I’m Michelle—but my friends call me Shelly.
I’m a 20-something writer and copy editor currently living in Virginia with my husband of three years and our border collie, Dakota. I’ve been blogging here since 2016 about everything from how to ace your college English class to how to be productive while working from home—and all about my life in small-town USA. Thanks for stopping by!
Originally known as Michelle Adams Blog, ShellyRawlings.com began as a pet project while I was an undergraduate student at Shenandoah University, where I majored in English and minored in mass communications before graduating summa cum laude in 2017. Many found my blog in the early days thanks to my popular Due Date Spreadsheet, a (free!) organizational tool that I actually used to stay on track in college while juggling a full course load, two jobs, and a gig as editor in chief of the student newspaper.
After graduation, my focus shifted to building my freelance writing and editing business, planning a small, but memorable wedding to my high school sweetheart, and training our then-newly adopted puppy—but I never lost the itch to be a blogger. After a brief hiatus, I returned to ShellyRawlings.com to revive my college to career content, uncover the mysteries of adulting, dole out productivity and blogging tips, and share updates on my life. I hope you’ll stick around and join the conversation!
The eldest of three siblings, I grew up in a small town in northern Virginia, where I dabbled in everything from cross country running to marching band—but it wasn’t until after high school that I found a passion for content creation. After nearly two years as a freelance reporter, I got my first full-time job in media in 2017, when the editor of a local newspaper took a chance on me and hired me to join the copy desk as a page designer. Since then, I’ve worked on a variety of projects involving writing, editing, journalism, content and social media marketing, public relations, and, of course, blogging.
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ME:
1. I’ve been writing and editing professionally since 2015. I got my start covering the 2016 presidential campaign season on a freelance basis before moving into local journalism and, eventually, digital marketing. (Check out my portfolio here.) But while I love working with all my clients, I’ve found I still need a place to let my own creativity shine—and that’s where this blog comes in. Some of my favorite posts over the years have been:
- What Is Media Bias? | 5 Questions To Help You Identify Bias in a News Story
- How to Bounce Back When You’re on the Verge of Burnout—Balancing School, Work + Relationships
- Here’s What I Really Did With My English Degree
- A Professional Editor’s Favorite Journals and Planners — 5 Notebooks I Use Every Day
2. I started college as a music education major, and making music is still near and dear to my heart. I’ve performed on clarinet and saxophone and won a talent competition as a vocalist, but I also play some piano and I can strum a few chords if you give me a guitar. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Megan Thee Stallion and Ariana Grande, but some of my all-time favorite artists include Gerard Way and Shania Twain.
3. I’m a total news junkie. When my friends want to know what’s going on in the world, they can count on me for the inside scoop—and I’m happy to oblige. I like to stay updated on current events both locally and nationally, and if there were ever a game show that asked you to match members of Congress with their state or party affiliation, I would unquestionably win the top prize.
4. I hold a B.A. in English, but don’t mistake me for the grammar police. While I may spend my days editing, you’ll never see me correcting your spelling on a casual Facebook post. I’m a firm believer that language is always evolving, and I know the most important thing is getting your message out there in a way that feels genuine—whether it’s full of emojis or em-dashes, acronyms or allegories.
5. I’ve been working from home for most of my career. Even before a global pandemic turned the world as we knew it upside-down, I’d been a full-time freelancer working exclusively from home—and the occasional coffee shop—since the fall of 2017. My reasons for taking that leap were twofold: First, I wanted the liberty to create my own schedule so that I could do my work at the same times as my then-fiancé, whose work hours varied day-to-day. Beyond maximizing my time with friends and family, freelancing has also given me the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world, meaning I can quell my wanderlust while still bringing in a consistent income.
6. I don’t have a strong opinion on the Oxford comma. I know, I know—most writers are very passionate on this issue. But I’ve worked with publications on both sides of the debate, and I see both angles. Above all, my priority as an editor and journalist is clarity, so if it helps improve readability, I’m all for an extra comma or two—that is, unless I’m working in traditional AP Style.
7. My husband is my best friend—and my high school sweetheart. I’d seen Ryan in the school hallways for years, but we didn’t become friends until high school, when we shared an hour-long bus ride together as the last two stops on the route. Eager to say goodbye to the raggedy old bus, we both got our driver’s licenses in the summer of 2014, but after an accident left Ryan without a car, I started picking him up on the way to school—and the rest, as they say, is history. Ryan proposed to me on Christmas Day 2016, but we waited until I was out of college to get married. We tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on May 19, 2018, surrounded by only our closest family and friends.
8. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I am a big fan of YouTube. I like to watch creators who are experts in their fields to learn more about subjects I don’t know much about already. Some of my current favorite YouTubers include:
- Mama Doctor Jones, an OB/GYN and mom of four who shares content related to women’s health.
- Dr. Rohin Francis, a cardiologist who posts health-related videos on his “Medlife Crisis” channel.
- Molly Burke, an influencer and activist who shares stories about her life as a blind person.
- Dr. Todd Grande, a mental health counselor who breaks down current events and true crime from a reasoned, scientific perspective.
- Felly, a California-based vlogger and mom who shares her stories about life after stillbirth.
9. If I had to eat only one thing for the rest of my life, it would be my husband’s grandma’s shrimp salad. But while my diet isn’t vegan, I do strive to only purchase vegan self-care products, especially when it comes to skincare and beauty. My go-tos for vegan, cruelty-free formulas are Honest Beauty and Tarte!
10. I’m not the biggest fan of social media. While I try to stay active on Pinterest, I’m rarely on Instagram and I don’t have a TikTok. The best way to connect with me is right here on my blog! Feel free to leave a comment on your favorite article or send me a private message here.
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