My Work-at-Home Mom Story – Part 3: Freelance Writing

Continuing my work-at-home mom story

When I was 10 or 11 I announced that I wanted to be a writer or a teacher. In sixth grade, when all the other kids were doing their reading time, my teacher allowed me to write instead. Writing is something that I did, it is part of me.

At home, we didn’t watch tv. We read or played outside. My favorite memory with my dad was when he’d take me to the local bookstore, and we’d both pick out a book. Years later that bookstore went of business, and I mourned. But I can still remember exactly where all the sections were in that store – including where the writing books were.

I got my first writing book as a Christmas gift when I was 11 or 12, and I still have it to this day.  It was the beginning of a long line of writing books, magazines, and courses I’ve invested in over the years – dreaming of writing for a living.

So when I was 5 months pregnant with K, I resigned from my job as a software trainer and installation coordinator, with the dream of staying home with my baby and writing. That’s what I wanted to do.

I had done some freelance writing in the past, and at work I had taken on any writing projects I could get my hands on – which amazingly was quite a few. So it all seemed like a natural thing to do.

My job had required 80% travel -which I loved. But the lifestyle wasn’t condusive to raising a family, much less homeschooling. And that is what I wanted.

If I was going to have children, then I wanted to be the one to raise them – and thankfully I had that option – not everyone does unfortunately :(

So Greg bought into this idea that I would be an at home mom, and bring in some extra money as a writer.  But he wanted me to write a book – a fiction book.

Unfortunately writing fiction is not my forte – and to make money at it takes a while.  But I spent those four months as at-home  soon to be mom – playing housekeeper (something else that I’m not particularly good at) and writing.

But the reality was that money was running short, and our debt was continuing to grow. While we wanted me to be at home, we weren’t  mature enough to change the lifestyle we had lived with two incomes. :(

And it came that just about when K was born, I needed to go back to work – to make up the gap in our spending. Our Mulit-Level marketing/direct selling business wasn’t bringing in the income we needed yet, and I needed to step up and do my part in the mean time. Not what I wanted, but what was necessary.

God is amazing – even in our stupidity. In his perfect timing, he provided an opportunity.  The software company I had worked for asked me if I would write a manual for them about the software that I used to install and train.

I had contributed to the software manual before, and wrote many of  the training materials. So it was something I knew I could do – and do well.

So I set aside writing fiction, what Greg thought he wanted me to do, and did what he really wanted me to do - make money writing.

And since my background – even at that point – was in business and technology with an emphsis in communication and training, it was a natural fit.

I transformed the spare room in our little rental house into an office, and wrote about how to use the software and how it worked for a couple months. And it worked great – it was writing & teaching (my dream).  And it gave me another item to put in my portilio and more experience.

But when that project finished, I had to get to figure out another source.  It was before the internet, and while I knew exactly how to pitch and write magazine articles, for whatever reason it wasn’t something I choose to pursue.

Instead, we decided that I need to stay in the technology side of things, rather than pursue more conventional freelance writing opportunities – at least for now.

Now, there’s several things that if I had known or had done differently, I could have made a really good living as a part-time freelance writer – especially as a freelance technical writer in a techie town. But at the time, I didn’t know and I’m not sure I had the confidence in my writing ability to really market myself like I should have.

But it all worked out – and became an important piece to the opportunities that came later.

Until next time, remember to believe in yourself and know that the right opportunties will come up if you are open to  them and willing to do the work.

I believe in you.

…Shannon

Other Posts on Working from Home that You Might Like:

How to Get Started Freelancing, Training, and Consulting (podcast interview)

Q&A: Getting Started Writing for Money

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6 Responses to My Work-at-Home Mom Story – Part 3: Freelance Writing

  1. Pingback: My Top 3 Business Lessons Learned from Our MultiLevel Marketing Experience | Living Life at Home

  2. Pingback: My Work-at-Home Mom Story - Part 2: MultiLevel Marketing & Direct Selling | Living Life at Home

  3. Pingback: Super News Provides Information on Writing Jobs

  4. Kristen says:

    It is intimidating trying to earn some sort of an income from home, while managing a homeschool. We are fortunate that we have always lived as a one-income family. We didn’t have to adjust. Extra money would be welcome, but I don’t have the pressure to earn! I can just use my writing as a creative outlet to revive me after a long homeschool day.

  5. Lisa says:

    This is beautiful, Shannon! :)

  6. Raani says:

    Thanks for writing such an inspiring post. I’m a stay-at-home-mom who is just starting out as a freelance writer. Do you happen to have an article about pitching?

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