A Path Less Traveled Part 3

A Path Less Traveled Part 3

This last post in the series took me a bit longer to compose than usual.

I wasn’t quite sure which words to pick and place them in all the right places, and it took a few re-writes.

Sometimes I just need to actually write.

Then again, I wasn’t aiming for perfection. Instead, I wanted to give one last recap of what has been going on and give a sense of why I started this project.

A small recap

Losing a job, going through a mini rough stretch and having to take action wasn’t an easy process. In a sense, there are a few uncertainties and some kinks to still work out.

But it’s all worth it. And I have no regrets of the past and moving forward.

Sometimes these bumps in the road of life is what a person needs to get to a better place. My freelance writing journey will take a few turns and meet a few road blocks – perhaps even take a few sidesteps.

But I feel confident that I can take any challenge head on and turn them into opportunities.

Not Alone

Working for myself full time is not going to be easy, but in my opinion will offer me the most rewarding future.

Its the beginning of February and it appears that I am ready to take on the world of freelance writing. Yet, I know that there is so much more out there available to me.

Luckily, I have chosen a path many are taking. There are many websites and blogs already that have wonderful resources for writers. Not to mention social media and some existing friends who are behind support me.

I can already see that many new writers are looking for support, so that was one of the areas of interest. This blog will serve that purpose, albiet with a few major differences.

Future Plans

I have come to the conclusion early in the new year that this website needed to be different.

Something fresh, different, a new perspective and place for ideas. A blog that others and myself could enjoy doing – not just another place to “get clients”.

Trust me, there are many websites out there that say “do this, or do that”, “how to make money”, “look at me”, and so on.

This blog is not going to follow any of those templates.

Which leaves me the great opportunity to experiment and take chances. There are already a few ideas I have, and have begun to make a few drafts.

I would like to offer other new writers ideas on how to be different or at least create their own voice. Because I believe that trying to “fit in” with what other writers are doing is not worthwhile.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading my three part series, I wanted to create these three posts as a way to introduce the blog. Going forward there will be some changes as I experiment with a few things.

The website itself will always have the same goal – a place for potential writers starting out and to get new ideas.

So come take a journey with me, lets go down this path together!

Darcy Cardinal

A Path Less Traveled by Part 2

A Path Less Traveled by Part 2

Horray!

I found my new path, and will become my own boss!

Oh, wait. I did forgot to consider a few minor details before embarking on this adventure.

Reality sets in

Okay, so my plan was to become my “own boss”, which was great. But yet, reality set in as January began and I asked myself “what exactly is it I’m supposed to be doing?” I could not afford to be spending weeks deciding on what to do. Bills began to pile up and everyday essentials would soon run out if I did not take action.

To solve these problems I devised a simple solution: drop unimportant projects and distractions, and then focus on what was most important. There were various projects on the go around the end of 2015, including day trading, writing, ecommerce and affiliate marketing. This was not going to work. It would have not been practical to spread my energy and resources on all these projects at once.

I chose the most obvious one that appealed to me the most – writing.

Not starting from “scratch”

Writing for a living did perk my interest in the past, but up until recently was not a serious consideration. The term “freelance” came to mind, and I soon realized that my writing skills would come in handy. As it turns out, my journey into freelance writing was not going to be as hard as expected.

I had already been selling smaller “gigs” on marketplaces like Fiverr and source market, which would be considered casual work. There were also my previous hotel jobs, where I created sales letters and handling the communications side of the business.

Finally, I had my own personal writing over the years. Darcycardinal.com is not my first blog. In fact, there have been at least three other previous blogs that have been started before. Also from 2007-2008, there was a hand written journal that I made entries into everyday.

If I did want to make freelance writing a viable career, I would need to step up my game. Both Casual writing projects and distractions were going to need to go.

Focusing on what matters

It was finally time to put in the work. However, keeping focus on writing good content was not going to be easy the way I had been doing it before. My writing efforts before were spread out over a multitude of small micro-job websites. Each one required time to market, create pages, prices and dealing with multiple customers.

Therefore, I decided to drop all my micro-job websites including Fiverr, Source-Market and several similar websites. Looking back now, it was the smartest choice to make, as it freed up valuable time and allowed me to specialize on one platform in particular – Upwork.

To gain more writing experience I decided to keep working with Upwork. The website was easy to use, and was a good launch pad for my freelance writing career. Long term, my plans will require me to set out on my own to find new clients and projects, but this was okay for now.

Probably the biggest change that I implemented was the choice to drop day trading. Yes, it was a hard choice, but taking on the responsibilities of both trading and writing would have been a nightmare. There will be a time and a place in the future when I will revive the day trading. Just not right now.

Now I had a clear path to go down, and all that was needed was to create attainable goals and a plan.

A simple plan?

To make freelance writing a viable career for myself, I needed to have plan in place.

This was a business; this was no longer going to be just a hobby or “casual gig” as before. This would be my eventual main source of income. And I knew that it was very much possible, if there was plan that could be implemented.

The plan was this: 1) Determine why I to be a writer and start a freelance writing business, 2) How i was going to serve my clients in the best possible way 3) What kind of services my business would offer to potential clients.

If you are curious to how I ended up with these 3 points, it was inspired by a book entitled “Start with why” by Simon Sinek. His book and several others helped me move forward with my freelance writing in the right direction.

In the next and final part of my mini blog serious, i will go over the last of the details that got me.

See you next Monday in part three of “…A Path Less Travelled by.”

Darcy Cardinal

A Path Less Traveled Part 1

A Path Less Traveled Part 1

Sometimes in life, unexpected events and situations pop up – taking you by surprise.

Many will panic and crash. Some will suck it up and move on.

While a few select people, will seize the moment for what it is and turn it into something great.

That is what I have chosen to do.

A chilly start to a new year.

It’s Dec 20, 2015 and I’m at home, without a job and little money left in my bank account. My previous work (cook at a fast food outlet) was doing “great” according to everyone else.

That was until I was “kicked” out the door just days before Christmas. There was little warning of this and no backup plans available in case of such an event.

On top of that, my finances were in poor shape to begin with at the time and this was not going to help out the situation. It was a curious mix of anxiety, stress, doubt and fear all together.

Trust me – this was not a pleasant feeling to have.

It’s when these kinds of events happen, that most people would either panic or try to cover up the situation. This was not what I was going to do, despite some real challenges that lay ahead of me.

For the next seven days, I decided to take some much needed time off. No job searching, no partying or feeling sorry for myself – just nothing.

It turned out to be a great choice.

No longer did I have to worry about a schedule, getting motivated for work or trying to pretend to enjoy mingling with other employees. To be blunt, my previous work was literally sucking the life out of me. As an Introvert, I never liked working in a confined space with others close to me. That was all gone now.

There was also the fact that my days where free now. Meaning I could do the activities that got me motivated and excited. If i wanted to chat or meet up with someone, it was possible. If there was a creative or writing project needing attention, I could do it. Sleep in, cook when I wanted to or go out for long walks and daydream – done.

I was free. And I loved it.

Making a realization and choice.

During those short seven days, I came to a big realization – there’s so much more valuable work I can be doing.

The duties involved in my previous day job were mundane to say the least and did not make for a enjoyable life. The job tasks themselves required little effort, no input and was repetitive. I was just another robot on an assembly line!

While the job did pay the bills, I knew that there was better things to do with my time and energy. It was at that point that I decided to take on a new challenge, not just for 2016 but for the rest of my life.

I was to become my own boss.

Moving forward

This was a big move, and there was many questions I had and new challenges in my way.

To be honest, I had no clue of where to start, nor exactly the kind of work I would be doing. It turns out that it was not hard to find solutions to these and other questions.

My circle of friends, which included writers, freelancers, entrepreneurs and teachers made sense now. I had the time, knowledge and willingness to learn more. And the most important part – an unlimited supply of creative supply!

I started to get excited. Now was the moment to sieze the opportunity to do something worthwhile in my life.

But there would be so much more to come, as the weeks following up to now would show!

See you in part two of “…A Path Less Travelled by.”

Darcy Cardinal