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A labour of love: A Labour of Love: The Story of Wordhoney and Where I’m Headed

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Ever since I was young, writing has always been a part of my life in some way, whether it was writing in a new notebook my mom had bought me, or writing short, fictional stories for my language arts classes. When I was young, I never thought about being a writer when I grew up; I just enjoyed reading and writing immensely. But when I turned 19, I decided that I was going to go to university to pursue a degree in English and Creative Writing and somehow make a living as a writer. The writer’s life turned out to be a lot more difficult and complicated than I had imagined it would be because I realized that writing was not a straightforward path.

Thankfully, in my last year of university, I had the opportunity to apply my writing and editing skills as a Bridging Program tutor in my university’s writing centre. Being a writing tutor that worked alongside ESL students was not only fun, but the job also opened my eyes to some of the opportunities available for writing. Though I still didn’t know what other writing opportunities lay ahead, I knew I wanted to do more work like this. Then, when I graduated from university, I was offered a job as a curriculum editor at the private college I worked at part-time while I was attending university.

This, again, was another excellent opportunity for me because it meant that I would be working as a professional editor straight out of university. Not too bad, I’d say. But after a few years, I realized that editing curriculum was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Instead, I want to do what really lights me up, which is to be a storyteller. I want to make my living by being an author. Though I am thankful I currently have an editing job where I can apply my writing and editing skills and be paid a decent salary, I feel limited in what I can do creatively and the idea of being in the same position and doing the same thing for the rest of my life scares me. Therefore, I’ve started to look for other ways to transition out of my 9-5 job so that I can pursue what I am passionate about and feel called to do. Enter freelance writing.

I sort of stumbled into the world of freelancing not really knowing what I was getting myself into. To be honest, the reason I ventured into freelance writing was because I wanted to replace my 9-5 job with projects I felt more connected to and freelance seemed like one of the ways to go. The idea of Wordhoney, the name of my freelance business, came to me one evening when I was watching the Gilmore Girls reboot series with my friend. Before we started watching, I had told my friend that I was going to try my hand at freelancing and that I was in search of a name for my freelancing business. I even remember saying something to the effect of, “Maybe I’ll be inspired by Gilmore Girls.” Sure enough, in one of the episodes, one of the characters, a CEO of a writing website, spoke of how her writers worked and collaborated together, like buzzing bees in a hive that worked together to make word honey. When she said this, I remember turning to my friend and telling her, “There it is: Wordhoney.” The image of writers as buzzing bees that worked together to produce sweet stories made me smile and it felt like Wordhoney was an appropriate name for a freelance writing business. So, I took the words and ran with them.

However, making the transition from my 9-5 job to full-time freelancing is tough, and finding the right freelance writing jobs is even harder. But I’ve finally learned how to breathe and enjoy the process of transitioning. In order to feel confident enough to leave my 9-5 job behind so I can pursue freelancing, I have to work hard to try and match the current salary I am making. Though I’m still not at that place where I’m ready to give up my day job completely, I know that I am on my way.

A writer’s life is not easy, and the first several years of the journey may be a labour of love, but I know with time and my best effort, the right doors will open.
Author: Tamar Smith, Canada