10 Things I've Learned As a Freelance Writer So Far (As Illustrated by Inspirational Pinterest Quotes)
Six months ago I left my office job with a box and some dreams, ready to take the terrifying plunge into the freelance world. Admittedly, a big part of me thought I might crash and burn (with a slight chance of winding up homeless). But the stars aligned, I am still a freelance writer, and I have a home. The aforementioned traits make me qualified to share some lessons learned. And because I am apparently into twee things like inspirational Pinterest boards these days, here are 10 things I think you should know, as illustrated by said quotes.
1. If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.
Not where you thought you’d be five years ago? That’s OK, not many of us are. But that’s why it’s OK to move on if you find yourself going down a path that doesn’t make you feel like your true self.
2. Your dream job does not exist. You must create it.
I spent a lot of time in a cubicle poring over jobs ads, applying to “dream jobs,” and feeling a lot of disappointment. There came a point when I realized that it was time to stop waiting for someone else to make my dreams come true. I had to try this on my own. Somewhat self-aware statement: I realize that “a lot” of time is relative, and I’m thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given.
3. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.
I was scared as hell to leave the comfort of a salary and my status quo. But since then I’ve written for publications I could have only dreamed of, and been given countless opportunities that prove wonderful things can happen in the blink of an eye.
4. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Let’s face it: We live in a world of full-time expectations. There have been times when I compared my life and job to those of others, which has done nothing but steal my happiness. The grass is always greener, as they say, and a freelance lifestyle is pretty enviable by many accounts.
5. Stop and smell the roses.
This is very, very important.
6. Enjoy your own company.
I spend a lot of time with my cat. When he doesn’t want to hang out with me, I spend a lot of time with myself. I’ve started to learn that I actually don’t mind being alone with myself so much. Every once in a while I do start to drive myself crazy, though. That’s when coffee shops are a good idea. Lorca and Caffeine work quite nicely. So does meditation.
7. The pressure is good for you.
I’ve never created so much content each week as I do now. And it’s pretty awesome. If I ever start to get a little overwhelmed, either by the fact that I have so many deadlines to meet, or that maybe I don’t have enough deadlines to meet and need to get on that, I remember it’s a gift. Being busy is a good thing. Being challenged makes you stronger. Coasting along at a desk spending five hours a day looking at lolcats (not that I have ever done that) will only make you complacent.
8. Money doesn’t solve problems, but it could solve my money problem.
#RealTalk: Money is important. It won’t buy you happiness, but it will pay your rent. Learn to plan and budget, and try to have a backup plan. A part-time job that doesn’t hinder you creativity (like mine at the desk at Saraswati’s Yoga Joint), will get you out of the house and give you some rainy day funds.
9. Learn to love the ride.
10. The best is yet to come.