A few weeks ago, I realized I was not happy.
In general, I am a very content, genuinely easy to please person. I love trying new things and documenting new experiences. My plans for my future are big and scary and maybe unrealistic to some, and I find great joy in that.
So to realize I was no longer content with the way things were was surprising. And a little scary.
I am fine. Really. Everyone has these occasional moments when they’re just like, “Something needs to change, because how things are right now, it’s not working.” It took me awhile to figure out that was what has been going on. I figured that once I settled into a routine, I would be able to make things work. But that didn’t really happen.
Here’s what happened instead.
I was lucky enough to break my streak of not being able to find a job and emerge from that as a freelance writer. All those months (okay, a few years) I had spent previously writing for free literally paid off. At the time, I jumped onto those new opportunities because there weren’t any other options.
I also still had no idea what I really wanted to do after I finished school this year. The whole point of graduate school in a field like health communication is to figure out what you do and do not want to do. I was still in the ‘do not’ stage. I did not want to go into epidemiology or PR or marketing. I was still unsure about full-on journalism. I was confused, and kind of terrified. So I gave myself a whole bunch of extra projects to do, to keep me sane and to make sure I kept creating things even when I was stressed and overwhelmed, because that is essential for my mental health.
That turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. In a way.
In doing these extra projects, I have not only kept up this blog and wrote numerous stories and articles on my own time, but have also started exploring other media outlets as well, outlets that allow me to be a different kind of creative. There is a reason I don’t like calling myself a writer: I call myself a creator instead. Because I have written a lot of things, and I have enjoyed writing those things, but it is not enough anymore. I need to do more. Yet there are only so many hours in a day, and doing more means, as confusing as it may sound, some things are going to have to go.
Writing will always be my first love, and I do not want to stop, nor do I plan on stopping anytime soon. Knowing now what I want to do with the majority of my time, I will still always be researching and writing. That will not change. But it took taking on a bunch of freelance writing work to realize that I do not want to spend all day every day writing. I want writing to be a small part of a much bigger definition of my role.
I can’t tell you what I’m planning yet, because it’s going to take awhile to develop and execute. What I can tell you is, this blog is not going away. Things like The Novella Concept and my novel and ebooks are still going to continue. Creative writing is where I started and it will always be a priority to me.
However, I didn’t pursue a master’s for nothing. As much as I love writing about personal development and entrepreneurship and lifestyle for clients, and creative and sometimes professional writing for you, I can, and want to, do much more than that. Let me be real with you for a second: money may not be my motivator for doing what I do, but I’m doing this for free, and that is my choice. I love it. But my choice not to monetize my advice to you means I have to make some tough choices in other areas.
I will never know if I’m doing the right thing until I try it out and see what happens, but this blog will always be my foundation. It is the only thing I create every day that I do not feel self-conscious about. Those of you who come here and read these posts do so because you want to, not because of clickbait, not because ads brought you here, but because you appreciate and value the content. That makes me happy. That is what has gotten me through all these months of confusion and self-consciousness and maybe some sadness and frustration, too.
No matter what, I’m always going to stick around. I am always going to keep writing. This will always be a hobby and that is fine with me. But I truly believe it is also possible to construct a career that is rewarding in more ways than one, and that is what I have decided to do for myself. My mission statement is to help people learn to live smarter, healthier lives. I’m not letting that go to waste. If I’m going to be busy, I want to be busy doing what I want to do.
Thank you for always sticking with me. I feel much better equipped to provide the content I do for you when I also take the time to be honest about what is going on in my professional life. You were my very first audience. You will always hold a special place in my heart. Always.
Enough vague, sappy talk. Get back to writing.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.
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