I've been giving a lot of thought to creative paths lately. As I interview others about ditching their traditional office jobs or struggling for years before doing what they love full-time, I can't help but wonder where my career is heading. I've come to a few conclusions, my friends, and I'm hoping you'll indulge me for a bit as I think it will help to share them with all of you.
I'm just getting started.
I realize that, although my journey feels daunting and hasn't resulted in what I would consider a stable income, my creative path has only just begun. Since I left my first full-time post-college office job, I've founded and folded a web start-up (yes, you can cue the sad trombone if you'd like), I've taken small unpaid gigs in order to work with incredible people, signed up for high-paying jobs with companies I didn't necessarily buy into and everything in between. And yet, this is just the beginning. I feel like there is so much more to do and I have so much more to learn.
It's okay to feel floaty.
You know what I'm referring to, right? The feeling that you're not attached to any one thing? Well, let me first point out that I'mreallyterrible at feeling floaty.I love deadlines, expectations and results. As a freelancer, there are weeks where I'm pitching my work more than I'm actually working. This constant throwing of oneself out into the editorial universe feels incredibly floaty and I'm here to admit that it's difficult to handle much of the time. Sometimes, however, I throw out ideas and they catch the attention of those in decision-making positions. Those moments are anchors for me. I figure as long as I continue to have solid, anchoring moments, I'm (somewhat) okay with the floaty times in between.
My path is not a straight line.
It will always be changing. For all I know, my creative path will lead me to another full-time job. While I've loved the freedom that comes from working for myself, I really do miss working face-to-face with a team to produce results. Email is a beautiful thing and I often collaborate with people across the country (and sometimes around the world), yet I miss regular interaction with others as we work toward a common goal.
Maybe I'll see momentum continue as a freelance creative. At least, I hope to! I've been hustling to create my own path, dear readers, and I've had so many little successes along the way. While I'm grateful for the bright spots, I'm still pushing myself to create a truly sustainable freelance career every. single. day.
It's tough to know how it'll all work out. One thing I know for sure: I'll continue use this space as the creative outlet it is and share my path as it leads me around bends that I haven't even dreamt up yet.
Thanks for letting me share today, my friends. Just so you know, I'm really glad to have you along for the journey.