In 2001, I moved to New York as a freelance writer. I had big dreams of getting a multi-deal book contract, being wooed over lunch by magazine editors, and never really having to work in advertising again.
Needless to say, that dream didn't pan out.
But the reality hasn't been too far off - depending how you look at it. I have published multiple books and written for many magazines and newspapers. There have been lots of highs and victories. But it's been through a lot of grunt work and hustle. I think I've been wooed a sum total of four or five times in the past 17 years.
And when I was young and new to the city, after a year or so of really hustling, I was thrilled to land a job with a great ad agency. It paid well, had great perks, and is where many good friends came from. Ever since then, my ad career has been pretty great. Lots of amazing people and opportunities, lots of good work, a prosperous and happy life as a result.
But I just quit my full-time job in advertising to return to freelance. This past year was a tough one. I found myself more drained and stressed than I had been in years. I felt spread too thin, without enough time to devote to other writing pursuits, keeping up with culture and the city and, most important, having time with my family. So I quit.
I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to a little breathing room, to more diverse writing projects, to meeting people I've known in the past for coffee or lunch, and new people who will become collaborators and future inspiration. I'm ready to embrace a little of the unknown. A creature of habit, a creature of comfort, I know it won't always be easy. But it really felt like the right choice, at the right time.
Ready to bring it on!