Happy Write Now

July 1, 2010

What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by happywritenow @ 2:33 am

Back on February 12, I quit my job. Yep, I knew we were in the Great Recession. Yep, I had a “good” job with benefits and nice salary and corner office with an awesome view. Yep, I kept telling myself I would be a fool to walk away from all that. But holy crap, I was so sick of office politics, BS, and trying to motivate myself to give a damn about a job with no future.

I had pondered making the move for months. In fact, the spark of true resolve came in August of 2009. I found out that my state had an insurance pool for poor souls without the prospect of corporate insurance. I know…what a pedestrian excuse for deciding to quit your job. But the idea of not being able to get affordable insurance was a hurdle—emotional, mental, and financial—that I could not make myself overcome. When I found out that I could get insurance no matter what, it was freedom and the breaking of my last excuse. In fact, in a move that probably wasn’t the smartest I’d ever made, I walked around my office telling anyone who would listen, “I can quit now.” And I said it with a huge smile on my face. I’m sure my coworkers thought I was nuts or daydreaming. But it really was a moment of revelation for me. It was the realization that I did not have to be tied to any place I did not want to be and that I could take the reins of my own destiny.

But it turns out my excuse bag had many more months of excuses in it before I could completely let go. Those awful, fear-filled questions we all go through before launching a new venture kept rolling around my brain. What if I don’t find work? What if I go broke? What if I end up looking like an idiot? What if my business fails? What if I lose my house? my car? my fill-in-the-blank?

So I finally had to ask myself: What’s the absolute worst that can happen?

Death? Maybe, but if I’m dead will any of it matter? No. Catastrophic illness? Okay, maybe that could happen too. But I decided to go on trust and faith that that wouldn’t happen. Poverty? Yes, that could happen, but I had already saved up 15 months of living expenses to make the transition as easy as possible. (Yes, I’m a wee bit of an overplanner sometimes.) I felt confident that I could dig in and make a go of it and my living expenses are pretty tiny. Failure? Looking like a fool? Yes and yes. Perhaps my business wouldn’t work and I’d have to tuck my tail between my legs and go begging around my network for a job. But that was a risk I was willing to take too. You have to step out to find out. And I was then (and am now) determined to find out how this story ends.

As I’ve said in my previous posts, I am all of 3 months into this venture. Some things have been awesome, some have been devastating. Just yesterday in fact, I found out that a client is reneging on a signed contract for which I had set aside half of my time in July and August. Here I sit with half of my hours empty for THIS MONTH and I’m having to do a last minute scramble to fill them.It made me mad and it isn’t going to be easy, but I’ll be damned if I’ll quit on this. You don’t quit the things you love.

Depsite all that, you know what? I am happier than a pig in slop. I love my life. I am happy write now (get it?). And determined to stay that way. I still don’t know how the story ends, but I like making it up as I go along.

And just so you know, the idea for this post came from the lovely Scoutie Girl site and this post in particular—a challenge to write about what you’ve learned from quitting.


What’s In A Name

Filed under: Uncategorized — by happywritenow @ 1:52 am

As I mentioned in Why We’re Here, I started this full-time freelance journey about 3 months ago. Almost immediately, I got comments on how happy and healthy I looked. And truly, I feel better, I sleep better, I have less stress, I am less tired, and I enjoy the work I do. Working for others, I never felt this way. I was stressed, had insomnia, was tired all the time, and was really starting to hate my work. I named this blog because I am truly happy. I love to write again and I honestly feel good in the here and now.

I feel this way despite the fact that, at least for now, I am working more hours than I have ever worked and making less money than I have ever made. I fully expect that (the more hours and less money thing) to turn around with time. As I said, I’m only 3 months in, so I know there will be some bumps, bruises, and growing pains along this journey. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I am happy and that has made it all worthwhile.

June 25, 2010

Why We’re Here

Filed under: Uncategorized — by happywritenow @ 6:50 pm

This post title is a little presumptuous. It assumes that there is a “we” here. I hope eventually there will be lots of “we’s” here. But for today, there is probably only me. So…here’s why I am here.

On April 1, 2010 (yes, April Fool’s Day), I officially left the safety and security (bonds and constraints?) of a paid job to become a full-time freelancer. Prior to that day, I had been a part-time freelancer since 1997. It’s safe to say I am not new to freelancing. But I had no clue how much difference there would be in just those little words — part-time vs. full-time. No clue whatsoever.

I am three months into this journey and I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you. And when I say you, I mean others who are new to this journey, who are contemplating making this same jump, as well as the freelancers who have been around the block a time or two and can offer us their advice.

In the past 90 days, I have done some dumb things, some smart things, some things I never thought I would do, and many things that we newbies typically are guilty of in the first few months of making the full-time leap. My hope is to build a community where I can share a few of these things and provide a safe and welcoming place for you to share as well.

So…here’s to us newbies, the solopreneur generation, the ones who will drive our economic engine out of the doldrums, and the ones with the cajones to do it for ourselves!

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