Name: Mary B. Sellers
City: Jackson, Mississippi
Main Hustle: Recent Creative Writing MFA graduate/Freelance Writer/Editor
Mary B. is an awkward mermaid who likes glitter. Her best friend/fur-baby/closest confidant also happens to be a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named ‘Daisy Buchanan’ because she has ‘literary heroine’ aspirations of being the world’s first canine ‘beautiful little fool’. Originally from Jackson, MS, she just graduated with an MFA in creative writing and a Frankenstein of a thesis: RAPUNZEL HAS INSOMNIA, a hybrid novel (part – short story, – personal essay, and – fairy tale vignette). In her downtime, she likes drinking wine, eating tacos, trying to become less of an amateur at this whole graphic design thing, and binge-watching Bravo reality TV.
Side Hustle: Awkward Mermaid lit mag
Awkward Mermaid is an online literary community and safe space for writers to share freely their experiences with mental illness. Think of it as a place where magic & mental illness can coexist. And these can be personal battles you yourself have experienced, or it can be that of a loved one, a friend, a parent, etc. Whatever moves you; whatever it is you have to say on the subject. We’re not here to define what an experience can be — you are.
We welcome all forms of creative writing: fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. As of now, we don’t believe in word length: there are no minimums or maximums. We’ll also take a look at any artwork (digital, etc.) submitted as well.
Submissions will be posted on a rolling weekly basis. This may change later on, but for now, we’d like to publish several times a week.
How did you get started?: One summer afternoon, after having recently graduated, I sat down and bought a domain name. I’ve been using the time I have between pitching pieces for freelance work to dream up Awkward Mermaid.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: Late at night, usually. I’m a huge night owl, and I’ve always found that I work best (creatively speaking) during the nighttime. It’s quieter—there’s less buzz from the outside world to distract me. It’s maybe even a little bit spooky, the kind of spook that gets my creative juices flowing.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Time management, mainly. Feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day because I chose to spend my time on the lit mag instead of looking for work/pitching writing pieces that could potentially actually pay me. My challenges exist more inside my head, really. It’s the guilt and lack of knowing which is the real enemy.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: As of now, since we’re so new, it’s mostly pride in being able to promote it. There’s also the reward of dreaming about its future. It’s every time I get a new submission in my inbox. There’s powerful validation in that: having a person actually interested and submitting their work to me.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My dog, “Daisy” Buchanan, the cutest cavalier King Charles spaniel there ever was.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: The three years I spent in the MFA program, I think. That’s the biggest one. Those people are amazing and they’re doing amazing things and it’s inspiring.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: For it to no longer be a side hustle 🙂
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
No one really knows what they’re doing. We’re all just trying things out, and there’s comfort in knowing that, I think. No one, despite what they say or how they act, knows what the future holds. There’s a freedom in knowing and reminding yourself of that.