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little more steady in yourself. So, I work everyday to be steady within myself, so that no one, not even the uncertainty of freelance life, owns me.

EBONY: So, how would you advise up-and-coming journalists to get to that point? Where should their mindset be, in terms of focus?

JF: I’d advise them the same way I’d advise an up-and-coming garbage man or an up-and-coming doctor. Know who you are. Get to know yourself. Know who you are and most importantly, who you’re not. Then remain focused. It’s focusing on the end goal, because there’s going to be a lot of stuff that comes in in-between, that’s just gong to try and take you here there or wherever and some of those paths you should go down. But for the most part, stay focused.

Also, one thing about writers is that it’s such an ambiguous thing, you know? And for me it took a really long time for me to be able to own the fact that I am a writer. A lot of times people don’t understand it and they try and fit you in a box. Or they say, “Oh, you’re not a writer if you didn’t do this,” or “Writers do this.” It’s like, no—writers just write. So, I would say my second part of that advice would be, just write. It really is just that simple.

Patrice Peck explores the complex intersection of culture, entertainment, race and gender as a multimedia journalist. Follow her musings at Twitter and Facebook, and visit her at http://www.speakpatrice.tumblr.com for more of her work.