Last night, I decided to create an Excel spreadsheet of the writing jobs I have acquired since living in Alabama. Within three weeks, I was awarded 7 writing jobs on a freelancing website I subscribe to and scour religiously each day. While most are just one-time jobs, I am ecstatic to be building my portfolio at a much more rapid rate than before, and I get work on a diverse set of projects with clients from all over the country.
When I lost my job last year at 8 months pregnant, I attempted to launch my writing career through Craigslist ads and freelancing websites, but only got about 3 jobs in 2 months, and none offered additional work. It was discouraging, but I kept at it. I took a break once my son was born just so I could completely bask in the glow of motherhood and watch and snuggle him 24/7, then other jobs came up that landed me back in another office doing the same old thing. Now, I’m in a different place, and I am fortunate enough to have the resources to be able to survive without an office job.
I was about 9 years old when I discovered poetry and started writing regularly soon after. My career goal was to be Editor-in-Chief of Rolling Stone. That might not be in the cards for me now, but what is in the cards, what is attainable and happening as I type this is the opportunity to be a professional writer. I now have the opportunity to connect with clients, keep my portfolio fresh and current, and I get to work on projects of all shapes and sizes. I am learning what works with job bids and what doesn’t; how to negotiate rates with clients; and how to market myself for long-term projects. If an office job pops up along the way, great — if it’s the right move, I’ll take it (afterall, I do have a son for whom to provide). But, until then, to know that I can earn a semi-sustainable income just on my writing alone is of incredible comfort to me and something I’m sure the 9 year-old me would be super excited about.