Q&A With . . . .
Linda Formichelli is a freelance writer based in New Hampshire. She’s the co-author of The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success, and co-founder of the Renegade Writer blog (http://www.therenegadewriter.com/).
She also just turned 40 and adopted a baby! So I asked her to tell us a little about the changes in her life.
Me: You’re an established freelancer who has been writing magazine articles and books since 1997. What has changed the most in the industry since you started?
Linda: I think things are tougher these days. Magazines I’d written for with few revisions in the past are now editing by committee and asking for multiple rewrites. I don’t think that my writing has gotten worse since 1997, so I suspect that it’s the magazines that have changed. But at the same time, there are more opportunities than ever with online magazines, blogs, etc.
Me: You recently shook up your life by adopting a baby. What prompted you to make that decision?
Linda: Eric [Linda’s husband] and i were adamantly anti-kid for many years, but we said that if we ever changed our minds, we would adopt. In 2007, on Christmas, I suddenly decided that it was the right time, and I asked Eric if he thought so too. He did, so the next day we called an adoption home study agency we found online and started the process, and the social worker there referred us to an adoption lawyer.
Me: Your adoption process seems to have gone smoothly. Are there any special steps you took that you think made a difference?
Linda: We were lucky that the adoption was a positive experience from start to finish…especially because we jumped in without doing any research. I think it helped that we just trusted that everything would turn out okay. We knew that if the adoption we were working on fell through, there would be another one, and that we would end up with the right baby for us. Also, we were very lucky that we were connected with a wonderful birthmom who was very serious about making an adoption plan for her baby.
Me: What is the most unexpected thing you’ve discovered about being a new mom?
Linda: I have an anxiety disorder, and I just assumed that when we had a baby, I would experience panic attacks from the sheer stress. But I’ve found stores of calm I never knew I had. Everything just feels so right, and I haven’t been nervous at all. I feel like I’m a competent mom.
Me: Your son is still a baby, so I’m sure it will change, but how are you juggling work and child care responsibilities? What’s working well and what do you wish were working better?
Linda: My husband is also a freelancer, so we trade off: When I have an interview or need to write an article, Eric takes care of Traver, and when he needs to work I take over. It’s easy now, though, because Traver mostly sleeps. I know it will become more difficult as Traver gets older.