Freedom Is A Choice

When I was in college, I wanted to be a magazine editor (preferably fashion or lifestyle) in New York City. It was all I thought about.

I applied for jobs and internships all over NY as often as I could during my junior and senior year. But nothing really came of it.

I wasn’t deterred. I knew the NYC magazine world was a tough business to get into.

It was the second semester of my senior year and I had no idea what I’d be doing after graduation. I wasn’t worried, though. I already had a good job working for the local newspaper’s website and writing a weekly column in the print edition and features for its entertainment supplement.

And then something happened: my professor told me about a magazine internship she thought I should apply for… in Southern California.

Funnily enough, that same professor told me about that same internship (it was an annual thing) the year before, when I was a junior. I brushed it off because it seemed like a far-off idea to leave everything and go away for the summer.

But as a senior with no after-graduation plans who dreamed of being a magazine editor it was pretty much the best thing ever.

So I applied and got the internship and moved out to SoCal for the summer of 2005. I spent three months writing and editing for Reptiles magazine (by choice, I love reptiles!!), as well as helping out with other magazines within the company when they needed a hand (they had dozens).

I loved getting to dress up every day and go to the office, because that’s what I always saw my mom do growing up and that’s what I was always told you did. It was one of the best summers of my life.

Then I got offered a job as an editor for a pet products magazine, which I accepted without hesitation. I loved SoCal and loved working as a magazine editor.

At first.

But then I was really living out there. I wasn’t just subletting an apartment for 3 months in student housing, I was renting an house with a roommate and living further from the office, which required a longer commute.

And it made me realize something… why the fuck am I driving in HELL traffic to commute 15 miles from my house to the office to sit at a desk and go online and do all these things I could be doing from home?

I loved Southern California more than anything and can’t wait to move back there sometime in the near future. But what I didn’t love was working in an office.

I’d do anything I could to escape being there, including manifesting illness so I had to go to the doctor. And every time I’d be out of the office during the day, I would see tons of people out and about, enjoying their day. Eating lunch, drinking coffee, not living their life in an office all day.

And in that moment, I decided that’s what I wanted. To be FREE all day long and do whatever I wanted to do.

I had no idea how I’d make it happen, but I believed it was a future possibility.

Toward the end of my stint as a magazine editor, I hated going to the office so much that some days I’d roll in unshowered, wearing khakis, a hoodie and Chuck Taylors. I blamed it on the fact that I wasn’t doing enough writing and I wanted to be doing more writing.

So I left and moved with my now-husband to Houston to start a new adventure.

But then the same thing happened again. I got a great job, I loved it for a while, but I hated the commute and having to work in an office all day. And this job was a 100 percent online job, which meant I could do the whole thing from home (or anywhere).

And lucky for me I had a great boss who allowed our team to work from home 3 days a week. It gave me a preview of the life I wanted.

The freedom life. A life where I’m totally in control of my time and location.

But it still wasn’t enough.

I so badly wanted to find a job where I could work from home every day and never have to go to the office except for very rare occasions.

The problem was there weren’t very many jobs like that out there. Or at least I hadn’t been able to find any.

And whenever I jumped jobs for money (which I did often, I was totally driven by the money in my corporate career), I’d run into the same issues. I constantly tried to get my bosses to see how much more I’d be getting done if I was working from home full-time. But they’d never go for it.

I applied for work-from-home jobs all the time. Nothing came of all the energy I was putting into it.

That’s when I realized I had to stop giving other people permission to control my time and location.

I had to take back my power. I had to create my own freedom.

So that’s what I did. I quit my corporate day job in March 2012 and walked away to do my own thing where I’m in control of my time and my location.

I had no clue how I’d make money. It was pretty damn scary, actually, but I had so much adrenaline going from finally doing the thing I wanted to do–quit my job to work for myself–that I didn’t care. I just trusted that I took the action and something would work out.

And what worked out at the time, was freelance writing.

Back when I first moved from SoCal to Houston I couldn’t find a job right away and I didn’t want to settle for any crappy-ass job. So I freelanced for the first few months I was there, and I made a damn good income.

A job eventually came along, but I freelanced on the side now and then just because extra money is always nice. And there I was in 2012, having to figure out how to make my own money.

So I turned, once again, to freelance.

I wrote articles and marketing copy and feature stories and I interviewed people and I wrote my ass off. And I made a living.

It wasn’t a lot at first. In 2012 I brought in around $16k. But it was the best year of my life. Because it had been all on my terms and I was in charge of my time and location.

Freedom.

It’s the ultimate thing I value above everything else. Freedom.

My definition of freedom have evolved a lot over the years and I continue to create more freedom and it continues to be more and more on my terms. But that’s where it all started.

With freelance writing.

It gave me an income when I was in a job transition. It helped me support myself and my family when I first quit my job to work for myself.

Eventually I went from $16k to $25k to $32k and growing. Now I’ve added in several other income streams and make more money doing more things I enjoy.

But it all started with freelance.

Freelance writing = freedom.

Before you go jumping the gun here and quitting your job to freelance write, I have to add that freelance writing is a tough business. It’s an uncertain and sometimes inconsistent business. It’s an ever-changing business.

But the toughest part is being mentally strong enough to handle the freedom and all that comes with it.

Because now you’re in charge. You have to apply for gigs and you have to handle the payment arrangements and you have to keep track of everything and you have to pay taxes and discipline yourself to do the work by deadline.

Now your income is in your own hands.

And if you can’t handle the uncertainty and being in control and having the discipline to get shit done, the freelance life isn’t for you.

But if you can handle all of that, there are more and more opportunities available every day because so many companies are building online presences and on the internet, content is king.

Content can’t write itself. Which means they need writers to write the content for them.

There’s a whole lot more to know about freelance writing and living the freelance life. More than I can share in this post right now.

I really just wanted to inspire you to see that the freedom you so desperately want is yours, so long as you’re willing to do what it takes to create it.

Freelance writing isn’t the only option, obviously, but it is a great way to get paid for your words and to make a living as a writer.

And it also frees up your time so you can do more of your own writing too.

I’ve had the freedom life for 5+ years now and I will never go back.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

 

P.S. If you want to create your freedom life through freelance writing, stay tuned!! Doors to my new workshop, Freelance to Freedom, are opening on Thursday and we kick things off on August 1. More details soon… 

What You Focus On Expands, So Focus On What You Actually Want

For a long time in my life, I focused on the bad stuff. The negative, annoying, bad things that were happening all around me. The news. Society. Other people. My bad habits. My insecurities. My “not good enough” bullshit.

I focused on that stuff, all day long most days. And hating my day job caused me to complain with people about how bad things are.

During my final job working for someone else I spent upwards of eight hours a day complaining with my coworkers about how bad things were there. Eight hours!!

Talk about focusing on what you DON’T want.

‘Cause here’s the thing… whatever you choose to focus on, expands. It grows. And you start to see more and more evidence of it.

This is true whether what you’re focusing on is “good” or “bad.”

And that’s what I finally realized when I was still working a soulsucking day job: I get to choose. I get to decide what I focus on and what I take my attention away from.

I’m not gonna lie, I definitely still complained with my coworkers. (It was kinda hard not to, things were really shitty at that company.) But when I got home, I left the complaining at the door.

I shut off my work phone and put it away and didn’t look at it again until I was sitting at my desk the next morning. Whatever happened, happened. I didn’t care anymore. I was DONE working for someone else and DONE working at a place I didn’t believe in.

I made the choice to block it all out, like I didn’t even work there. And instead I focused as much of my attention and energy as possible on what I actually wanted: to work for myself.

I got home at night and I blogged and I wrote and I worked on building my writing business. I got really good at acting as if I wasn’t working for someone else anymore (even though at the time I still was).

I had a quit date, it was written down and I declared at the beginning of 2012 that this was the year I’d finally leave my job and work for myself.

I believed it. With every ounce of my being. Even though I had ZERO clue how I’d make it happen. I just trusted and I kept acting as if.

When I got to the office every day, I told myself I was at my side gig and I was consulting and wasn’t really an employee. I pretended I had a contract and that it was over on my quit date.

I believed it.

And I FOCUSED on it.

So when I ended up quitting and leaving three months before the quit date I set, I wasn’t at all surprised. Because what you focus on expands.

And I’d been focused on working for myself and being able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. That was my dream.

But I was also focused on complaining with my coworkers when I was at the office. So that continued to expand too, and before I knew it, the entire place had become one big fucking shit show.

When I put in my two weeks notice I didn’t even end up finishing the entire thing. I’d had enough and I didn’t want to have ANY of my focus on that stuff anymore. So I went to the HR lady and told her I was done.

And I walked away–OK, I admit, I danced away like a fool in my car–and started a brand new life as an entrepreneur.

Whatever you want, you can do it too. You can use your focus to create whatever YOU dream of doing and having and being. ANYTHING.

It’s all up to you. And simply by placing your focus on exactly what you WANT in your writing life and beyond, and REMOVING your focus from all of the things you DON’T want, you will totally change your life. Why?

Because life grows where focus goes.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. It’s the FINAL DAY to join us for the Manifest Your Writing Dreams to Life workshop. We’re kicking things off and jumping right in.

Thirty days of guidance, support and accountability so you can create the writing life (and more) that you’ve always dreamed of. This is an action-taking workshop–you won’t just be sitting around learning a bunch of stuff about manifesting, you’ll actually be diving in and DOING every single day.

DOORS CLOSE AT 11:59 PM CDT TONIGHT!!

>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/landing/manifest

The Journaling Tweak That Helped Me Manifest A $10K Writing Project

So I’m always telling you guys about my daily mindset practice that I do, which includes freestyle writing and then doing a journaling exercise called “write your reality” where you write intentional statements using “I” and written in the present or past tense. (The final part of the practice includes visualizing what you want as if it’s already done.)

For a while now I’ve been writing down that “I make $10k a month,” because that is my next big income goal. But I was also writing that “I am a multi-millionaire,” because that is my overall income goal for my writing business.

And nothing was happening.

So I asked my mentor if I was confusing my mind by writing that I make $10k while also saying I’m a multi-millionaire, because the two statements kind of negate each other.

Her response was spot-on and also the thing that pushed me through feeling ‘stuck’ with my manifesting.

She said…

You should never write down an intention unless you have an emotional connection to it, or you should change the wording until you feel an emotional connection to it.

BOOM!!

Not only was I negating myself by saying I make $10k a month but also that I’m a multi-millionaire (because, duh! The numbers do not add up!). But I also had no emotional connection to being a multi-millionaire because I’ve never done it or even come close. It’s too big for me to believe right now.

So I kept my “I make $10k a month” intention and started writing “I am on my way to becoming a multi-millionaire” instead. And not even three weeks later… my very first $10k writing project landed in my lap.

I’ll be ghostwriting a novel for one of my clients, something I hadn’t ever really considered doing and yet ever since I said yes the signs of alignment are EVERYWHERE! Including the invoice number I sent for the first payment, which was #00111!!

It’s amazing how such a simple tweak can change everything.

It blows my mind, really. But that’s the power of words and of choosing the right words, the words that have an emotional connection for you.

Now, of course, you have to believe what you’re intending. Which is why you’ve gotta mess with the wording until it feels believable for you and you can feel it in your soul… even if it hasn’t physically manifested yet.

So don’t start yourself out writing things that are so totally unbelievable for you that you’ll never be able to accept them as true. Start with something that’s slightly outside your comfort zone but that you still believe is possible for you.

A year ago I couldn’t have manifested a writing project that paid $10k because I didn’t have the capacity to receive it. It was too much money for me to believe it was possible for me.

But a year later, I’ve done enough journaling and mindset work and manifesting to finally believe that, of course, it’s not only possible to make $10k a month, but that it’s possible for me.

Incremental up-levels. Baby steps. That’s how you get your mind to believe bigger and better things. And as soon as you believe it, the physical manifestation of it won’t be far behind.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. There’s still time to join us for the Writing Habit Revamp: 21 Days of Discipline, Habit-Building, Support and Accountability to Get Your Butt In A Chair and Words On the Page. We start Monday June 12!

And because writing habits are a foundational part of being a successful writer and author, I’m PAYING YOU to join us… with $394 worth of Bonuses, including my 7-part story planning and development eCourse, Novel University (a $297 value) AND the How To Write A Story Synopsis Training (a $97 value).

>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/writinghabitrevamp