Hello SOTGC community,
Every year it seems we always say, “Wow, this year just flew by!” This year doesn’t seem any different except as 2015 draws near, I have made a conscious effort to savor these last days of 2014 and embrace the holidays that always seem to rush by in a blur.
It’s the perfect time to be thankful and to also make plans for the new year. You can’t do either of these things without looking back and celebrating the past year’s accomplishments and noting lessons learned.
This has been my first year as a freelance writer. I have always done contract work on the side, but it was always in addition to a day job. This year was different. Writing became my day job. The year taught me how to trust my instincts more, pave my own path, and be present in the moment rather than constantly worrying about the future.
While I can’t sum up the full experience 2014 has brought me, I can share some highlights with you.
I learned to persevere. One of the most concerning parts of being a freelancer is the lack of stability. At any moment, a client may decide they don’t need your services anymore or forget to pay you on time. Or, you may have to part ways in a business relationship because it no longer serves you (or them) anymore. There is freedom in this, but also a certain anxiety of what will happen next. Fortunately, tough times don’t last forever. You just have to keep a positive attitude and power through. Wine and meditation can also be credited for lending a helping hand.
I learned to not give a “niche.” Branding is such an important role when you are in business for yourself. You have to learn how you want to use your voice and what you want to be known for, whether that’s in-person or online. Writers are pushed into declaring their niche. This was difficult for me since I like to write about all kinds of topics for a variety of outlets. My creative writing differs from my business writing and I like to mingle the two as often as possible. I realized I didn’t want to be boxed in and I became “niche-less” instead.
I learned to act my age. When battling through your 20s, you’re used to people telling you what to do and how things should be done. It’s almost a given, a way of paying dues and learning the ropes. But when you hit your 30s, you have significant work experience under your belt. You’re not the new kid on the block anymore. In fact, you’ve been around that block quite a few times. I found more confidence in my decisions and started to let my work and work ethic speak for itself, rather than constantly trying to prove myself.
I learned to live the life I’ve always wanted. I’ve always wanted to make my living as a writer and now I do. There are tweaks and improvement to this that I will be working on in 2015, but as far as the goal, I am thankful for the fact that I live in one of the best cities in America with the support from people I value doing what I love most. Writing. For now, the balance is more business heavy, but that makes new goals in the new year that much more exciting. I want to start turning the tables and focus on my creative side and make that profitable for me, too. The opportunities are endless.
Cheers to 2014 and all the lessons and life experiences it has brought my way. It has definitely had its roller coaster moments, but I will be ending it on a high note filled with the energy and inspiration needed to power me through 2015!
What lessons have you learned in 2014? Tweet your thoughts to @mscourtneybeth!