And there’s only so much space on the iceberg

Photo by Hubert Neufeld on Unsplash

Deep within the recesses of my head lie the seeds of 1000 creative ambitions. The story of four kids who go camping in a fabled haunted woods. A dream I yearn to translate to ink that’ll never live up to the detail in my mind. The desire to create electronic music. My latent need to learn another language.

Those 1000 ambitions are penguins. They’re accompanied by another penguin for everything I know. And they all live on an iceberg floating in my mind. …

I am more than what I do for a living.

Photo by Piret Ilver on Unsplash

This is the second iteration of this article, and it’s nothing like the one that preceded it. Initially, I was trying to write a broader topic about how cultural emphasis on the work-life scale is tilted towards the former.

I kept writing, struggling to put together my argument in a cohesive structure. I wasn’t sure what the roadblock was until I read back what I’d worked on to that point.

It ended up being that I was generalizing the idea of working too much. The argument I wanted to make was that I believe the work-life scale should tilt towards…

A review of Bonsai’s contract-writing, proposal-managing, time-tracking, and invoicing-producing product for freelancers

Photo by Galymzhan Abdugalimov on Unsplash

If you’re serious about freelancing as a career, there are certain elements of the management process that you have to consider. I’ve been doing freelance work either part-time, side-gig or full-time in some capacity since The Great Recession in 2010 necessitated some creative ambition.

During that time, I’ve managed some of the complicated things like contracting, invoicing and proposal writing on my own. I picked sources offline, I leveraged help from friends (lawyers!), I purchased help from professional services. And years ago, I was so frustrated with the…

A return to writing a novel was like seeing an old friend

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Way back in 2015, which in the Age of the Internet is now ancient history, I wrote a manuscript. Correction, I wrote my first and only manuscript.

Some context for this accomplishment is needed.

In September 2015, my wife and I were in a comfortable place. In July 2014, our first child was born, and we spent the next 12 months settling into a routine. As any parent can tell you, that first year is a trip. There’s no consistent prediction as to when parents fall into a…

Your professional monetary value can be difficult to dial in

As a contractor and freelancer, the conversation with a prospective client will inevitably turn to the big R-word. Rate. Your rate is, at its simplest, the monetary value of your professional work.

However, it is a lot more than that. (We’ll get into that shortly.) Any client you speak to, whether it is a referral, a cold-call, online video chat, etc., will want to know what you charge at some point during the conversation. …

Reflection on what I’ve learned and where to go from here

After 31 weeks, the Zero Waste Challenge through Hennepin County has concluded. I began chronicling my family’s experiences on December 1, 2020.

Since then, I’ve written about challenges in waste creation related to holidays like Halloween and Christmas, I’ve written about why we stopped using Hello Fresh and why they have a significant waste problem and quick posts about ways that we changed our daily habits for the better.

Through it all, it has been a long journey of daily diligence to thoughtful waste disposal and weekly reflection.

The Program Review


With one week to go, the Zero Waste Challenge is nearly done

Week 30, around a third full of trash

As I write this, we are in the midst of the final week of the Zero Waste Challenge. Naturally, it’s time to begin some reflection, but I’ll save that longer post for next week.

When I think about just this week, I notice that we had a slight uptick in our total waste. Part of that is from getting takeout from Noodles & Co. which used black plastic containers. …

Thinking about what we buy

A full recycling bin

This week has seen an increased amount of recycling, which was tied to some necessary upgrades to lifestyle for our dog (he’s old and needs a ramp to more safely go down our backyard stairs).

We debated a bit about whether to find a used one (a quick search didn’t show any), make one (expensive and time-consuming) and settled on a new telescoping ramp that would make our efforts faster.

My wife and I go back and forth a lot when considering purchases, especially when they’re singularly focused or extremely specific purchases. …

We worked hard this week with post-birthday organizing, and also some random trash. As you’ll see in the trash photo below, we had a very random assortment of items from our basement tool bench that are from the previous owner. Items included a used pipe fitting, assorted old screws, scrap wood, and other junk.

I don’t know how we are supposed to dispose of items like this responsibly. It’s surely not an isolated problem that we came across, so I’ll spend some additional time researching these types of materials and how to dispose of them.

We also spent considerable time…

Reflections on George Floyd, justice, the verdict, and what happens next from a citizen of Minneapolis.

Photo by Tito Texidor III on Unsplash

I am a 37-year-old white man who lives in Southwest Minneapolis, and I have white privilege. George Floyd was murdered five miles from my house. The past year has been hard. The pandemic, homeschool for my kids, George Floyd, and all the rest. Through it all, my family and I found our zen. But it wasn’t without significant effort, and it wasn’t without constant awareness of reality.

To say that the tragedy of George Floyd has been a catalyst for equality and justice is an understatement. It has defined our city. It has defined the last year. …

Michael Robert

Write about: Eco-lifestyle, freelancing, web, & parenting. Communications & marketing consultant. Subscribe to my newsletter:

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