Life as a full-time writer: Possibility vs. Reality

I’ve been writing every day since 2003. And every day (even today), I wake up, my head filled with new ideas to write about. I get excited, thinking about getting the mundane work done so I can pull out my laptop and start writing.

Only now, it’s different.

Let me start at the beginning. Before I went into midlife crisis mode (a year or two ago), I’d wake up, open up the laptop, check my email, Slack, and Wrike and my day would begin. I’d start scribbling content related to whatever project I was working on for whichever client was assigned to me and under whatever deadline was imposed upon me. Every few hours, I’d step away from the desk and go for a walk. On these walks, my head would swell with story ideas I wanted to write. Sometimes I’d dictate them into my Notes on my phone. Sometimes I’d convince myself I’d remember the pitch and then jot it down in my Swipe file once I got home. Of course, remembering rarely happened. My memory is a sieve. The lesson here is: My passion for writing is real (and intense even two decades later).

My passion for writing has stayed because of my curiosity, consistency, and sheer will to constantly keep experimenting. I’ve written several bad stories and abandoned some that could have become good ones. But I just keep typing as I grow. And I do it on my laptop after I shut down my work-top, and I fit in the time.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned things are different now. Here’s how: It’s 10:30am, I have a client meeting in 30 minutes, and I’m writing this – not prepping for my meeting. I also haven’t checked my email, logged onto Slack, or started writing the copy for the debt collector’s website due by the end of the day.

This is either a problem or a sign.

I’ve read articles written by people that say, “I’m tired of working for someone and helping them get rich and achieve their dream.” It’s not about the money; I don’t need to make much money – I choose to be a minimalist. I consider this a modern-day Thelma & Louise (although there is no Louise, and I would probably have to tornado through my adventure by Uber). It’s about a new perspective on life and the need to follow an old passion of my heart. I’ve always fitted my passion around my day job, but lately, I fit my job around my passion.

Now I read other articles, too. These pieces tell me that if I’m stuck in a job that I hate and wondering if pursuing my dream will set me free, all I need to do is take that leap of faith and trust my gut. Oh, and buy this 90-day guide on finding my first high-paying freelance client. I think it was Thelma who said, “You get what you settle for.”

I don’t easily pin; I plan (and sometimes buy 90-day guides). The way I see it, everyone has a must-see or a must-do, or a must-leap moment. And you either see-do-leap, or you watch others. Written with better grammar: what shots you got, take.

I’ve only ever been a full-time marketer and a spare-time blogger. I don’t have a niche. I don’t have a strategy. I don’t have a focus. I barely have a message. I just like to write. And my must-leap moment is to jump out of marketing. And I want to. Boyyyy, do I want to.

But right now I have to go. My client meeting starts in four minutes.

This is my midlife crisis

Do you ever feel like the new kid in your life? 

Something is a little different, and you know you’re on the threshold of something new, but you can’t quite put your finger on what that is. You don’t know if you’re breathing a little quicker because the steps in your house have steepened along with your age, or perhaps you’re simply breathing more freely, but something definitely “new” is adding just the right dash of crispness that makes you feel a tad bit more alive. 

When your whole life sort of “rearranges” (feel free to substitute “crumbles” here), it is time to step back gracefully. 

I am looking at my life with a little less attachment to the versions I’ve vision-boarded and penciled in, and I’m noticing that maybe, just maybe, I missed the boat that housed my life’s purpose. I’ve been evaluating everything that has made up my story thus far: the things that make me tick, the goals, the skills that are just innately part of me, and I’m down a rabbit hole. 

The scariest part is that I’ve been in this rabbit hole before, and I’ve been this new kid before. But through every stage of “new kid,” I have grown into a bigger, wiser, more fiery kid. And I find myself again with positiveness and dream, and perhaps even more oversized, more fabulous – slightly theatrical – rose-colored glasses sitting gingerly on my nose. 

I’ve been holding my real life hostage (or something like that)!

I’m the new kid whose fingers are pounding the keyboard and conversing with myself – swimming in ambiguity and butterflies. I’m the anticipation, the jitters, the sole of your foot on pretty little eggshells, thinking, “how the hell do I do this?”

My greatest joy in life is chocolate chips, and my second greatest joy is writing. So what’s in store for this new kid? Everything.

It’s time for fresh, new, unfamiliar, brilliantly uncomfortable changes to my career (and living arrangements). I’ve complained about writing for algorithms and search engines for years. It’s time I write for me (but still make money … I mean, a gal’s gotta eat). While A Similar Story is my personal blog (and I’ll never leave it), the freelance world is calling. I’m on the verge of making a modern writing career that serves me, not Google.

Rising stars have to start somewhere!

I feel like I can take on anything: the epic, magical, ultra-luxe, rough, and rugged opportunities. And not just little opportunities, but Medium ones, as well. 

You can find me here on Medium. I’ll be writing on lots of different topics. In fact, my next one just might be, “Is it marketing, or is it propaganda?”

I’m also a writer on a few freelance boards (Upwork, Constant Content, iWriter, and ProBlogger), where I can be hired for freelance writing projects. Here, I get to choose the type of project, the topic, the industry, and I reap all the gloriousness that comes with “choice.”

Now for all of you who remember I mentioned changing my “living arrangements,” I’m looking to relocate to #AlmostHeaven. More to come…