A Big Announcement

Are you sitting down?  You might want to sit down.  I’m about to make a pretty big announcement. And no, I’m not pregnant.

Are you my friend, facebook stalker, or my mother?  If so, you know that over the last few months (years?) I have been struggling to determine what my next career move might be.  The purpose and passion of work, seeking permission to quit my job, and what happens when you lose that job: These have been the topics of conversation for the past three years of my life.

I have gone to counselors, cried to my mother, written to my former mentors, and bitched to my husband.  All because deep down in my heart, I think I knew that I wanted to do… but I was afraid to admit it.

For the last few weeks the content on my blog has probably seemed a little lack-luster.  I went from daily inspiring posts about my running goals, food changes, and America’s education system, to publishing a few pictures here and there of flowers in my yard that I didn’t even plant.  How embarrassing.  But there is a reason behind it.  I was in the midst of making a big decision.

So here it is.  Drumroll please.  I am going to pursue a freelance writing career.  Bam!  I said it!

big thumbs up!

In the past few weeks, I have been asked to freelance a story for the Tennesseean, start research for a feature in Her Nashville, write a monthly column for a start-up magazine, and help my sister write a speech for her best friend’s wedding.  And I’m doing it.  All of it.  And I’m excited.

The other day I got my very first check as a freelance writer from Hillsboro High School, whose PTO is paying me to help generate some good news on a weekly basis within the school community.  I am going to be paid to help tell good news stories about the community.  I am so thankful to get to be a part of that.

What’s up, byline. 

This all started back in February, when a new friend Kim Green, who is an experienced, hilarious, and veteran Nashville writer agreed to meet me for coffee and share about her life as an impoverished-but-happy freelance journalist.  She gave me writing advice, marriage advice, and the guts to get started. 

Here’s the thing.  For my mother, and maybe even to my long-time friends this doesn’t come as such a big surprise.  But I think I’ve surprised myself.  Stepping out on a limb, pitching stories, and agreeing to write them?  That is coming from a place within me I had forgotten about.  An inventive, entrepreneurial place that had been quiet for three years in the confines of a 9-5 stable job with health benefits.

In the midst of all this change, there has been one person to thank over and over again.  My husband, Patrick.  He listens to me reading the same paragraph over and over again, just because I changed one word.  He encourages me to be confident in my writing, and brainstorms story ideas for me.  He tells me I should print business cards, and reminds me to trust in God who is the provider of all good things.

We leave tomorrow morning for New York City.  We’ll see family, explore Brooklyn, and see the show Wicked.  So I leave you with this good news.  I’m thankful for those of you who have been reading this year, and who have encouraged me along the way.