Could Be a Fortune Cookie

Do you want to hear something ironic? My freelance writing career is booming these days – a recent development, one that did not occur until after I found a “real” job that I love. And, just like when I was hired here, I wasn’t even pursuing new work. They came to me.

Universe, you amuse me.

I mean, really. I was unemployed for twenty long months, desperately trying to build a freelance writing business, with very little success. $84 a week from my “big” client, $15 a pop for articles, a few paid Groupon samples, all money that I had to have deducted from my weekly unemployment checks anyway. The bloom faded from that rose awfully fast, even though I invested in a box of fancy business cards with my information on them. The one big project I landed was a brochure from my former employer that netted me a sizable little chunk of change, but that was a one-off deal.

Or so I thought.

Turns out I have an advocate over there, a guy I used to work with but only in a roundabout way. He was our IT guru, I was the marketing coordinator. Our paths didn’t cross all that often. But he was impressed with my writing skills, and when a big project entailing a whole bunch of web articles, press releases, and blog posts fell in his lap, he picked up the phone and called me to gauge my interest. This was a few months back. To be honest, I hadn’t given freelance writing another thought in a long time, since I was gainfully employed. I had a big, whopping $0 in self-earned income to report on my 2012 taxes so, in my mind, that ship had sailed.

But when I thought over his offer, I was intrigued. He had a generous budget to work with, and was offering it all to me. This would be supplemental income, on top of my regular salary, and the work is essentially the exact same thing I’m doing every day already. SEO-focused articles on a series of industry-related topics. It’s pressure washers instead of ear, nose and throat conditions, but I did work there for six years and know a thing or two about that stuff. Plus, search engine optimization is my bread and butter. Suddenly, I was envisioning all this extra cash going to really fun places. Sure, there are bills to pay, but there are also bar tabs to rack up and concerts to attend and Mini Coopers to be driven. This money would really give me some extra wiggle room, plus the experience would boost my profile. So of course, I said yes. How could I not?

And then, my advocate began spreading the word to other departments within the company, and suddenly I had a meeting with the marketing manager of another brand. This led to me quoting on a separate project and landing that job, too. The pay is not insignificant.

I wanted to clear all this with my present employer on the off chance that there was some conflict of interest, and to have everything out in the open. I wasn’t sure how they’d react knowing I was doing side work writing for somebody else, particularly an ex-employer. Their response? As long as I wasn’t dealing with the competition, I could feel free to go for it. Oh, and by the way, my supervisor has a friend who could use some copywriting…

So, let me get this straight. Work that I didn’t ask for or seek out is falling into my lap almost literally. It’s right up my alley, something that I excel at, and the money is like an ongoing bonus check. I already feel like I lead a charmed life thanks to this great relationship with Tara, and now amazing work-related things are happening, too. It boggles my mind. And this, after struggling for years to find a decent foothold in life. To merely not be miserable. Seriously, that was my goal at one point. To wake up and not hate life. I feel like I’ve won the lottery in so many ways.

This all just further solidifies my belief that karma is real and it works (it just sometimes takes awhile) and that life harmonizes.

I submitted my first batch of articles, they got rave reviews, I turned in an invoice, and now I’m just sitting back waiting for a paycheck and the next batch of articles, which will be coming soon. Life is good.

On top of all that, I’m trying to write another book. I’ve had several ideas over the past few years, all of which were either discarded or shelved for the time being. And then about a month ago I had a dream, and that was inspiration for a novel about dreamers (literally) that I’m calling A Strange And Beautiful Flower. I’ve made headway on an introduction and the first chapter, so at least that’s a start. My mom is worried I’ll burn out on writing, but I just shrug my shoulders and say if you’re doing work you’re passionate about, then it’s not really work, is it?

That’s so good it could be a fortune cookie.

Peace out and have a groovy weekend. We’re headed to Seattle to celebrate Tara’s nephew’s first birthday. Catch you on the flip side!

Well said.
Well said.

9 thoughts on “Could Be a Fortune Cookie

    1. If nothing else, that’s the way the world SHOULD work. It definitely takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, and…as evidenced in this post…luck doesn’t hurt, either!


  1. OUTSTANDING news, Mark! And a HUGE congrats to you, buddy!


    “This all just further solidifies my belief that karma is real and it works (it just sometimes takes awhile) and that life harmonizes.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more! And YOU are living proof!

    “And, just like when I was hired here, I wasn’t even pursuing new work. They came to me.”

    That’s why I believe that when you’re doing what you love, everything flows in due time.

    Have SUPER time in Seattle this weekend!


  2. I am on the starving artist side of the coin still, so if you get too much work & need some help writing . . . I used to work in advertising for the Winnipeg Free Press plus lots of other experience. Anyway, I’m glad everything is working out so well for you lately (maybe that’s why we don’t see so much of you on the blogs lately). Extra cash is always welcome when you’re planning a wedding & a honeymoon!


    1. My boss actually hinted that I may one day get an assistant. And by assistant I don’t mean some paper guy taped to the copier. Dare to dream!

      The extra $$$ is very welcome.


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