Your professional choices as a writer

September 08, 2016

I just moved.

I thought it would be great.

But my boyfriend, who worked remotely by my side for the past year, got a job at a traditional office. I’m all alone. I’m wilting like an over-watered cactus.

Writers have a reputation of being introverts who cloister themselves at home. Sure, we can’t really share a keyboard with someone else, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want a team.

And I’m not an introvert. I come alive around people, hence the wilting.

I’m starting to consider whether I want to keep freelancing. Should I go back to work?

Whackadoodle #3: Your professional choices as a writer

You’re hating your job.

You keep writing the same things, you’re tired of your boss, or you’re feeling beaten down by clients who don’t trust you.

What should you do if you don’t know what’s next in your career as a writer?

I’m always tempted to run in the opposite direction. When a full-time job gets hard, the answer is freelancing. When freelancing gets hard, I assume I should go back to work.

It’s tough for me, and I know I’m not alone. Here are a few things to think about as you consider your future as a writer:

Understand the grass will always be greener – A full-time job has benefits, a team, and predictability. It sounds great, but it also lacks flexibility, and you have to work with others instead of being the sole expert. There are issues with freelancing, too. You have flexibility, but it can be lonely. Wherever you are, the grass will always be greener.

Try to get two of the big three – I recently did some work with Sarah White, a talented writer who’s worked in journalism and content marketing. Her philosophy is that writers should shoot for two of the following: team, passion about subject, and money/benefits. Are you getting at least two of these three in your current role?

Own your privilege – When I was in college studying English, people used to joke that I was well on my way to becoming a “starving artist .” Boy, have I shown them! Today, I’m stuck between freelancing (wonderful + lucrative), or going back to work as a content creator (wonderful + lucrative). This is a truly privileged position to be in. No option is a bad option. If you are able to support yourself as a writer, you are lucky.

Explore options that are available to you – As I try to figure out what’s next for me, I’m exploring everything that’s out there. I’m taking on bigger, more exciting clients, partnering with other freelancers, taking time to reflect on what I want my freelance business to be, and looking at what writing jobs are open in my area. I’m even going on a trip with another freelancer this fall. I’m exploring, and I can take my time.

I challenge you, content creator, reflect on your career path as a writer, and be grateful there are so many opportunities out there today.

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