When I decided to quit my job to become a freelance writer, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I had always liked the idea of writing for a living and having the freedom to work from anywhere but had never taken the initiative to figure out how to make it happen. My job eventually pushed me to the breaking point, though, and I decided it was time for me to take matters into my own hands.
This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclaimer here.
A Website is Created
I started working for a few different companies, but it wasn’t long before I realized something was still bothering me. My writing wasn’t about things that mattered to me; I often didn’t even know what I was talking about. Spewing out information I wasn’t qualified to give didn’t seem right, but it did seem to be common practice. What really bothered me though, was how much money the middle man was making, while I was getting royally ripped off. This wasn’t the freedom I was looking for.
Instead of completely calling it quits with writing, I started seriously entertaining the idea of starting a blog and building my own website. This was something I had thought about doing for many years but had always stopped myself for fear that my writing was subpar. Now that I had some successful writing jobs under my belt, though, I decided to give it a chance. Thus, Indecision and Wanderlust, which later became Erratic Ramblings, was born.
Learning the ins and outs of running a website was not the simplest process, though this was mostly my own fault. Yet, despite the roadblocks I encountered, I was determined to make it work. Things were running smoothly enough, when my laptop finally succumbed to its old age and several years of abuse. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, however, as it caused me to rethink how I was going about everything.
Self-evaluation Is Hard
The website I had built still wasn’t what I wanted it to be. It was missing something, and it wasn’t long before I figured out what that was. As with most things I do, my site lacked direction; it lacked focus. I was all over the place, and everything I had read up to that point insisted that a focus was one of the most important aspects of running a successful website. Try as I might, though, I couldn’t choose one direction to take. It seemed I would need to do some deeper searching to discover what my true passion was, so I could then pursue it and turn it into a viable career option.
Digging deeper meant doing some self-evaluation, which is something I generally avoid. I once had to write a motivational autobiography, which meant I had to take motivational theories I had learned in class and apply them to my life. Even though this was my final paper and was worth a good chunk of my grade, I waited until the night before it was due to start working on it. Why? Because I didn’t want to look at my life that deeply; I didn’t want to know what made me, me.
Yet there I was, trying to figure out what I could offer the world. What was something people wanted or needed that I could accomplish? What did I really want to do with my life? You know, just your run-of-the-mill, existential crisis. Somehow, these were questions I’d managed to avoid answering thus far. I’d always kind of rolled from one thing to the next, and let my life take its own course. I feared this would no longer work, and I would have to make myself choose. Rather than forcing myself to do this, however, I started researching how I could use my varied interests to my advantage. I ended up discovering far more than I anticipated.
A New Outlook
After glancing through several different articles, I concluded I’d been looking at things in the wrong way. In my mind, indecisive had always had a negative connotation, as did many other words I used to describe myself. I considered being unfocused a bad thing, when it really didn’t have to be. What I needed to do was turn these negatives into positives, which meant changing how I thought about things.
Without even realizing it, this is what I had done by choosing to rename my website Erratic Ramblings. Generally speaking, when we hear the word erratic, we think of it as being a bad thing. When I looked at the actual definition, however, I didn’t think it was a bad thing at all. Erratic means deviating from the norm and not having a fixed course; it’s about unpredictability. What’s wrong with not following the same patterns as everyone else?
You see, we’re often told to follow our passion. However, just because someone’s passionate about something, doesn’t mean they can turn it into a career – or that they’re even good at it. Plus, the idea of following your passion assumes you only have one. While this may be true for some, it’s not true for all; and it’s definitely not true for me. For this option to be viable, I’d have to choose between my passions; and the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to do that.
I continued my search and discovered a new sect of individuals who seemed to feel the same way I did. Multipotentialites, polymaths, renaissance souls – call them whatever you may, these were people who, like me, wanted to pursue more than one interest. This discovery solidified my choice to eschew the norm and to stick with what I knew best. I didn’t have to pick a focus, and I wasn’t going to. Instead, I would find a way to make my lack of focus work for me, so I could obtain the freedom I desired.
I started changing the adjectives I used to describe myself. Indecisive became free-spirited, jack-of-all-trades became Renaissance soul, and non-committal became committed to growth and discovery. Not everyone is cut out for a typical career path, and not everyone’s idea of success is the same. Rather than allowing myself to be constrained by one focus, I decided to continue my pursuit of freedom and discovery. It’s possible to be passionate about many things, and it’s possible to pursue more than one interest. I choose freedom rather than focus, and you can too.