Key considerations when deciding if it’s for you

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As the pandemic spiked, so did the volume of “high-income” freelance writing webinars hitting my inbox. As someone who’s been navigating the world of freelance writing for over 6 years and now makes a comfortable income doing so, it’s been interesting and sometimes alarming to see the advice for would-be writers that's sprung up over the past year. It’s also been frustrating to see the number of times this advice comes with a hefty price tag and the unfulfillable promise of guaranteed rapid financial security.

For me, freelance writing is often a rewarding career — it’s also a challenging one…


Grass lawns are one of the worst trends for sustainability — is it possible to have a green lawn with less environmental impact?

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As spring warms up, those of us fortunate enough to have our own greenspace are likely starting to think about what grows there. Spring is a common time for reseeding, fertilizing, and watering a lawn.

The problem? Most lawns across the US use grasses that are not native to the area and require major maintenance to survive. …


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If the musings of Twitter are any indication, many people are feeling wary of making the kind of lofty New Year’s resolutions for 2021 that they did for 2020. Frankly, I’m among them. My resolutions to “be more social,” “participate more in community activities,” and “go to the gym 5x a week” all ended up falling flat in the face of one of the most difficult years of my life, and I know I’m not alone in that experience. With unclear vaccine timelines and the prospect of several more months of social distancing, planning something doable is daunting.

That said…


Reduce willpower strain by setting effective goals.

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If you’re like many people on Medium, you’ve already read enough articles on willpower to know that it’s a limited resource. (If you haven’t, here are a few to catch you up: , , .) There’s a maximum on how long you can white knuckle your way through things you don’t want to do.

Most people focus on how to increase willpower. Exercises and strategies you can take to raise your maximum and make yourself more productive. That’s great, and they’re useful exercises, but willpower alone will…


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Since 2010, Google searches for the phrase “crystal healing” have doubled, as this trend that lost steam in the early 2000s has returned with a vengeance, appearing arm in arm with a resurgence of other “new age” healing trends, such as Reiki, sound baths, and cupping. Urban areas across the nation are seeing growth in holistic healing businesses. Many feature a front-end shop with an assortment of colorful stones from around the world, each with a little placard explaining what type of energy they channel. …


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Being an adult is hard sometimes. It means more responsibility and more stress, and the afternoon nap that was a necessity during childhood becomes a frowned-upon habit. I’m personally a huge fan of naps, and fortunately, the science on the matter backs me up.

Lack of sleep is associated with poor job performance, impaired driving, obesity, depression, and a host of other , yet the number of adults in the U.S. (and many other countries) that report not getting enough nighttime sleep is on the rise. Concerns over effects of sleep debt have fueled many studies to help understand…


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As makers — writers, artists, entrepreneurs, creatives — we have grand visions for the things we make. When I imagined this article in the shower, it was legendary, epic, a piece that would transform how you thought about your work and your life. Or at least a piece that would make lots of people want to work with me. Or at the very least one they’d clap for… or read.

And while any of that could happen, it’s unlikely that all of it will. And that’s ok. Because even if no one else ever reads this, I’m a little bit…


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Stop saying you’re searching for your passion. Why? Thinking about passions as a scavenger hunt makes it less likely you’ll find one.

In a recent paper in , Stanford researchers show that mindset matters when it comes to talking about passion. People who say they’re finding their passion are more likely to end up passionless. Meanwhile, those that say they’re developing their passions often end up with more than one.

The scientists surveyed students beliefs about passions and classified them into either “finding” or “developing” groups. Through a series of questions about how the students would react in different…


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It’s no secret that the majority of New Year’s resolutions people set this week will fail before February. We’ve all been there. You make a list of ways you’re going to change, you believe with all your heart that this year is your year, but three weeks later you’re back to your old ways and feeling defeated.

Why does this happen? Are we all just hopeless, disciplineless, and doomed?

Nah. We just need a little more practice at setting strong goals. …


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The term toxin gets thrown around a lot these days — every day I see warnings about toxins in your food, your skincare, your water, along with advertisements for supplements designed to ‘detoxify’ your body. A scroll through social media is likely to turn up numerous brightly colored images of thin women in pristine kitchens cutting up vegetables next to a bottle of some magical detox pill. The toxins these ads refer to are seldom called out by name — it’s hard to tell what specifically you’re supposed to be afraid of. The truth is, fear sells, and fear of…

Mara Unkefer

Stories about life and science.

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