In case you are unfamiliar with the above acronyms: WOHM = Work Outside of Home Mom, WAHM = Work At Home Mom)
I handed in my resignation today and in a few weeks I will become a stay at home mom again. Bliss!
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working full time as a writer, dedicating my time to one company and working for the same team (with several team member changes along the way) the entire time. I learned so much through trial and error and I feel like I could write product copy on just about any item. I must admit, writing about jewelry for a year and a half did get rather monotonous but perhaps that was my fault. I should have spiced things up instead of sticking to the formula that I created which combined creativity with speed but mostly speed. I became quite the efficient little worker bee and am now able to write at lightning speeds since our deadlines were immediate and looming.
Anyway, my experience at my company has opened some doors for freelancing opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. At the beginning of August I signed up for oDesk, a freelancing website. Clients post job openings and contractors (like me) apply and bid on projects. I don’t think it’s as popular or well-known as Elance and that’s a good thing! Some freelancing sites that have a bidding system are a mess and usually the job goes to the lowest bidder. Thankfully, oDesk doesn’t seem to be like that at all. In fact, the very first job I was hired for was for, the client told me that I was the priciest candidate but she felt that I was the right one for the job. Imagine that! Being validated feels good!
When I signed up for the freelancing site I set up my profile, added items to my portfolio, and filled out my resume. While I worked on this, I also applied for jobs. Why not? I figured that it would take awhile for me to get any responses since I had not been hired through oDesk before and lots of clients require candidates to have some hours logged through oDesk before they’ll even consider interviewing you. Also, I didn’t think that my resume was strong enough. (If you want to see it, there’s a link at the top of my blog.) I was wrong! I cast my net pretty wide and applied for several listings ranging from copywriting to proofreading. I figured that while I was still working full time I could at least get my name out there, get my foot in the door, whatever, and by the time I was officially unemployed then maybe I’d land my first freelance job.
Silly me. After being active on oDesk for seven days, I got a response from a potential client regarding some copywriting for her soon-to-be-open online store. She offered me the job, we discussed my fee, and then I was hired. I was THRILLED! My first freelance job that wasn’t more-or-less handed to me and OMG FREELANCING! In case you didn’t know, my goal is to ultimately earn a full-time salary doing freelance writing. It’s my dream, y’all. I love to write and I love getting paid to do it.
Getting hired at my full time job showed me that even I, the girl without a college degree, can make it as a writer. Maybe a degree would have opened more doors or at least different ones, but if you have talent and drive and passion? That’s got to mean something to someone out there. A college degree doesn’t make you a good writer- writing your ass off and reading and writing some more makes you a good writer.
So… I landed my first freelance gig and I was stoked. I still am! The client is pretty nice and communicative but not in a micro-managing sort of way. It’s a fairly short-term project and I should be finished with it by the end of the month when her store launches (if allowed, I will totally share the link with you).
Even though I am working full time and doing the copywriting project, I continue to apply for more freelance work. Why not? I can handle it. I’m convinced that more is better. Or, I’m a lunatic. Because a week after I got my first gig I landed another one. This project is more long term and incredibly time-consuming. It’s also a bit more challenging- it’s still product copywriting, but it seems as though the criteria is a bit more rigid. I can totally handle it, but working all day long and then trying to squeeze this project in at night is wearing me out. It’ll be much easier to handle once I’m no longer working full-time at my office.
At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
Of course, I’d like to take a break from working/writing once I have the baby. I vaguely remember being incredibly tired during the newborn phase and I’m sure tossing a toddler into the mix is going to wear me out even more this time around. I figure that once I start to get more sleep at night and we nail down a schedule/routine, then I’ll get back to writing. I don’t want to spread myself too thin. Besides, after writing for eight hours a day for over a year and a half, a break might be nice. That sounds so bratty since most people don’t have that luxury, but if you do have it, why not take advantage of it!
Clearly, I don’t have much of a plan at this point. All I know is that I’ve managed to get the ball rolling on the freelance dream and I’d like to keep up the momentum. Once I start staying home with Avery, she will continue to go her babysitter once a week (twice, if we can afford it and I make enough money to necessitate two full work days per week). This will certainly help me knock out my work load or get some rest if I’m still on a hiatus.
I’m very excited about the next chapter in my life, both personally and professionally, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys. It’s going to be a stellar ride!