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Journalist and writer living in The Netherlands. On freelance work, creativity, writing and castles. Not writing a book.

Professional writer, not working on my debut novel

Picture of Ingelise de Vries

It’s still kind of scary, but hey, why not. Hi, I’m Ingelise and I’ve been writing, reading and commenting here for a few months now. The writing part was (and is) also a bit scary, I am from The Netherlands and not a native English speaker (or writer). What I am, is a journalist and (copy)writer.

But let’s go back to the beginning. Fifteen years ago I decided it was time to start a blog. It wasn’t much, it was my online diary. I posted stories about school, adventures with friends and other things teens in the zero’s cared about…


I’m finally not stressing over it anymore

Last week, I proudly shared on Twitter (in Dutch, sorry, very boring for you) how I finally managed to keep track of my money. Or well, sort of. Better than I used to. A few people responded they were curious how I do it. It’s too much for the famous 280 characters so I decided to write it down in a blog. And while I’m at it, why not share with my Medium-followers as well?

It’s definitely not rocket science but it does need some discipline. After eight months of budgeting this way, I still don’t always have that discipline…


Tell people how you see them

Image by Sebastian Beck via Pexels

Like probably a lot of you, I never really fitted in as a kid. I was one of those sensitive, dreamy kids. Didn’t like to play with the rest of the group and yes, I was picked last in gym class or on the playground. I had a few friends, of course. But I did not really fit in. I lived in my own little world, and I still do a little. Hence, the writing. Writing for me is nothing more than painting that own world. Or the way I see the world.

I wasn’t particularly pretty, I didn’t have…


No complicated methods, just easy tools to help your head

Foto door Tara Winstead via Pexels

Over the course of my marvelous career I’ve had some pretty intense periods of time. There is no school that teaches you how to be a freelancer — well, and I didn’t really go to school anyway. ‘How to be a freelancer’ is something you’ll have to find out for yourself.

We freelance creatives are bit weird. We’re usually not cut out for a nine-to-five job, a little more stubborn and we like to do things our way. Because yours is stupid. We don’t say that but we definitely feel that sometimes. And in my case, I don’t like to…


How to challenge your creative side

Foto door Jeswin Thomas via Pexels

A few years back I decided to finally do what I always wanted to do: take a creative writing course. It was an introduction to writing fiction at one of the most prestigious writing schools in The Netherlands. I learned some pretty great things there.

Imagine how romantic it was: the school was based in one of those old buildings at the canals of Amsterdam. I lived there for a while and left the city about three years ago. I still know the city like the back of my hand, and I still really love it. There really is no…


You will make it if you’re in it for the long run

Foto door Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Some people just know what they want to be when they grow up. They know, they adjust their courses at school and their summer jobs, the university they go to to reach that goal. And they reach it. Because, you know, they just know.

Unfortunately, I was never one of these people. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I wanted to work. I really wanted to be self-sufficient. Independent. So I started my babysitting business in the neighborhood. And when I turned 15, I immediately got a job at a store. You…


Yes, this is my take-away from 18 months in the home office

Foto door Alexander Suhorucov via Pexels

The first days in lockdown were somewhat like heaven to me. As usual, my social calendar was way too full with birthdays, planning to see newborns, anniversaries, weddings, catching up with friends, family visits and almost everything you can think of.

Beside that, I love going out spontaneously, the music festival season starts in March here (or actually it never really stops) and there are so many restaurants I still want to try. Of course there was also work. As a freelance journalist and writer, I’m used to travelling all over the country, meeting with new clients, reconnecting with old…


I’m ready for another 30 years of life lessons

Photo by Johannes W on Unsplash
  1. Some people stay in your life, some are just passers-by. Not everyone needs to stay in your life forever
  2. There’s no such thing as ‘wasting time’. No time is ever wasted
  3. There’s always room for more people in your heart
  4. Money doesn’t make you happy but it certainly makes life easier. Especially once you know how to handle it
  5. Finding my life’s purpose will probably take me another 30 years. And maybe even another. Not knowing is a great thing, I never know what to expect
  6. Life never winds up how you planned it (I stole this from my 20-year…


I keep falling of the abyss

Image by Sebastian Voortman via Pexels (the model is not the author)

As you might have noticed — but there’s a fairer chance you haven’t — it’s been a bit quiet on my end. As a full time freelance writer, someone with a busy social life, hobby’s and someone who needs time for herself (who doesn’t), I keep struggling with my work-life-dream achieving-balance. Every time I think I’m managing it, I’m somehow getting stuck.

It feels like a canyon that needs a bridge. I’ve never been able to build that bridge. Every time I’m halfway there, I’m out of wood and rope to keep building. I still have the tools but I…


It takes time, guts and a little luck

Image via Pexels

It’s the scariest and yet one of the most important things to do when you work for yourself: networking. With a network, you will be able to find new clients, get the help you need when you’re stuck and it’s amazing when you can give something back to that network.

Building that network is not always easy. It takes time, guts and a little luck. It’s a skill you develop over time. It’s something you can learn. I started building my network when I was about seventeen and I was afraid of nothing. Now that I’m older, it’s not always…

Ingelise de Vries

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