Remembering the times how I quit as a teacher and succeed as a writer is something I couldn’t imagine at all. I grew up with thinking I could be a successful person once I studied hard and get good grades. But it wasn’t the case for me.
I graduated in 2013 with “almost” flying colors. Like I only needed 0.22 of my QPI to become a Cum Laude (an honorable mention awarded to college students next to Summa and Magna cum Laude).
When I knew about it, I couldn’t understand how should I feel. Should I be happy because I don’t have to face thousands of students looking at me as I go up the stage and receive the award? Or should I bury myself because I failed to give my parents the award they want me to achieve… at the last stage of my academic life?
I thought that having 50 rejected job applications were enough for failure. It wasn’t as I got hired in a small school for $100 or less monthly salary. I was a full-time high school teacher at the time, teaching 8 subjects in 4 different year levels. Hence, I make 32 sets of lesson plans every night.
It was tough. Indeed, it was.
Learning there was no hope in my day job, I quit my teaching career and search for online opportunities. That’s when I discovered I could earn a living as a writer. Yet, it won’t be an easy feat. It wasn’t.
Free Articles on Lifehack
There was no way for me to gain some experience with online writing without seeking help from big websites and become a contributor without pay. My parents thought I was crazy for working for hard for an article without receiving a single penny at my account. (At the time, I didn’t know how PayPal works).
So, I started by submitting posts with an assigned editor working with me. It was the first time I wrote about something I never ever experienced before. In college, I learned how to create stories and literature because I am an English major. But I never wrote something about life or lifestyle. Not with a professional editor!
See my published posts on Lifehack here.
Fast forward, after successfully publishing my first few posts, the editor, who worked with me first, told me about my writing style. She mentioned the areas I needed to work on and that my work somehow follows a Spanish accent. That’s because the Philippines was under Spanish rule for 333 years.
So, given all the notes given to me by editors for months, I practiced and made a few blogs for free at WordPress.Com. That’s before I got my first paid job as a writer.
My First $50 In My Writing Career
I know it’s not that much but receiving my first $50 was enough to prove my parents there’s something online. It’s proof that I could earn money without leaving the house. It’s enough proof to never return with my previous job and collapse in front of my students again.
With a lot of second thoughts in my mind, I rushed into seeking job opportunities as a writer for the first time. After searching and searching, I landed with my first online job as a news writer. They hired me but then they weren’t satisfied with my job because of my terrible writing. In the end, they paid $50 through my PayPal account and fired me.
My First $250 Monthly Salary
I never ceased a day to practice my writing craft and continued. I spent a few months searching for a new job until a company called me to work for them. This time, I was a news article writer. Again. But then, there would a team working with me and a copyeditor, who’ll guide me throughout the process. In exchange for, *drum rolls*
$250 per month.
Yeah, I know. It’s not that much. But for someone who’s earning $100 in my teaching career, it’s already more than I asked for. So, I learned the technical side of writing with an extra hour spent on practicing my writing, too.
In these kinds of websites, time and speed matters. They asked me to write 5 articles per day. In each article, I should write 350 words at least.
All of them should be submitted within the deadline. Otherwise, the editor will scold us badly. I did. For 6 months, I worked and worked and worked until I burnt out. So, I quit.
Note: I didn’t quit because I almost fainted with mental exhaustion. But because of months of delayed salary.
Before I quit the job, I realized I could earn more. From $250 as my initial monthly salary for a few months, I went up to $350. From there, my mind ticked with an idea that something is out there for me online. I knew back then that “an online opportunity” is waiting for me.
My First $500
Just so you know, I feel frustrated every time I change from one job to the other because of this and that reason. It sucks. In 2014 to 2016, I worked in 5 different companies (as far as I could remember) and had to adjust with different work protocols and with different coworkers.
In 2016, I quit my work altogether and became an official unemployed brat. I spent my years in the house, surviving with whatever my parents have on the table.
By the time, I got married in 2017, my schedule was filled with hectic schedules from processing one paper to the other because of Embassy, etc. So, I really didn’t have the time to work at all. Plus, I had my running Etsy business back then, too. It was a headache.
At the end of 2018, I got hired as a content writer for a Japanese guy running an online business (lead generation) and hooked me with a great idea. Lead Generation.
His business introduced me to the whole world of business. From a news and gossip writer, now I have my chance to learn about business. Though I never graduated from a business course.
But then, he wasn’t contented with my work. So, I left and earned around $300 or so before I searched for a new job. This time, a Finnish businessman hired me for $500 monthly salary. That’s per the agreement, excluding bonuses.
His generosity made me say yes and work for him until now. Today, I’m still writing stuff for him and still making money while I run my own websites, too. I didn’t have to work 9 to 5 as my previous jobs require me to as long as I accomplished my tasks. That’s it.
You know what, believe it or not, I was an overachiever. I had straight As from grade school until college. If not an A, I had B as my lowest grade. I thought those grades were enough to impress someone in the corporate world. But it’s not, apparently.
Succeeding in any career doesn’t rely on grades and how well you performed academically. It’s about your tenacity, determination, hard work, and patience. Also, you have to be humble enough to accept all the ridicules people will bash at you simply because they thought you’re doing nothing at home. But you know yourself, you’re working hard. So hard.
For me, I succeeded as a writer because I worked hard for it. It took me years to get out of the prison of employment and proved to my parents and to everyone that being a writer isn’t that bad at all. Never.
It took me years to have them accept my newly found craft. I was born to be a writer and I love to write anything I want to write about. Be it technical or not. Writing is about loving the process even though you’re a beginner and you’re clueless in the industry.
All you need to do is to keep going and never quit. A quitter never wins, you know. *winks*
How about you? Have you ever thought you’d become a writer and earn more in this industry than in your 9 to 5? If so, share your experience at the comment section below. Thank you so much for reading the post! Share the word of inspiration. 🙂
Photo credits to Benjamin Davies on Unsplash