Two Years Ago Today…
This post is modified from a post a year ago… simply updated to reflect new adventures and experiences!
Two years ago today, I set out for my greatest adventure to date – becoming a full-time freelance writer. I left a fulfilling full-time job, working with people a terrific group of people whom I respect, to follow my passion into the unknown. After a year of see-sawing, I decided to take the plunge and make my move – we’ve only one life to live, after all, and I wanted to live mine to its fullest.
I’d been freelancing part-time for about seven years, with some level of success. I have regular outlets for which I write, and am constantly researching the marketplace for new ideas, new media, new editors. When a story idea strikes, I shuffle through my mind to think of which may be the best fit, and go for it. Freelancing can be a tough gig – there’s a lot of rejection, a lot of unanswered queries, a lot of uncertainty.
But freelancing can be quite, well, freeing, too. I set my schedule, which may mean a morning session at the gym followed by quiet time with my pup, or a mani/pedi mid-day when others are desk side. It may also mean than when a deadline is looming and inspiration strikes, whether that be 8:30 a.m. or midnight, I’m up and at my computer working. I am my toughest boss, and my worst critic.
Two years ago today, my husband showed me once again his unparalleled confidence in me, supporting me in this wild endeavor, simply knowing that it would be a success, especially when I felt unsure. My family has been incredibly supportive, too, knowing that if I trusted in myself, I’d be fine. Friends joke that I’ve retired, and simply travel now. But as any freelancer knows, we most likely work harder for ourselves than we had for any 9 to 5 job (or, 8 to 5 is more likely).
And over the past two years, I’ve had incredible experiences. Since September 2013, I’ve traveled to Nashville, Orlando, Antigua, Savannah, Costa Rica, Roanoke, the Florida Keys, Colorado, Beaufort, Hilton Head, Charleston, Outer Banks, Belgium, Disney, Cabo, Siesta Key, Chicago, Croatia, Bonaire, Seattle, the San Juan Islands, Portland, Newfoundland, Palm Beach, Miami, Long Island, DC, Toronto, Niagara and Baltimore. I’m writing this post from an oceanfront villa in Maui and on my way to Molokai in a few days, and heading to Bordeaux and Paris next week, and then Olympic National Park, LA and Austin. Who knows what will be on my calendar after that!
Over the past two years, I’ve met incredibly talented writers and photographers, many of whom have become friends and even collaborators. I’ve worked with new editors, and those I’ve worked with since the beginning. I’ve continued to learn, be it from writers’ conferences, or talking and commiserating with colleagues. And I continue to partner with a group of six amazing women, all travel writers, on our #girlstravel chat on Twitter (join us Mondays @ 2 p.m. ET)!
There’s still much more to learn, too. I still need to learn how to better manage my time so that evenings are spent with my husband and pup, rather than in front of the computer screen, though I think I am getting better. I need to learn how much is too much, and whether it is in fact OK to decline an invitation or an assignment. These are things that I struggled with working in an office job, and I think a lot of us could use these lessons.
One thing I do know is that I wouldn’t change a thing. Sure, it’s sometimes scary, nerve wracking and uncertain. But then again, what great adventure isn’t?
Two years ago today, I followed my dreams.