The best career advice I’ve received so far is simply to start doing what you want people to pay you to do. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But it can’t possibly capture the long hours of slogging away, of draining oneself of creative energy, of giving it all up for free in hopes of getting somewhere, without ever really knowing if it will go anywhere in the end.
I started this blog because I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a small child. Becoming an instantly published and acclaimed novelist doesn’t happen overnight, let alone making any money from writing, so I figured the best first step was just to start writing and see where it led. Well, much to my astonishment and delight, it did lead to places. Within six months, I got a job writing for TLC Parentables, which was wonderfully exciting. It seemed too good to be true, getting paid to write about parenting. When Parentables shut down in August, I got transferred to TreeHugger.
Yesterday I published my 500th post on this blog, and then…. (deep breath)…. I was just offered a more full-time writing position at TreeHugger. The coincidence is a bit eerie; as if I just had to put in that time first, and now the writing world has really opened up to me. I’m ecstatic and nervous, since it will certainly change my lifestyle. No more sleeping past 5:30 a.m. during the week. I officially have a working schedule now. It also means I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo, but that’s a small price to pay for this awesome writing job.
Just a few months ago, I was holding back tears when I left this coffee shop, having just received notice that Parentables was shutting down and I’d be out of a job. Today, I’ll leave this same coffee shop with a bounce in my step, a song in my head, and a permanent smile on my face. Life is very good to me and I’m so grateful for that.