Since I’ve introduced my professional and writing lives, it’s time to tell the Freelance Writing Jobs community a bit about my personal life. I don’t usually talk much about my personal life online, but when it comes to building a career as a writer, I think I’m a good example of the expression if I can do it, anyone can in action.
So here goes…
I grew up in New Jersey and as you already know, pursued a corporate career in marketing when I received my undergraduate degree in 1993. I met my husband in 1995, and we were married in 1996. I led the corporate lifestyle until 2004 when I gave birth to triplets. Yes, I said triplets. As you can imagine, that’s when my life changed.
Originally, I planned to be a stay-at-home mom. Let’s face it, paying for daycare for three infants wasn’t practical. In 2005, my husband and I left the fast-paced New York City area for better weather. With no jobs and 14-month old triplets in tow, we headed south to find better weather and a less frenzied lifestyle. We landed in Central Florida and haven’t looked back (although I do miss being able to zip into Manhattan whenever I want).
A year or so after our move to sunny Florida, I had an idea to write a book about copywriting for small business owners and beginner copywriters. As I researched the process of selling a book proposal to a literary agent and publisher, I learned that one of the most important aspects of becoming a published business nonfiction author is having a platform. That means you have to be able to prove to the publisher that you have an established reputation with enough reach to help sell copies of your book. I had the education, the marketing experience, the story to tell, and the ability to write that story, but I did not have a platform.
Typically, authors spend a lot of time on the road, speaking at events around the world to build their platforms. They teach seminars, attend conventions, and get in front of as many people as they can. With toddler triplets at home, this type of travel was not an option for me, so I turned to the social web to build my platform.
My first target was blogging. The more I researched, the more I realized that building a quality blog independently would take a lot of time. I needed to speed up the process, so I actively sought out opportunities to blog for networks that would help me build my online exposure more quickly. I took paying blogging jobs and nonpaying jobs that would help me establish myself as a blogger and marketing expert across the social web.
After I had a blogging portfolio, I was able to land higher paying blogging roles that offered even more exposure. From there, one thing led to another, and there was more work on my plate than I could have imagined. By doing my research, creating a solid plan, and focusing on my niche area of expertise, I was able to develop a career as a writer in less than a year.
Today, my triplets are just about to turn 6-years old. They’re home for summer vacation before staring 1st grade in August, and I’m trying to juggle my business through my company, KeySplash Creative, my speaking schedule through SusanGunelius.com, and I’m churning out more books than I ever expected. Somehow, I manage to juggle it all, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
So that’s my personal story. If I can do it, so can you!
How has your personal life affected your writing career? Leave a comment and share your own story. I can’t wait to read it and be inspired.