On growing from a fragile crescent to a full moon.

When we see a crescent moon in the sky, the rest of its fullness exists, it’s just in shadow.

Looking back, it’s clear I’ve been suspended in the crescent phase most of my life; there was so much more to me I either didn’t know existed or was unconsciously hiding from sight.

Then, I started writing about my life, and word by word uncomfortable truths began to unravel.

I realised I’d grown up to be a people pleaser, forever shelving my needs in a futile attempt to be liked. I hadn’t understood what boundaries were, let alone knew how they…

Here’s where I tell you I like mint chocolate and late-night chats.

Hello! Welcome to my little corner of Medium. Pull up a chair. Settle in. No, you can’t make a sandwich. (Only joking, help yourself.)

I’m Jessica. I’m in my mid-30s, and I live with my fiancé and our miscreant of a cat, Wasabi, in Brighton, UK. I began my career as a history book editor working for publishers in the Cotswolds but soon realised my jealousy of the freelancers we hired was a big neon sign to go it alone.

Now, I work as a freelance copywriter and editor for various clients. Increasingly, I also find time to write both…

And what anyone with insecure attachment can do to feel safer.

It should have been the happiest time of my life. I was recently engaged to a truly amazing man, we’d finally moved to the seaside and I was making a living from diverse and interesting freelance work.

And yet as my life progressed in a positive direction, my worries and insecurities rushed to the surface like bubbles in a champagne flute. What if my partner changed his mind? What if we weren’t the absolute perfect fit? What if I didn’t always have the “right” feelings towards him?

These weren’t just one-off thoughts—they’d send me into long, protracted spirals of doom…

Love according to the experts (and also me).

That I explore how relationship myths can hurt us isn’t random; it’s because what I thought I wanted from love has turned out to be vastly different from what I actually need.

Bridging the gap between what I was taught to expect and my lived experience helped me find love after spending years in dead-end relationships. But while I now understand these things instinctively, I wanted to explore what the world’s relationship experts had to say.

What specifically do many of us think we want that isn’t what we actually need? And what might make us happier instead?

Here comes…

Unravelling the biggest lie I was ever told.

“I know I kept it sexy, I know I kept it fun. There’s something I’m missing, maybe my head for one.”—Beyonce, Hold Up

It’s telling, isn’t it, that even Beyonce isn’t immune to focusing on her own behaviour when her partner is unfaithful? In the lyrics above, she’s frustrated and upset: she did everything she was supposed to, so why did Jay Z cheat?

But herein lies the problem: women have been conditioned to think of relationships as an equation centred around their effort. X+Y equals Z.

I didn’t believe in intergenerational trauma until now.

If I showed you a photograph of emaciated bodies piled up on the dirt floor of a concentration camp, you’d probably feel sadness. Maybe you’d even feel flashes of rage.

Something different happens to me. Long before I knew much about the fate of my forebears, when we studied the Holocaust at school I was consumed with stress and shame.

Even before that, I’ve had murmuring background anxiety for as long as I can remember. As a child, I had recurring nightmares, an extremely sensitive fight-or-flight response, and problems with low self-esteem. …

The publications waiting for you to hold their inbox hostage.

When I wrote 3 Magazines That Pay Good Money To Horror Writers, I thought I’d found my niche. But as time wore on, it became clear my strength was in writing crime. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised: it’s what I read, after all.

But while speculative fiction and horror are awash with high-paying publications, crime is lagging behind both in representation and pay. Never one to be discouraged, I did a little research and found 3 excellent magazines to pin my sleuthing dreams on.

I hope you give them a go too.

1. Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

One of the many cool things about…

How to stop relying on relationship advice and listen to your own wisdom instead.

Before I spectacularly managed to break my own heart, I never had difficulty answering my own relationship questions. In particular, The Question we all face at some time in our lives, “should I stay or should I leave?” felt simple to know if not always practical to action.

Then, I got stuck.

I was with the kindest, most emotionally available partner I’d ever had when I began to feel unsure I was really in love. At the same time, I knew my partner was one of the best people I’d ever met.

I flew into a panic and asked everyone…

Is our mistrust of editors valid or is it standing in our way?

“The first draft reveals the art; revision reveals the artist.”―Michael Lee

When I first became an editor nearly 12 years ago, I was working for history-book publishers. For writers whose books we accepted, editorial services were inbuilt and free. They were also mandatory.

They may not have had much choice in whether or not we edited their books, but on the whole, authors loved us. We allowed them to finally let go of the manuscripts they’d be labouring over, sometimes for years, safe in the knowledge we’d fix any problems. …

#3 They listen to their instinct.

When I first started producing my own content, I focused with laser intensity on writing skills.

What makes a successful article, I mused at first but soon I was down to the nitty-gritty. How do I craft the perfect paragraph, the punchiest sentences, choose the best opening words?

And yet, although developing my writing was valuable, I missed an important point: you can be a magical writer but if you don’t develop the necessary personal qualities, you’re still unlikely to succeed.

In light of this, I’ve started looking to the writers around me who are doing well. Success can be…

Jessica A

Pen for hire | snack aficionado | recovering night owl. Come say hi at the other places I hang out https://linktr.ee/sowingwildnotes

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