The standard advice for wanna-be freelance writers is to not quit your day job until you are making money as a writer. I kind of did that backwards.
It wasn’t intentional. I ended up in a place where I felt it was time to leave my job and I decided this would be a good time to pursue my dreams. If not now, when? So here I am six months later with a dream and a little extra writing experience under my belt, but not publishing regularly and not being paid for it. Am I a freelance writer or still a wanna-be? I’m certainly not a freelance writer who is supporting herself with her writing.
I've been doing some little projects like temp jobs here and there to bring in some money these past months. One of those projects has led me to the reality that I’m no longer content with just working to pay the bills. I no longer want to wander through life having to put my passion and joy on the back burner for 40 hours a week. I don’t think every writer has to give up a fulfilling day job to be the best writer they can. In fact, I know of many writers who worked all day and wrote all night. But, here I am at a crossroads in my life where I can pursue my dream or go back to my old life. That one project really instilled in me the desire to not go back to the old life just yet.
Once many years ago my pastor said, “If you have a God-given dream and you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. God will be there.” I wrote that quote in my journal all those years ago not knowing that the dream was writing for God for a living. I had buried that dream so deep it didn’t register on my radar back then. It wasn’t until 2006 that I began to unbury my hopes enough to reach my true pleasure in writing something that spoke to someone else. Now, I feel the drive to see where this will take me.
So, here as 2010 dwindles down to memories I am making a list and checking it twice. I’m making a plan, a business plan if you will. It won’t be easy. I’ve been tempted to think that if God gives me a dream it should be easy. But, I don’t really believe that. I think that God gives the dream and He gives the talent, but the elbow grease, that has to come from me. 2011 will be a year of elbow grease. I may end up doing the whole starving artist thing before I succeed, but I am willing to do that.