One Year Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of A String of Words. It’s so awesome to look back to a year ago at this time and realize how far I’ve come with my writing and in pursuing a freelance writing career. When I started this blog, I wasn’t even sure I would leave my job and I never in a million years believed it would happen so fast or that I would have such good results in such little time.

Over the past year, I’ve thought of developing this blog into more than just a personal blog and of trying to create a large following, but recently I’ve decided against it. When I started this blog it was meant to be about my life and my writing journey, and that’s what I want it to remain about. I like that I can talk on professional topics if I want but also go off topic just as easily. I like the freedom. That’s not to say I don’t have other blog ideas in the works, but as for this one, it will remain the way it is.

To the small number of people that read this blog – thank you!

Writing Reflections

As 2009 comes to an end, and the beginning of a new year is looming just a few days away, many people begin thinking about goals and resolutions for their fresh start.

But for me, this time of year would not be complete without remembering how far I’ve come. So today, before I write out my goals for 2010 I want to remember the past year. I remember waking up the first day of 2009 and thinking that I needed to change my life in a drastic way. I had told my husband that with the purchase of a laptop, I would find a way for it to pay for itself. I was going to get back to my roots and follow my dreams to freelance writing. At the time, I was thinking I would begin pitching to magazines again. After all, that was what I had done in the past. I never in a million years thought that by the end of the year I would be a full-time freelance writer.

As my husband sat around New Years day watching football, I typed into Google freelance writing and up on the screen popped a million sites. I spent hours that day researching and reading what knowledge and experiences others had to share. It was my first time learning anything about online writing. That same day, I signed up for Blogger and created my first blog (which I erased a few months later). A few days later, my research led me to sign up for Associated Content. I can’t tell you the thrill I got when my first story got bought. So I wrote more and at some point realized that I was never going to make a living there.

A few weeks went by and I stumbled upon Demand Studios. I signed up and had my first article published. Now that was better money. I became obsessed with writing for them and finding other online sources of revenue. I worked most nights late into the night after working a full day at my full-time job. A few months later, I started this blog. I began fantasying about quitting my job and those dreams started to look within reach when I landed my first private client. In July, I finally quit my job and went full time to freelance writing. By August, I was working for myself.

Today, I am proud to say that I have many private clients on a regular basis and many more one time projects sprinkled in a month. I am proud of what I have accomplished this year. It hasn’t all been easy. I’ve had to learn about accounting, contracts, technology, confidence in myself and more. But I have loved every single minute of it. I have many writers from around the world that I would now call friends and hope to someday meet in person. For the first time in my adult life I am living the life I always imagined for myself.

Without being too sappy, I want to thank all the people that I have met through writing this year that have hired me, given me advice or just lent me an ear to vent. I truly could not have made my dreams into a reality without such a warm and sharing community that freelance writers all over the world have created.

My goals will be coming soon, but for now, I just want to be proud of and thankful for how far I’ve come. What are you most proud of this year?

Learning Something New Every Day!

One thing I love about the wonderful world of freelancing is that I feel like I learn and explore something new every day. Today I learned about two things.

I started exploring Twitter – I’ve had an account for a while now but have never actually used it. So I started reading up on it today. There is so much information out there that is really helpful, it is amazing. And quite soon, I will be using Twitter to see if it helps my writing career.

The other thing I discovered today is Google Reader. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs yet, but so far it has been awesome! Call me behind the times, but this is great because I can actually see all the updates posted on my favorite blogs (all writing blogs so far!) right in one place.

So while I know that most of you are probably already familiar with these two gems I am exploring (if you’re not, check them out), I am just happy to have the time to finally explore them and hopefully some more things in the near future.

One other thing that I am thinking about, researching and considering is a way to boost viewers to this blog. I’m considering making it more of a niche, or starting a more specific blog to improve my online presence. So far, I’m a little short on ideas, but hopefully soon I will have a grasp on where I want to go with blogging.

Having the opportunity to learn something new every day keeps things exciting and fun! I hope that my writing career always remains this way and I hope that I never lose the desire to learn something new.

Do you have any suggestions of other things I can look into? Remember I am still fairly new to all of this!

An Opportunity

question-mark3An opportunity has presented itself and I’m not sure what to do. My gut feeling is that I should just shut my eyes and jump, just go for it. This could be a great start towards my freelance writing career, but it could also be very damaging to the career I have. Again, this is where I start to waiver. As soon as things start pushing me in the direction I want to go, I start to doubt everything.

I have possibly an opportunity to do an interview with Nacie Carson, that would be posted on her website, The Life Uncommon (if you haven’t checked it out, you definitely should). The interview would be about my journey to leave the “rat race” to pursue my “life uncommon”. Exactly what I write about here. It would be a great way to get some traffic to my own blog and work. It would also be a great way to start establishing my name in this community. Having a background in marketing, I trust myself enough to know a good marketing opportunity when I see one.

But here is my problem: my current employer has no idea about my plans. Unfortunately, they think they have me for a lot longer than I am planning to stay and I am okay with that for now. I’m not set up enough to start freelance writing full-time. I’m not ready to tell them I’m leaving. I have a huge project coming up and the company is depending a lot on this project. I respect them and have a vested interest in what happens there. Above and beyond anything else, I don’t want to cause panic by revealing my plans before this project takes place. As you have probably noticed, I have been very careful not to reveal any identifying information in this blog for these very reasons.

So what to do? I could forget about it and not do it at all. Or, I could do it under my so called “pen name” and list this blog only, and none of my other writing samples. I would hopefully get more traffic, but not under my real name, which I hope to write under in the future.

Oh, what to do……

Welcome to A String of Words

Welcome to A String of Words, a blog about my life. I am a woman in my mid 20’s who woke up one day, looked around and wondered how on earth I ended up on the career path I’m currently on. It is not what I ever imagined for myself, it’s not even something I remotely like to do. What I like to do, what I love to do is write. I have known that for as long as I can remember, I even majored in journalism. And yet somehow, I got sidetracked. I forgot who I was and what I wanted from my life. I forgot to be true to myself. I got blinded by the promise of benefits, a 401k and a regular paycheck. Don’t get me wrong, those things matter (I do have a mortgage), but I am determined make my passion, my work and survive off it.

So here I start my journey. I start living my life the way I had envisioned it. I get back to my roots. I get back to writing. I learn to write about anything and everything, all day, every day. I’m sure I’ll stumble, but I won’t give up. It’s time for me to seize the moment, be true to myself and live my life.

I invite you to join me on my journey as I leave my day job behind and transition to the writing world, building my writing life one word at a time.