I stood on the diving board, I gulped and gazed down at the innocent-looking waters below…and I jumped. A few months ago I started to do some freelance writing work, just to drum up a little extra cash. I’ve always loved writing, and I figured if someone wanted to pay me for doing that which hardly seems like work, I’d be happy to take them up on it.
Things started out slowly. Since I didn’t have a track record of any kind (other than successfully self-publishing my own novel, but I mean really, these days anyone with a computer can do that!), the projects that I received initially were small – reworking titles and blurbs for existing works, introductions for niche cookbooks, health and fitness articles, etc… I ghost-wrote, which means I received no credit for my work, other than the pittance that I was paid to write, but I didn’t care. I was writing, and people were actually paying me for my efforts!
One publisher, early on, after having read one of my relationship advice articles, asked if I would like to try my hand at writing a series of romantic novellas. The die-hard romantic within me cried out with optimistic glee and I agreed to give it a shot, partly because I thought it would be fun, but mostly because it paid better than the non-fiction and editorial things that I had been doing. My 4-part series for her was incredibly well-received and offers began flooding in.
To this day, I have no idea what the series is called, or how to even purchase a copy, but I had my raw manuscripts and used them as an example to other publishers when they requested samples of my work. In less than 6 months, my earnings skyrocketed, and I found myself spending every spare moment pounding out stories on my laptop. Within that first six months, I’d received offers from publishers for royalty arrangements and was able to say goodbye to ghost-writing once and for all.
Two months ago, I closed my business, (telling myself that I’d still help out friend and family referrals, just to get my Design ya-yas out), and committed to writing full-time. The freedom that being a full-time writer offers me has been incredible. I’ve been able to attend and experience life events that I would have missed if still working full-time in the Décor Biz. My earnings this year are on a trajectory that is tracking to entirely eclipse my earnings last year, and I couldn’t be happier.
If anyone had told me a year ago that I would be giving up a career that took a couple of decades to build in order to write Cozy Mysteries and steamy Romances, I’d have looked at them and laughed (and maybe fantasized about it for a total of five minutes), but that is my current reality and life is good!
So what’s next? Who knows…maybe I’ll learn to write screenplays, or maybe I’ll finally be able to write the next four books in my own series (which has been languishing, neglected, for far too long). Whatever it is that I do, I’ll be doing it for the love of the art and the sheer joy of the written word…and, did I mention…I’ll get paid for it!!
If you’d like to check out my work – I write Cozy Mysteries as Summer Prescott