Writer With A Day Job


A number of years ago, I left my job in order to spend more time pursuing my writing. I figured I would do freelance communications work to pay the bills. It wasn’t easy and I came to realize I missed being part of a team. I also didn’t enjoy hustling for work. It wasn’t what I truly wanted to do, so it wasn’t easy.

In The Fire Starter Sessions, Danielle LaPorte writes about letting it be easy.

“Choosing easy is smart, efficient, elegant; a fantastic form of self-compassion; giving yourself a break and getting out of your own way. Choosing easy is letting inspiration be your compass. Choosing easy is allowing for the things that you’ve been asking for to enter your life.”

I’ve spent most of my adult life struggling to do everything. Struggling to get into university. Struggling to pay for university. Struggling to build a career. Struggling to pursue my writing.

What if I tried a different approach? What if I tried what is actually easy so I can have the physical and mental space to actually pursue my passions?

It is easier to take a contract job than continue to freelance.

It is easier to settle on a simple design for this website than trying to create some elaborate design but the online pundits tell me I need to “position” myself as a “brand,” be clear on my “target” audience in order to have a “business.”

It is so much easier to pursue my passion for writing when I don’t have to worry about paying the rent or hustling for more paying work.

It is so much easier to write blog posts and plan upcoming e-courses when I have a design that is simply me, and hopefully a place where you dear reader want to hang out and check out what I have to offer.

I resisted hanging up my freelance hat for a long time because I thought I would be giving up on my bigger writing goals. It also means I’m not living the dream—“quit your job, build an online business and run all the way to the bank with loads of money.”

Guess what? That dream is a lot harder to make happen than everyone lets on.

I haven’t given up my dream to make it as a writer—but I’ll do it while I work a meaningful job with a salary that will allow me to eat something other than the student diet of ramen noodles and Kraft dinner (mac n’ cheese to you Americans). The student diet is only appealing when you are actually a student and your young body can handle the abuse.

By taking a full-time job, I will actually have more time to pursue the writing I most want to do—writing memoir, personal essays and fiction—the forms of writing that don’t pay as much as freelance copywriting.

I’m keeping my dream alive, but I’m just doing it differently.

Let it be easy. It is so much better than making it hard.

WritingVictoria Musgrave