I am finally doing something I love.
It feels like a stroke of luck, but it’s not.
I worked hard at a job I loved for 18 years, but that ended when my employer wasn’t willing to increase my wage to keep me. A new and different position called to me and I made a big leap.
But that new position wasn’t flexible, and when the world shut down and I had to move into being a stay-at-home support parent I had to give it up, like so many other moms in the workforce.
For the last five years, I’ve been honing my writing skills on my blog. I thought I might be able to make the move into freelance writing and make money while staying home to help the kids with school.
I changed my website a bit and tried to shift my focus to blog articles about writing for the web. I found a few freelance opportunities, but none of them felt quite right.
Back in 2018, a friend of mine had mentioned a local media outlet was looking for writers. I got in touch and started writing very casually for them, covering some family-friendly events and writing library content. I did it for free because I saw the value in what Kingstonist was trying to do, and it helped me reach a new audience with my material. I know writing for ‘exposure’ isn’t how the gig economy is supposed to work, but I felt aligned with their mission, and I loved doing it.
Fast forward to our pandemic life, and they offered to pay me on a per-article basis while I was home with the girls. That felt great, but as the summer drew to a close, I had to find steady, full-time employment as we thought – at the time – that the kids would go back to in-person learning, and stay there. (Boy were we wrong!)
I advocated for myself as a writer, and the team at Kingstonist seemed to like my abilities, so I was able to secure a full-time position working from home. And at higher pay than any of my previous positions.
The bonus is it barely feels like work at all. Who knew I would be good at something I enjoy so much?
I suffer some imposter syndrome when I think about how I literally stumbled into this job. I have no formal media or writing training (my degree was a B.Sc. in Biology), and I am always so in awe when I’m praised for my work.
Every day is an adventure. Sharing the news and supporting local businesses feels absolutely worthwhile.
It doesn’t hurt that this business puts family life first, and has a great vacation and benefits package.
So what is the moral of this story? Never give up. Do what you love, even if it’s only for a few minutes a week. Keep your options open and don’t be afraid to take a leap when it presents itself.