20something profile: Deonna

Deonna-10-13This was post was written by Deonna, a corporate professional by day, and a freelance writer by night (and weekend):

Freelance writer extraordinaire. That’s how I want to be described in one year’s time.

Twenty-three years ago, my mother gave birth to me, and my father cut my umbilical cord. About ten years after that I fell in love with reading, and shortly thereafter with writing.

When I was in high school, I decided journalism would be my chosen genre of writing. Telling the stories of people, places and things was what I wanted to do every day of my life. It’s still what I want to do.

Since graduating from university in spring of 2012, I’ve earned two hands full of bylines. With a degree in Communication, and minors in Sociology and Writing, paired with internship experience and journalism training, I feel like I’ve been prepared to make sure my goals are brought into fruition.

The thing is, bills have to be paid, and working as an intern or entry-level journalist with low wages (also known as paying my dues) doesn’t exactly cut it at the moment.

Burning the midnight oil, while pitching stories to publications and writing them, has helped me realize my dreams at a lower rate. At the same time, I am gaining valuable experience in the corporate world and bringing in the money necessary to keep a roof over my head, food in the fridge and clothes on my back. Entering the job market as a millennial is challenging and humbling.

Navigating through the job search has taught me to be patient. There are so many people who are competing with me for one of one, or very few, spot(s). As millennials, we must prove ourselves to be worthy of entering into spaces with seasoned professionals. Something we have to our advantage is our knowledge of technology and our fresh ideas that can serve a company well.

The difficulty of obtaining a position taught me how to toot my own horn, without being too arrogant. I have answered questions in tens of interviews. That means I am aware of virtually all of my strengths and weaknesses, so I use this knowledge to my advantage in my current gig. I take on projects that allow me to use my strengths, which further builds up my confidence.

As I pursue my freelance career, confidence is a necessary feeling. I am keenly aware that I may not get every get a green light on every story that I pitch. Editors will tell me “no” again and again. But they will also say “yes.” The importance of having some thick skin and determination is real.

The plan: work my 9 to 5, publish a post on my blog once per week, pitch at least one story per month, publish at least one story per month, and build a relationship with a writing mentor. Good things come to those who hustle hard.

To learn more about me and read some more of my thoughts on the world, check out November 5th, my beloved blog.

About David

I'm an aspiring writer and filmmaker in my twenties. I also run a blog where twenty-somethings share their stories and advice on beginning a career in this economy. Check it out at http://twentysomethingsblog.com

Posted on November 26, 2013, in 20something profile and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Good on you, Deonna! I’m on the same path as you as far as working with a writing mentor is concerned. I’m also trying to get some published clips as a budding journalist and I got my first rejection letter a couple of months ago. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would, and I know there will be plenty more where that came from.

    I write for a blog called WorkingKind, a blog that posts career advice, kindness and creativity. The latest post is about figuring out your next best step is if your plan A didn’t work out. You can read it here: http://workingkind.com/2013/12/next-best-goal/

    I wish you, and all of the 20somethings profiled here, best of luck in your future endeavors!


    A fellow 20something

  2. Good for you, still following your passion. I only recently got into the field of writing, in fact I grew up hating it (don’t worry, I love it now!) and I can see just how hard it is as a full time job in our economy. That being said, you aero doing the right thing to keep writing, keep getting our name out there, and most of all, keep doing what you love! It was a pleasure reading tis.


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