How Writing Took Me From Waiting Tables To Contributing at The Huffington Post
I’ve been sitting here for thirty minutes thinking about what I want to write about. I had a few ideas, but I didn’t get that “hell yeah, I like that one!” vibe from any of them. If you’re a writer you know what I’m talking about.
Now my fingers are racing across my keyboard. It’s times like these that I know I’ve found my calling.
I Used To Wait Tables…For Like Two Weeks
After graduating college last year I had a pretty extensive surgery, healed up after two months, then left for what I was sure would be my glamorous life in Orlando, Florida.
Within two days of arriving I landed a job as a server (never done that before) at a young restaurant. I thought it was great news, however it really wasn’t.
I can only describe the whole thing as a disaster.
On Friday night it was me and two other servers waiting what I can only imagine was 15 tables each. I’m serious. The next day the restaurant owner doubled the staff, but I was still waiting 10 tables at a time since our hostess didn’t know what the hell she was doing. Nice girl though.
After that night I decided I was done with the restaurant industry. I was going to quit and make money doing something else. I swear, five minutes after I got in my car to go home I received an email from a possible client on my Upwork profile wanting an ebook written for her.
How I Made $100 On Upwork As A Beginner
She was going to pay me $100 for 5,000 words. I’d later find that this rate was absolutely egregious, but I was doing backflips.
While everybody had to go melt outside in the summer sun I got to sit in my pajamas and write words. How freakin’ awesome.
That was just the beginning. Back then writing was just a way for me to make income. I had no desire to shake the world up with a publication or blog or anything of the sort. However after I got a few jobs under my belt I decided to make a go of this freelance thing full-time.
I started writing blog posts, white papers, copy — you name it. All I knew was I liked doing it and it beat driving to work every day in the awful Orlando traffic.
After the first few months I landed a gig writing at the Inquisitr, which is a news site. I was about to be a journalist with a degree in Marketing.
After three months of that I got kicked because I wasn’t attracting enough readers. I needed to learn about something called “SEO.” I still don’t understand it if you want me to put it to you honestly.
After that I got a lot of odd jobs, but a problem started to develop in my life.
I was writing stuff for other people all day long.
Freelancing Wasn’t My Calling
There wasn’t any purpose behind any of my writing. Was I just going to wake up, sit in the living room, and write all day about social media marketing for people? I thought I escaped the 9–5 hell, but I realized soon after I simply made another kind of hell for myself.
It was then that I stumbled upon my first travel blog. To translate, they’re blogs written by people who travel and work at the same time. Digital Nomads is another term for these people.
I was fascinated.
I didn’t know it yet, but I was technically a digital nomad. Some days I worked at home, some days from the library, and some days I worked at Starbucks or even Walt Disney World (when my friends could get me in).
For some reason it didn’t dawn on me right away that I could technically work and travel at the same time. I wasn’t making much (freelance life), but I knew I could probably swing it if I stayed at hostels and stayed within my own country.
It was a blissful two minutes of my imagination running wild, let me tell ya.
I decided to make a travel blog of my own, write about my adventures, and see the United States!
It was a long process to plan the whole thing and set up my blog, but I ended up finalizing everything about a month before my departure date.
Doing a four-week road trip from coast to coast is something you couldn’t possibly prepare yourself for.
You might be excited, but until you feel that independence for yourself when you’re thousands of miles away from people you know, then you can’t quite get it.
I Drove 3,000 Miles Across The Country To Find “Purpose”
It changed my life. I knew that on the first night. I knew that within thirty minutes of pulling away from my home.
Without this trip, my writing career would’ve been stuck in a figurative purgatory.
Within two days of my arrival in San Francisco, I penned what would later be my first featured article on the Huffington Post. I wrote about my trip, my new friends, and how a simple 2,500 mile drive changed my entire life.
Everyone always asks me how I got featured on Huffington. Everyone wants to know.
Well, here it is.
How I Got Into The Huffington Post
I was just trying to expand my portfolio a bit and write for new publications, but it seems like dumb luck actually got me featured on The Huffington Post — the equivalent to the holy grail in my mind.
Take from this article what you want.
Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was just blind luck. But oftentimes this is what happens to us when we’re trying hard enough. A lot of things happened before I submitted an article to When To Jump.
I also got to interview the screenwriter of my favorite movie, as well as someone with the same name as me who turned out to be the owner of his own venture capital firm.
All because I wanted to take a little trip and find a bigger purpose for my life.
That’s the real story here if you asked me. Everything else is just icing. Search for your purpose relentlessly. Ask yourself the hard questions every single day.
- Are you happy?
- Do you want to do something else?
- Are you fed up with your life but just don’t want to admit it?
Search for your purpose, and who knows, maybe I’ll see you on Huffington sometime, too.
Thanks for reading.