After finishing university, which included a one year placement, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in consumer insights.
Everyone who knew me well was pretty shocked by this revelation, after beginning my degree with the intention of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Nevertheless, working at Disney instilled in me a love of research that was firmly cemented when writing my dissertation. Combining my passion for understanding people with my interest in statistics seemed like a no-brainer.
That said, I have loved writing since primary school (literally, although all my stories back then were about orphans becoming rich) and have always wondered in the back of my mind, ‘what if?’.
Also in the back of my mind was my commitment to fulfilling my dream of almost 10 years: move to Australia. This dream was so certain that it was even shared with my boyfriend early doors (“I am moving to Australia in a few years by the way, please come with me. But, if you don’t, I’m still going”).
While planning my move, he wanted to travel for a few months on the way (seemed like a fair deal), so we ended up leaving in December 2019, with no clue as to the carnage about to be unleashed on the world.
My goal was still to get insights contracts but, when Coronavirus struck, we cut our travels short and arrived in Australia the day they shut their borders. We were very lucky, but any prospect of being choosey about work completely disintegrated.
Moving to Australia amid a pandemic sounds like something only a crazy person would do, and I am definitely not the hedonist that the idea conjures up. But, here I was, no longer with much chance of getting a role in insights, but still with a passion for writing.
I won’t lie, freelance writing is not something I thought would be possible for me. Not only do I lack the (what I thought were) necessary qualifications, but I also did not think anyone would ever want to pay for my writing. This imposter syndrome is something I have learnt that practically everyone in creative industries face at some point.
The idea of sitting on the beach and writing was (obviously) very appealing, but I always felt like it was a saturated market. The ones who had got in early were the lucky ones who became successful, and there was no point in anyone else trying now.
But, that tiny ‘what if’ became a little bit stronger when mandatory isolation forced me to stop.
The ‘what if’ became a slightly less rhetorical question and I began to come up with actual, real answers.
I LOVE writing.
I’m actually OK at it.
I won’t have to commute.
I won’t have to sit at the same desk from 9-5, 5 days a week.
I can do it anywhere. If I keep it going, I can travel for longer!
If I don’t do it now, I will be forever stuck in the commercial world (that I hate, no offence commercial world).
So, I took the plunge when I got to Australia with dwindling savings, less than perfect employment prospects and nothing to lose, and I can honestly say that I haven’t looked back.
Watch this space x