Part I: I recently started freelancing as a writer, editor, and proofreader; in fact, yesterday I made my third proposal, and for the first time, had it accepted and completed the job. Today, I got positive feedback from my client. I didn’t really make money from this transaction, but what I did get from it seems invaluable to me in some ways.
I took a risk; I stepped outside my comfort zone and did something I’ve never done before. I’ve never worked as a freelancer before, I’ve never written or edited promotional materials, and I’m not a marketing whiz, but that is exactly what I did – to the satisfaction of a client who rewarded me for my efforts. I now have more experience, a positive review, and a potential client again for future projects.
Part II: I recently began crocheting handbags/shoulder bags; this started out as something fun just playing around with a skill I have and now it has turned into a small business. I’ve actually sold things that I’ve created with my own hands!
I love being a creative. My word choice here is intentional. My artistic and creative endeavors don’t neatly fit into one category and that pleases me. Creating makes me feel alive. It allows me to channel emotional struggles into something of beauty and it makes me incredibly happy in the process. I feel productive when I finish projects because I can see the end result. It’s a labor of love.
Part III: These two experiences together have been so vastly different from my actual career, that thing I do that pays the bills, that I’m almost in awe of myself. For the longest time, I have believed that I truly have no marketable skills. Yeah, I am generally a nice person, but “nice” isn’t usually the number one qualification for a job. Skills are marketable; personality traits, not so much, right?
These experiences have allowed me to see myself in a slightly different light. My vision isn’t clear, the picture not quite in focus, but it’s there. I feel it creeping up on me and edging its way into my vision of myself. My new found puzzle pieces don’t quite fit neatly in line with some of the staunch older pieces of my self-perception – they don’t always play nice.
My career potentially allows me to influence the lives of others for the better, but the downside of that is that I often don’t see the results of my efforts; the rewards of my career are intangible. My passion for creating, on the other hand, offers more immediate and tangible rewards. Given an opportunity, I’d gladly trade their positions on my list of priorities; however, the biggest factor is financial security. As much as I hate to admit it, I have doubts that I could be consistently productive enough to earn a living through my creative pursuits. And beyond that, I think it would be such a drastic change for me and how I view and interact with the world around me. I’m not sure I could cope with the fear and anxiety that would come with such a shift in lifestyle. I’m a creature of habit. In my mind, I know that change can be a good thing, but when things I’ve become accustomed to begin to change, I tend to overreact.
This blog post truly has no purpose other than to allow me to flesh out my thoughts and feelings and begin to put them into words. I’m attempting to sort out what it is I really want before I jump off the cliff and find that the plunge is not at all what I expected.