What We Did This Year

It’s almost the end of the year, I’m almost 31, and I just got bangs again because ugh I was bored and you should know me by now. I did mostly everything this year and now I’m tired and taking time these last few days of 2017 to reflect. To recap: I moved from Chicago to New York, I started two new roles in my company (in total I’ve worked on three separate teams this year, think of all the onboarding I’ve participated in!), I got engaged, began planning a wedding, and I published a lot of writing.

I heard life was going to move fast when I turned 30 and whoever said that wasn’t wrong. I definitely don’t think I’m old but I do feel a sense of urgency, positively pushing me to do the things I was to lazy or scared to do in my twenties. And you know what’s great about doing a ton of shit? You get inspired to write. And that is one of the things I am most proud of having done this year.

In January, I leaned in hard to the Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving rallying cry, and I cold-pitched an editor at The Washington Post with a story I’ve been trying to tell for a long time. In an unbelievably short timeframe, she accepted the piece and published it on the site. This is the most personal piece I’ve ever published and I had a little mini freak-out at first. I knew it had to be a somewhat universal experience otherwise they wouldn’t have published it, but alone in my little world I kept it very close to my heart.  But then it went up and the world didn’t end. The comments weren’t even that nasty! I tried to take a moment to pat myself on the back before the next rejection hit my inbox.

I spent the rest of 2017 writing satire. I published 11 humor pieces this year, that’s 10 more than any other year. As it turns out, I was really angry about what happened in 2016 and so were a lot of women. As the year progressed, The Trump administration, Hollywood, and casual everyday misogyny gave me so much material to rage respond to I felt truly crushed under the weight of all that inspiration.

I think my favorite humor piece I wrote all year is this one for The Hairpin. Inspired by true, disappointing, life events, it blends everything I love: The objectification of women and Civil War battles.

I published three pieces with The Belladonna, an amazing new women’s satire publication that was formed this year. Their mission: “To showcase the wide and vibrant range of comedic voices and styles amongst today’s female comedy writers, satirists and illustrators.” When my CEO gave us International Women’s Day off I knew the men would be struggling so I wrote a memo, one of my favorite vehicles for comedy.

Then in June I finally got my dream of having a respected comedy institution publish something I wrote about Rainforest Cafe. Honestly dreams do come true if you spend literal years brainstorming and sharpening your understanding of what exactly is so goddamn funny about Rainforest Cafe. Sad dads and menu items apparently.

Lastly, I wrote two pieces for The Cooper Review, a workplace comedy site that I am a huge fan of. Fewer things are funnier to me than office politics and I was really happy with the way they turned out.

What’s on deck for next year? I’m getting married! I’m really looking forward to all the material that will produce. My big goal is to get published in The New Yorker. It’s still a huge reach but not as ridiculous as saying that in 2014, when I had never published anything before. At least now I have the confidence to back up my delusions and do something about it. It’s like every woman around you has said: “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.” That’s 2017 and on into 2018.

You can read all my published writing on aliskelley.com!

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