Why I Started My Freelance Career

Why I Started My Freelance Career

I am sure that you have read many similar articles about well established employees who quit their 9-5 jobs and took a great risk in starting to work for themselves. My story is a little different…

I don’t have an entire list of things to complain about when it comes to the corporate life, because I haven’t really been in it. I’ve never been completely certain what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’ve always felt like I am supposed to make some

kind of impact, others have told me that I should live up to my potential – but I’ve never been able to place my calling.

After school the only thing that made sense to me was to study something in line of languages and literature. During my teenage years I’ve developed the notion that I’m a poet and I studied numerous Afrikaans and English poets and novelists. To be honest, I never felt that I could ever be on their level; I thought that there was something big differentiating me from my idols.

They were brilliant, dedicated and fighting for some or other cause. Apart from bursts of teenage angst I didn’t really have something to fight for. Studying among the best creative minds our country has to offer really put a damper on my dreams

and I soon realized that my fictional writing was below average. Hanging out with the top of the class didn’t do my confidence wonders. After three years of studying and just one poem being published I made peace with the fact that I would not be able to shine among the A-list sparklers.

Quitting is not an option

Before you think this is one long sob story I have to introduce you to the fact that I’m not a quitter. Failing was never an option for me, not because I’m smart or disciplined, but because I’m brilliant under pressure. Just because I didn’t fit in an age old writer’s mold did not mean that there wouldn’t be a place for me in the writing society.

I continued my studies and obtained an Honors Degree in Literature; according to some an ‘unnecessary degree’, but you learn so much more while studying than the actual work. Studying independently taught me to trust my instincts and my opinions. Alongside my Honors Degree I also gave creative writing another shot in the form of a Novel Writing course. This was also the time where I started working as an intern at an online magazine.

Gaining Confidence with my partner in crime

There is no better way to grow than to throw yourself in the deep end. Lots of people find it hard to push themselves when working independently, but luckily I am very hard on myself and I have expectations to succeed. My internship allowed me to explore different aspects of my skills which lead to feelings of adequacy. During these months I learned to trust my skills and push myself, which was especially necessary at a start up company. The magazine decided to focus my skills on the social media sphere and this is where I really fell in love with the internet. My boyfriend is a complete technology junkie and everything I know I either ‘Googled’ or learnt from him. Where other couples would have late night chats about their dream houses, my boyfriend and I would chat about our App ideas or business ventures.

As a couple we saw traits in each other that did not fit the employee mold, we recognized ideas that challenged our mindsets and beliefs about the notions of work. Like planting a small seed the idea of starting a freelance career grew, and every night our discussions would be the metaphorical water for this plant to grow.

My boyfriend approached the situations rather systematically waiting for the right time to quit, but being the impatient person that I am, I wanted to change things as soon as possible. I ended up leaving my internship sooner than expected, and I am not at all proud of the way that it ended (but I will discuss the lessons I learnt in great detail).

The deep end without a life-jacket

So there I was, a mere 5 months ago – jobless without much experience at a point in my life where every single person wanted to know whether I’m engaged or busy climbing some corporate ladder. I soon realized that my boyfriend and I will never give the expected answer or preferred response. We will never receive respect from society by filling their expectations of what we have to be, but we both have great support systems and our over eager knowledge-craving personalities drove us to a point in life where we are supposed to be.

Even though we are now just learning to go with the flow instead of fighting the waves, there is a sea of excitement brewing within me, because I know we are destined for greatness.

This post might sound rather vague as to exact reasons for starting my freelance writing career, but I just wanted to give you a background of who I am so that you can understand the method in my madness. I’m so excited to share what I’ve learned from trusting my instincts and following my dreams into the abyss. I’m not posing to be an expert but I’m promising to become one.


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