It has been one and a half months since I left my career as a teacher to become a freelance writer. It has been the quickest 6 weeks ever, it literally feels like it has passed in the blink of an eye and teaching seems such a distant memory. I miss my students, loads, people think this sounds weird but I genuinely do miss them and wonder how they are getting on. It’s a bit like mum guilt but I have serious teacher guilt as I left my girls half way through their final year of college but things happen for a reason and it was time for me to leave. I know they will be fine, they are bright girls with even brighter futures a head of them but a part of me does wish I could be there to hear all about their university acceptance letters and the choices they make as they embark on journeys to become nurses, social workers and even teachers themselves.
So apart from feeling guilty about my students and missing them terribly I guess I best fill you in on what has been happening these last 6 weeks. Well like I said I left teaching and became self employed, mainly as a freelance writer but also as an educational resource creator for an online organisation, although I guess that’s just a fancy pants way of saying a writer of educational material. I’ve been writing here on my blog and for other companies and have started to cover a few more events too, reviewing them for their media departments which is always lots of fun. I have also had a meeting with a charity about doing some media coverage with them so hopefully I will be able to tell you al about that soon.
The new year really was a new start for us and I have been making lots of changes and getting used to working for myself which is both incredible and dangerous in equal measures. It’s great that I can spend so much time with the boys, drop them off at school, attend school lunches and get tickets to plays without having to beg for time off mid term. It’s awesome that my weekends are my weekends to spend as I wish without the need to lock myself in my office for a full day to catch up with marking or planning. It’s lovely that I can indulge in a Wednesday morning yoga class, Thursday coffee meeting with a friend and an impromptu trip to the beauticians for a massage on a Friday, simply because I wan to.
But, and it’s a big but, I am also realising that being self employed has its draw backs. It’s dangerous how easy it is to take time off, every week, every day, whenever I want. It’s terrifying not knowing how much work I will have from one week to the next and if I will meet my monthly target or not. It’s awkward trying to sell myself as the best women for the job and it’s annoying having to chase to invoices that haven’t been paid when I should be spending that time sourcing new work.
But overall so far it’s a dream. It’s my dream and I’m living it. I am doing something I never thought I would be able to do. I get to pick and choose the work I do and when I do it and most importantly for me right now I have the work life balance that I never knew could exist in real life. It might not be perfect and it certainly makes me anxious every week sourcing new contracts but it’s as close to perfect as we can get and I’m making the most of it whilst I can.
So this is me now, officially a full time (ish) freelance writer, taking the biggest risk and working hard to make sure it pays off for my family. I’ll keep you posted but for now just remember if you have a dream, follow it. Be brave, be strong and take a chance on yourself because if you don’t believe in you, then who will?