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The Journey to Achieving Balance

Some might see graduating with a degree in English or Creative Writing as, well, extremely foolish, especially in our STEM focused society. But for Rochester based Liz Furl, to give up on writing would mean giving up on a critical part of her identity. Now, the Editor in Chief of her own magazine, Real Talk, and co-host of the rebranded Getting There podcast, Liz has crafted a life where she is chasing her dreams and keeping up with her career.
Liz Furl Photo Credit: Liz Furl
Liz Furl
Photo Credit: Liz Furl

Liz discovered her love of writing at the precocious age of 7. When she finished up her assignments before the rest of her classmates, her teacher asked her to write up a poem on happiness. She enthusiastically dove into the assignment, and then fell in love with writing. She went on to major in English and Creative Writing and upon graduation, hoped to continue developing her career as a writer.

But, the tough reality set in and Liz focused solely on finding a job and stopped nurturing her writing. When she found a good paying job as a customer service representative, Liz couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing, that she felt incomplete. So, she started to invest more in her writing. She pitched to a variety of publications, and soon was overwhelmed by writing commitments, performing at her job, and having time to spend with friends. One day, at her wit’s end, she had to face the reality that she couldn’t have all of that pressure to succeed at everything and still be happy. She started dialing back and evaluating what exactly she wanted at that moment. Frustrated by “click bait” pieces and “nostalgia porn,” Liz wanted to create pieces that people would find useful as opposed to something that would fill in their time.

Getting There Podcast
Getting There Podcast

That goal drove her to develop two projects: the Getting There Podcast (formerly Lady Bits) and Real Talk Magazine. Although both provide honest, real perspectives on the struggles that many of us are facing on a daily basis, Getting There is an uncensored collaboration with her friend Sarah Stewart. The weekly aired podcast started as a small project for the two friends, but through the power of social media, Liz was able to reach out to the executive producer of 5by5. Two and half months after they started the podcast, they were asked to join the network and have been hitting their stride ever since.

In addition to the successful podcast, Liz started her first magazine, Real Talk. With life inspired pieces from up and coming writers within the millennial generation, Liz is able to curate the honest writing she craved. Through developing both projects, Liz has found the creative outlet she needed as well as staking her claim in the millennial conversation.

And while Liz’s resume of accomplishments are impressive, they came about with their own fair share of challenges. For Liz, the greatest challenge came in the form of developing and adhering to a schedule. As most of her friends had structured and routine activities, Liz had only herself to get things done. Developing the discipline and the balance of paid work, passion project, and her relationships took a while of trial an error. Now, she sets aside her evenings for her new husband and to recharge for the next day, and leaves working on everything else for mornings and weekends.

Real Talk Magazine
Real Talk Magazine

Finding that balance was a tough process for Liz, and while she has finally found a way to make things work, she often worries about her peers. Having been told by parents and supporters their entire lives that they could do anything, millennials are often unprepared for what happens when life does not follow the plan. “The term the quarter life crisis has been created for our generation, because we are struggling with the disparity between our dreams and what it takes to reach that dream.” But as many millennials continue to develop “side hustles” and invest in passion projects, Liz hopes that millennials can find fulfillment in that way. Her advice for passion seeking millennials? “Just start it, and don’t be afraid to ask your idols for advice. They are your idols for a reason.”

To sign up for the Real Talk list serve, click here and to follow Getting There, click here. Liz can also be found via Twitter @lizfurl.