The Renegade Review: Jacqueline DeMarco

Meet Jacqueline DeMarco, a freelance writer who works with lifestyle and financial brands to create interesting, entertaining, and helpful content.
Jacqueline DeMarco freelance writer and content strategiest
Jacqueline and I were introduced by a mutual friend about two years ago, just as I was starting to figure out how I wanted to pivot my professional career. Jacqueline was so helpful and transparent during our conversation — and today she’s sharing her professional journey and best advice with all of you!
Tell us about your professional path. 

I began my writing career back in high school. I pursued two internships at local neighborhood newspapers and magazines. They were small publications, but they got me my first bylines. I ended up majoring in Literary Journalism at U.C.I. in college and continued to intern with publications until I graduated. After college, I began a career in marketing because it felt like the safer path but, but I took on freelance writing projects on the weekends and at night. Fast forward a few years and I took the leap to full-time freelance writing. It’s been almost two years now and I have no plans to stop anytime soon!
What fuels your soul and makes your heart sing? 

I believe in doing your best work every single day. I like to provide my clients with the best possible work and never, ever miss a deadline. My overall goal is to always take on new projects that excite me and help me grow. I wouldn’t be able to do that if my professional reputation was lacking. I believe honest, hard work can get you where you want in life. At the very least, you’ll earn a good night’s sleep!
What is a typical week like for you? 

Everyone says when you work for yourself, no day will look the same. That is so not true! Most of my days are very similar. They are a mix of writing, pitching editors, and heading to meetings. For me, the more consistency the better. My weeks are really busy always, so staying organized and keeping ahead of my workload are a bigger priority to me than mixing things up!
What advice would you give your younger self? 

I wish I could tell my younger self to relax a little and have faith. It’s scary when you first graduate from school and you have no real path to follow for the first time in your life. I wish I could go back in time and know that everything was going to work out. I feel like I would have enjoyed my early career years a lot more if I had had that confidence!
Are there any misconceptions about what you do? 

The biggest misconception I feel I encounter is that I’m not busy and that my time is super flexible. I get asked frequently if I’m “currently working” or someone will assume I just work part time. When in reality I almost always work 50 hours a week! There is also a common misconception with freelancers that we can drop everything to have lunch with friends or run errands for a loved one. While I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck, if I have a long lunch in the middle of the day, I’ll be paying for it later that night.
When have you failed and what did you learn from that experience? 

Right now my main priority is balance. I work too much, this is not a secret, but I’m just so excited about all the opportunities that have come my way recently. One of my big goals for 2020 is being able to know when it is okay to say no and how to prioritize more work life balance. Even if that means missing out on cool opportunities.
Jacqueline DeMarco freelance writer and content strategist
Do you have a morning routine? 

I do have a morning routine and I very rarely stray from it, but I never planned on having one, it just developed naturally over time. I wake up between 6 am and 7 am and start my day by making tea. While the tea is brewing I freshen up a bit and look at my schedule and to-do list for the day. Once the tea is ready, I take it back to bed and catch up on emails and other small tasks. I hated going to cold offices early in the morning, so staying warm in bed for the first hour or two of the day is something I really value. I think it’s important to ignore all of the self-employment “rules” that are out there. Getting dressed and heading to my desk at 6:30 am is not what works for me, but others swear by it! Then around 8 or 9 am I’ll go on a walk with my husband. He also works from home so this is a major perk I value! The morning walk also forces me to get dressed. Once we get back, I make my bed and head to my desk or kitchen table to work and have my breakfast. And that about sums up my average morning!

What are your go-to resource recs?

I always love the advice and resources found on The Everygirl, but I’m a bit biased because they’re my oldest client!

What are you working on next?

I can’t really discuss it yet, but I’ve been working on a really exciting project with one of my favorite jewelry brands that has been a major highlight of my career!
Where can we find you online? or @jacquelinedemarco  on Instagram!
Thank you so much, Jacqueline!