A review of 2017, plus my freelance writing resolutions for the new year

My first year of freelancing and second year of parenting turned out to be a challenging one — no surprise there! — and I think it was a successful one too.

I covered a wide range of issues and news, including debates about a hidden planet, a call for space diplomacy, goals of climate deniers, the need for reforming forensic science, an exploration of the fall of Eastern Mediterranean empires, the effects of solitary confinement on people’s brains, the risks of virtual reality addiction, a proposed alternative to dark matter, and fundamental problems with FEMA’s flood maps, to name a few. I always love writing about space, but that’s not all I can do.

I’m proud to have published in a bunch of high-profile publications too, including The Atlantic, Washington Post, Newsweek, Slate, Nature, Wired, Undark, FiveThirtyEight, and the San Francisco Chronicle. (You can check these out on the “Articles and Writings” page of my website.)

Despite this broad range of coverage and magazines and news outlets, I think there’s a theme here underlying my work. Maybe half of my stories involve scientists exploring tough unsolved problems at the edge of what science can explain, sometimes sparking philosophical debates, and the rest involve political and societal implications of scientists’ work.

If you’re a fan of these kinds of stories and if you’ve liked what I’ve written so far, then stay with me in 2018, and I hope you won’t be disappointed. I enjoy writing stories about intersections between science, politics, and societal questions, and I think it’s part of my job to make sure that they get the attention they deserve.

But I won’t be complacent; I’m just getting started. I plan to continue striving to improve my writing skills. In particular, I’ll try to develop characters better and set scenes better in my stories. With my evolving and uncertain schedule, I also need to manage my time better too. (Everyone always says that, but I mean it!) I’ll work on putting together and pitching feature story ideas more often, and I’m already formulating an idea for my first one. I also plan to continue pitching my favorite clients I’ve worked with already, and I hope to work with a couple others as well.

In the end, as long as I stick to my principles, remember my ideals, and have fun with this great job, I think I’ll continue to produce quality work that’s worth reading. And as always, I’m happy to hear your thoughts, responses, criticisms, jokes, gifs, etc. involving any piece I’ve written. Your feedback and support are important to me.

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