Last month marked the five year anniversary of my decision to go into freelancing full-time. Prior to April of 2008, I had been doing plenty of writing within industry but had yet to make the decision to hang out my shingle and open my own freelance writing business. Six months of part-time freelancing on evenings and weekends convinced me that the market was viable enough to support myself exclusively on writing alone, a supposition that was quickly backed by ample evidence within the first few months of starting up.
I can say now that making the decision to become a freelance writer is the best course I could have possible taken when it comes to selecting a ‘career.’ Writing has allowed me to travel, to meet scores of interesting people, to research and learn about subjects that I had previously only had a passing knowledge of, and, of course, to follow my passions. Being able to wake up every day and spend a significant portion of it writing about automobiles is a constant reminder of just how fortunate I am to be able to make a living covering a subject that I love. Branching out to balance my automotive writing with coverage of scientific, medical, and other topics keeps me grounded and prevents me from moving through life with blinders on.
I try to encourage anyone I meet who, upon discovering what I do for a living, replies by telling me that they harbor similar dreams of freelancing. I was told my entire life – as a child, as a teen, as an adult – that it was impossible to support oneself as a writer. This is undeniably false, and I realize now that most who would discourage someone from pursuing a particular dream or vocation are speaking from their own place of fear and insecurity. My biggest regret is that I allowed these opinions to have any kind of influence on my decision-making process – and that I didn’t start freelancing five years sooner than I did.