Before writing my blog this week, I decided to scan through my folder of writing prompts. Every day I receive a writing prompt from WordPress, and I’ve saved up some of my favourites for inspiration.
One prompt in particular jumped out at me: “Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, rewrite your very first post.”
This seemed like too much fun to pass up. I wrote my very first post on March 6, 2010, about two weeks before my last day of in-house work.
“I always thought that working 9-5 for a book publisher would be my dream job. But after landing that job last year, it didn’t take long to realize that I want to make my own schedule, be my own boss, and live as freely and joyfully as possible. So I’m venturing out into the exciting world of freelance editing and want to record every step of the way!”
This was such an exciting time for me. I remember setting up shop at my favourite coffeehouse on my first official day as a freelancer and feeling on top of the world. Knowing what I know now, here’s the revised version of the post:
Growing up, I always thought I would work a 9-5 job. I liked the idea of having evenings and weekends off, a steady paycheque, and someone telling me exactly what I needed to do – the idea of being my own boss seemed much too daunting.
Once I settled into this type of life, I quickly became bored and unsatisfied. I realized that I had loved being a student so much because I loved learning new things every day, the flexible schedule, and being able to work from anywhere. I realized I needed to be challenged, and that my potential to find fulfillment and make the big bucks with my current employer was almost non-existent. I knew that freelancing would be risky but that the payoff would be worth it.
I started spending time envisioning what I wanted my life to look like, and it didn’t match my current path. And then a friend of mine gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received: “Why spend time building someone else’s dream as an employee in a position you don’t particularly enjoy? Why not build your own?”
That was the push I needed. Now, with some great experience under my belt, I can confidently say that my decision to freelance was the best one I ever made. This isn’t to say that freelancing has always been “freeing” and joyful – it has involved long hours, some sacrificing of time and social life, the stress that comes with being accountable to only yourself, and months wondering whether rent could be paid – but the joy I have experienced overall trumps all the negatives. Most days, I wake up looking forward to the day ahead.
I can’t wait to see what the next three years will bring. Where were you three years ago?
Song of the week: “We Are Ghosts” – James Vincent McMorrow