I recently wrote a post about change. Well, there has been a development in my life that has warranted my taking my own advice.
In August of 2015, I decided to quit my 9-to-5 job and give blogging full-time a try. It was a decision that came with some heavy consequences, like the loss of a stable income. And while the paycheck every two weeks was nice (and appreciated), the job itself was unfulfilling. I needed to make a change and pursue a more creative venture, so I put in my notice and decided to work for myself. I had a powerful incentive to take this leap of faith: After having thyroid cancer in 2013 at age 26, I promised myself that I would appreciate my time more and do what made me happy.
My adventure with blogging this last year has certainly had its up’s and down’s, but I’ve learned more in one year of full-time blogging then I had in any prior role I’ve held. From pitching to brands, working with a photographer, determining my rate, creating consistent and engaging content to finding my voice and being confident in my writing, those valuable lessons are hard to put a price on.
But being in business for yourself is no easy feat. Working at home is at times isolating and stifling to creativity. It is also incredibly difficult to depend on creativity for income. I’m reminded of what Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Big Magic (remember she held odd jobs until she hit it big with her fourth book) about how difficult it can be to ask your passion to support you. Those words profoundly affected me. I had turned something I was doing for fun and tried to make it profitable. Sometimes this formula equals success, but not for me at this time. I am perfectly okay with that, for I learned the very important distinction between an avocation and vocation.
So while I will not be a full-time blogger this year, working from my nice home office, and running up to Starbucks at noon, I will be using the skills I have gained from blogging in my new role in marketing. Fortuitously, my employer hired me because of my blog and all the skills I acquired through creating my site, writing copy, and promoting content.
I will forever be grateful for these 13 months — the friendships I’ve made along the way, the brands I’ve collaborated with, and of course, all of my readers who make blogging such a rewarding experience. But with my new time constraints, my blogging schedule will return to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. Of course, you can follow along on Snapchat and Instagram (@livinginsteil), where I will be posting daily.
The greatest lesson for me in all of this is that sometimes you can’t turn your dreams into dollars, but you can allow your passion to pave the way to a paycheck.
*Image via PicLab Studio