Navigating The Intersections of Life as a Freelance Writer
When I was in college I took a job driving one of the University buses, a big city transit bus. It was 1974 and I believe I was the first female to drive a bus for the University. I loved it and had great fun interacting with the people in their surprise to see a woman behind the wheel. I was 20 years old.
After a tiny little ‘accident’, which happened as I was backing the bus out of a gate at the stadium after dropping off the school’s President and his party at a football game, I was required to undergo a little retraining. One of things I remember from those sessions was my supervisor’s advice on driving through an intersection. I was to drive with caution, never changing lanes in the intersection and ready at any moment to apply the brakes.
A couple of days ago as I was driving around in the same town, I went through an intersection on a 6 lane road. It’s the road I travel everyday to get anywhere I have to go-my excuse…. As I drove, at a steady 48 miles an hour, through the intersection I changed lanes. Successfully. And, I had an ah-ha moment that writers and bloggers love, a story idea!
We’ve all been through that intersection moment, the one with multiple activities and options that invite and distract us simultaneously. We have various ways to deal with these moments. We can put our blinders on and look doggedly ahead at our lane, and continue doing what we’ve always done. If the car in front of us slows down or gets stalled we do the same and allow ourselves to be stuck right along with them.
Or we can make a quick assessment, using caution, (I remember the lesson) and make a change. It can be tricky and sometimes it can be dangerous. Risky behavior isn’t always the best option, but sometimes it is the only option. I made the jump into freelance writing in one quick lane change. It just felt right, the current lane was clogging me and I was ready for a change, so I looked both ways and said “why not?”
The move to freelance writing full time is a big risk. Those of us who make that move can be leaving security, good benefits and a steady, predictable paycheck. Being uncertain as to what monies will come in on any given day or week is nail-bitingly challenging. And yet, the freedom to chart one’s own course and to be the boss has benefits. I love spending my day writing and connecting with other freelance writers. I am less enamored with the chores of seeking new clients and stretching a dollar in lean periods. But it’s all part of the package.
We’re offered many intersections in our lives, some involve more difficult decisions than others, but all of them are opportunities for growth and change. The choice to change lanes is in our control if, we’re willing to take the risks and joys that life offers us.
What have your experiences with freelance writing, or writing in general, been like? Bumpy road or steady driving?