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Confessions of a Freelance Journalist
Janene Mascarella & Her Dell XPS Laptop

Meet Janene Mascarella, a freelance journalist who writes for many national and popular online publications. You may have read her stories in Glamour, Parents, Self, Woman’s Day, and Parenting. Today we’re talking with Janene about her work, her life, and her favorite consumer electronics gadget.

Janene Mascarella's Gadget List
Dell XPS Laptop Durable, Good Lens, Hi Res
What challenges did you face when you started writing professionally?

My biggest challenge was getting my foot in the door and my byline in a national magazine. You need national clips to get an assignment from one of the big, well known magazines. This leaves many beginners scratching their heads and in need of a "break". No luck involved there--you just need a great idea for an article and a clever hook. My first pitch to a national women's magazine was to SELF and it was a “yes.”

How would your friends and family view you in terms of your "tech savvy-ness?”

I'd say I'm as high-tech as they come within my family, but my brother Phil, is the real guru and my personal technical support, fielding my questions without laughing. "Did you turn it on, Janene?" But, I'm the "go-to girl" for all types of gadgetry.

What is your earliest memory of using technology?

It's not my earliest tech-memory but it is the most significant: When I was in 6th grade (25 years ago!) my parents bought us our first home computer: The Apple IIe. Boy, did I feel cutting-edge. None of my friends had a home computer at the time and even though my parents didn't quite know what to do with the big machine, they had a hunch it would be important. At first we stared at it, then played some games, learned how to use the word processor--pressed "Enter" and giggled at our "syntax errors". We learned to use it as a family and felt like the Jetsons!

What is the consumer electronics gadget you couldn't live without?

I can't live without my Dell XPS Laptop - but apparently I did for a rather long time. My husband bought me the laptop just a few months ago, so I can work on-the-go. He'd see me struggle to meet deadlines and suggested I leave the house to get some peace and quiet. I was dragging my feet on the issue, mostly because I thought it would be too much trouble to transfer all my files and start fresh on a new computer. But my husband surprised me with my new laptop and it was love at first sight. The thought of not ever having to be confined to my home office was thrilling. Even while working at home, I take my DELL from room to room and relish in the thought of being free! It boggles my mind why I waited so long to get one, and if it wasn't for my husband 'surprising' me with my Dell, I'd still be confined and struggling.

What is your favorite thing about the Dell XPS Laptop?

Everything just seems to be rather easy, It's fast, smart, and portable.(The model I have is quite large, but I can carry it without much of an effort - it's powerful and sleek.) Tech support and customer service are also, in my opinion, top-notch.

What would you say to someone who wants to become a writer?

If you work from home, there are going to be times you'll need a change of scenery, so getting a laptop is key to fostering creativity. By all means, it's an investment worth making. My career as a writer is contingent on fresh, fun ideas. What better way to find them than taking my show on the road?

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