It has been around a year since I was last formally employed, since I last had a day job. That statement alone sounds phenomenally thrilling! I mean, how many people wish they could say that?
You’ve heard that saying “Be careful what you wish for” and you’ve seen all those movies where someone is granted three wishes but isn’t very specific and therefore doesn’t quite get the wish they had in mind. Here’s my advice: be very specific when making wishes!
I have been writing since I was eight years old. I just wrote, like I just breathed. I didn’t really think about it much, I just had stories in me and writing them down seemed like a perfectly natural and normal thing to do. Later, I wrote about things that bothered me and things I didn’t understand – to try to make sense of the world. Then I tried to make sense of myself and wrote simply to get stuff out of my head – a kind of therapy I guess.
After all this writing, I realised I was ok at it, and the idea of ‘being a writer’ seemed like something I would both enjoy and be good at. So I studied it at university…that old desire to understand things – I wanted to understand writing. But I also needed to prove something to myself – that I was really a good enough writer to earn some kind of living from writing.
In amongst all this, life happened, and a year ago I found myself in a situation where I could take a year out to write. 2013 would be my year of writing! I spent the first few months setting up this website, having more time to do freelance writing/editing work and plotting my novel. I discovered that having all this lovely time is not always a good thing!
I’ve come to realise that perhaps I am an inherently lazy person who is simultaneously motivated, disciplined and organised. When it comes to housework, for example, I come in a miserable last to my much cleaner partner; but when it comes to tidiness, I win hands down. In terms of healthy eating and exercise, I am just not consistent. I can be super healthy one week and totally reliant on caffeine and sugar, hiding from my gym shoes, the next. Perhaps ‘lazy’ is too harsh a word – ‘human’ might be more fitting! But when it comes to my writing and freelance work, I am completely organised and motivated.
I LOVE freelance work and I LOVE writing. I have the freedom to work in the seclusion of my apartment or take my laptop to a café or the library…wherever really. I can dress for work or just bust out those words sitting in my pjs if I want.
I know, it SOUNDS idealistic, but remember that advice…be specific…here’s the down side:
With the reduced income from me quitting my day job, we now live in a one bedroom flat. This means my ‘office’ is also the bedroom. We have cut back on the number of times we go out and the number of holidays we take. I never know when the next freelance job will turn up and I don’t know if all the time I have spent writing will pay off in the end.
But, despite the tightening of our financial belt and the great financial insecurity…I love working freelance and writing more than ever before. I am a strong believer in making things happen, so here’s my ultimate piece of advice, which trumps the ‘be specific’ thing…
Dream big and be committed to making your dreams become a reality…no matter what it takes!
So wish on a star, blow on a dandelion, think up the biggest dream you can and tell me, what are your dreams?
I’d love to be inspired hearing all about how you are making your dreams come true!
Photo credit: dandelion
Photo credit: dandelion seed