Ever considered becoming a lifestyle reporter, well look no further. Wendy Gould graciously found time in her packed schedule to be interviewed and share with us her tools of the trade, motivations and her path leading to this dynamic career. Wendy is a freelance lifestyle reporter based in Phoenix and we appreciate her passion for covering women’s issues. You can find her work at the following media outlets: NBC, Real Simple, Brides, Spotlyte, Reader’s Digest, PopSugar, Total Beauty, and others.
What was the path that lead you to become both a reporter and also photographer?
I remember the first journal I ever got. It was a padded pink diary that locked with a key that my grandmother gave to me right around second or third grade. I felt power and satisfaction in placing my thoughts on paper — however crude at the time — and thus began a lifelong habit of penning.
As I got older, I realized there was also power in relaying my thoughts (and other people’s experiences) to the public at large. I relished in English class throughout elementary school, and in high school I made a point to not only write for our student newspaper, but to become the editor of it. Seeing my byline, and literally watching others absorb my words as I walked through the hallways, is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Throughout high school, I also submitted essays to local and national publications and found some success in those endeavors. I ultimately decided to pursue a degree in journalism and poured much of myself into experimenting across all realms of writing while in school. Ultimately, editorial and lifestyle journalism seemed to be where I excelled most, and also where I felt enveloped by the process of it all.
I would say that photojournalism is more supplemental in nature to my writing. I’ve always been drawn to creative outlets in general, and my photojournalism professor helped coax my eye and refine my skillset. For a while I dabbled in portraiture, but I ultimately focused my efforts on writing, specifically, allowing photojournalism to complement my work. I believe my ability to photograph in addition to write has made more a more valuable writer.
What inspires you the most in your work and why have you chosen to focus on women’s issues?
My focus is women’s interests largely because they are my own interests. It’s easier to write from a place of authenticity — and to be truly tapped into the scene — when you’re a member of it. I also very much enjoy working with other women, and 98% of the people I correspond on a daily basis are, in fact, female! It’s great to collaborate and lift each other up. That’s not to say some of the things I write wouldn’t appeal to men. I also do quite a bit of mental health writing, and that pertains to all of us!
How do you personally define success for yourself?
I’ve always very much been driven by setting clear goals, working toward them, and then reviewing how close I’ve come to meeting them. (Or in some cases, how far I surpassed them)! In that sense, I define success as an ability to identify weaknesses or opportunities for growth and working avidly to improve upon them. There will be inevitable stumbles along the way, but success also is defined by how you overcome those bumps. This is my approach to not just career goals, but also personal goals, relationship goals, fitness goals, etc.
You have great skin, what is your typical daily skincare and beauty routine and how has it evolved over the years?
I must admit that I’ve been an avid skincare junkie since I was in high school — way before the boom! This is probably because I suffered from acne and was desperate to find a “cure.” I ultimately learned that taking a gentle approach to skin health is the best. Instead of scrubbing my face raw and throwing abrasive chemicals at it (like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid), I leaned into my oily nature, started washing only once a day, and gave my face a break from heavy cosmetics. Today my AM and PM skincare regimens are one of my favorite parts of the day. As someone who writes about beauty frequently, I have access to a lot of new products and am constantly rotating new products to try and write about, but this is what my routine looks like now:
Morning: rinse with warm water, hydrating toner, a cocktail mix of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, then SPF.
Evening: Double cleanse, hydrating toner, a rotating exfoliating product (retinol, glycolic/lactic acid), an essence, peptide serum, and then a heavy cream or balm.
I’ll do more intense at-home treatments once a week or so, as well. I really like Algenist’s Alive Prebiotic Mask and Savor Beauty’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask.
What do you do to stay healthy and what are your wellness habits?
I really try to keep a balance on the following: work, social, and fitness. When any of these is getting much more attention than the other, usually the others tend to suffer. Early in my freelancing career, I learned I need to draw perimeters around my work schedule, and I now rarely work on weekends or beyond 7 pm.
I also make a concerted effort to nourish existing friendships and hobbies and see friends once or twice a week. For fitness and health, it took me a while to find a groove and I’m still on that path, but two years ago I made a goal of experimenting with as many different exercise classes as possible to find what I liked. Turns out, I really love boxing and Pure Barre! I work out 2-4 times a week and, because I love those workouts, it’s something I look forward to versus dread.
I think an area that needs more improvement is diet, so that’s something I’m working on. This year I’m really planning to focus more on always having groceries in the house and making more time to cook at home, which is something I truly do enjoy. Some of my favorite nights involve a glass of red wine and an hour crafting a full meal in the kitchen! Here’s to more of that in 2020.
Discover more about Wendy at wendygould.com