We know you’ve seen Sex and the City and Carrie’s unabashedly posh life (luxe lunches, designer duds, crazy-cool NYC apartment), but the truth is that most fashion writers and editors are a leeeetle bit more down to earth…but still completely cool. We recently got the scoop on Jessica Misener, Editor-in-Chief of Lovelyish.com. Check out Jessica’s story!
What was your first “real” job out of college and how do you believe it helped shape you at your current position?
I kind of cheated by going to grad school after college! I studied journalism in college, and then I got a master’s degree from Yale in religious studies, with the goal of being a professor. I know what you’re thinking: how does that lead to fashion blogging? I’m still trying to figure that out myself! Grad school definitely taught me a lot about critical thinking, how to deal with colleagues and how to write coherently under the pressure of a deadline. Now that I’m pursuing journalism again, I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned, both in school and out of it.
Describe a typical day in your life.
I’m usually awake by 7, and I start my day, like most people, by scoping out the internet. I check Twitter and news sites for the major headlines, and then I start reading other women’s blogs and fashion blogs to see what everyone else is reporting on. A major part of blogging is reading, not writing! From then on, I’m working out of our office in midtown Manhattan, doing everything from managing our interns and editing copy to fielding press and marketing requests. I also write a lot of posts for our site myself; usually at least 15 per day. To promote Lovelyish, I frequently attend fashion or blogging industry events around NYC.
Like most writers, I also write freelance on the side, so in the evenings I often have to work on a music review or interview for the music magazines I write for. At night, I try to turn off my Blackberry, shut down my laptop and unwind by going to yoga or a concert, or hanging out with friends. When you work online all day, unplugging is essential!
Which part of your job do you enjoy most?
I love the instant gratification that comes with writing for the internet. I can write a post, and within 30 seconds, there’s usually someone commenting on it. Interacting with our readers and joining in conversations with them, even if it’s just over something mundane like Ashley Greene’s red carpet dress, is definitely rewarding and fulfilling.
Jessica hard at work!
Lovelyish allows reader-submitted posts—why?
We’re certainly unique in the women’s blogging community in that we do accept submissions and post articles from readers, and not just experienced freelance writers. At Lovelyish, we aim to be a destination site for real women, for college students and other women who don’t have $800 to spend on Louboutins but who still want to look great. My staff and I certainly aren’t shopping on Fifth Avenue every weekend. We shop at H&M and Forever 21, too!
By letting readers submit posts, we aim to create an open community for women who live real lives and who want to talk about things that relate to all of us, like boyfriends and college exams, and can you really wear leggings as pants? Come visit Lovelyish.com and submit us a post!
The editorial industry is tough right now. What’s your best advice for surviving the recession to aspiring editors?
Write for free! All of the writing jobs I’ve gotten have started out by freelancing for the company for absolutely zero pay. Submit pieces to websites or take on an unpaid internship, develop contacts and a portfolio of clips, and then use that to leverage a paid writing position.
This doesn’t mean you have to have rich parents who will support you. I spent a couple of years working full-time as a librarian, then coming home and working on writing projects on nights and weekends. It was tough, but I made it happen! If writing is truly your passion, you can find a way to do it (and get published!) without landing yourself a big time payroll right out of college.
GIRL TALK TIME: What do you think of Jessica’s job? Do you love Lovelyish.com? Would you like it if we allowed reader-submitted posts?