BLOG: So here I am
This time last year I was leading a comfortable, stable life, working at a leading woman’s magazine in New Zealand. I spent most of my waking hours filing word docs, copyediting, fact-checking and dreaming up witty puns. It certainly wasn’t the worst job in the world – it’d actually taken me three years of freelancing, interning, blogging and surviving on various random jobs to get this full-time gig in my area of study, and even then it was as a sub-editor, not a writer. There were plenty of perks – working with words, seeing how magazines are put together, scoring many free beauty products, working with lovely people and earning a salary that allowed me to save. So naturally I was scheming my escape.
Nick and I in No magazine!
In April I quit my job, moved out of the wonderful, infamous Doll House (the cute villa I shared with my friends and brother), said goodbye to everyone and embarked on an incredible three-month trip across the United States of America with my boyfriend of four and a half years, Nick. It was a time I’d been waiting for my whole adult life, and the unshakeable feeling of excitement and freedom is something I’ll cheesily cherish forever. But it couldn’t last – New Zealanders are only allowed three months to tour the states on what is called a Visa Waiver, so on July 23 we were, extremely reluctantly, homeward bound.
Our Endless Summer did, in fact, come to an end
After spending a month in sodden Browns Bay, Auckland, where my mum now lives, getting more and more miserable about being so far away from the states (more on that obsession soon!) and having been plunged into the depths of winter after the best, hottest and most exciting summer ever, we finally booked one-way tickets – ONE WAY! I’d always wanted to do that. Except this time it was to Melbourne, Australia. Not a bad runner-up to New York, you might say.
So here I am, sitting in our new apartment in the middle of the city, fourteen floors up. I’ve never lived in an apartment, and I’ve never lived with just one other person before. It’s so much windier up here! Sometimes the storms keep me up at night, but Melbourne’s restless pattern of searing hot days crashing into thunderous, lightning-filled nights feels kind of magical.
After four months in this city – two of which were spent on friends’ couches, including a lengthy sublet – I still don’t feel settled. Moving countries somehow seemed like it would be so simple and easy compared to backpacking around the states. But it’s been a lot harder than I anticipated.
I frequently have my head in the clouds, so in my old (old) house I made it a literal reality!
Having been a freelance writer before my full-time job consumed all of my creative energy, I had been looking forward to getting back into my favourite pastime. And while I’ve gained some nice regular writing gigs which are interesting and different to what I’ve done before, they’re neither keeping the wolves from the door nor my mind from wandering.
Hence this blog. I’m going to start posting regularly about my life as a freelance writer, and all the good and bad that comes with it. The isolation, frustration and rejection, but also the excitement, inspiration and successes that can come with it. Because although it can be hard, as my favourite children’s author/illustrator and personal inspiration, Dallas Clayton, said - you’ve got to “dream big”!