Author: Carley

The Everyday Love Story

A boy I once dated told me he wanted to be a lawyer because his dad was a lawyer, and it seemed like the right thing to do. When I told him I wanted to be a writer because it seemed like the ONLY thing to do, he told me writing was not a legitimate profession. I decided, while he fondly admired his parents’ law degrees and sipped mint juleps, that I would write him up and down, backward and forward, inside and out, until he had no choice but to eat his own words for breakfast. That boy soon became nothing more than a few lines in this little love story…And a lawyer. It was then I realized I was never cut out to be the girl who gets the guy at the end of the romance novel. In fact, Nicholas Sparks didn’t write a single love story with me in mind. Nicolas Sparks wrote me out of all his stupid love stories the minute I learned how to pick up my pen and write the …

This *isn’t* for the haters.

Occasionally it happens. I come face to face, or screen to screen, with one of them. Haters. I’m not talking about challengers. Anyone who’s down to get in the ring and have a mutually beneficial, respectful, and critical discussion about creative work is welcome in my corner, whether we agree or not. That’s my JAM. But giving into haters means making withdrawals from my own bank. And let me tell you something, I HATE spending my money. You can imagine how I feel about wasting my emotional currency on trolls. Have I accepted that there are people who roll their eyes at what I do? Sure. Relentless learning and sharing in the name of self-improvement and personal discovery isn’t for everyone. Some people are cool with coasting. But will I spend any fragment of time past this blog post worrying about what they think? Nope. Do their perceptions of my work ethic play any role in forming my reality? Abso. lutely. not. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far is that I don’t …

When Love Is Losing

A note before I dive in: As a writer (and a white person) with a creative outlet and some semblance of an audience, I will never be someone who sits on the sidelines. This blog is a place where all races, religions, sexualities, and genders are welcome and respected. This is a place where I will support and fight for these same groups, and their rights, continuously. If that bothers you, you know where the X is. Feel free to click it. If you align  yourself with racism, I don’t want your page views, or your political ones.  There are certain moments in history you hope will never be repeated, moments you hope you never live to see or experience. Reality shattering, soul shifting, mind rocking, heartbreaking moments you prayed would never come. Watching white supremacists march down the streets with conviction in their eyes, hatred in their hearts, and fire in their hands is one of those moments. The Vice documentary left me in a sloppy mess at my desk. Each time I watched …

Show Me Your Scars

I’ve always loved discovering other people’s scars, secretly tucked beneath collars and cuffs. I love fingers delicately dancing over calloused strips of discolored skin. A chin gash. A drunk mistake. A skinned knee. A tree climb break. Nobody makes it through life unscathed. But have you ever noticed we’ll brag about hitting every branch on the way down before we’ve confronted why we climbed that damn tree to begin with? What were we trying to find up there? Or what were we leaving behind down below? Our physical scars are merely poof that we survived something greater than the initial fall. So we defend our leftover battle wounds and put our healed up bodies on display like battered trophies. We rarely discuss our emotional scars, giving little credit to the intelligence it takes to overcome the internal trauma. We convince ourselves and others that our visible scars make us braver, stronger, and in the same breath, deny that the area is still a little tender. That we’re still a little broken. But we’re all a …

Get Money.

Being creative is cool. You know what else is cool? Getting paid. That’s right, I said it. Money. The stuff that puts gas in my car and keeps my electricity on. The stuff I shell out to Navient every month because I’ve been out of college for seven years and my student loans are still very real. Being serious about your work means being realistic about what your work is worth. What YOU are worth. It means believing it, and not being ashamed to say it out loud without feeling like an asshole. Your job isn’t to protect your clients’ feelings. Your job is to do your job, do it well, and get paid for it. This blog post isn’t about getting paid for stuff. It’s actually about not getting paid for stuff. But before I dive in, let me say this: Get money. Because whether you’re dealing with contracts, lawyers, agencies, brands, or one off clients, money conversations can be awkward, tricky, and confusing. Mike Monteiro’s Creative Mornings talk, “Fuck You, Pay Me”  is …

Self-Care Saturday

Between agency work, a freelance gig, a few speaking opportunities, a few writing opportunities, a give my opinion on random stuff opportunity, a conference, side projects (like this blog!) and breathing in between, it’s safe to say my plate has been pretty full lately. Exciting full! Making shit happen full. I was riding the wave of possibility and saying yes to everything, when I hit a massive wall last night. I left the office, came home, and worked for one more hour to finish a satisfying week. Almost as if my eyes knew I could finally rest, I closed my computer at 7:30 p.m. and exhaustion took over. I was beyond fatigued. Within an hour, I was in physical pain. My eyes were red, my thoughts were fuzzy, my muscles felt tense, and I was having trouble forming full sentences. Heard, understood, and acknowledged. I need TO CHILL. I went to sleep without technology, and vowed to wake up on Saturday prepared to spend the entire day taking care of myself. Self care is this thing …

The Ones Who Love First

There are two kinds of lovers in this world. The ones who wait to be loved, and the ones who dare to love first. The key to winning, the ones who wait will tell you, is to show just enough enthusiasm to appear intrigued without looking eager. Feign just enough interest to appear engaged, without seeming desperate. Allow just enough transparency to appear relatable, without feeling exposed. Love is about appearing. Appearing intelligent. Appearing witty. Appearing worthy. Appearing available. Appearing out of thin air. And the trick, they say, to keeping the other person interested, is to make damn well sure they know you’re capable of disappearing at any time. Love is a game of power, and you lose when you love first. To the ones who dare to love first, For some you will be too much. Too much force. Too much power. Too much pressure. Too much impact. Those unable to withstand upheaval will seek shelter from the potential devastation you are capable of causing, but do not mistake this as a call …