Hi! I’m Sandra Ebejer, a writer from upstate New York. I’m also a mom, a wife, a bookworm, an arts lover, an owner of two cats who hate each other, a music fan, a terrible visual artist, an addict of high-quality television… I could go on and on.
My work has been published in a number of outlets, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Shondaland, Greatist, The Girlfriend from AARP, FLOOD Magazine, Brevity, Scary Mommy, and Sammiches & Psych Meds, among others. To see my full portfolio or read my blog, visit my website at sandraebejer.com.
Below is a…
I left my arts fundraising job in 2018 to become a freelance writer. I didn’t know where to begin or what type of writing I wanted to do; I just knew that I needed a change after 13 years as a grant writer.
I started by blogging and publishing personal essays on Medium but then began submitting my work to more traditional outlets, and in March 2019, I had an essay published in The Boston Globe. Since then, I’ve garnered bylines in The Washington Post, Shondaland, Greatist, FLOOD Magazine, Writer’s Digest Magazine, Real Simple, and many others.
The journey wasn’t…
One of the biggest challenges of being a freelance writer is figuring out how to do the job. There are no colleagues to chat with at the water cooler. There is no boss to train you. There’s no HR department or employee handbook. You’re on your own, kid.
Luckily, there are many, many others out there doing the same work, and many of them are happy to offer their guidance and support.
Over time, I’ve subscribed to quite a few newsletters that have helped me navigate this weird field, and I want to highlight a few of my favorites.
Of all the records stacked side by side in our living room, The Monkees’ 1966 eponymous debut was my favorite. Not for the songs, catchy as they were, but for the sleeve. Caressing the LP, slightly scratched from years of repeated playing, the sleeve would have been just another piece of paper were it not for the doodles drawn by my mother’s teenage hand: ink sketches of girls with long flipped hair wearing mini dresses and go-go boots, surrounded by declarations of love for different members of the band.
“Elaine,” my mother wrote about herself, “loves Peter.”
Peter? I thought…
Life is weird.
I recently sat down, as I do every December, to take stock of my year as a writer. I assumed the outcome would be bleak. After all, this has been the year of OMG EVERYTHING IS AWFUL ALL THE TIME.
This was the year of COVID-19, of a seemingly never-ending presidential election, of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks and Breonna Taylor and far too many other Black victims, of unemployment and the closing down of everything we love and previously took for granted.
And…here we are, right back in the holiday season. It’s weird. I remember writing my annual Holiday Gift Guide last year. And I vaguely remember the start of 2020. But March through, well, today has been a bit of a blur. Do you think we can redo this year once, you know, *gestures wildly* all this is behind us?
Even if we’re not mentally prepared for it, we may as well get started with our shopping. I mean, your Favorite Writer can’t pen their next novel or secure a big byline without t-shirts and memberships and books and whatnot. Gotta…
“The Story Behind the Story” is a behind-the-scenes series on the essays and articles I’ve published in various outlets. By sharing information on pitches, rejections, and lessons learned (all the information I wish I’d had when I was starting out), I hope to help other writers who are trying to establish a successful writing career.
I love my freelance writing job. It’s exhausting and stressful and the pay is terrible, but man, are there some perks. Like that time I got to interview my idol of many decades for a story in a national publication and then her team promoted…
It happened again.
I just read yet another post about how Medium is a terrible platform, written by a Medium writer and published…on Medium.
Seriously, can someone who is unhappy with this site — unhappy enough to whine about it ad nauseam — explain to me why they would continue to publish here? Is this a thing that one does in other areas of life? Like, do you go to Starbucks, buy shitty coffee, rant about how bad it is, and then go back and buy it again the next day?
Look, I get why people become frustrated here…
A funny thing happened on the way to Phase 4 of reopening: I stopped stressing about my writing.
This isn’t to say I stopped caring about my writing. But I stopped having the “wake up in the middle of the night terrified I’d made a colossal life mistake” panic attacks that I’d had pre-pandemic.
See, I’ve only been freelancing for two years. I left my nonprofit career in my early 40s to write for newspapers and magazines. The first thing I did when I made the change was to read all the writing books, subscribe to all the writing magazines…
“The Story Behind the Story” is a behind-the-scenes series on the essays and articles I’ve published in various outlets. By sharing information on pitches, rejections, and lessons learned (all the information I wish I’d had when I was starting out), I hope to help other writers who are trying to establish a successful writing career. (Disclosure: Any link below with an * is an affiliate link, which means I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
When I decided two years ago to become a full-time freelance writer, I was overwhelmed by the possibilities…