article for a client, I recently stumbled upon Lauren Messiah, a funny and down-to-earth personal stylist who explains why style matters, despite your aversion to it. Yes, she shares the standard practical advice, like how to dress up a white tee, but...

read more

An Introvert’s Guide to Navigating Conferences

I am not sure how or when it happened, but at some point, I became a person who attends conferences. You never think about this when you envision the freelance life. You assume freelancing means you'll sit in seclusion all day, become best friends with your computer...

read more