There are almost no words for that feeling when I realized I had found myself being myself.
When I entered the freelance world, I didn’t know what I was doing. I had zero contacts, zero sample writings, zero freelancing friends; and I was living abroad. Despite feeling isolated and alone, I knew my heart would not stop until I found a space for myself. When I entered the freelance scene, I was a fetus. The first time I encountered the tiniest of successes, it was like stretching for my toes, then finally reaching them; like seeing a mountain out there on the horizon and finally being upon it, on it, climbing towards the top.
Now, I am here. And while my journey isn’t finished yet and I don’t know where it will lead, one thing is certain –I am doing what I love. I am writing for a living. Just tying that is empowering!
At first, I didn’t even know I wanted to freelance. But one day, I woke up and heard the voice of my younger self who said, Aren’t you a writer? I could have cried from the years of ignoring self and urge.
I had almost forgotten those dreams. As if they had been tucked away for safekeeping, they were ready to come out of hiding. That voice alone was enough to propel me towards my calling. And I’m so glad that I was listening. Being still is such an important factor in finding self and versions of success.
I want to take you back to that space where I knew I had to stop everything and change directions. I want to talk about how I felt and what I did. And how everything mattered –all the way down to the way I was breathing.
Honesty | Facing my truth was hard. I had a stable job and steady income. I knew most people around me would say by leaving my career, I would be erring on the side of bad judgement. However, I was willing to crumble at the expense of it all in order to try. I had to see if it was really in me. And if it was, then universe would guide me and take me there. Once I was honest about my working life and salary –that none of it mattered unless I was writing, I came into my own. And nothing feels better than being authentic with self.
Pennies | I was willing to work for very little or free just to get the experience. My MFA in Creative Writing wasn’t a testament to anything or proof that I could write. If I didn’t have evidence, my degree was just a piece of paper. So I swallowed gallons of pride and did small job after small job and was grateful for the practice. Suddenly, along the way I hit my stride and woke up to being in the midst of doing what I loved. That’s when more opportunities arose.
Belief | I was afraid, but I was more afraid of not trying. I was terrified that I may never become that writer I knew I was born to be. When I looked back at what I loved to do as a child, I saw crisp blank sheets of paper ready for my stories. I saw me, writing. I saw me reading books for inspiration. I saw me telling stories, too. Nothing could stop me from believing in myself once I looked at things through the eyes of my child self.
Pitches | No one told me what a pitch was. No one taught me how to write one. I researched and practiced; copied templates and samples. I wrote pitch after pitch until finally people started responding. Some of my first pitches were really out there, but I’m glad I wrote them and didn’t hold back. The process was a lesson; and I was let myself expand.
Drive | Something was pushing me forward. I could feel it. Even when no one responded to my inquiries, I kept going. Even when I was broke, I kept going. Even when the voice in my heart said, It looks like it might not happen, I kept going. I didn’t quit on my dreams. By not giving up, universe rewarded my drive. That something pushing me forward is my calling. I call it my heart born to write.
Patience | Having the internet within reach does not mean things happen fast or faster. As a matter of fact, distractions are aplenty and getting lost in the interwebs is real. Not only did I have to be patient with myself and the process, but also with companies and clients with whom I wanted to work. Patience gave me space to consider new approaches and construct alternative routes. Patience was a voice saying, In due time.
Stillness | Freelance writing isn’t always about writing. It’s about finding that story that others want to read. It’s about searching self for the stories I wanted to tell. It’s about finding a sense of purpose behind each time I am not writing. Sitting still, quiet, just breathing is one of the keys to my success. Trusting the journey means I trust self. It also means I know that universe will deliver. Stillness is trust.