How Pink Pangea Helped Launch My Writing Career
I’m a professional writer, and when I email editors or clients with a pitch, I always add a part that says, “To tell you a little bit about myself, I’ve been a writer for more than five years…” Then, I add my clips. It’s become automatic, but when I’m not too busy, I take a minute to think about that.
To the veteran writers that have been doing this for more than 25 years, five might seem like nothing. But, to me, it’s been a major blessing – a rollercoaster, yes – but, ultimately, an opportunity I’ve been so grateful to have. And, a large part of it is all thanks to Pink Pangea.
It was 2014, and I was finishing up a year living and working in South Korea. During that year, I had started to pick up some writing internships, and it was amazing to see my name in print. I had taken up some freelancing jobs from freelance work sites, but at the time I was so excited that people wanted to even read my writing that I didn’t mind the low pay. I was really proud of myself and wondered how I could keep this going.
I’ll never forget the role Pink Pangea played in helping me get to where I am today in my writing career
Then, one morning, I woke up to a message on LinkedIn – a site I still rarely use – from Rachel Sales, the co-founder of Pink Pangea.
Rachel and I had known each other from an internship I had done as a teenager. She said she’d seen I was living in Mexico and asked if I’d like to be a Foreign Correspondent for her website. I didn’t really understand what that would entail until she explained that I could write about my experiences living as a foreigner in another country. I was being given a platform to discuss what it was like for me to live in Mexico. As I was going through some difficulties at the time, Pink Pangea gave me the courage to write about those challenges, instead of asking me to pretend that everything was fine.
To this day, Pink Pangea is one of the only places I’ve written for that allowed to me to be brutally honest and not have to sugar coat anything for my audience. It also taught me how to fine-tune my writing, how to manage deadlines, and balance other writing jobs on top of a full-time teaching job.
Pink Pangea is one of the only places I’ve written for that allowed to me to be brutally honest and not have to sugar coat anything for my audience
Pink Pangea was not just a website – it was a community. The next time I was back in the U.S., a few ladies from the Pink Pangea community were getting together in New York City. It was so nice to meet other women like me, when in many ways I had felt so isolated for so long. I kept in touch with some of the girls from that day, and it was at this little get-together that I met Pink Pangea’s other founder Jaclyn Mishal, and the current editor, Elen Turner.
Then, another opportunity came up to go on a writing retreat. I had seen the retreats Pink Pangea offered in other countries, but I couldn’t quite afford to go on one. This retreat was in Connecticut, and seemed worthwhile, especially because I was in limbo from having just returned from Mexico, deciding what I was going to do next. The weekend of the retreat, my grandpa passed away. But, with support from the leaders, I decided to still go to get my mind off things. Plus, my grandfather would have wanted me to go, anyway.
The retreat was, to this day, one of the best things I’ve done as a writer. It was very intimate, and I got to meet several other writers that I still keep in touch with today. One woman was such a role model to me that I knew, “Okay, I want to be like her one day.” We wrote our hearts out about our travel experiences and learned about how to write for a major publication. I felt like I got the tools I needed to be successful as a writer, even though it would take a few more months until I got to that point.
Eventually, I returned to Korea – something I had asked for advice about at the retreat. While there, my freelance writing career really took off. I was no longer doing internships or jobs that paid only $5 an article. I was really doing it! In addition to providing content writing work for my clients, I was also getting more and more pitches accepted to write in travel magazines. I also started doing my own writing meet-up groups, with help from Jackie.
After completing my second year teaching in South Korea, my partner and I discussed, again, what the next step would be. At the time, we were looking to continue teaching abroad. But, he believed in me, and said that he thought I could make a living just from my writing. We took the plunge together, as he was working online too.
That was in May of 2016.
While I’ve been writing for more than five years, I’ve been doing it full-time online for more than three years now. And, in that time, I have written a few more posts on Pink Pangea.
My adventures as a traveler have led me to more writing opportunities, and my writing experience has thus lead to more trips. Last year, I went on my first fam trip to Nepal, and I got a complimentary stay in India. Though travel writing isn’t the only type of writing I do, it’s still the niche that I love the most.
I’ll never forget the role Pink Pangea played in helping me get to where I am today.