Although my blog is only three months old, I’m coming upon a year as a writer. I thought that I would share my writing journey with you to encourage you to “Go for it!” if you are a mom thinking of beginning a blog or becoming a writer.
First, let me start by saying that I don’t have a degree in creative writing, English, journalism, or any of the other “writer” majors. I do have a degree in Theatre (Stage Management, to be precise), but this does not open doors in the writing world. I also have some graduate work under my belt, but it is in Secondary Education, so again, not a “writing” major.
So, how did I fall into writing? By necessity. Before my son was born, I knew that I wanted to take a year off with him. I had gone back to work eight weeks after my daughter was born and didn’t want to leave a child that young in daycare again. So, we built up our savings and I left work shortly before he was born.
What we did not see coming was that he was born premature with many medical problems. You can read more of that story here. Medical bills piled up very quickly, and our savings account numbers were decreasing at a rapid rate.
It became pretty clear that I needed to start adding to the household income. But how? I couldn’t go back to work with all of my son’s specialist appointments, therapies, medicines, blood draws, etc, etc, etc. I needed a job that I could do from home.
So I started looking. I found some awesome work-at-home sites, like this one and this one and this one, to find jobs to apply for. I looked for tutoring work since I had taught science at a vocational school before his birth, but I didn’t have a science degree so no one was interested. I couldn’t do a phone job because my kids were active and noisy. (And I’m an introvert, so talking on the phone all day sounds like a nightmare.) I applied to a few online administrative jobs, but no one called me. (I was pretty glad though – making appointments and transcribing all day wasn’t really my style.)
I looked at the writing jobs. They looked fun and well-paid, but I mentally crossed those off my list. Who would hire me as a writer? I did well writing school papers and I have jotted down a story or two, but by no means was I qualified to write, I thought.
And as I continued searching for work and our medical bills kept increasing, I was more stressed and lost than ever.
Then I began reading a blog (no, I’m not going to link to it) of a stay-at-home mom who wrote for a living. She didn’t have a degree at all and was still able to find clients, some of whom kept rehiring her. She detailed her monthly income and the numbers were impressive.
But what struck me the most about her blog was that the writing was TERRIBLE! I mean, I’m no Shakespeare, but it was difficult to go through a paragraph without thinking, “What is she trying to say here?” And she had an incredible number of misspellings and instances of poor grammar – so many that I don’t think they were mistakes. I think that she actually didn’t know basic grammar or spelling. And she was a professional writer.
Clearly, she doesn’t represent most writers, but her blog did get me thinking – “If she is paid for her writing, I bet I could get paid to write too.”
So, I started off at some content mills (if you don’t know what they are, you are lucky) making hardly any money. But still, I was getting paid to write! Then I started applying to write for jobs listed on Craigslist, and was actually getting hired every so often. I couldn’t believe it when I was hired to write a monthly column for an online magazine. And then clients started finding me. With this success, I discovered that I was actually a pretty good writer after all.
I was no means making boatloads of money (I’m still not), but it was enough to pay some of the medical bills down. And the flexibility of writing allowed me to concentrate on raising my kids too. Not to mention that I enjoy writing more than I could have imagined. For me, it was perfect.
Once you start writing, it’s amazing how many different paths are open to you. After writing about anything and everything, I found that I really liked blogging and social media. And so those became my focus. Now I ghost blog/write for some companies as well as write my own blog, which has already seen some success. And I’m now working on breaking into not only writing social media content, but also creating social media strategy. (Want to hire me? Click here!)
I’ve found something that works for me and that I love doing, all because of one bad writer who inspired me to take the leap.
So, I hope that I can encourage you to take that leap (although I hope you think of me as the relatively good writer inspiring you). If you are in the least bit interested in becoming a writer, just go for it! You may just find a career that you love.
Where do you hope your writing will take you?