I am about to take one of the biggest gambles of my life. Or at least I am toying with it.
I have been writing professionally for seven years. I have had over 2500 articles published in more than a dozen publications, print and digital. I maintain this blog, and it’s former iterations, regularly. I write for a living. Or, as least I used to.
Since moving to Dallas I have not taken a single writing job. In fact I haven’t had all that many writing opportunities. I have been feeling the intense pressure from settling into a suffocating corporate office job that has drained all life from my soul.
That changed last night. I attended my first shift as a studio photographer for the first time. That brief two-and-a-half hour shift injected more life into my soul than anything I have done in the last several months, meeting my wonderful girlfriend aside, and I felt the pain of getting up and going to the soul-sucking corporate job today. So I didn’t go. At first I called in to by me some time. And to that end I might have to force myself to go back. But as of this morning my mindset is I won’t go back instead I will do the photo stuff as much as they will let me and then pursue freelance projects on the side.
The difference this time is I am not saying I will send proposals or spend time on indeed applying for jobs I won’t get. My strategy here is to consider my time when I am away from the photo studio as my second job. I set myself a work schedule, I gave myself an hour for lunch and I set up my workspace. I even punched the time clock to keep track of my hours. I am treating this like a job. I am spending 6 hours a day devoted to networking, pitching, preparing, writing and submitting articles to as many publications as I can find the time in that span.
I am taking a gamble here. I have been unemployed before, dependent on freelance opportunities. I haven’t been all that successful in the past. I am understandably afraid of what is to come. My podcast barely generates $11 dollars a month after fees. While I appreciate every donor I get, that doesn’t even put gas in my car really. Today I decided to pool all my resources towards this project. I am going to rely on my connections I made in the news business, my knowledge of pitching stories, my social media skills and combine all that with a desperation to not be homeless ever again.
I called in sick. I have the option to return to work until they determine I am no longer fit for service. I am not likely to take that option. I gave myself the weekend to see if I can muster enough confidence to pull this off. I am not betting confidence alone, that doesn’t pay the bills. I am devoting six hours today to my goal of treating this like a proper job. I will make contacts, send emails, submit proposals, apply for freelance opportunities and network as if my life depends on it.
I could plead with my supporters who can offer me some solace by supporting my patreon campaign, you can find that by going to http://www.patreon.com/stephaniebri but I don’t want to depend on that. I have a couple of other options up my sleeve that could potentially make me some money too. If things work out I am making the smart move. If not, I will double down on finding another soul-sucking corporate job to pay the bills until I can’t stand that any longer either.