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After working as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow for ABC News, Monya fled broadcast journalism for a high school classroom, where she taught biology, chemistry and math before venturing into print journalism at the Acumen Journal of Life Sciences. As synopses editor at MIT's Technology Review, Monya solicited input from scientists and venture capitalists to select the most promising emerging research. She has written for The Economist, New Scientist, The Scientist, Wired and other publications. Monya has a BA in biology from Carleton College and an EdM from Harvard University. Based in San Francisco, she works as a writer and editor for Nature Publishing Group.

3 responses to “Art and Fear, and reapproaching freelancing”

  1. Lynne Friedmann

    I have been recommending this book to science-writing students for years.

  2. Jill U Adams


    This sounds like a book I should read! I struggle with this balance too.

    One frame that works for me is “Jill school.” I use this label to give myself permission to pursue open-ended projects — those with no pay-off in sight. It’s like a self-designed course in “How to stalk a topic until I find a sellable story” – or whatever.

    I say no pay-off, but that’s not true with the school frame. I’m gaining skills and experience in journalism. And with experiential knowledge, I can decide whether I want to keep following that course or not — based on evidence, not daydreams.

  3. Bryn Nelson

    I really like this reframing. The next time I’m tempted to fret about what I should be doing, it will be good to flip the question and instead ask how what I learn from my current projects can help get me where I eventually want to go. I’ll have to check out the book – thanks for the recommendation.

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