Finding your inner ‘do list’

Journalists in 2019 are totally overburdened by the pressure-cooker of this industry. It’s beyond just being a tough job – the pressures can take a toll. Add to that the increasing pressures of adult life that everyone faces, and it can be too much. 

As a precaution against spiraling and a protection against despair, over the last year I developed something I call my “do list.” It started out as a “Do and Do Not” list, complete with admonishments and warnings to myself about all of the things I should not do.

I have been reading the list, adding to it, editing and refining it – on a near-daily basis since May 2018. It has a place of prominence in my home office as part of my (also always-evolving) vision board.

My goal in reading it is singular: positive reinforcement.

Then a couple of months ago, I realized the horrendous and totally unnecessary psychological pressure of telling myself what not to do all the time. So I changed the title to my “Do List,” and now it’s a psychological joy to read. I highly recommend making your own Do List. Here’s mine for a bit of inspiration:

Genevieve’s “Do List”

  • A daily act that’s for me
  • Allow space
  • Laugh
  • Speak truth
  • Be you
  • One thing at a time
  • Dance
  • Step steady
  • Dream huge
  • Work small
  • Sing 
  • Save your “sorries”
  • Love what you’re doing
  • Choose life
  • Let yourself be happy
  • Lead by example
  • Respect boundaries
  • Communicate
  • Cultivate silence
  • Let things pass
  • Value every moment
  • Keep the faith in yourself, and in others
  • Give the benefit of the doubt
  • Listen
  • Hear people
  • Ride fear
  • Be there, wherever you wake up
  • Your thing
  • Right
  • Say “no”
  • Give yourself credit
  • Strive for balance
  • Contribute
  • Advocate
  • Help others
  • Believe
  • Recognize magic
  • Practice chivalry


The liberating power of saying “no”

Reporters ask me all the time for advice on how to get assignments and pitch. There is typical advice that gets doled out: keep it short and sweet and don’t be a jerk to your editors, and you’ll go far.

That’s all fine and well, but what about saying no?

It is rare that I hear the word “no” from a reporter. Interestingly, the ones who do say it are often on a more high-powered track in their careers. It’s not that they have an easier time with the challenges of being a reporter. It’s that they regularly exercise control over decisions that will impact their finite supply of time and energy. They know that saying “no” is a key ingredient in success, no matter what your rubric for measuring that happens to be.

Observing a reporter say “no” to a crap assignment, a prison-level pay rate, or anything couched in coded language as “a great opportunity” is inspiring. Saying no to those things demonstrates a self-awareness and a recognition on the part of the journalist of their intrinsic value.

Journalists who know their value as a professional and a human being, and who ware unafraid to assert themselves with the word “no” will always get the better assignments, higher pay, more significant opportunities, and greater accolades for their work. That’s because they leave space for success. What’s more, there’s a greater chance they will make it to the end of that 45-year career with their mental and physical health intact and a significant legacy of published work.

Magazine Looking for Submissions on Debt

In the Fray magazine is calling for submissions. They are not paying much, but it might be worth it for someone in the mood or space for a “passion project,” or looking to gain experience on a topic:

We are currently accepting pitches for articles that relate to this theme or more generally to the magazine’s mission of understanding other people and encouraging empathy and tolerance. We are looking for profiles, interviews, reportage, personal essays, op-eds, travel writing, photo essays, artwork, videos, multimedia projects, and review essays of books, film, music, and art. If interested, please email with a well-developed, one-paragraph pitch for your proposed piece as soon as possible — along with three links to your previous work — NO LATER THAN APRIL 8, 2012. All contributors are urged to review our submissions guidelines at

More information on the listing here.

YPNation Launches National Call to All Young Professionals

NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — YPNation, the national organization for America’s Young Professionals, founded in 2009, launched its 2011 Charter Membership drive this week with the theme:

“Does AARP seem a lifetime away? Join YPNation now and influence the issues impacting your future.”

YPNation gives Young Professionals a voice on the key issues impacting them, including job creation, education expenses, sustainable communities, energy & environmental policy, and the national debt.

“The reality is that younger Americans have no voice in the halls of power, the country is on a collision course, and we’re going to be left alone in the driver’s seat,” said YPNation President Michael Eisenstadt. “It is critical that Young Professionals speak up in an organized way and demand a seat at the table. There is no substitute for a seat, and YPNation will ensure that younger Americans are represented.”

YPNation will lobby Congress on behalf of Young Professionals, developing policy positions through YPNation Member input plus recommendations from its National Advisory Board, an advisory group of leading Young Professionals. YPNation Members are also enrolled in YP Rewards, the nation’s largest discount program for Young Professionals.

“YPNation offers Young Professionals a voice and powerful economic benefits,” Eisenstadt said. “We want all Young Professionals to join us and help make our generation heard. We are the future leaders in America and it is critical that our concerns get communicated. AARP has done an outstanding job being the voice of older Americans, and we intend to be the voice of younger Americans.”

YPNation is the only national platform dedicated to uniting and empowering America’s Young Professionals and brings forward-thinking young Americans to the forefront of the national conversation for the first time.

For more information, and to request a media kit, please visit



From Liberian Rebels to the Afghan Front Lines

Photographer and documentary filmmaker Tim Hetherington tells of his work

By Joshua Philipp for The Epoch Times

Read the full article about Tim Hetherington in a talk with Mario Tama at NYU on The Epoch Times’ website

NEW YORK—He has taken a unique approach to documentary journalism: living his stories. From the battlefields of the Liberian Civil War to the front lines in Afghanistan, documentary filmmaker and award-winning photographer Tim Hetherington has experienced his stories in ways that few have.

During a presentation at New York University on Dec. 8 Hetherington explained his art and shared his insights on what he has witnessed.

He has seen what the rebels and soldiers have seen, marched where they marched, and shot a different element of the battle. Rather than focus his work on the carnage and violence which characterizes war, Hetherington instead turned his camera inward—toward the soldiers and the lives behind the uniforms. Young men with guns.

His art took form during the Liberian Civil War which lasted from 1999 to 2003. A friend approached him with an offer he couldn’t refuse—to live with the rebel forces, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) who would eventually remove President Charles Taylor from power and establish a new rule.

“My work is really born out, initially, as a kind of witnessing or engagement,” said Hetherington.

Rather than make a one-time visit to shoot photos of the aftermath, Hetherington returns again and again, which allows for a “perceptual process” to develop in his work, as he explains it.

“I was kind of inside the war,” he said. “I mean we lived with these guys and there was no way out. We couldn’t fly in or fly out, we lived with them. It was the rainy season, we had little food, and we lived in pretty extreme circumstances.” Hetherington was embedded with Liberian rebels with a friend and fellow journalist.

Read the full article about Tim Hetherington in a talk with Mario Tama at NYU on The Epoch Times’ website