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.
8 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
- 5 Easy Ways To Add Words To Your Blog Post
- Opinion | In 2020, Winning Over Young Voters Means Mastering Social Media
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.
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 working exclusively from home—and the occasional coffee shop—since the fall of 2017.
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 as soon as we were able, 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.
- Kelsey, an airline pilot who shares stories from the sky and beyond.
- Kiva, an interior design expert who shares her tips on her channel, DIY with KB.
Be a VIP! Get new content sent right to your inbox:
Unsubscribe at any time.
Whether you’re new to blogging or a seasoned online influencer, here are five pages you actually need on your blog. Read more ➔
It’s crucial to start the semester strong with a consistent method of tracking assignments. This Due Date Spreadsheet is completely free to download! Read more ➔
Thanks again for visiting my blog!
Here’s what you REALLY need to set yourself up to make the Dean’s List this semester.Read More
Take it from someone who learned the hard way.Read More
If you have your sights set on reading one book each month in 2020, this reading challenge can get you there.Read More
Before signing a lease on your shiny new apartment, here are 15 questions you’ll want to get answers to.Read More
Don’t jump into a professional edit too fast—here are 10 questions you should ask before committing to an editor.Read More