There’s been a lot of changes happening in my life lately. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might know that I left my corporate job at the end of last year and recently started working as a freelance writer. (If not, you can read the story here). Even though I’m not at this point making any money from this blog, and most of my paid writing is not travel-related, this blog nevertheless played a huge part in my career choices.
As long as I can remember I always wanted to do two things more than anything else. One was travel, the other was writing. Novel writing was my favourite, but I’d take any other kind too, just as long as I could bring words to paper. For me, there is something deeply satisfying about that process. I can express myself a thousand times better in writing than I can in a spoken conversation. Writing gives me the time to sort out my thoughts and make sure my words are expressing what I want to say. I think that’s something I share with many introverts.
First steps into blogging
Travel writing naturally held a lot of fascination for me, in the way it brought together my two main passions. However, I didn’t try it until I stayed in Sydney for a semester abroad in 2013. I wrote a blog for all my friends and family back home., I figured it would be easier than writing individual emails to everyone. I had no designs to make it public, or attract any other readers. Which meant there was no pressure whatsoever connected with it. I wrote a post when I felt like it, and if three months passed without any updates, so what? It didn’t matter.
I didn’t continue the blog after I returned home. There was no need. However, ever since then I played with the thought of starting a travel blog for real. You know, one that is read not only by my friends but by potentially anybody on the internet. One that would inspire others to travel, especially introverts. One that maybe, just maybe, could even make me some money one day. As much as I believe that you should start a blog out of passion, not financial gain, I would be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally daydream about being able to live off my blog and to travel the world for a living.
Getting serious about blogging
It took over two years from my return from Australia until the launch of this blog. That’s how long I spent worrying and doubting myself, and generally being afraid of taking this step. Until, in January 2016, I finally did. And never regretted it.
Yes, it was scary posting that first blog post, and even more so to actually tell people about it and ask them to read it. Sometimes, it still is today, even though it got easier over time. But the reception was overwhelmingly positive, and that spurred me on. Besides, it felt immensely gratifying to finally do something I dreamt about for so long. No matter if I had 3 readers, or 300. I was telling my stories and putting them out there, and that’s what mattered.
Moving from blogger to writer (professionally speaking)
If it hadn’t been for this blog, and the experience it gave me in sharing my writing, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to take the step into freelance writing. I might still be in that office job and slave away every day, dreaming about the life I want to have but never making it come true.
My point is, it’s okay to start small. It’s okay to be afraid. In fact, it’s normal. Yes, you have to push out of your comfort zone, but you can do it just a little bit at a time. Until one day, you have the life you always wanted.
What project do you pursue in the hopes of making your passion your profession? Share in the comments!