When someone learns I’m a writer, they have one common question: “How did you get started?” These are those who want to know if I really make money writing for clients online. Sometimes they are curious about why I chose this career path. So, here’s my answer. It’s a bit long, but I am a writer after all.
Let’s Start at the Beginning
Fifteen years ago I was struggling with my career choice. I had all of the options of a high school graduate. I scoured the internet and the local library looking for ideas on what to do to make a living. I went to business school for a bit, but that wasn’t for me. I love learning but prefer online classes. I worked at an auto parts store (where I met my husband!), but that wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was a job, not a career, although I did consider it. In high school, after I figured out being a homicide detective wasn’t going to work out for me, I decided I wanted to open my own coffeehouse. I did an entire presentation about it my junior year. I even interviewed local coffeehouse owners. It was an incredible experience. I knew then that I wanted to be my own boss. The entrepreneurial spirit was in me, but it wasn’t until then that it made itself known.
The Obvious Choice
I was the type of kid that wanted to do everything. Every year I had different career goals. In high school it changed every month! In grade school I really wanted to be an artist. I wanted to draw cartoons, and I practiced every chance I got. Recently, my mom gave me a bunch of old papers from school. In it was a pile of assorted aged papers. There were stacks of some pages stapled together or tied together with string. I pulled out these little books I made and read each one. I laughed, because at the end of each book I’d written my name, the book number (I wrote seven small books that and numbered all of them), and then wrote, “I want to be a cartoon artist when I grow up”. On the books! I didn’t realize that my passion and career path were staring me right in the face.
I was writing since I learned how to, and I loved it. It was the one constant in my life. I always wrote. I kept journals. I wrote poetry, short stories, essays, anything I felt like at the time. I always had a notepad and pens on me. But I always saw it as a hobby. I never connected writing to a way to make a living. One day my husband looked at me and said, “You write all the time. Why don’t you just do something with that?”
And that was it. It was like I was waiting for someone to say that to me all of my life. I did the research. I made the mistakes beginners do. I read every writing reference book I could get, all of the writing reference websites that were out at the time, and started a portfolio.
I’ve fulfilled my dream of being my own boss and running my own business. I love my business. I love writing.