As you might recall, I quit my high paying corporate job at the end of March 2018 to move in with my boyfriend in a different state. This meant bye bye ridiculously awesome paychecks and helloooooo stress/anxiety about money. I’ve become much more serious about finding ways to earn money now that I’m not working for a big company. I’m pretty much in the stage of “you want to pay me to do what? .…sure! Let’s try it out!”
So, I’m trying pretty much everything to see what I like doing and what pays the best for my time. I have given myself the grace to try out different things and see what I like best.
One of the first things I tried was freelance writing.
Let me set the scene for you:
Scene 1: Gwen is at a sponsored lunch with 15 other people at FinCon 2017. Someone turns to her and says, “hey, can you write? I don’t have the time to turn lessons from my book into blog posts”.
Scene 2: Gwen is browsing her email in late winter 2018. She finds an email with the subject line “Freelance Writing Gig?” and is intrigued.
With those two tidbits of information in hand, we can now get to the good stuff.
I figured, since I had these offers, I’ll go after the low hanging entrepreneurial fruit first.
I didn’t follow up with the author at FinCon as that was a while ago and I’m sure he found someone else to turn his book into blog posts.
I did, however, follow up with the offer of the freelance writing gig from my inbox. One of my readers (who also reads my boyfriends’ blog) emailed me to see if I was interested in the gig as it was with a local real estate office. Local to my new town, not my old town. Just to be clear.
I thought, cool. I know about real estate. I can write. Why don’t I try writing about real estate?
So after I settled in and everybody got back from vacations, I met with the realtor to chat about what they needed.
It was pretty simple. A blog post from scratch every now and then, coming soon posts for new listings, tweaked content from a real estate writing feed and a few other things here and there. We shook hands and that was it. I was now an official freelance writer with my first gig!
I moved some stuff around on their website and prepped a content calendar. They warned me I’d need to follow up with them for information, so I did. When I didn’t get anything back, I decided to write an original post for them to get something out on the blog.
Turns out, I severely dislike writing articles for other people. Who knew!? I definitely looked like this on more than one occasion.
It was a serious struggle to pump out an article I didn’t think was very good. I have pretty high standards and that didn’t fit them. I also knew I didn’t want to put in the time to make it better.
I wasn’t much interested in anything I had to write about and I needed a different kind of writing style for the article. My fancy writing skills that I honed in college have withered away after focusing on first person-fun-blog style-writing for so long. Basically, I’m not good at writing well anymore and didn’t find it an enjoyable process to revive that skill. Especially when writing about topics related to the business of buying and selling houses.
(I think I can scratch off realtor from my list of money-making ideas, too. Not a good fit either from what I can tell!)
I was also a little frustrated at the low pay for hours ratio too. Added all up over the course of a month, the total would’ve been about $200–300. That’s decent.….. but I would rather do something that would pay me $250 per effort instead of lots of little efforts that add up at the end. If I’m going to trade my time for dollars, I would rather go back to full-time employment and get LOTS of dollars for my time.
Having that gig felt like a mountain was sitting on my shoulders. It stressed me out to know I should be putting stuff on their blog but I didn’t know what to put on it. The freelance writing gig just added to the list of things I should’ve been doing. Should’ve been writing for my blog, should’ve been getting my stained glass shop set up, should’ve been looking for people for the podcast, and more. The more I added to the list, the more stressed out I got.
So I ended the gig. I put a call out to my finance freelance friends and got a few suggestions for who should take my place. I didn’t want to leave them high and dry again, so I felt this was the least I could do to make up for being a bad freelance writer. I sent them an email saying thanks, this really wasn’t my cup of tea.….. but here are my recommendations for a replacement.
I didn’t hear anything back, but the weight that was lifted off my shoulders felt amazing. Like, better than eating ice cream with peaches on it at 10 am.
I feel a lot less stressed out now that I’ve put that gig behind me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still stressed out big time, but I’m a lot less stressed now that I’m only not meeting my expectations. I hate to let other people down 🙁
Now I have more mental space to put towards the entrepreneurial things that matter: this blog, my rental property, the podcast, my stained glass shop, and my digital downloads Etsy shop. I will continue this series in the future by writing about all the things I’ve been trying out, so don’t worry if I haven’t been talking a lot about what I’ve been doing since I quit working. It turns out blogging about what I’ve been doing takes time away from what I’m supposed to be doing! (Maybe this is why I’m really bad about keeping journals.….)
So, stay tuned! I’ll be back to cover more!
Thanks for reading! What have you tried to start lately?