February 9th marks my 4-year anniversary of the beginning of my online writing career. It’s almost like completing 4 years of college. In usual Felicia mode, I have to look back and reflect. You know, there’s something about aging that makes a person more reflective.
Fortunately, I’ve kept an electronic journal. My journal started the day after my last full-time job moved several hundred miles south (and I didn’t move with them). That occurred on July 31, 2001 and my journal was born on August 1, 2001.
I don’t often share my journal writings, but I thought this might be interesting to those of you who wish to become writers.
The first three paragraphs of my brand new journal were:
If I want to become a freelance writer, the first thing I must do is write. Write every day. Today is August 1, 2001. It is the first day of my new journey.
July 31, 2001 was the last day of employment with (removed company name). The one thing that I did learn from my experience at (company name removed) is that I cannot work at a full-time, in house, 9-5 job anymore. Family obligations and inner spirit require that I find non-traditional work. By non-traditional work, I mean earning money in a fashion whereby I may work at anytime from any place.
To that end, this is my new beginning.
The Good and the Bad
The good thing was I made a mental decision to become a freelance writer. The bad thing was that it took me so long to figure out how to make it happen. I allowed 6 years to go by before I really put a plan into action.
What took me so long? I had to convince myself. While my mouth and my fingers were saying and typing the right things, I had not convinced my inner self that it was possible. My brain knew that I could write. My salaried jobs paid me handsomely for my writing but deep within, I had not convinced myself that I could go out there and do it for myself.
I guess my six year journey is something akin to the 40 year Biblical Israelite journey. It took Moses 40 years to lead his people from Egypt to the Promised Land (which was an 11 day trip). I spent six years going around the same mountain of fear, lack of confidence and negative self talk.
During those six years I collected unemployment, worked several part-time jobs and tried to restructure our finances to make things work. Life dealt us a few earth shattering blows and I lost my focus. However, all things happen for a reason and the reason usually reveals itself when we least expect it.
Finally, in 2007, after spending 3 months working as a bank clerk (making just a bit above minimum wage) I had enough. I didn’t have a plan, but I knew deep inside that I could make more money writing than I could working at my dead-end job.
I gave 2 weeks notice and my last day working at the bank was February 9, 2007. That was the very same day that I truly started my freelance writing career.
Four Year Summary
Over the next few posts I’ll try to summarize my 4-year journey (one year per post), but before I summarize my 4-year journey, I’d LOVE to hear how, when and why you became a freelance writer. Even if you’re still in the “I’m to scared to write” phase, I’d like to hear your story. Your story will encourage others to stop going around the same mountain (and hopefully not waste another 6 or 40 years).