First, a disclaimer; I am a relatively new freelance writer. Therefore please do not expect any life altering revelations in the following article. My intention here is to encourage you to write. Yes, I am sure you are reading this because you already do write, or have an interest in writing, but perhaps you will be able to relate to my story. It’s quite possible you have already surpassed what I am about to tell you, and I congratulate you and wish you well. Rather I am writing this primarily for those of you out there who have always wanted to spend more time writing but have found yourself restricted by life circumstances.
I am here to tell you that it is never too late to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. If your writing has been neglected over the years then perhaps it is time to consider making more time for the talent that has been left behind in the trail of the rest of your life.
Our life is a work in progress, as is our writing. The following is a brief look at my life so far and where I hope it will be heading in the coming years.
Over 20 years ago I was a promising new writer. At that time I was in a fortunate position to see several poems and short stories published in magazines and several poetry anthologies. It was exciting to see my words in print and I fully expected to make a living from my creative writing as well as possible journalistic and research writing.
Then my life changed in some quite dramatic ways and I decided to work for the church and become a full time youth worker. It’s a long story as to how that happened but it is not uncommon for our aspirations to alter as our life rolls on.
All those years ago I put the writing away and vowed that one day I would return. I did a lot of writing as part of my work, which included producing material for school assemblies, writing scripts for various drama clubs, and preparing a lot of mentoring material for disaffected youth. I enjoyed this writing and I loved my job and yet the thought remained that one day I would continue writing for something other than my youth work. I told myself that I would somehow find the time to write seriously for myself, be that fiction, poetry, or article writing. I occasionally began a new writing project for myself but only to find it fall by the wayside as the intensity of my full time job sapped my emotional and physical energy.
Just over a year ago I decided to give up the career I had worked towards for many years. I decided to return to my other passion in life, my writing, and to nurture a talent that had long been neglected. It was time to begin a new chapter in my life, to quite literally start a new page and to channel my creative energies once more.
Where was I to begin? I decided to write for a variety of websites for free. This enabled me to put fingers to keyboard again and I wrote on topics that interested me, such as film, gaming, and literature, amongst other interests. My intention was to put my work out there, create a portfolio of writing, and show the world my gift for the written word. Financial gain wasn’t my objective then; rather it was to find a way into writing for others and to have a voice on the internet, however quiet that voice may initially be.
I am aware that it is difficult to make a consistent income in freelance writing and now, as my savings are disappearing, that is becoming more real to me. However I know that it takes time and patience. ‘Falcon Writers’ can provide some financial incentive whilst broadening the work you do for others. Check the full site for more details. The key is to persevere, make contact with websites or paper publications and get yourself be known. In the meantime, don’t stop writing. Be ready to write for free for a time but ensure it is part of an ongoing plan. Exposure is important but not overexposure, where you write for any site that will have you. Be a little selective.
My life and writing are a work in progress and I will share more as I journey through this process. A year on I still write for free but continue to try to find avenues into paid work. I am also working on a novel which will hopefully one day be published and transform me into a millionaire, maybe. For the moment I am enjoying writing it and hold on to my optimism.
My point is that we should begin to write and not leave it till another day. We can tell ourselves that we will begin to take it more seriously one day but when? I have attempted to make a new start, and I hope that you, if circumstances can allow it, will attempt too as well. Your life is a work in progress and time is short.
Perhaps now is the time that you begin again!