05 January 2015


Gerard ter Borch [Public domain]
via Wikimedia Commons
In my book, the "cover page" for each month comes with an inspirational quote or saying. Some of them are pretty cheesy, but they're all valuable reminders. So I decided this year that I'm going to use those sayings each month as a sort of mantra. This month:

Happiness is never out of reach, for the sweet miracle of life is that we are free to follow the path of our dreams.

I am one of those privileged people who gets to do what I love every day. Not only did I go to school to be a writer, but it's something I truly, truly love. I can't imagine doing anything else except what I'm doing right now.*

When I started college and made the decision to major in English (writing concentration), I was told that I had two real options for a career: journalism or teaching. After all, what could I really do with a degree in English?

After graduating, I discovered there was a whole society of people in business who don't like writing or feel that they "can't" write, and are happy to have other people do the work for them, especially when it comes to regular blogging and updating web content.

I started freelancing in 2008, and while I've taken breaks from it here and there, I've never gone very far from writing as my career.

I have been fortunate to be able to make a path for myself doing something that makes me very, very happy. I work on my own terms and in my own way, and after all the work I've put in over the past six and a half years, I've proven what I can do.**

I know there are a lot of people with degrees (advanced degrees, even) who are not working in their fields. Or who have taken whatever jobs they can find because there's just nothing available where they live. I'm fortunate enough that the work I love to do continues to be in high demand.*** (In fact, my primary client is expecting significant growth this year, which translates to more work for me.)

I have found that the path I am now is really the key to my overall happiness. I have had traditional jobs, and while I didn't abhor them, they didn't really make me happy. Even my most recent "real" job, which was in marketing, was the closest to happy I have had outside of freelancing, but the enjoyment I got from that job is nothing compared to what I feel now.

All of this is confirmation to me that I'm doing the right thing in my life. And to stay happy, I'm just going to keep at it every day.

*Specifically, I adore working with my current primary client. It's a great gig!

**As evidenced by the conversation I had with my writing manager over the weekend. More on that another time.

***My primary client is an organization that provides academic content for individuals and groups. I've written white papers, business plans, thought leadership content, and a wide variety of other academic-style content on many, many subjects. I love doing this kind of research and writing, and would be very happy sticking with this client for a long time!

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