I dreamed of being a professional writer for years but stayed within the trappings of a successful day job. Over time I dipped my toe into freelance writing. Slowly the side hustle grew. Agencies sought me out and it felt good. It was still a hustle, though. More writing projects on top of a 50+ hour work week.
Like many things in human nature, what excited me at first began to wear on me. I was writing the same thing over and over. The projects left little room for my own creativity.
I went through a painful divorce a few years back and the reality of a single income combined with my existing lack-money-mindset established a pretty strong undercurrent of fear in my soul. David Bach calls this “bag lady syndrome” in his best seller Smart Women Finish Rich. It’s this fear that kept me on the hamster wheel of creating material that was as ill-fitting as my pre-baby skinny jeans. Just as constricting. Just as hard to take off.
I was burned out. But more than that I was afraid. Scared to death, in fact.
- Of walking away from the money.
- Of being seen as ungrateful. How many people would love to get paid to write this? Lots.
- Of not being able to recoup the income.
- Of being too big for my britches. And then not even being able to afford britches.
The list of What-If’s went on. I was inside my own head in a big, annoying way.
Was it time to break up with this sabotaging version of myself?
In the last two years I had gotten to know the work of Jen Sincero and others like her. With two children, I didn’t want them to grow up with the same inherent fearful mentality about taking good leaps for the better. What would I tell my adult daughter if she were faced with this same decision?
I want more for them and the change starts with me…recognizing that opportunity is as available to me as it is to everyone, but I have to make room for it.
I had to make the choice.
- Keep writing projects for money, and that’s all it was, for money.
- Let them go and make room for projects that really get me going. Excite me. Provoke me. Ignite the creative inside me.
In the end I walked away. It cleared up physical time but also my mental energy to focus on what and who I really wanted to work with in writing and creating. Then I stepped out in faith. Faith in God and faith in myself to make the right decision.
I realized that every journey has stepping stones. To get to the next one we have to let the last one go.
It’s now been a few months and I’m happier. I know what I want to write and whom I want to work with, and I have creative control over that process because I launched my own (tiny with big plans) agency with that focus in mind. The money has mysteriously fallen into place with opportunities that fit me, well, like mom jeans.