Am I living the dream? The truth about travel writing

This started out as an angry rant of sorts.

Because I started thinking about the past few weeks, and the horror of not having any travel plans for the first time in a year, and those eye-rolling reactions I get whenever I complain about my job(s). Those times when I get so infuriated, I have to restrain myself from stabbing someone in the eye with my lead pencil.

Because in the past few weeks, I’ve been bloody miserable. I’ve been going through the motions of post-trip depression, and questioning my career, and wondering how it could have possibly been 15 months since I was laid off from my job and “forced” into making this side gig thing a full-time, permanent role. And then I think about how in this world of travel writing there are no promotions, no bonuses, no raises. No pats on the back. My following has not grown as significantly as I would have liked because hey, in order to be a travel writer, you have to travel! And nobody gives a shit if you’re actually a good writer or not, as long as you’ve BEEN EVERYWHERE FIVE TIMES OVER and have the sort of following which could prove to be mutually beneficial!

So I don’t really know if I’ve “made” it. I’ve gone to bed hungry twice in the past two weeks and I cannot afford winter boots. You tell me.

Token tourist shot, in Lima.

Let me lay it out there. I chose this lifestyle. If I think I’m miserable right now, it was nothing compared to my lifestyle before. I’m making significantly less money, I have no job security and health insurance is eating my soul. I traded it all in for freedom, and despite everything, I love it.

I love that I can come and go as I please. I love that I’m offered trips around the globe and I can take them. I love that a few weeks ago I stood at Machu Picchu and this summer I drove across Canada. I love that my opinion matters to some people, and sharing my experiences strikes a chord in the heart of others. My whole life has been developed on the love of travel, literature, and writing, and so infusing all three just seems natural.

Proof I’ve always been a writer, just not much of an interior decorator.

But it’s not always easy.

Travel writing is work. Yes, it is work. These incredible press trips I’ve been taking require a great deal of writing, networking, meeting crazy deadlines, prioritizing other jobs to make room for a rigorous schedule, and being able to function on four hours of sleep a night. It is incredibly hard to stay motivated and inspired, and you have nothing to fall back on when things go wrong.

It takes a LONG time to get there. There are only a handful of people who have earned huge success upon immediately breaking out onto the travel blogging scene. I’m fortunately at the point in my career where most publications recognize me as a valuable writer, not just a blogger, but it’s taken over two years.

You will have to pave your own path. You absolutely cannot read a self-help e-book and expect your life to work out in the same way. Take that information, and build your own route.

There is no job security and print publications still offer the best rates. If you lack the business sense to be a self-publisher and run several websites at once, and if your focus is more on good writing than anything else, you probably don’t have much job security. Content mills don’t give a shit about you. They want link love and quick information, not in-depth research and meaningful insights. Print publications still offer the best rates for your work, but competition is cutthroat.

You will probably not earn much money, not for many years. Credibility and experience takes time. If you have debt, you’re fucked. The majority of my pay goes to paying back student loans and credit debt leftover from my full-time job. It’s enough to survive, but you can never be certain when that next pay cheque arrives and if you don’t have a safety net to bail you out in the meantime, it sucks. Hence the lack of food in my life. I am broke. Not living in poverty, but broke. And I don’t own a house, or a car, or any of those things which many “broke” people have. My life is worth a laptop computer, an external hard drive, a fancy camera and a 3-year old bed from Sears. My books are invaluable. Ironically, this lack of financial freedom attributed to my lifestyle freedom means I can’t do many of the things I want, like travel Greece long-term.

So when you say I’m “lucky” to be doing this, yes, I am. I’m taking the risks, I’m getting out there. I’ve come to realize how incredible the travel blogging community is, and how blessed I am for such an amazing group of friends and family who are always around to help bail me out of a jam. I can only hope that some day I’ll be in a better position to return the favour.

Some lovely people on my travels

But it wasn’t luck that got me to where I am right now, and saying so undermines my hard work and determination to beat the status quo. I’ve been told countless times in the past year to “get a job.” Would you give up your cushy careers, decorated homes, and pension plans for an uncertain future, sporadic pay cheques, and an office outfit consisting of pyjamas? For many of you, probably not.

Which is okay, actually. I may need your couch to crash on.

  • October 20 2011

    Love. You’re a champion and many aspiring writers should be encouraged by your grit and determination Candice. This is a good read for anyone that is an aspiring or young writer, and not just in travel.

    I’ve been doing this full-time for a year. Some months I have to decide between whether having a futon mattress to sleep on or going on a road trip is more important. I often make dinner at home when friends have invited me for dinner out in the city and drinks afterward in order to make sure I have money at the end of the month. I worked until 3 a.m. one night this week to meet a deadline. Yet, I’ve been offered several full-time jobs over the last few months, all of which paid significantly more than travel writing. And without hesitation I turned them down. For me it’s been about living the life I want to and doing what makes me happy. For right now, this is it. It’s come at a price and I nearly ran myself into the ground to get here, but I would do it all over again because the happiness and freedom outweighs the things I don’t like as much.

    • October 24 2011

      Spencer, we must catch up soon buddy! I thought about you while writing this post, in fact. Feel like we’ve both dealt with much of the same thing. Ah, freedom…so liberating and terrifying all at once, huh?

  • October 20 2011

    Love this post. I hope you know I totally respect what you do. I tell people you’re a travel writer. And they accept that as a legit thing because I don’t accept any other response. ;) I may be jealous of some of your trips. . . but I know I could never ever in a million years pull off what you do.
    I used to get irritated with my fellow science/med students because they had an attitude like an arts degree is ‘easy’, and what we do is so much ‘harder’…. but holy bejesus I had to take 4 arts courses and they were 4 of the top 6 hardest courses of my degree. Nothing is ‘easy’, and ‘hard’ is in the eye of the beholder. To me, what you’ve done seems pretty fucking impossible and I know I couldn’t pull it off. I don’t have the necessary passion, determination, or networking skills. . . And I suspect that to you, what I do is pretty far from the realm of possibilities – again, you need to have the passion, determination, ability to be elbow deep in blood and guts and not care. . . ;D
    So, yeah, I think it’s bullshit that anyone would think what you do is not ‘work’ and is not a ‘job’… you SHOULD love what you do, and you SHOULD be doing what you enjoy. And if it’s worthwhile, it’ll probably take some serious effort to get there. Jesus, you know more than anyone what I put up with at my job…. but still, I love what I do. And I wouldn’t leave my job for anything. I put up with all the drama and bullshit because it comes with what I love. I’m in megadebt because it was necessary to get what I wanted. You may be broke, and sometimes go without much sleep, but as you’ve eloquently pointed out, it is a necessary hardship for you to be doing what you love ;)

    AND, in other news, STOP GOING TO BED HUNGRY. You have 2 sets of keys to my house, and I have a kitchen full of food I rarely eat because I come home from work so tired I can’t be bothered with food. Seriously. Come let my dog out for a pee and make yourself a peanut butter sandwhich before I let another loaf of bread get mouldy.

    • October 24 2011

      Hahaha, I know! I always argue that with friends…an arts degree isn’t easy if you’re not an arts person. Seriously. Writing is a real craft.

      I’m grateful for understanding friends like you. :)

      And I’m going to write these posts more often, if not just for the dinner invitations I’ve received…

  • October 20 2011

    Well said. I’m trying to find that middle path at the moment. I’m starting to grow tired of the ‘can I pay all of my bills next month or should I drop my health insurance?’ outlook. While I’m obviously enjoying the freedom of going where I please (and writing this right now from a cozy place in Colorado as I travel) it comes with stress. Sure, it might not be the same type of stress that I had in my stable, full-time job, but it’s still stress. There’s a price to pay for any choice and it’s a matter of whether it’s worth it. Some days I feel like it is for me, while other days I think about taking a different direction. Only time will tell, but I’m just trying to enjoy it as it comes! It looks like you’ve made the right decision :)

    • October 24 2011

      I jump back and forth between loving what I’m doing and going back to the 9-5 thing ALL the time, haha. Glad I’m not the only one in this boat!

  • October 20 2011

    You are such an inspiration!! I could write about it all day. I freelanced for years and years. With your charisma and networking, you’ll be doing your thing and then one day you’ll get something huge or see a significant rise in work. It’s just how it is. I know it’s frustrating. And hey, I lost everything after losing my full-time job. I will never consider a full-time gig “job security” again! I will never again not have my own thing on the side as insurance. So build those contacts well!! Your fan, Abby

  • October 20 2011

    I think it takes a lot of BALLS & hard work to even attempt to live this kind of lifestyle and I totally admire you for actually doing it. Keep your chin up, girl!! :)

    • October 24 2011

      HUGE balls! Hahaha, thanks Becky!

  • October 20 2011

    I am fortunate enough to do this while I still have a job. I have to because of my situation – I have a family to support. However, I will echo that this is really hard work! I am very discouraged at times and it is not as easy as some people think it is. Writing is a job and takes a lot of work. Add the travel aspect to it (which is kinda required) and it takes a lot of time – much more than a 40 hour a week job when you are first getting started.

    I think many of us understand the realities and choose to do this for various reasons. Keep doing what you are doing and working hard!

    • October 24 2011

      This is true…if I had a family, I’d probably be doing something entirely different. Ah, ain’t life complicated! Thanks for weighing in Jeremy.

  • October 20 2011

    This is really great, and you have hit on the head why I am seriously considering switching my career track to carpentry. I would be the happiest person on earth if I could get a contract with a publisher as a photographer, or hell, even regular paying work that allows me to meet my meager bills, but I can’t seem to find either. At this point, I’m actually looking at going the opposite direction that most of the lifestyle/travel folks are headed, and instead of heading from a career to travel, I’m looking like heading from travel to a career.

    • October 24 2011

      Absolutely, and just because you’re switching to a conventional career doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling. Funny how that is, there’s a whole world of travellers out there who aren’t bloggers or writers. ;) I’ve considered the alternatives often myself.

  • October 20 2011

    YES, Candace! That “luck” “compliment” that laypeople consistently throw at travel writers drives me nuts… and I’m nowhere near as successful as you are. In fact, I’d venture so far as to say that the only thing LUCKY about your career is the fact that you have the cojones to make the sacrifices necessary in order to make it happen. Everything else has been drive, hard work, talent, and (hopefully not too many) tears. Keep on keeping on, sister. You’ll get those winter boots.

    Also… is that a Smith Corona electric typewriter? If so, my first typewriter was a Smith, too – I asked for one for Christmas in 1988. Word!

    • October 24 2011

      Getting those winter boots this week, woohoo! Haha. Thanks, Liv!

      And that is INDEED a Smith Corona. ;) My god that thing was amazing. I wish I still had it.

  • October 20 2011

    Dude, this IS my life right now!

    I’m not a travel writer, exactly, but I am a writer, and I left my full-time “I’m a grownup with a steady paycheck!” job recently to be a full-time writer instead. And I’m so heartened to see you address the challenges/joys of freelance life so honestly. On a selfish level, it makes me feel less alone. But more importantly, it sounds like you’ve ended up at the right conclusion, which is that you’ve done the right thing for you, even if it sucks sometimes. It’s amazing how powerful a feeling “despite everything, I love it” is. Sometimes I start to feel jealous of friends with more conventional jobs – many of whom are getting married, or buying lots of expensive things, or going on vacations and staying in luxury hotels, or whatever. And about half a second later, I realize that I still don’t regret the decision I made, even if it means I’m going to have cheese on toast for dinner AGAIN and I really want a beer but there’s no beer money left. Freedom is worth more than that.

    Anyhow, as lots of people have already said – just keep on trucking! People do make this work, somehow, and you totally will too (sounds like you’re well on your way). And thanks for being brave enough to write this post :)

    • October 24 2011

      Hahaha, like I said, so happy someone else has a beer fund! We totally got this, dude. Totally.

      Loving your blog, btw.

  • October 20 2011

    Candice, I love this post. I, too, am a freelance travel writer/blogger. People envy my job, yet when I tell them that my job doesn’t come with health insurance, sick pay, paid holidays, salary reviews, or expense accounts, they have second thoughts.

    I LOVE my job, but I’m not looking forward to eating cat food later in life due to my “career” choices. Yet, I can not bring myself to have it any other way.

    • October 24 2011

      Ha, same! The lady at the bank today tried to talk me into RRSPs. I’m like, “I need winter boots first. Thanks.”

      We’ll be poor but we’ll have tons of stories to tell the other homeless people living on the streets. ;)

  • October 20 2011

    This IS hard work, and you have certainly worked your ass off to turn this into a career that can (mostly) support you. I give you a lot of credit, because no, it’s not easy. Many people don’t realize that being a travel writer or blogger actually often includes longer hours and more work than a traditional full-time job. But you know what? None of us would try it if we didn’t love it. Yes, we’re lucky to be able to travel the world. But these experiences and opportunities don’t just fall from the sky. They take a lot of hard work to attain.

    I hope someday soon I can follow in your footsteps! (Well, maybe when it comes to the location independent writing stuff, at least… maybe no so much the going hungry part…)

    • October 24 2011

      Girl you’re more than halfway there already, haha! You’re still relatively new to the scene and you already have a bigger following than me. Way to go! What a life we lead.

  • October 20 2011

    Yes, yes, yes. I like to remind people that just because I’m living abroad does not mean my life is a constant vacation. I work. I commute. I blog. I do my laundry and go for runs and go grocery shopping. Travel writing is not the glamour that people think: it’s a job with perks, just like every job has its perks and its downsides. But as I leave behind another “real” 9-5 job with a salary, I think that I’ll take the ups and downs of travel writing–the adventure, the freedom, the self-reliance–over being trapped in front of a computer in a daggy office while the sun shines. You can do it, girl! And then one day, you’ll be laying on some gorgeous beach on the other side of the world, and think…my friends are in an office now. I’m here. This is the life.

    • October 24 2011

      That’s the plan, Christine. That’s the plan! Thanks for weighing in, so happy to hear other people find it as frustrating at times.

  • October 20 2011

    If I were to use the word lucky, all I would say is.. you’re lucky to be brave enough to take this up full-time. I can still only dream of making the big change. You go girl! :)
    p.s. Love the typewriter pic! :)

    • October 24 2011

      Thanks! And I suppose in that sense, you’re right :)

  • October 20 2011

    No one ever said it would be easy. Working for yourself is stressful, time-consuming, disappointing at times and lonely. But it can also be incredibly rewarding. You’ve come a long way in just over a year. Keep it up ~ you’ve got a huge support network out there!

    • October 24 2011

      Thanks, JoAnna! Glad you’re a part of it!

  • October 20 2011

    You are so right, lady. Luck has little to do with it. Your post made me think of last summer… I was staying in a million dollar home at one point, which was quite an experience, then had to go back to my best friend’s daybed. Catch that? Not even a real bed, in the living room and all. I’ve made some massive sacrifices and lately wonder if it’s all worth it…

    Then, I realize no matter what happens next, I did accomplish things that I never thought I would, experienced some memorable places and met people who affected me deeply. I have a kitty full of moments that some people will never know.

    The hard work can seem depressing and lonely, but when you go out into the world next (and you will), remember that we’re cheering you on!


    • October 24 2011

      Hahaha, that reminds me of how I went from staying at the Pan Pacific one night and then a dingy hostel the next…ah,the disparities of travel writing!

  • October 20 2011

    Hi Candice,

    Great post. Thanks for sharing you situation with us. It helps me realize that I am not the only one struggling with blogging and other Internet ventures.

    The important think is that you keep going and going (with a lot of effort and enthusiasm). I believe it is a matter of time (assuming you are determined and continue networking). At one point, things should boom and at that point you will be able to relax a little bit (if that is realistic). At least, that is what I like to think. The point is that no matter what happens, you should not quit. I have thought a lot of times about quitting. Then, I start to think of where I am.

    Hope things continue getting better for you.

    • October 24 2011

      I’ve thought about quitting several times, but the support from this post has been fantastic. Thanks for adding a voice!

  • October 20 2011

    Oh Candice,

    I can relate to so many things too. Nothing’s easy, it’s often a very stressful situation. But I just love my life right now.
    I’m lucky not to have any debt, so I just left my country behind and am living in a place I enjoy (and Thailand is so damn cheap!). I can;t trade back this life of ‘freedom’ with a cubicle.
    Carry on, you’ve gone this far. Believe in it and things will come.

    Oh, and I am so blessed to be working with awesome people like you :)

    “Let us hold hands and praise Nature in the fairy rings!”

    • October 24 2011

      DITTO to that! Thank god for you Matador folks. You’re like my family these days.

  • October 20 2011

    You are always welcome on my couch anytime! I think it is pretty incredible that you are taking this risk and working hard at what you love. I admire that as I often think about how much money I could be making doing something else, but at the end of the day I love my job. I think life is too short to not enjoy it, so I say enjoy!! And I know it’s hard sometimes, I have been there, but your hard work WILL pay off.

    • October 24 2011

      I’d LOVE to crash on your couch…I hear you have warm weather! Haha.

  • October 20 2011

    I’ve learned, just from dabbling around in travel writing, that it isn’t as easy as it looks and it certainly takes a lot more than luck to have success in the industry. And even then success doesn’t guarantee security, or the type of lifestyle that most people would want for themselves (steady paycheck, benefits, etc). Still you’re talented and you seem to have a good community of people supporting you, which I’m sure helps. As long as you’re doing what you love just keep on going. Doing something you love is always better than selling your soul for a job/life you hate. And when food gets a little, just invite yourself over to your friends’ and raid their fridge – because that’s what friends are for.

    • October 24 2011

      Thanks, Alouise! :) Thank god for good friends with stocked fridges.

  • October 20 2011

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I love your writing and your courage to just lay it all out there, and I wish you the best of luck in seeing this dream come to fruition!

    • October 24 2011

      THANKS Radina! I appreciate it!

  • October 20 2011

    Thanks for such an honest post! I don’t comment often, but every once in a while I need to let my bloggers know that you are appreciated. I appreciate you taking risks to provide me with inspiration, information, and entertainment. Please keep it up & remember we are out here reading!

    • October 24 2011

      Thanks so much, Daryle! I’m grateful for readers like you.

  • October 21 2011

    I so appreciated your honesty in this post. I feel like we’re in similar places in this writing life: recognized as quality and qualified writers, but lacking the contracts necessary to make a living by our pens.

    Keep writing, traveling, and dreaming. It’s hard work, but you’ve made incredible progress already!

    • October 24 2011

      Thank you Ada, and best of luck to you as well!

  • October 21 2011

    As someone a couple years ahead of you in age and career, I just wanted to say it gets better, I promise. Four years ago, I left my job at Conde Nast (voluntarily) for a boy (now my husband) and a 3,000-mile move (to a place where I knew no one but him) and decided to do the full-time freelance writing thing for the first time (whereas before, like you, I’d always had a magazine job and freelanced for fun on the side). As you seem to know, it primarily takes a whole lot of time, dues paid, patience, networking and, like Spence and Abby said, grit and determination, which you seem to have in spades.

    And then that day will come when paying your monthly health care bill seems like a blessing not a burden (because unlike other people around the world, you actually have health care) and your students loans and debt will all be eliminated (and you can celebrate your education, not despise it for the tens of thousands of dollars and interest it has cost you) and you can look back and read this post and realize how far you’ve come. =)

    Good luck!

    • October 24 2011

      Kristin, your comment made me smile, thanks so much! So glad to hear you’ve made it despite the odds. Hoping I’ll find the same success you do.

  • October 22 2011

    I’ve long admired your determination and if all you’re worth is a laptop computer, an external hard drive, a fancy camera and a 3-year old bed from Sears than you are truely rich.

    • October 24 2011

      Hehe, thanks Linlah! That damned bed is too good to give up.

  • October 22 2011

    The truth about travel writing! – Thanks for sharing that, now I know.

    I am sure that your words resonate with many who have chosen or stumbled into this career. I’m working as a Freelancer myself now, so I can relate to the difficulty of a steady and guaranteed income.

    In some ways I envy you that you ger to travel across the world, but I know this has its challenges. I’m not naive enough to call you lucky though, I know any success you have and any sights you see are all down to hard work.

    Candice, your 4,339 (as I write) Twitter followers have their lives enhanced by the work you do, me included. Thanks very much for everything.

    • October 24 2011

      Thanks Alan, that was truly a lovely comment. :)

  • October 23 2011

    Candice!! I loved your version as well…ah boy do I relate. It’s very hard but as you said, we love it. I know exactly what you mean on not having any plans for the first time in a while and the questioning that comes and goes. But hey, you have a pretty darn good following from all these comments!! I wish I had 26 replies :-) So hang in there…and I’ll try to do the same!

    • October 24 2011

      Hehe, I rarely get that many comments these days! It’s nice to see people jumping in though. But yes, it’s all worth it.

  • October 23 2011

    The ups and downs of working as a travel blogger. While I can’t afford to take the jump from the 9 to 5 here in London (its just too damn cold and expensive) I’ve been lucky enough to have a boss that understands the fact I’m here to travel. As such I’ve been able to enjoy the perks of 2 years HARD work on my blog to take blog trips and travel on my own dime this summer.

    While I long for the freedom that full-time travel blogging would allow me I’m also far to aware of the struggle that comes with it. Perhaps I’ll make my start into the world back in OZ where I have the safety of a family should I really fall on hard times.

    • October 24 2011

      VERY fortunate! I wonder if your field has something to do with it as well…after all, a computer programmer is much more indispensable than a writer. And still, London is a great travel experience :)

  • October 24 2011

    I’m so glad you’re telling it like it is, Candice. A lot of people have this preconceived notion of travel writing as a “privileged life”, as if all you do all day is sit on a beach sipping pina coladas. But it’s hard work, you often make little money, you sacrifice a retirement fund and health insurance, you sometimes have to sacrifice a certain level of comfort and security….it takes a lot of grit and determination to live that lifestyle. There’s definitely a major part of me that’s glad I’m just a part-time blogger (except of course when I’m offered a last-minute press trip and I can’t go because I can’t get the time off from work). There are certainly pros and cons to all of the choices we make in life.

    • October 24 2011

      Gray, you’re lucky to be in the position where your work allows you to come and go! I’d maybe take a job like that. Although yeah, giving up those press trips is a bummer.

  • October 24 2011

    Hi. I just really like you a whole lot.

    We gotta have the downs to have the ups….and you just gotta keep trusting it will allll happen (at least, that is what I have to keep telling myself!) When it all turns around, promise me a post with just pictures of the 10 stylish pairs of winter boots you own, k?

    • October 24 2011

      I think you’re swell too! Awww.

      I shall buy some boots this week. yes, it will happen.

  • October 28 2011

    Candice–hang in there, girl. And if worst comes to worst, you can always get a meal at the hotels that have free breakfast, lol.

    • October 28 2011

      Hahah, I’ve often joked about how press trips are my only source of food these days. Thanks!

  • October 28 2011

    Hey Candice,

    Great post… I sense myself one day following a similar path, so it’s good to get a reality check re: what that might actually mean…

    PS… if you ever need a couch to crash on in Guatemala… I have an extra bedroom and a cat that has never murdered any of my house guests in the night….

    • October 31 2011

      Oh Luke, you should know better than to suggest your couch. I’m moving in!

  • November 02 2011

    Well said, Candice. I hope things improve here for you shortly and that the funk passes. You rock.

    • November 04 2011

      Hey, thanks Kate! I just need to get on the road again, and then perhaps I’ll be fine. ;)

  • November 03 2011

    What a moving post – wow! I didn’t realize until I started ‘stalking’ travel writers on their blogs what it takes to be one. I really admire the hard work and commitment and passion that keep you going. As an avid reader of travel writing, I am grateful.
    – And you can crash on our couch any time you are in the Bay Area. :)

    • November 04 2011

      Oh no, Anis! You might regret that offer. ;) Hehe, just kidding. Thanks for stopping by.

  • November 16 2011

    Hi Candice

    Really loved your post. I’m about to set off travelling next year, both promoting a website my boyfriend and I started last year and to enjoy the thrill of exploring a new country. We run a house sitting website which i think may be ‘up your street’ in terms of its a great way to travel for extended periods of time, staying in luxury accommodation for free. It offers the opportunity to live like a local rather than a tourist. We believe in living the lifestyle we are promoting ;-)

    Do email me if you want more info. Your post really moved me, so i’d love to offer you a free trial membership, to create a profile if the sound of house sitting is interesting to you.

    Either way best of luck in everything, I’m looking forward to reading more of your work whilst on the road. Thanks, Rachel

  • September 26 2012

    loved your post and thanks for telling it how it is. I have often wondered how travel bloggers survived and sometimes it does look a little ‘too good to be true’, and is it something that can be done…. forever? Great writing and love your site!

    • October 31 2012

      It’s hard to predict what will happen, but it’s pretty clear these days that jobs can be quite untraditional! I’m hoping this type of career path will lead to higher paying gigs, better writing opportunities, and hey, maybe a book deal or two. Who knows?

  • October 23 2012

    I love, love, LOVE this site. Thank you so much for this. I’m conflicted because I’m currently working in finance but writing is my true calling. I’m trying to figure out my next steps and reading honest, funny, well-written stuff like this helps me tremendously. Keep on rockin’ with your bad self! :D

    • October 31 2012

      Comment of the month, Alexandra! Your words make me happy. :) Glad I could be a bit of inspiration. And the first step to answering that writing call is to start WRITING! Everywhere. All the time. About everything. Start with the theme: Why is the sky green? (It’s not. That’s beside the point.)

      • March 27 2013

        Thanks! I’m five months late on this but I’ve been writing a lot more, so thanks for the advice :)

  • November 02 2012

    Yes! Inspiring! I think I will be like you one day except poorer

  • November 20 2012
    Just One Boomer (Suzanne)

    I’ve been serious and “responsible” all my life—-college, law school, husband, 2 sons, house in the suburbs—-checked all those boxes. But, back in the day when we used to write letters, I wrote lots of them. People would tell me, “You should be a writer.” Now, I’m an empty nester, doing less and less legal work and more and more non-legal writing.

    For someone like me, the partial demise of the hard copy print world is a boon as the internet is much more democratic, with fewer gatekeepers. While I’m light years from having a “successful” blog, more people are reading my writing than would have been in the “good old days.” I admit that I find it irksome if my husband refers to my blog as a “hobby”, but the truth is that I don’t have to support myself with my writing and I enjoy it—is that perhaps the definition of a hobby?

    As a Baby Boomer, I was raised by a mother who suffered during the Depression.Something of her fear was transmitted, so that I probably had to live my life in a traditional order. However, the seeds of Wanderlust were also sown. My father took us to live in Mexico for a year when I was 9 and he was an exchange teacher in England when I was 15-16. My parents encouraged me to study abroad in college and I did a semester in Bogata, Colombia. I didn’t know anyone else who left the US to study.Now, I’m free to accompany my husband on work trips and now that he’s a senior physician-scientist, he has been invited all over the which partially subsidizes our travel.

    I admire those of you who are fearless or able to conquer your fears so that you can set out to live your lives and work off the traditional script. Actually, we raised one of you. Our older son (28) has a salaried job, a house and is engaged to be married. Our 25 year old is what I call, a self employed “slasher”. He is a travel blogger/promotional marketer/web content writer. He is just back from 2 months in Asia.

    My advice is to do what feels right for your persona. Recognize that it’s likely that might change over time. But, whatever you do to provide food and shelter—Write On!!


  • April 24 2013

    Love your honesty and openness, Candice. Just discovered you and I’m really enjoying your work. As a freelance photographer who has ‘tried’ in the past to make those office jobs stick, I can relate exactly to how you feel (at least in this old post). Can’t wait to read some more recent ones to see how things have turned out!

    • April 25 2013

      Thanks, Steve! My first FULL year of freelance was incredibly successful. However, taxes suck. Haha.

    • April 25 2013

      Thanks, Steve! My first FULL year of freelance was incredibly successful. However, taxes suck. Haha.

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