I remember when I was in high school, I told a teacher that when I grow up I’d quite like to be a make-up artist, to which she replied ‘If you want to make any money from it it’s a very tough industry to get into, I’d get a plan B just in case.’
‘Oh,’ I thought. ‘Maybe not then.’
When I started college I announced to a form tutor (obviously I’d drastically changed my goals this time) that I wanted to be a journalist, to which he laughed and said ‘it’s very hard work, I suggest you toughen up.’
‘Oh,’ I thought. ‘Maybe not then.’
So when I arrived at University, I made a conscious decision to keep my plans to myself, cos’ then no-one could share their opinion on them and crush my vulnerable heart. But the reality was, doing a Creative Writing & Media Writing course, people generally got the gist that I’d quite like to involve some writing in my career, and often imparted their opinions on how there wasn’t really much money in it or again how tough it is to get into.
So naturally, when I set out on my career path, I had my doubts.
Though when I did start working a job where I did get paid to do lots of writing, I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself. However, after three years of that, the time came where I decided to move away and leave that job behind, and the doubts came flooding back. ‘What if I can’t find another job I enjoy?’ ‘What if I have to start from the bottom again?’ (Why are they always louder than the ‘what if something really cool happens?’ thoughts?!)
But luckily – something really cool did happen. I came across an amazing opportunity to begin work writing on a freelance basis – so I grabbed it with both hands and I rolled with it. And then that first client referred me to someone else, who referred me to someone else, and before I knew it I was working and writing on all sorts of fun projects for all sorts of fun people and getting paid for the privilege.
And whilst the the doubts keep on ticking – ‘What if I don’t know enough?’ ‘I should probably get some more experience.’ ‘Do people even need copywriters these days?’ – I’m reminding myself that if three years of studying the art of writing and its hundreds of uses, as well as a further three years as chief copywriter for huge projects within a million pound company and receiving heaps of positive feedback, results and referrals isn’t enough, well I’m not sure what would be.
We often feel the need to ‘know more,’ or to ‘practise a little longer’ or ‘wait until it feels right’ before we can be even a little bit comfortable in showing the world what we’ve got to offer. But we have to remember that all the knowledge and experience we have right now is more than enough to go do it. Of course we’ll grow and learn and get better along the way too, but if we don’t get started already, how can we keep moving forward?
So with this in mind, I gave myself permission and confirmation that I could do this, instead of seeking anyone else’s opinion. And so I am. I’m getting paid to write stuff!!
And sure there’s so much more I need to learn about business, and working for myself, and attracting clients, and I’m working on that A LOT – but if I hadn’t have just done it, and decided that ‘yes I can’, I’d still be waiting and wondering and questioning whether I was actually even good enough to start.
You see, no-one else decides that this is the right time for you to start doing something you’ve always wanted to do and sends you a memo to let you know. Only you get to decide when to take a leap, when to try something new, when to start writing your own story.
So whatever it is you’re feeling torn over – remember there will never necessarily be a right time – there’s just, well, now.
But if you have been waiting for a memo, here it is:
“Your story is valuable, your experience is unique, and you are highly valuable, just as you are.” – Daniel Priestley, Founder of Key Person of Influence (an awesome company I’ve been writing for.)
And as for the people who like to impart their opinions on your life choices and enjoy telling you how much hard work your plan sounds – they should really be spending a little more time making their own dreams come true.