I’ve always done what was expected and took a well-trodden path to what I thought making a success of your life meant. I finished university with good grades, found a good job in my field, got married in my 20s, had a child at 28, and went on maternity leave fully, envisioning that I’d return to my full time secure job when bub was 1.5 years.

Pretty conventional.

Before I go further, let me share a weakness that dogged me for almost 20 years: a lack of commitment and the determination to complete something. Most of my life, I started new things determined to stick it out; a new diet, a minimalist way of living, an exercise plan, green smoothies in the morning, a dairy free or sugar free diet, a new exercise, a new year resolution and usually by day three it was over, if it even lasted that long!

I thought it was because I lacked the discipline to complete a goal and resigned myself to half completed projects following me around like shadows. But when you’re married to a person who thrives on completing what he’s committed to (ticking stuff off a list even on a weekend!), then these shadows become quite annoying.

When I started writing and doing writing courses, it was to keep me busy while I was on maternity leave. “I didn’t want to get bored at home” I told myself or “It’s something to do while bub sleeps”. I would give it up easily when I went happily back to work I thought. I knew I didn’t have the commitment or discipline required to become a freelancer (going by my track record) so why bother?

Something happened when I saw my name printed for the first time next to my article in a magazine (I’ve framed it as a reminder for when the doubts hit) and I was hooked.

Four years and two months later (that’s how old my son is), I’m still writing, finally calling myself a copywriter at networking events, working with some fantastic clients, and have seen my byline next to stories that I really wanted to write.

The lack of commitment and discipline to stick it out? Gone with the half-completed project shadows.

Now when I set a BIG goal for my writing or for me personally, I’ll complete it no matter what happens. For example, in 2014, I decided to attend one networking event a month no matter how much it scared me – end of 2014 tick!

Other goals I’ve completed which really mattered to me:

  • Organised a networking event for Indian Women in Business
  • Wrote 30,000 words for a fiction manuscript that I want to complete and submit in 2016
  • Wrote for a bucket list publication more than three times
  • Completed two writing courses.

My unexpected lesson from becoming a freelancer is that it’s critical to be passionate about what you do. What’s that saying? Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. And the discipline and commitment will follow automatically. I’m proof of that.

 

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