Yesterday, the last article I’d write under my own name for a client was published.
It’s the third part of a blog series on “Generative AI: How to Use It To Be Productive…But Not Lose Your Soul” from Freedom Matters.
This blog series is now a cornerstone project for my freelance writing portfolio–a fitting ending to what has been a sometimes thrilling, sometimes frustrating, but always intriguing “career”.
And an ending it is. There’s much more that I’ve created than what I’ve listed for public viewing on my portfolio–pieces I’m not particularly proud of, pieces not written under my name (I’d add a few of those ghostwritten pieces soon, if I remember–they’re some of my best work), or pieces that I’ve simply forgotten about. (Yes, that happens.)
Freelance writing has been a journey of personal development, exploration, and growth for the past two years of my life.
There’s much I’ve learned not only of the freelancing industry and the “behind-the-scenes” of text-based internet content, but also of my own proclivities as a writer and entrepreneur. I’m more aware of my weaknesses and strengths as a “professional”, I can see how and where I’ve wasted time in the early days, I can see when I’ve misunderstood the way things worked and cheated myself out of hard-earned income. I can see how I’ve been terribly inefficient with my time, where I should have stood up for my skills and asked for a better rate, when I should have sat down and humbly taken the feedback instead of throwing in the towel with a particular client.
It’s a beautiful line of work that perfectly fitted itself into the criteria I’ve determined for a dream job three years ago: it’s flexible, autonomous (to a large extent), remote, and well-paid.
But it doesn’t seem to fit any longer.
I couldn’t give you a clear explanation for why I’ve decided to step away from something I’ve built towards and stuck to for two years–a longer time than I’ve dedicated to anything within my control, with the exception of my B.A. and my first novel.
Because, frankly, I don’t know either.
I could write some pithy words about how higher principles urge me to step away from doing something just for money when I don’t need to, since I already have other income streams.
I could show you how I’m not afraid of either succeeding or failing with freelance writing anymore–like I once was–and how this lack of caring would lead to stagnation and “soul death” over time, if I stayed in it simply because it was comfortable, predictable, expected.
I can tell you how the rapid development of generative AI, covered briefly in this blog post, prompted a reconsideration of the path I was on. But poetic and ironic as saying goodbye to freelancing with a final salute to ChatGPT through an article series created with the assistance of generative AI is, it isn’t the main reason why I’m leaving the field.
I’d sum it up this way: I’m thankful beyond words to have taken the steps, learned the lessons, and explored the field as I have the past couple years. Nothing can take that away from me, even as my income dips downward for the next while.
Will I ever return to it? Perhaps–but probably not in the same way. I’ve begun this freelancing journey asking a question of Life: “Does this work, and can I do it?” It’s been answered.
Now it’s time to ask another question.