A few days ago, I wrote an article comparing Dunkin’ and Starbucks, then declared a winner.
Today, I am in Greenville, South Carolina for Fall for Greenville where I’m being treated to a hotel stay and beautiful meals in exchange for judging over 45 dishes prepared by area restaurants.
Life is good for this freelance writer.
I started freelancing back in 2016. I had just started my MFA and was a little intimidated to be back in college in my 40’s. One of my classes was “Freelance Writing for Publication” with a fabulous professor. For my first project, I dove deep into the life of a local art teacher intent on teaching indigo dying and its history connected to a remote barrier island in Georgia. My class helped critique this piece and the resulting article won Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.
I was hooked.
At that point in my life, I needed a challenge. My last child had reached high school age, the baby was growing up. It struck me that I was at the end of all three kid’s childhood. They’d had my focus for so long, my work wrapping around the busy schedule of their games, plays and daily life. As they moved into adulthood, it was time for me to take time for the career I’d always wanted. Thankfully, my husband supported this and encouraged me to take the leap.
It hasn’t all been perfect. I’ve written for content mills and produced content marketing just intent on SEO at whatever cost. I’ve made mistakes along the way and worked for lower rates.
Even with mistakes, I’ve always felt excited about my freelance writing career. I’ve felt courageous – interviewing reggae artists, Paralympic athletes, incredibly successful business owners and famous chefs. I’ve learned a million facts and it’s pretty common for me to start a sentence with, “I was writing an article on that and…”. I feel like I get to pursue anything that sparks my interest and be paid to do it.
There is a rush of accomplishment when your writing is published, when your pitch is accepted or when you get that one quote that perfectly illustrates the story. Writing is not just a job, it’s an art, a craft. There is a need to arrange the words into the most perfect version possible, honed by the editorial process into a submission that can reach the world. It’s beautiful.