9 years ago, I was putting in the last month of work at my job. I was a teacher at a private college. The pay was good. The work was rewarding — mostly. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
For the majority of my life, the only thing I wanted to do was be a writer. And I quit my good paying job to do just that.
At that point, I had already been doing some freelance writing online and getting paid for it. So, I knew I was capable of it. I had some good clients and I was making contacts all across the world.
Part of the plan was to move to a small town where living costs would be lower. We did just that — me, my husband, two kids, and a cat. The teenager was not too thrilled about it but, trust me, she needed it as much as I did.
For the next four years, I worked with a variety of clients. I wrote. I promoted myself on social media. I got a lot of jobs. Some of them were high paying gigs. I had one main gig that brought in over a third of my income. I loved it. I was my own boss!
Around the end of 2014, things changed. Fast. This was a huge lesson to me. No matter how secure you think your work is, if it depends on other people paying you, it’s not. Especially online.
That main gig I mentioned? ***POOF!*** Gone. They decided to pull all of their social media/blogging work in-house. And I wasn’t invited (not that I would have moved again — I had grown to love small town life) because I didn’t have a degree in Marketing from a fancy college. It was me that started them on blogging and grew their Facebook Page and their Twitter well into the multiple thousands. But never mind.
No matter how secure you think your work is, if it depends on other people paying you, it’s not. Especially online.
And then there were more changes. Clients were giving up on their online businesses because the money wasn’t coming in as fast as they liked. It was getting harder and harder to find work.
I fell out of love with freelance writing. I realized that I didn’t even like writing other people’s content that much. I mean really, who likes writing articles about bolts and screws?
Time For A Break
I was burned out. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I did try for a few months but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. It wasn’t what I imagined it would be. It was a lot harder than I thought. It was a lot of late nights and early mornings and tediousness.
I got a job. And then I quit that and found a waitressing job. I’m still at that job — for now. I love it, but it’s not my forever gig.
Back To Words
Not writing was never going to last very long. And now that I didn’t have clients I had to write for, I could write what I wanted to write.
I experimented with blogging. I wrote on some revenue share sites. I even ran my own revenue share sites with a partner (anyone remember Writedge and Daily Two Cents?). None of it really resonated with me though.
That’s when I turned back to fiction. My first love.
I started writing stories (a lot of them that you can’t read). And they made money! It was so exciting that people wanted to read the stories I wrote. More exciting that every time someone bought one of my stories I made money!
I wrote a lot of short stories and I still get paid for them today.
Narrowing It Down
Although I like the fact that my little stories were making money, it was a lot of work to write the short story, make a book cover, put it on Amazon, come up with a good blurb — and then try to promote it. And they were what I really wanted to write.
I wanted to write the kind of stuff that I loved to read — women’s contemporary romance, rom-coms, and family sagas.
Starting in July, I’m writing what I like. I’m writing the stories that I want to read. I’m not researching the best sellers to determine what I should write. I’m writing what I want to write!
So, yes, I gave up on a freelance writing career so I could focus on writing for myself. I’m still a writer. I’m still a professional writer. I’m just in the rebuilding phase.