Monday, October 31, 2011

Thank You: All Of You



Wow...how have you been blogging buddies? I've been...well, I'll explain. There's been a lot of development on my end, and I bet you all have no idea how much you had to do with it.

Here, I'll break it down for you.

Remember about 8 months ago when I started blogging on a complete whim? No? Well that's cool. I had three week break between when spring semester ended and summer semester began, and I'd never gone that long without having a paper to write in years, so when a friend suggested blogging to keep my fingers busy, I decided to check it out.

I found Blogger, opened an account under a fake name (not completely ready to trust the internet) and started writing. College was all I'd known, so that was a good enough topic at the time. But as I became more and more frustrated with the career path I had chosen, the topics turned to self-introspection. What the hell was I doing? For as defiant as I was in everything else in life, I sure waved the white towel pretty quick when my parents limited my options for potential college majors. I gave in without a fight. Without doing my own research, even. And sure enough, the farther I got along on the path that had been chosen for me by those "who knew best", the more miserable I became.

And through it all, you were always the first ones to know. I explained to you the intense misery I felt at my first "big girl job", how I wanted to just keep driving everyday on my way to work, and how I felt trapped and confined by the metaphorical prison cell known as the cubicle. I word for word described my boss's unwarranted bullying, and then filled you in on the day I got fired. After that ordeal, I gave you more than a glimpse into who I really was by letting you all see the results of my own psychological career assessment. I had previously changed my mind so many times (maybe I should have seen the sign then?) that I felt guilty about letting any of my family know that after two bachelor degrees and a Master's, I was starting from scratch. You, blogging world, were my main source of feedback.

And feedback I got.  People I'd never met before in my entire life offered condolences and words of encouragement. I felt like I belonged to a secret society, and one that was fully supportive of whichever direction I wanted to take.

Soon I focused on a select few careers and decided to take the leap. Writer/photographer turned out to be the most realistic (when compared to acting, writing music, finger-painting and underwater basket weaving) but it still seemed like such a long shot. But with your encouragement, I took the leap.

I sent out about countless job applications to websites and magazines asking the naive question of, "Hi, I like to write. How do I write for you?" Brash and completely unprofessional? Definitely. But worth the embarrassment to get my question answered? Absolutely. I had no idea how to get into this business, and I knew I had to start somewhere.

I got 6 replies and they offered me jobs writing bit by bit articles. Instantly, I felt the pit of my stomach grow heavy. What the hell did I think I was doing? I don't have a journalism degree, or an English degree or a writing degree, or an 'in' with some famous poet, or a collection of antique pens, or a library with leather-bound books...I had the sudden urge to answer all of them back with, "Sorry, family emergency. Maybe the spring issue will work out better. P.S. lose my email I'm terrified of you." But I'd already committed on here. On my online blog with a fake name. So I stuck it out.

And thank God I did. It's been tough, but I now blog for three separate companies on a weekly basis, and write for 3 different statewide magazines. Eventually I'd love to call myself a freelance photojournalist (I'm still saving for that damn camera) and be able to document history right as it happens. In the meantime though I'm learning new skills, like how to actual promote a blog correctly and how to use backlinking and other ways of optimization to increase traffic. Plus last night I found out I type 80 words a minute. Take that, Mavis Beacon.

Blogger buddies, what I wanted to say was thank you. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou a million times over. I feel like I'm finally in a job/career that is what I want to do, not what someone thought I would be good at. I'm excited, and I can't wait to see where this is all going to lead. I work hard, I make my own hours, and guess what...if I travel? I don't have to take time off work.

So that trip to Italy? That you voted on? Still planned for the spring. Except instead of a week long trip to Italy it's gradually grown to a 3 week trip to 6 different countries.

And I can't wait to write all about it.

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

21 comments:

  1. That's fantastic! Well done on persevering and sticking with it. We often give up too easily. I would love to write professionally for magazine but I'm always writing a book and feel I just can't commit myself. Maybe one day... Good luck with your success.

    Following you from Monday Mingle.
    CJ xx

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  2. Popping in from Monkey Do Monday! This is a great story & start to a rewarding career for you.

    Brooke
    http://cupcakecucumber.blogspot.com

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  3. Great story. And I'm incredible jealous that it's a 3 week/6 countries trip now!

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  4. ah, what a lovely post! well done. We must have started blogging around the same time. I'm glad it's working out well.

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  5. Oh goodness, I don't wanna sound like a hipster, but I have been following your blog since post 1 and I am so extremely excited for you. It's such an inspiration to a fellow writer/journalist that you're doing what makes you happy. I hope this brings you happiness for a long long time. Can't wait to read about your new adventures!

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  6. You go girl!! That I great that you are becoming a successful writer... and you never thought you could! Psh! Awesome! Keep on!

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  7. Good for you! So glad to hear this. And jealous of your nice trip you have planned for the Spring! Keep moving forward - you've got this, girl! :)

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  8. Excellent! I see that your Twitter account is attached to this blog, but do you have something going in social media that points to your paid gigs?

    Oh! And I hope you are registered on Klout!

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  9. Congrats! I'm so happy for you. I've been reading since the start and I love your style. My sister has started writing for all kinds of places now too as a freelance. I love to see people doing what they love rather than struggling with what they hate and seeing them chnage. I applaud you for taking the big giant scary step and doing what you love!

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  10. Congratulations to you for doing so well. I am kind of in the same boat as you, my family doesn't really understand how the whole creative thing works. They support my dreams or so they say, they just don't get that when you are a creative person, if you aren't doing something that relates to that, it's miserable. Plus they like overnight results and sometimes becoming successful takes time, lots of time. I'm always looking for gigs, so any suggestions you can give would be very helpful.

    Anyway, I'm Sarah, I found your blog through Take 3 Tuesday hop and would love for you to stop by and visit and follow back. I'm following through GFC, Facebook and Twitter. Thanks:)

    http://skylarinc.blogspot.com/

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  11. Wow! I haven't been here in a while! Good Luck with your new chosen career path. I know you will be excellent at it and most importantly have fun. Good for you for going for what you really want to be doing!

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  12. Thanks so much for hooking up with us at Tuesday Friend Connect!
    POSH
    http://poshonabudget.com/2011/10/tuesday-friend-connect-11.html

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  13. underwater basket weaving that is hilarious!!!! ROFL!! You're too funny i am happy i joined this hop!

    Nice to meet you I am a new follower via the tuesday blog hop, very nice to meet you! www.mumfection.com

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  14. Hi! I'm a new follower from the Tigger Hop. :-)
    Please feel free to check out my blog and follow if you like at http://smartcentsreview.blogspot.com/
    And be sure to check back on Wednesday, Nov. 2nd. I am giving away a stunning pair of custom made earrings, valued at $25! :-)

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  16. Congrats on getting on the right path for you! Not many people would have the guts to do what you've done :-)

    and I am totally excited for you (and definitely jealous of you) for your extended trip to Europe!
    Have fun and stay safe! Oh an carry pepper spray just in case!!! :-)

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  17. Congrats! I'm on the same road you are. In Solidarity!

    --d'Arty

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  18. Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!

    HeatherVonSJ[at]gmail[dot]com

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