It’s hard to believe, but I sat down at my desk at home and began working for myself exactly 1 year ago today. What happened to the time?
The first year as an independent journalist and copywriter focused on food, wellness and creativity (see how I have that tagline down pat?) has been all I expected, and more. Fulfilling, rewarding, mind-expanding, challenging, baffling and frustrating.
I chose to begin a new chapter after a long and successful career with HOW for a couple of reasons. I was ready to leave behind the corporate world for the freedom and flexibility of working for myself, making my own decisions, choosing my own projects. I wanted to challenge myself, get outside my comfort zone and begin learning again. I wanted to try to make a difference by helping people make better choices about eating and living well. And I wanted to improve my own wellness, by building more time into my day for walking and working out.
Sometimes, I have to remind myself of those reasons I had for going out on my own. Working solo can get lonely. Occasionally, I feel chained to the house. I could be busier.
But making that leap put me on a path toward opportunity—opportunity to do great work for great clients. Clients like the trio of sisters who publish Edible Ohio Valley magazine, who allow me to tell the stories of chefs, farmers and producers who are bringing healthy, local food to our tables. Like Nicole at SparkPeople.com, who hires me to write about cooking and eating healthfully for a huge audience of people who are striving to do just that. Like the neat people at Enrich Creative, who trusted me to tell the stories of their team and their work. And Jessica at dunnhumby, who allows me to contribute recipes and food writing to her client projects. And Stacey at Suite Seven, whose projects let me expand my knowledge base. And, of course, my former partners in crime at HOW, who invite me to write about really interesting creative pros.
The one-year milestone has prompted a lot of thought, reflection and change. Considering my marketing efforts, I’ve recognized that I need a sharper strategy and some new tools. So in the coming months, I’ll be working with a designer to create a new website that better supports my copywriting business. (Not to worry: writes4food will continue, returning to its food blog roots with more recipes and better navigation.) I’ll be launching a newsletter called food4thought, to share ideas about communication, collaboration, cooking and creativity. I’ll be developing a smarter marketing plan to find more clients and projects like the ones I mentioned above.
One year. Wow. What’s next?