Liya is a freelancer and works form our coworking space for one and a half year. She comes with her adopted friend Mega.
I have a master’s degree in clinical and counseling psychology, but I’ve been working as a freelance journalist for a few years now. Whenever I have some extra time I write for my blog www.contrabond.com . I’ve been fascinated with the written word since childhood. I loved listening to stories, and sometimes even wrote my own, or came up with new endings to some of my favorite children’s books. For instance, I once wrote sort of an epilogue to “Crack!” and sent it to Valeri Petrov, the author. When, a few days later, my mom discovered in our mail box a small postcard with a handwritten reply from him, I was the happiest child in the world. This was probably the first time I dared to dream about writing professionally.
5 years a freelancer
There’s been plenty of both successes and struggles, but freelancing feels right for her and she hopes to never have to go back to a standardized work schedule or a sterile office building, says Liya.
I’ve been working ever since I became 16, so I’ve had a lot of jobs – as a waitress (I must have been the worst in the world 😀 ), sales assistant, English teacher, recruiter…
She writes for…
At the beginning, I started with Peika.bg and will be forever grateful to their team from back then, because they were the first to believe in me and I was able to create my initial portfolio as a result of the work I did there. Currently, in Bulgaria I write primarily for a magazine called Capital. I am really glad to have this opportunity, because it allows me to talk about important social topics (at least I believe they are important) to an audience that would not normally be interested in them or go out of their way to do the research. I am convinced that this could contribute to actual, meaningful change in society – even if a single person gets interested in a new idea, they talk about it to someone, who then discusses it with another and so it goes to create the butterfly effect.
Some of her favorite international media that She’ve worked with are Paste Magazine, Explorable, SheKnows, A/J – Canada’s Environmental Voice.
Her favorite article…
To me, it’s really important to research and write every article with meticulous care, because I want my readers to feel that they’ve received something valuable in exchange for spending their time reading my work. Of course there are some topics that require more time and effort. For example, as I was writing a piece on recycling in Bulgaria, the photographer Nikolay Nikolov and I spent 3 weeks visiting waste recycling plants, riding garbage trucks, and touring factories. That’s how you create something meaningful – when you go and get your hands dirty, really invest yourself in the work – then you have a chance of communicating an idea to your readers that they would remember and act upon.
Before the coworking?
I worked mostly from home or the park, more rarely cafes. At some point though I stopped being able to focus at home and decided to give coworking a chance. Now, over a year later, I can say with absolute certainty that this has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
She also shares that it’s a luxury not to count how many hours weekly will be working. But if she has to say something she would go for 30 Hours weekly, but sometimes less or more, depending on how much she has to do.
It was similar to how things went when I got my dog, Mega. At first, I had planned to go around and see a few dogs, then pick the one I like best. But when I met Mega it was love at first sight and I never went to see any other dogs. Betahaus also turned out to be an unexpected romance 🙂
Depends on her mood and what she’s doing she likes bean bags on the second floor and finds it perfect if you have work to do but also want to kick it back. When the weather is nice she also like to work from the yard.
And lately Mega’s found a way to entertain herself there as well – she cracks open and eats the fallen walnuts.
The topics she choose to write…
They choose me. Stephen King has this quote I really like. He says that artists don’t create, they simply go to a dimension where art already exists and bring it back to this world through music, paintings, writing… I can completely relate. I have a wide range of interests, know a lot of people, and am curious about the world, so interesting topics just come up by themselves. For instance, I recently completed a piece on homeschooling, after getting inspired by a random conversation with a guy from my desk at Beta who, as it turned out, homeschools his kids. I got curious, started reading, researching, talking to people and the result was an engaging article. Of course every journalist has an area of interest. Mine are social topics, related to mental health, traveling, and sustainability.
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