Hi everyone! Today, I feel a little relieved to finally be writing this. As most of you know, I started working a second job in early spring, doing freelance writing for a website and today I can officially tell you that I quit that job…which is kind of a big deal for me, since I’ve only quit one other job in my entire life. I’m sure you’re all wondering why I decided to stop doing the thing I love to do, so let me fill you in…
The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten About Writing Is The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten About Life
Once, a very long time ago, a professor gave me some advice about my writing that has always stuck with me. Basically, don’t be afraid to hit delete. As a writer, it’s so tempting to try to make a sentence, or a paragraph, or an idea work, but sometimes we are better off hitting delete and trying again, or not. It’s something that was once so difficult for me, to shorten my word count only to maybe come up with something better or worse than before, but over the years I’ve learned that if you aren’t happy with something, don’t force it. It’s okay to say no, it’s okay to quit, and it’s okay to fail. I’ve applied this same writing advice to every day life. Life is too short to settle for an okay sentence. Life is too short to stick with something that isn’t a good fit and as much as I jumped up and down the day my first article went live, as much as I smiled from ear to ear seeing my name grace that webpage, I want to write what I want to write. I want to use my own creative content, and I want to have a day off once in a while. I stuck with it for a while, almost six months to be sure, even when I knew it wasn’t a good fit. Soon I felt down for no reason, I found myself procrastinating, which I rarely do, and I realized I would dread my days off, which I would spend writing articles I didn’t believe in, looking for pictures I didn’t like, and having my favorite ideas shot down. Of course my work life balance has also been influenced by my “real job,” where I recently accepted a temporary promotion. But, with a full-time job, a part-time job, and a sick parent, I’ve simply been stretched too thin! It was a morning last week that I woke up and realized summer is almost over and I’ve spent the nicest days sat with coffee and my laptop trying to do anything but the writing I sat down to do.
My Happiness Has Always Been More Important Than A Paycheck
The biggest reason I decided it was time to call it quits was because I realized that writing on my blog, which earns me $0 makes me so much happier than writing for this company that deposits money into my account twice a month. It’s hard work to come up with ideas and to feel creative and I don’t want to waste that on something I don’t believe in; I want my creativity to go into something I love, which is this site, as little and silly as it may be. Don’t misinterpret me here, I had a lot of fun in the beginning and I think it was really good practice to have someone critique my ideas and outlines, but overall I found that I stopped looking forward to writing, and with no time to myself I wasn’t thinking of ideas for things to write about here. It’s something I wrote about before, but I’m choosing me, I’m choosing happiness, I’m choosing days off.
I Want My Boss To Know What My Voice Sounds Like, So I Can Really Be Heard
The hardest part of freelance writing for me was the lack of interaction with the editors and team that you write with. I didn’t know anyone else’s names, as all the e-mails were BCC’d to me; I didn’t have anyone to reach out to when my editor didn’t get right back to me, and I got a lot of e-mails that were sent to the writing team that seemed to specifically communicate something to me, personally, whether it be image standards or sourcing. After years working a job where I see my co-workers everyday, a job where co-workers become your family, a job where co-workers know your parents and ask how your dog is, I hated that I didn’t know anything about my editor and that she didn’t know anything about me. She doesn’t know my dog’s name, or that my dad is sick, or that I work full-time, and that makes it a lot harder to gain my buy-in, don’t get me wrong I don’t want to use my life as an excuse, but I will move mountains for someone who cares about me and what I care about. I want to feel valued and recognized and like someone knows me! I’m also used to someone telling me I’ve done a good job, or at least knowing they think that even if they don’t always say it, I rarely got a “job well done” e-mail, and the few times I did made me stick around for the next week.
I’m definitely not done writing, in fact, I plan to do more of it, but I’m committing to writing when I want, what I want, and how I want.
2 Comments Add yours
I love this! & the same thing happened to me. It was not fulfilling me but I was in a viscious cycle that seemed too busy to really slow down. I’m happy you are happy and love reading your stuff Steph!
Couldn’t agree more! It was like I was too busy meeting a deadline to even consider what I liked or didn’t like about it! Love reading your stuff too!