I have been a freelance writer since the start of February 2021. My work as a writer has opened my eyes to the world of content creation.
It’s hard to believe that we have survived a year in quarantine. It was only a few months ago when people were panic buying toilet paper and were bathing themselves in hand sanitizer.
Nowadays, roaming around the street is a lot easier. Restrictions have become more lenient (at least, in my country), and more people are able to travel and go back to their jobs.
But things aren’t “back to normal” just yet. From what I heard, my college won’t be opening its doors for another school year. Online classes will carry on as usual. Instead of traveling back to the big city to continue my studies, I’m stuck communicating online in my home province.
Suffice to say that the quarantine has gotten under a lot of people’s skin, including mine. A brief story about my quarantine: I was not able to enroll for the academic year 2020-2021. It’s a complicated situation. But the best way I can summarize it is:
“The Internet sucks.”
You can only imagine the boredom and frustration I felt when I was locked up inside my four-corner room. I had no classes. I had no money. YouTube and Netflix had gotten staler every day. I’m pretty damn thankful for my long-distance boyfriend. If he wasn’t around, I would have lost my mind in the middle of August 2020.
The pandemic was a nightmare for a whole lot of reasons. There were days I wish it never happened. Deaths, job loss, boredom. They were unbearable!
But now, as I am writing this, a fraction of me is quite thankful that the pandemic and quarantine had happened. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had found my passion for writing.
How Did I Get Back Into Writing?
I have been writing for fun for as long as I remember. The earliest memory of my success as a writer was when I joined my elementary school paper and won as a feature writer.
Fast-forward a few years later. I still wrote for the school paper, but writing as a passion took a backseat when I picked up a tablet and started digital art.
I have no regrets about being a digital artist. I enjoyed sharing my art with more than a thousand Instagram followers. But somewhere down the road, in-between messy online relationships, friendship feuds, and social isolation, I realized that being a social media artist wasn’t for me.
It took a lot of trial and error during the quarantine to find what was right for me. I tried making webcomics. I tried running an independent blog. I even tried doing YouTube. But no matter what I tried to do, nothing stuck for longer than 3 months.
The thing that got me back into writing was Wattpad. I promised myself to write (and finish) a novel. I wrote my first romance novel titled Balikbayan. And not to toot my own horn, but if anyone is interested, you can read that novel right here.
But when I finished writing Balikbayan, my life went back to another halt. I had nothing to do again. No deadlines to reach, no chapters to write, and no audience to please.
I went on a hiatus until I stumbled upon two freelance websites. First, it was Writing Creek. And then later, it was iWriter.
My Summer as a Freelancer
I first started freelancing on Writing Creek. I wrote school papers and essays for students across the world. The pay was great but getting a gig was hard. There were days when I would go on to the site, hoping for a job to do, only to finish the day empty-handed.
I love Writing Creek, but then I moved on to iWriter. I started working there as a freelance article and blog writer. The pay was low at first, but I was consistently getting jobs every day. And the days turned into months. And to this day, I am still a freelance writer on the website.
This is no sponsorship for either websites. The only thing I am selling to you, dear readers, is the fact that being a freelance writer has changed how I viewed my quarantine.
Writing and freelancing made my quarantine a little less painful than it was from the start. In some way, I am thankful for having a break from my studies and the outside world. It made me recognize my potential as an author.
Waking up every day with a goal to finish at least one writing job felt so refreshing. I was no longer rolling in my bed and mindlessly scrolling through my social media feed. I was no longer cranky when my boyfriend couldn't call me on the dot. And I was no longer relying on my parents for pocket money when I wanted something to buy.
Doing something I love made every day feel like a blessing rather than a curse. I no longer feel like a prisoner in my house. I no longer moan and yearn to go out since I now have responsibilities. And best of all, my passion is giving me an earning.
Why You Should Either Start or Return to a Hobby
My writing story is probably similar to a lot of people. I'm sure that quarantine has given birth to a lot of hobbies since everybody is just stuck at home. It's hard to blame people for wanting to pick up an instrument or do gardening. Being stuck at home can be depressing, and doing nothing can make you feel like your sanity is slipping.
People should embrace the power of hobbies. In a time of isolation and social distancing, busying yourself with an activity is very important.
What I learn from my writing hobby is that I need to be more independent. For months, I have been relying on friends and my boyfriend for company. When there was no one to chat with online, I'd get so depressed and lethargic, to the point that crying almost became a daily routine.
People often put their hobbies aside as just some past-time, but you shouldn't forget that hobbies are very beneficial. It's a good stress-reliever. It can connect people. And it can even be a source of income. Yes, even your hobby of watching movies can give you cash. (Movie critics exist for a reason.)
We're living in uncertain times, where things are moving too fast, and bodies are piling higher. Staying at home is the only option for a lot of people in different parts of the world. And it's sad that life is thrown into a whirlwind thanks to this virus.
I am grateful to have found my love for writing again. It has become a source of happiness, income, and freedom for me.
If I have to recommend anything to anybody, it's that you make your time useful. Pursue something that you love, even if you feel like you're not good at it. Investing in a skill can help improve your mental health and your productivity. Pretty soon, you'll be a master of one or more activities.