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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« The light at the end of the Crazy Tunnel. | Main | Driving me nuts. »


I am good at very few things. Very few things, anyway, that one can get paid for. I can be charming. I have a relatively nice singing voice, and have no problem telling humorous tales or singing ditties for an audience. I can sketch pleasant renderings of people or landscapes. I am a consummate doodler. I can cook, sort of, and I can bake (usually). Oh, and I can write.

Basically, I would be a good hostess. I am excellent wife material. Add a few harp lessons, and I would have been in high demand in the nineteenth century.

I am, however, helpless when it comes to office work. I am qualified only to be an editor or a copyeditor, and I hate editing and copyediting. Above and beyond my hatred of editing, I deeply, deeply loathe offices. The fluorescent lighting, the bad coffee, the squeaking door of the ladies’ room—I’m breaking out in hives even thinking about it. I find nothing as depressing as sitting in a cubicle. I know, I know, it’s no one’s idea of heaven. And I don’t want to sound like a big ol’ crybaby, but that’s exactly what I am. I really can’t do it. I spent almost every day at my last job weeping at my desk or sniffling in the bathroom stall or choking back tears on my way to the bad Thai place down the street. I racked up sick days and came in late and “worked from home” and took long lunches and missed deadlines and practically begged them to fire me. Finally I managed to get out by first getting myself knocked up and then developing an agonizing array of repetitive stress injuries. It’s not a strategy I would recommend.

Anyway, then I had this kid, and decided, for lack of any better ideas, to stay at home. This is a life that works for me and makes me happy; I would not go back to office life for anything. My time is my own (when it's not hijacked by Henry's latest Star Wars fantasy) and when the child is away or asleep I can do some freelance writing, and work on Big Secret Projects that might someday result in some money.

That said, I’m not making enough money—we’re not making enough money—and changes have to be made.

For a time I seriously contemplated quitting the blog, as it was a drain on my free time, which is the only time I have to generate any sort of income. Then I realized how much this site means to me. Quitting wasn’t –and isn’t—an option. But because I have to prioritize the projects that pay (alliteration!), Finslippy often falls by the wayside, and then I get grumpy emails from you. And you know I don’t ever want to see you grumpy.

All of this is my incredibly roundabout way of saying that I am going to make more of a commitment to Finslippy in the coming months, and along with this increased commitment, you will see an increased number of ads. I will try not to make them overly obtrusive, but I know that no matter what, some of you will find them so. It’s not possible to make everyone happy. And the bottom line is, there’s nothing better than getting paid to do something you love.

I hope my ads don’t make you too grumpy. But then, if your grumpiness is all I have to suffer in order to keep basic cable, then I’ll have to live with it.

Reader Comments (92)

Oh, darlin', as a ten-years-and-counting book editor with a similarly dazzling array of repetitive stress injuries, all I can say is go for it and God bless.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterlaura
if i had the audience that you and heather have - i would have ads too! good for you - and good for all of us who enjoy your blog!
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjill
I find screaming "I hate you! I quit! This office is TOXIC!" in my car on the way home helps alleviate just a little of that cubicle-induced stress. I don't mind the editing, it's the fact that no-one EVER REPLACES THE TOILET PAPER IN THE LADIES' BATHROOM that gets me. Seriously, they just put the new roll next to the vanity.

So glad your office days are long behind you. Wishing you much success with the ads.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNothing But Bonfires
YAY! More Finslippy! Who cares about ads, anyway? Love the Finslippy!
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSandee
Before I do any online shopping or shopping of any kind, I will first come to your site to see if there is an ad advertising something that I may want to buy.

I'm serious.

Because the world nees more women doing what they love to do and less women crying in bathrooms.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMary
I add my voice to the general chorus...if it keeps you doing what you love, and keeps Finslippy on the air, and lets you get paid to write, then hell, ad away. I'll even buy something from an ad, that ever more companies will want to put ads on your site and give you lots of money.

I'm a writer too, and I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that I don't live off the income from my literary fiction. Nor the income from having two boys under three. No, my paycheck comes from my job as an ER nurse practitioner. Funny how that works.

Anyway, excelsior. More and bigger ads!
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterbihari
Oh, add away! I say make some money for what you do. Personally, I read you and dooce and Melissa over at Suburban Bliss and Fussy...ya know, all the mom blogs. Anyway, I'm home with kids too, living on my husband’s income. In other words… poor. I get daily entertainment from you guys and wish I could donate or buy you things from your wish list but again, POOR. So, if I can click on some interesting adds now and then to send ya'll a dime or whatever, I'm happy to help!
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterStillheidi
Ad up. If you go to the office, not only will you be miserable, but Henry will have to spend even more time with evil "educators" who don't really like kids. After leaving much money in tall buildings to be with my kids (never really quit, though)and with myself (I need me, too) I have never second guessed. If my kids grow up to be serial killers, I know it's not because I didn't spend time with them. Wait...maybe it's becuase I did.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKbee
I will click whatever I have to click to keep Finslippy going. And to keep Henry in Star Wars toys.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
There is nothing better than being able to do what makes you happy. Do what you can to make it happen. You are a great writer.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I also say go for it. Hell, if anyone read my blog I would probably do it because then I could quit my sad, beige, cubicle job and stay home with my beautiful son. Bring 'em on.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Reading blogs like finslippy is what makes me happy (if only i could get paid to do that...) Thank you for figuring out a way for me to keep getting my fix. And I'd tattoo ads on my forehead if it meant i never had to work in an office again, so really not a problem.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLetterB
I second Belinda's comment about cute toddler onesies and Ts. Why don't you just do it on I am sure there are some graphic designers out there that would help you with a logo or cartoon or whatever.

I would personally buy a Finslippy t-shirt for myself and one for each of my currently infuriating 2-y.o. twins... Also a mug. And, um, a bumper sticker. I guess you could call me a fan.
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMagrak
Another lurker here, coming out of the woodwork - I, too, was afraid you were announcing your blogtirement - Yay, I was wrong! I agree with Jill, if I had your readership, I'd go for it. You like to write, we like to read your writing, advertisers like to advertise where people will see their ads. It's the circle of modern life! Tell us how it works so we can help you make money - do we just have to click on the ad, give them our e-mail or buy something? Let the circle be unbroken!
November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTerri
I second Terri's question -- how does it work? Do we need to do something specific? or is it just a function of your traffic?

I'm all for it. If doing something you love has given you the opportunity to benefit, then of course you should go for it.
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered Commentertoni
I sent this to Dooce, and I'll say it to you too: Long time reader, first time writer. About the ads: mostly, they don't even impinge on my consciousness when I'm reading your entries. If they do, they're psychically muted, like the ads on TV during Jeopardy. They're there, and I know they have to be there, and I don't pay a whole lot of attention to them. But I'm not going to stop watching Jeopardy just because there are ads, and I'm not going to stop reading Dooce just because you have ads.

So add ads, lady.... more power to you!

November 6, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterthatgrrrl
I am okay with the ads, lady. I read online magazines and newspapers, and they all have ads, and those people already got paid for their work. Having some inobtrusive ads on a website you keep up for no pay and just because you're awesome is not in bad taste or rude or against some sort high-falutin artist creed that dictates poverty.
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie
I say "BRING ON THE ADS!" I don't know why they make people grumpy. I think it makes perfect sense and it's the shape of things to come. Then again I come from an Advertising/Marketing background so I'm a little biased.

Also, your office experience? You basically described my last office gig. Down to the Thai place. Except, my Thai place, well, it was rather good actually.

Best of luck to you!

November 6, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNinotchka
I actually love editing...which brings me to an offer I hope you can't refuse. I may have some freelance work for you, if you're into writing about alternative medicine and such, and in return, would you tell me a little about how to make the blog-advertising/bringing-in-money-for-what-I-love-even-more-than-editing thing? Drop me an email.

Oh, and my editing gig IS my get-out-of-the-office-I-hate strategy. Gotta love the (rare, but available) telecommuting job!
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTiny Coconut
i don't usually comment if everyone before me has said exactly what i want to say, but i think in this case it's worth it, just so you know that we don't mind.

honestly, i have no problem with ads on sites. as long as they don't pop up, roll down, shite like that, then what's the harm? people can click on them or not, it's up to them.

so, put up ads. then you will have a good reason to blog more, because the more entries you have the more hits you'll have on ads...
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermainja
Whatever keeps you bloggin' and Henry knee deep in Star Wars action figures...
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterkate
Bring on the ads. I'm delighted to rent out some real estate in my field of vision in exchange for more finslippy.

I mean, I don't get huffy about ads in newspapers and magazines, and I PAY for those.

Ad away, and good luck to you.
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteranother anna
I love your new picture (in the upper left corner of the site). Good luck with the ads and keep blogging!
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterEmily G.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with adding some ads to your blog. It's well worth it, especially in exchange for more posts.

I also agree that there's a finslippy merchandise void that needs to be filled!
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJane
Okay, two things.

1. Do the ads. When I first started reading this entry, I thought you were going to say you were quitting the blog, and I began to hyperventilate just a teeny bit. Because you're basically me, but in NY and with fewer children (and okay, a LOT wittier), and I love reading your work. In fact, if it works out for you, would you tell me how to do it? Because I just started a blog and if it can make me some money that would be fabulous (I went the teaching route rather than the editing route, and while I enjoy it the pay SUCKS).

and 2. Do what you need to do to maintain your standard of living, because this is what happens when New Yorkers move to where the living is more affordable, and if you think waterbugs are horrific then I'm guessing you wouldn't like the black snakes and palm-sized spiders that like to live in water troughs out here. LOL!
November 6, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMFA Mama

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