I was talking to an old friend on the phone the other day when she said to me that the thing with having lived in more than one country is that there is always a memory of something different, something better out there. It doesn’t matter where you live now or where you lived before, there will be things that are better about this place and there are things that are better about that place, and those are the things you miss desperately.
Look at it a different way, though, I said to her. When you’ve lived in different countries, you always have something that’s better than what you had and therefore, you always have something to appreciate.
I take this viewpoint and this attitude now because it is something I have thought about a lot in terms of picking countries, but also in terms of picking the kind of writing I want to be doing.
I can never pick one city to spend the rest of my life in. That much has become clear to me.
It’s also clear to me that there is never going to be one kind of writing that I’m going to stick with.
That’s just my personality, it’s who I am. I don’t like to pick. I don’t like attach myself to something for the entirety of my life. In my video course 30 Days to Creative Courage, I talk about how I’ve been very committed to keeping my personal life stable and in control so that I can wreak creative havoc in my professional life. I’m sure that from the outside it looks like I have a plan and that I’ve got it all together, but from the inside, it often feels like I show up in the morning, throw stuff at the wall, see what sticks, and then show up again the next morning to throw new stuff at the wall.
I keep doing something—journalism, books, fiction, blogging, videos, etc—until I enjoy it and then I let go of it when it stops being fun. I pick it back up again when I miss it, as I almost always do.
And you know what? This strange way of working suits me. I’ve tried different variations over the years and I’ve found that working in this way, counterproductive as it may seem, actually makes me a lot more productive and in turn, profitable.
I’ve embraced this now, which is why I’m creating a lot more. I focus on the things I want to do and I let someone else handle the rest. Increasingly, I’m adding new people to my personal support team, adding more professionals to the list. Right now, for instance, I have a part-time assistant, an agent, two editors, an accountant, a business coach, and a creative coach.
I have realized that if I want to be creative in a number of different areas, then in order to allow myself to have the time and space for this creativity, I need to outsource parts of my business—the administrative tasks, the research, and the work I don’t particularly enjoy and am not particularly good at—to someone who is more qualified and more eager than me to do them.
The only expectation I have from myself now is that I finish. That I live.
When I’m in a country or a city, my goal is to discover it and enjoy it as much as possible before I move on because I will move on.
When I start a creative project, I now commit to finishing it, to bringing it to the light. Then I move on to the next. Focus on what you’re doing. Finish it. Then move on. Because it is in the nature of a creative person to move on.
I don’t have to pick one place to live for the rest of my life. But I do have to enjoy the place I’m in while I’m there.
I don’t have to pick a project or a stream of income or a creative specialty for the rest of my life, but do I have to finish what I start, enjoy what I’m doing, be fully present in it, learn as much as I can about it, and give it the absolute best of my ability.
My goal is to be the artist in the studio, create works that speak to me, from the heart. Then walk out of the studio, put my business suit on and sell it for as large a sum as I possibly can.
That is what I have been doing, how I have been approaching my writing life.
I like to do things the way I do them.
That is what a creative life should be. Creative. Yours. Individual. Don’t follow my plan or someone else’s plan. Make your own. And while that is scary and difficult, that is also the point.
You are creative. You are meant to create your own unique path. That path may have one area of interest, but most likely, it will have several. You can explore them all, one at a time or together. You get to decide.
But first, you have to figure out what you want and who you are.
P.S. I am thoroughly enjoying coaching at the moment! I have just finished up my last round and am opening up three more spots to work with me 1:1 if you’re interested.
Here’s what Haniya Rae, one of my coaching clients sent to me as a testimonial: “Mridu was everything I was looking for in a writing coach: she’s all business while still being friendly and supportive. I achieved my goal of going full-time freelance again by the end of our six-week coaching period. I’ve since created more goals for myself financially and career-wise, and have organized myself for success. Without Mridu’s guidance and reassurance and gentle pushing, I doubt I would have come this far this fast.”
The coaching will be for six weeks with weekly strategy and DAILY accountability.
It will be strategic and personalized so that it’s entirely centered on the results YOU want for YOUR freelancing business. I will be involved at every stage of the process and you will have unlimited access to me for those six weeks.
This is only for people who are truly serious about setting and hitting targets within a six-week period. I only have three spots so hit reply on this email if you’re interested and I’ll send you a more detailed description.
I’ll be back next week and until then, remember, no one gets to decide what your career should look like except for you.
Once you start working from your strengths, in alignment with who you truly are, you’ll start seeing how incredibly simple it all becomes.
Who do you want to be as a writer? Think about that today.