Claire DeBerg // Writer


When I’m in a rut surrounding my freelance work (and by rut I mean panic), I often think of writing a love letter to my ideal client. Love letter? That’s right…a letter professing the traits I appreciate, the awareness of the gifts clients bestow, and lists of gratitude for how they make me grow as a writer and business owner.

It is a worthwhile project for any number of situations where you might be at a loss for where to turn. In the past when I’ve written a love letter to my ideal partner or my ideal yearly income or my ideal living situation the single most important guide I can offer is to be specific.

Specificity helps you get clear about what you deeply want and seriously need. My own dear husband wrote a love letter to his ideal mate whilst a super single guy (and as a fun aside he was very specific about his ideal mate down to her height and hair color [both attributes of which I matched exactly]). Even when I was single I wrote A Manifesto for a New Man and I got serious about the man with whom I wanted to share life (notably, my dear husband also aligned perfectly). Read More


I wrote the below article for The Mennonite print magazine where it was published in May, 2014. It is also posted on their website here.

I finally accepted the markers of my leadership prowess this year. There has always been some way in which I experienced the groups around me spread away from me to make space for my leading. But instead of recognizing those experiences as affirmations of my gifts, I chose those moments to feel untouchable.

Here’s how it manifested for me as a little girl: I was welcomed as a guest into tight circles of friends but was not considered truly part of any solid group. I was no one’s best friend. Read More


SoooOOooo,  you want to make money freelancing? Great! I often have writerly friends ask how I started (and this is where I explain my start as a freelance creative writer) but after that question another quickly emerges: How can I make money freelancing?

I’ll answer this question to different people depending on where they are currently in their “career” as a writer. Some people have lost a job and need to make money. Some people have had a powerhouse corporate career and are taking time to raise their kiddos and want to earn a little money on the side. Other people want to blast into the world of writing and take control of the reigns with a full-fledged business.

Today’s post is talking directly to the super-newbie, the rookie writer, the green freelancer. And here is the big shocker piece of advise: Get your online presence in order. Read More


This all started after my kettle bell workout tonight.


So, my husband just had a birthday yesterday. He is now 44. When birthdays roll around in this house I am all about announcing and reiterating the newest age milestone reached. For instance at a Christmas Pageant after-party I loudly announced the new age of my dear husband to a crowd of about sixty people.

The news was met with laughter and applause.

(Here we are at the Walker Art Center for the British Arrow Awards for his birthday):IMG_6415


Since I have an old soul I love the turn of the age calendar and feeling as though I’m getting closer to the age I am sure my cells echo into my body. I was so relieved to be 30 and now that I’m 35 I’m already looking forward to being 40. It isn’t that I want life to speed up. Not at all. I just love living into a fresh age and learning about how it feels to be 32 and 34…and saying goodbye to my old age (ha!…34 is my old age, I like the ring to that).

Old. Worn out. Yesterday’s news. Yawn. Boring. Nonexistent.

The time to enjoy an age is so short, really.

I knew a man who was so destroyed about turning 40 that he spent his 39th year of life telling everyone he was “40 minus 1” so he had an entire year to get used to saying he was 40 years-old before he actually was 40 years-old. Besides being relatively insecure about aging, his attempt at a trick backfired because his body didn’t resist biology yet simultaneously heightened everyone’s awareness of his nearness to the very age he was desperately trying to avoid.

And speaking of…while I may have no qualms about aging I realize others do, so when I inquiry about some’s age instead of saying, “How old are you?” (which can be misconstrued so easily depending on the inflection):

How old are you?

How old are you?

How old are you?

How old are you?

Instead I ask: “How young are you?” OR “What is your age?” 

This is also why I don’t ever say my child is “2 and a half.” He’s 2. I’m 35…not 35 and a half. I feel people want to push children into a place other than where they are right now. Can my son just be 2? Can you just enjoy him at the age he is? Do you have to have a benchmark to place him?

I hear a lot: “Oh so he’s almost 3, well, then, that explains why he’s a genius…” (But he’s not 3! He’s 2! It is just like my running mentor said once, “You’re not a marathoner if you almost finish a marathon.) My son is 2. He’s 2 for all 365 days of a year. He was never “barely 2” or “almost 3.” And when he’s 3 he’s just 3 (not 3 and a quarter, not 3 and a half, not 3 and ten twelfths). Consider basking in the age someone is. Consider your age and those of your loved ones.

Because I take care of my body by eating ridiculously delicious food and traipsing around one of these 10,000+ lakes we have in Minnesota every few days I love to share my age knowing I’ve lived it well. And I know other people proud of their age because of the writing they’ve accomplished or the books they’ve read.

I encourage you to share yours, too. Flaunt your age, you only get it for a year.

Now on to my weight.

Also something I don’t mind sharing. As a model I have had tape measures wrapped around my body and even though my waist is a 26 (and I barely know what that even indicates socially, if anything, beyond inches) the response once was, “Oh you can get that number down.” Down to what? What is the goal, here? It sure is not runway modeling, my friends. I’m usually cast as a mom shopping at Target (which is practically typecast because I actually am a mom who happens to actually shop at Target on occasion…AND I have a 26-inch waist, apparently).

I wish there were a tape measure to wrap around a life to indicate the abundance contained therein. Some way to hug a group of loved ones with a measurement tool that is all about what goodness you do have and respond to the results with, “Oh wow!”

But I digress.

Tonight I was at the gym doing some kettle bell reps and I stopped to ask a trainer a question about heart rate and intensity workouts and the like. I said,

“So, I’m 140 pounds and I’m 5 foot, 8 and a half and I just wonder about where my heart rate…”

and then he interrupted me with wide eyes to say,

“Excuse me? Did you just say your weight out loud!?”

And my first thought was, “Geez, is this your first day?”

But instead I slowly said, “Uh, yeeeeaaaahh…”

And he said, “I just have never had a woman share her weight so freely and right away!”

Before I could be proud, I was annoyed. Annoyed that women can’t share their weight or don’t or aren’t safe to do so. What does it even mean, weight? Sometimes I’m 135 pounds. One time I was 88 pounds. Another time I was 160 pounds (okay, I was pregnant, but still). Then I spent another pregnancy never weighing myself a single time.

I guess tonight’s little gym exchange bothered me because a) women aren’t known to share their weight (let along their age) and b) women aren’t even sharing their weight with a personal trainer who’s interest in some basic personal stats actually help them help you train your body.

So I decided: I’m sharing my weight. I’m 140 LBS. There it is. What’s yours? And before I forget…what’s your age?

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