Because I Felt Like Doing a Listicle Today

We all have things we can’t stand that the rest of the world seems to absolutely love. Here’s my list… what’s on yours? Share by leaving a comment.

#1 — Coffee

It’s not easy being someone who hates coffee. I don’t know what to say anymore when I hear quips like…

“I just can’t function without my coffee.” “Hey… let’s go get coffee!” “Can I pick you up a coffee?” “We’re getting Starbucks — want to place your order?”

Sometimes my own dad even forgets that I don’t drink coffee. Every once in a while, he’ll ask me if I want some, out…


“There’s a growing sense of well-being I haven’t felt in a long time.”

Photo by Andrew Tanglao on Unsplash

Working in an office was never really my thing. I’ve never been into water cooler talk, socializing with co-workers, giving presentations to a room full of bored faces, or suffering through constant interruptions and demands throughout the day.

But like many of us, I’ve done it because that’s where you go to do work and get your paycheck (at least that’s the way it used to be before COVID-19 changed everything).

I never really hated working in an office — it just wasn’t exactly suited for me. Honestly, all I ever wanted was a nice, quiet space to do my…

Free Online Tests You Can Take (Just for Fun)

My favorite color is red — a symbol of passion, power, strength, and determination, as well as the negative attributes of anger, defiance, and rage.

Does my personality match? In some ways, yes, in other ways, no. But would a personality test tell me different? I decided to take a few free online tests just for kicks.

Of course, the validity of these types of online personality tests is always questionable, and I got mixed results. Still, it was a fun exercise. I’ve shared my results here, along with the links if you want to try them for yourself.

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash


You’ll find good work but watch for red flags

Woman sitting at table and typing on laptop.
Woman sitting at table and typing on laptop.
Photo by Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash

Last year, I decided to try my hand at a little freelance work. The idea was to make a few extra bucks on the side doing what I love to do — writing. And with coronavirus in full swing, I had lots of extra time at home after work to focus on a side hustle.

Upwork is one of the most well-known freelance platforms out there, so I chose to join. It has been a little over six months since my little experiment, and here are the pros and cons I have discovered.

The Pros of Upwork Freelancing

There Is Lots of Work Available

If you have marketable skills and can…


10 Steps to Clean Copy

Photo by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash

As a freelance writer, reviewing and editing your work can be challenging. Your freshly written content is your baby, after all, and it’s not easy being your own critic.

Editing your writing doesn’t have to be stressful, though, as long as you have a checklist in hand and are diligent in ticking off the boxes.

Here’s my checklist that helps me produce clean copy every time. It’s geared toward blog articles but can also be used as a foundation checklist for other types of writing.

Step 1: The Form

  • Article has the correct basic structure that includes a headline, subtitle…

The 4 most important things I learned

Five years ago, I left a career in television news to instead pursue a career in marketing. I learned some valuable things during that time that I carried with me.

I will share those with you in a moment, but first, let me tell you a little about my former career. I worked at three different stations — two in Oregon and one in California.

I was never on camera (unless I happened to be in the background during a newsroom shot, which happened periodically). Every once in a while, a friend or family member would mention that they spotted…

When you find a way to make a little extra money online that works and actually pays decent, it’s worth sharing. Last year, I became a user experience (UX) tester for UserTesting, and quickly became a fan.

I get the opportunity to test websites and applications for top brands and give them valuable feedback. And then I get paid $10 for each testing session I complete (each one takes just 15 to 20 minutes of my time).

It’s a win-win.

How It Works

How a target audience intuitively navigates a brand’s website, or application (on either a desktop or mobile device) is extremely…

We Just Go Slower

I actually grew up a skinny girl, and throughout my 20’s and mid-30’s, I remained relatively thin. When I was young, I never thought much about what I ate because no matter what I put in my body, I never really put on too many pounds. I was young and active, and my metabolism was strong.

A photo of me (circa the mid-1990s) on the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California (courtesy Scott Cheesman).

But Then I Got Older

But as happens to many of us as we age, that all changed at some point. My metabolism slowed as I got older, and I was forced to become less active as my body began hurting in places it never…

I am now a statistic. On Jan. 3, 2021 (just a few days after we officially closed the chapter on 2020), I became ill and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. The new year was not going to be kind to me, I discovered. Instead, I was about to get a crash course in experiencing COVID-19. Here is what I learned after testing positive…

#1 — The symptoms hit FAST

I remember waking up in the morning feeling like I might be coming down with something, and within just a few hours, it was hitting me like a freight train. Suddenly I could not keep my eyes…

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” — Thomas Mann

Agreed — writing is tough work, even for seasoned writers like me who have spent their entire career stringing words together for a living.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Tools help, and there are some simple ones I use that are quite useful. Some are new, some are old school, but they all help me improve my writing. Here is a list of my top five favorites and some bonus ones at the bottom of the article that I would like to share. Take a look:

1. Grammarly

Shannon Cheesman

Writer By Trade | Dreamer At Heart

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store