This is one of our Inspirational Interviews in which we talk to people who have imagined big dreams, made them a reality, and are living a life they love. Today we are talking to Jayme about writing her own sports column, The Blonde Side, and what it’s like to be a freelance writer.
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
Such a loaded question, but these are usually my favorite kinds. I guess the short version is that I’m originally from the East Coast (Virginia) and now live in Houston as a sports and travel writer. I’m super competitive in almost anything I do (as in, I try to beat my best time through the Chick-fil-A drive thru and other equally random things like that) and of course I love sports, which is why I started my sports column, The Blonde Side, three years ago and now it’s become my full-time job. I also have this fetish (I guess you could call it that), or perhaps more of a temptation, but I can’t be near a sharpie without writing on myself. It’s those super weird things that make me who I am.
2. What does living a “super awesome life” look like for you?
Well I don’t really believe in that silly quote – something like ‘do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I think that Confucious guy or whoever said that was full of shit. A super awesome life for me is a balance of a great job, working hard, playing harder, having great friends and family surrounding me and of course a little champagne to cheers to this so called super awesome life, or a really bad day…and everything in between.
3. You originally worked in PR and Marketing before becoming a full-time freelance writer and blogger. What inspired you to actually take steps forward and follow your dreams?
I wish I could say I had the balls and just took the leap, but honestly, it just worked out in my favor. I was laid off from a PR/marketing job in healthcare and thanks to a rather self-deprecating tweet; I had an ad agency reach out to me asking if I wanted to be a ghost blogger for one of their clients. The opportunity allowed me to travel to all the sporting events I wanted to see and cover, which then branched into travel writing and I guess you could say the rest is history. Well, not really history, because it’s still current, so that would be dumb.
4. What’s the best thing that has happened to you since you started TheBlondeSide.com?
So many good things have happened, but I’m not sure there’s been a “best thing.” I’ve interviewed some pretty awesome athletes. I think being able to interview the same athlete twice (Duane Brown of the Texans, Shane Battier of the Miami Heat, and a few others) has really been awesome. Not only does it show that they loved and appreciated the first time we worked together, but it gives me a slight endorsement for other potential interviews I’m trying to lockdown. I’m also truly honored (read EXTREME jazz hands) that I’m one of the only independent bloggers credentialed with the Houston Texans. The Texans are a great organization to work with and cover, so it’s really helped give me a love for a second NFL team, because lets face it – the Eagles are not that amazing…
5. What advice to you have for other aspiring freelance writers?
Hate to sound all Nike cliché, but JUST DO IT. Even if you start small – start a blog, don’t be afraid to offer guest blogs for free (yes, for free) or reach for the stars and email and pitch editors of your favorite blogs/mags/pubs. The worst that can happen is they say hell no (or more likely, not even respond), and then so what? You may not be any better off, but you’re certainly not worse off.
6. What little things in life right now make you do a happy dance? Big things?
The little things in life – like the Dallas Cowboys not being in the playoffs again…
As for a big thing, well that’s pretty simple and I can sum it up in two words: I’m happy. There aren’t a lot of people who can say that (and mean it) and I don’t know when that happened, but it did. I’m happy. More than just content, but happy. It’s probably a goal I’ve worked towards my whole life and finally met it – it feels really good, ya know?
7. In the movie of your life, who would you want to play you?
Best. Question. Ever. I said a long time ago and have been trying to add it to my will, but I will be the basis for a lifetime movie due to all the random crap that happens to me. I used to always say Tori Spelling would play me – there is a small pool of blonde Lifetime actresses to choose from, but I think my story would be compelling enough to have Reese Witherspoon or maybe Kristen Bell move over to the dark/Lifetime side. A) because they’re both good looking and I’d like to be remembered slightly more attractive than I actually was and B) they are both semi-southern with great morals and ideals, but given the right script, they cuss like sailors. Hello, who wouldn’t want that?
8. What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?
HATERS! Especially being a female sportswriter, I get it from both sides. Women who think I show too much silicone and men who think I’m just a dumb blonde trying to land a husband in cleats, and quite frankly, neither really describe me. Yes, I show cleavage from time to time, and yes I may or may not have dated an athlete a time or two, way before this career, but this is still my job and I take it seriously. The Internet is one of those crazy places – it has allowed me to create my dream job and opened so many doors for me and others, but at the same time, it’s become a portal for people to be bullies and pretend to be someone they’re not (i.e. Sarah Philiips – not cool sister, not cool). Quite frankly, sometimes the world scares me. I spend a lot of time behind my computer, but I’d like to think I look, act and speak exactly the same whether it’s to a keyboard or smack-dab in yo face.
9. What quote best represents you or motivates you in your current place in life?
“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” – Jack Kerouac – that’s just a reminder to always be awesome and always keep pushing on.
“If you fall, I’ll be there.” -The Floor – my friend Brad Booker always tells me this because I’m so clumsy and it’s kind of cute.
“Maybe life would make more sense if us regular folk could be listed as day-to-day like athletes are.” – I tweeted this once and it kind of went viral, but it’s oh so true.
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” – Coco Chanel – just makes sense
You asked for the best and I gave you four and there are probably still ten more that I like better, but those are just great for me. For right now.
10. What inspires you to continue living a life you love each day?
If I don’t love my life, who the hell will?
Thanks so much for sharing! Do y’all have any questions for Jayme?