A writer's life is often lonely. Thank goodness I have a Melissa.

No one tells you how lonely it can get working for yourself. Depending on whether or not I have any phone interviews scheduled, some days I don't speak to an actual adult until 8:30 at night when my guy gets home from work. (I don't count saying "hi" and "bye" to my daughter's daycare teachers.) 

That's why today I want to celebrate my former colleague Melissa Oyler. We began working together six years ago at our old newspaper home, and, despite being two states apart, remain as close as ever. Because she's also a freelancer (focused mostly nowadays on writing and design) and works remotely, we're able to chat via Google Hangouts at least two or three times a week.

It's just like the good old days back in the newsroom, when we exchanged random chat messages while sitting a whole two cubicles apart. We talk about story ideas, the random wins and losses that come with writing professionally, the state of media, and, of course, our dogs. We also ghost each other pretty frequently, distracted by a story or interview. But, like the great "co-worker" that she is, she's always there when I need her. 

Melissa makes self-employed life so much better. Everyone should have their own Melissa. 

 REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD: Melissa and me working together at Smelly Cat, one of our favorite coffeeshops in Charlotte. (Photo taken by unknown coffee drinker, February 24, 2018)

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD: Melissa and me working together at Smelly Cat, one of our favorite coffeeshops in Charlotte. (Photo taken by unknown coffee drinker, February 24, 2018)