2017 Year in Review: Career

I put off this edition of my Year in Review for last because it’s the hardest one to write. It means admitting failure, something I hate doing. That hardly makes me special; nobody likes feeling like they’ve fallen short.

And yet, here I am. I have a pile of W2s waiting for me to do my taxes. Let’s find out why.

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This blog is a bit of an escape for me and my posts lately are a reflection of that. We might still be living in the Darkest Timeline, but I’m not really writing about it anymore. Quidditch is an escape. Appearances are an escape. But if this week has a theme, it’s that shit’s gonna get real for a few posts.

I wish I could say that my Year in Review series is ending on a high note, but (spoiler alert!) the ups and downs of my professional life aren’t exactly the most uplifting or inspiring content. But hey, I learned some things, and there’s something to be said for that. Read about that on Tuesday.

On Friday, I’ll be driving down to SoCal for a small quidditch tournament that you probably haven’t heard about and isn’t worth mentioning. You’ll be reading about a moment from last week brought to you by yellow tights and #metoo.

For another take on #metoo and how to consume content you love created by problematic (ugh, I hate that word) figures, check out my friend Cupcake’s post on that very topic.

Don’t worry, I’ll get back to the harmless escapism soon. Promise.

Oh man, it’s been just over a month since I posted. I swear I haven’t been lazy. If anything, it’s been the opposite problem. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to in the last month:

  • Portuguese school started again!
  • I joined the board of the Silicon Valley Portuguese Education and Culture Foundation.
  • I traded in being a non-playing manager for the Argonauts for being a playing manager of the Skrewts.
  • I started coaching SJSU Spartan Quidditch.
  • I returned to NCQC after applying unopposed for the community commissioner position.
  • Oh, and the day after I flew home from the MLQ Championship, I started working at the Los Altos Town Crier as a reporter covering schools as well as business and real estate.

Phew, just looking at that list is exhausting. It’s mostly been the last thing on that list that’s been keeping me from blogging. I’m definitely writing, just not necessarily here.

It’s taken me about a month to (mostly) bury my impostor syndrome and get used to working at the pace of a weekly print newspaper instead of a purely digital publication, but I think I’ve got it under control. Mostly. I have moments sometimes where I feel like I’m punching above my weight class, but let’s save that for another post.

I’ve decided to update my blogging schedule (yes, again) and not let all this content I’m creating elsewhere go to waste. I still want to write two original posts a week. Those will be published on Mondays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, I’ll be linking to my stories in the Town Crier, and most likely giving a little background info on one or two of them.

Spoiler alert: I am pretty damn proud of something I wrote for this week’s paper. Come back Wednesday and check it out.

Barcelos Knows turned one sometime in the last month; I only know that because got billed for another year of owning this domain. A year ago I was struggling with unemployment and wondering if I’d ever make it professionally as a writer. I’ve gone from intern to blogger to reporter in that time, with a few relapses into funemployment sprinkled in there, but that mostly upward trajectory wasn’t all my doing. There was a lot of luck involved, but also the support of you, my readers.

Every time you tell me about something I’ve written, in person or in the comments section, helps validate me and what I’m trying to do with my life. That’s kept me going when I’ve felt like quitting, which has been more often than I care to admit. Thanks for sticking with me as I continue to figure myself out. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of your support.

How to Use Quidditch to Start Your Career Without Sounding Like a Complete Nerd

Earlier this week, Major League Quidditch published an article I wrote when I was trying to convince people to join the Argonauts staff this summer. I’m not going to repeat anything I wrote there. I just want to expand on it because not everyone wants or can apply for an MLQ position.

If you’re reading this, you probably have some quidditch volunteer experience. You’ve probably wondered if it’s worth all the time, effort, and risk to your sanity. Will quidditch actually help you get a real job?

Yes. Maybe. Depends. But it’s not impossible.

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Shameless Self-Promotion: Joomag Design Academy

Sometimes I get asked why I write this blog, but that’s another post for another day. The tl;dr version is that I want my writing out in the world where people can find it. I want to make a living as a writer and that doesn’t happen by firing up WordPress when the muse strikes and calling it a day. I write 3-4 posts a week, I research topics and think up new content ideas, I have an editorial calendar, I share my posts on social media, and I try to find other places to share my work. In other words, I treat it like a part-time job.

I learned a lot of this from my internship at Realtor.com, and between that experience and the work I put into my own website, I landed the full-time, salary/benefits/all the bells and whistles writing job I have now. After two months here, I’m stoked to announce that we’re (finally) launching the Joomag Design Academy blog!

I worked on magazines a lot in college, so I’m stoked to bring that experience to my work. Joomag is a digital publishing company and our platform makes it easy for anyone to create their own digital magazines, ebooks, catalogs, etc. But just because you have the means to design something doesn’t mean you know where to start. My vision for the blog was to create a place where you could learn the basics of magazine design and grow from there. It’s been so rewarding to go from having that pitch accepted to actually making it happen.

Eventually, we want to grow to the point where we have other writers and designers contributing to the blog. But for now, I’m just sitting here pinching myself.

#BarcelosClothes: My First Stitch Fix

Back when I was figuring what to call my blog, I eventually landed on Barcelos Knows for two reasons: I love a good slant rhyme and I’m known for being an insufferable know-it-all. While writing what you know is one of the oldest pieces of writing advice, I don’t know everything.

But you know what? There’s nothing stopping me (or anyone else, really) from writing about what I don’t know. In that spirit, I’m starting a new series on my blog: Barcelos Doesn’t Know. I’m pretty clueless about some things but I want to change that, one blog post at a time.

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