I was stressing out.
I was crunching numbers, comparing my salary from my “day job” to my projected student loan payments. The numbers didn’t balance. I realized that I would really be struggling to make payments and I began considering finding a second job.
Instead, my significant other suggested I freelance. He knew it was something I had always wanted to do. Freelancing full-time had been a long-time goal of mine, but one I had thought couldn’t happen until I was married with kids on the way and a significant chunk of “real world work experience” built up. It was something I really wanted to do, but I had a lot of doubts.
With his encouragement, I began marketing myself. I started this blog (which follows my progress as I work to become a full-time freelancer) – and began to actively seek freelance work.
(I just want to pause for a minute and point out that having someone in your life – whether you’re a freelancer, a business owner or whether you still work for a boss – who is willing to encourage you to push your boundaries and work for what you want is essential. It’s no coincidence that I’m dating the person I’m dating. He’s an amazing person with an incredible ability to encourage me (and sometimes enable me) even when he doesn’t agree or share my passions.)
I fell in love with editing in High School…
My high school graduating class had over 600 people in it. I only remember this number because I was number 62 and still made it into the top 10%. While in school they broke us up by “academies,” each of which has a particular “major” (similar to how a college might break things down).
I spent my high school years in the communications academy, where I fell in love with the process of editing – of slowing going through something, tweaking it, making small changes, until the final project was much better than the sum of all those minor alterations.
I’ve always been a detail-oriented person who really enjoys slightly tedious tasks that allow me to learn, that require me to be incredibly organized and that revolve on a tight deadline.
But at the time I was divided. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to work with words or video.
College let me make that choice.
I experimented (the way one should in college) with multiple career goals, trying video editing (I worked in the student lab and frequently helped other students with projects), working on film sets, immersing myself in that culture. I also did a semester-long independent study where I read up on freelance writing, crafted queries and did other types of research (looking into publications I might want to write for, for example).
After trying both, I decided I wanted to write and ultimately, I wanted to freelance.
But self-doubt held me back.
I didn’t think I could freelance right out of the gate. At the time I wanted to write about the publishing industry, so I decided I’d get experience in the industry first. Thus my current “day-job.” Slowly, however, I’ve been realizing that I have what it takes.
What was a “maybe one day” is quickly becoming a “soon.” However, without that initial push, I wouldn’t have decided to give it a chance. Instead, I would have waited until who-knows-when (or if).