Entering a magazine writing competition was something I never thought I’d do. If you’re thinking of doing it – here’s why you should go for it.
A Glamour Magazine Dream: The Perfect Prize and the Losing Entry
The UK’s leading lifestyle magazines regularly run competitions and giveaways for luxurious beauty products, limited edition fashion accessories or trips of a lifetime, but they rarely run competitions to see your article in print. When I saw Glamour magazine was offering up resident columnist Dawn O’Porter’s full page of prime space within its glossy sheets, I thought: “This. Is. It.”
After toying with a few ideas, I set to work on an article that seemed to fit the brief of ‘a lesson to live life by,’ as well as suiting the Glamour mag readership and my own aspirations as a writer. Unfortunately, this opportunity wasn’t the one for me (*sniffle) and Lucy Florence Wilson‘s honest and inspiring article was picked as the rightful winner. Still, not to throw mine in the bin in a tantrum, I thought I would share it with you lovely people right here! So here it is, the first article I wrote for press (rejected) that is also the story of the inspiration for me starting The B-Line.
Childish dreams are not for the fainthearted
A gymnast, a police officer, a witch and an archaeologist. This isn’t the start of a joke; these are a few of my dream jobs from my childhood.
All of them are really respectable career choices (maybe less so the witch, and you can blame that extraordinary teen, Sabrina for that one), but I ended up in PR. Now don’t get me wrong; PR is also a very respectable career choice, but believe it or not, it was never something I played make-believe about as I was growing up. So what happened to all those dreams? And is that all that they were, just dreams?
In today’s fast-paced society it’s easy to get bogged down with sticking to the path that’s laid out in front of you. But what would happen if you reached a fork in the road and wanted to head off in an exciting new direction? Do you have the guts to jump tracks without being able to see what’s ahead?
Well I did exactly that, and it sure felt gutsy at the time. I had a steady career, working alongside interesting and talented people with the opportunity to grow. So what did I do? I quit. And with no other job to go to, I might add. It sounds drastic, and it was, because I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for. I just knew that if I wanted to live a dream life, to create my own path, then I needed to make a big change and fast.
So I set out as a freelance copywriter and content marketer with the aim to only work with brands that I bloody loved. And being freelance is great – you can catch the gym when its dead quiet and Skype calls in bottom half pyjamas always feels satisfyingly smug. There are also plenty of sucky days to be had as a freelancer too to keep you nicely grounded: such as maintaining a steady cash flow (current challenge). But on the good days, the days when you make a real, positive impact on someone else’s business, it can give you a buzz that makes you literally want to fist-pump the air. It’s helped me experience my ultimate high in self-worth, as well as my ultimate low – because working alone means your success is all on you.
What going freelance also showed me was just how passionate I was about writing. With more freedom to manage my time I was able to take evening and online classes in creative writing. I started my own blog. I’m writing this article right now for goodness’ sake!
Being a published writer is now my new dream. A couple of years ago I could have passed this ambition off as a childish whim, unnecessary to my career path. For now, I can only hope that by continuously putting myself out there, something good will come from it. After all, you only get out of life what you put in – the world owes you nothing, honey.
So, on that note, I would recommend letting your inner childhood dreamer speak out occasionally – listen to what she has to say. Her innocence to the world can only mean that her hopes are pure. Be as true to her as she was to weaving your dreams, and that way you never have to look back on life with any regret.
I may not be able to perform a double backflip with a half twist, or identify thousand-year-old fossils or even change my outfit simply by pointing a magical finger, but you know what? I’m happy and I hope I never stop dreaming, ever.
Glamour Magazine’s Last Monthly Edition
Read Lucy Florence Wilson‘s brilliant article in the November edition of Glamour mag, page 75. Love the title too: “Your odd bits? They’re your best bits.” This edition is also a special ‘women’ edition – meaning the entire content has been created all by females.
Sadly, since writing this blog post it turns out Glamour magazine is moving to bi-annually print edition, making this the last ever monthly edition! However, I’m still excited to see what they will do with their digital offering as this will become the main focus for content.
Like this? You should try 10 Freelancer Tips for inspiration for going self-employed and pursuing your dreams.