This article was originally published in my old blog (nulled) in 2016. I decided to republish it to share my story with you, inspire, and spread awareness about the truth of becoming a digital writer. Although it isn’t an easy path, it’s worth the shot as long as you have enough courage to stand against all odds.
Here’s how I feel after writing online content for almost ten years. Writing is lonely, yet, a magical path.
Nobody could understand what was happening inside our heads, let alone acknowledge the harsh truth of being the only writer in the family.
This was me when I began my writing career nine years ago—the black sheep born to break the generational cycle of mediocrity.
Table of Contents
- How I Started My Writing Career: A Chance to Prove Something Against Traditions
- Here’s What I Learned After Writing Content for the Internet For Almost 10 Years
- Your Takeaway: Here’s How I Feel for You
I was in an overwhelming situation where almost everyone doubted and discouraged my decision. Unlike my peers and close family relatives, I chose the road less traveled and strayed away from the only path I knew.
So, it wasn’t surprising to see how much that decision impacted them since they had never tried a different path and dared to face challenges and succeeded as I did.
Nobody had ever challenged their beliefs as if there were no other options. It was as if becoming successful farmers, teachers, and engineers were the only possible.
I’ve asked my grandparents, their siblings, my relatives who knew my great-grandparents, everyone. They all told me that nobody writes or makes a living from it.
There’s no journalist, author, content writer, or essayist in the clan. According to them, it had been like that as far as they could remember.
That surprised me, though.
Let’s say it’s been a century since my great-grandparents lived. Does that mean that within 100 years, nobody has chosen a different path? Probably.
As I traced the line and connected the dots, most chose the safest and more practical life.
They decided their lives based on what was available, easy, and free from painful sacrifices, avoiding circumstances that would test their strength of themselves and their dreams.
How I Started My Writing Career: A Chance to Prove Something Against Traditions
At first, it was unacceptable. My decision to quit my professional life was a dismaying event in their lives. They could never understand how an overachiever decided to stray away from traditions.
Little did they know that that same person had a plan and a big, ambitious vision for herself because they never saw me as someone who understood the bigger picture of her life.
Why would an overachiever quit the chances of joining the corporate workforce for a lowly writing career?
They couldn’t understand why I thought it was the right choice to explore myself to know myself better based on what I could do.
Unlike everybody else, I understood delayed gratification well that I spent a month or two writing many posts for Lifehack without pay.
I sat in front of my small laptop for hours, working on a single blog post, only to get nothing from it except for a published name.
In the eyes of my parents and all my close relatives, this was BS. They couldn’t get why I worked so hard on something without receiving payments at all. To them, it was unfair, modern-day capitalist slavery.
To me, it was.
Writing for free serves as the foundation of what I want to achieve. I want to be heard because, through my word, I can voice out everything I want to say.
As an introvert, this is an excellent excuse to write more because this was the best way to tell my side of the story without getting interrupted.
While at the same time, it was the chance to strike the iron and prove them wrong about me despite the naysayers screaming in the background.
One year later, I landed a series of freelance writing opportunities online. A small web company hired me to write, although I don’t have any writing experience. I was only paid $2 per published post.
As long as I could finally tell them I’d got a job, I didn’t mind. With an editor working with me, they kept publishing my stuff on their website with no name except “Staff Writer” placed underneath the title I wrote.
It was painful, yet I continued the process without disbelief. There was something about my skills that was a priority over listening to family traditions.
While others couldn’t accept my choice, I continued writing and started not to feel burdened about what they said.
My strong commitment to my goals paved the way for more and more writing opportunities. At this point, I hoped they could get the bigger picture of what I wanted to reach.
From $2, companies started to offer $250 per month to $500. Fast forward to 2019, I’ve got my reputation as a writer and had a lot of offers from different companies and private individuals on various sources.
On top of that, I’ve got the chance to write my books and finish them in one year. They are still unpublished, but writing three books in one year is an achievement.
With nobody supporting me, I somehow felt I had made it. While writing this post, I felt emotional knowing I had no one behind me.
My parents seem to make no fuss about what I make nowadays (since my hard work paid off to prove my craft and belief in making money online), and my sister continues to feed me with food (because I tend not to go out of my room to write).
They may start to accept my choice, but I can’t help but feel lonely after being socially withdrawn for a long time. Compromising the time to spend with my family is terrible. But at least my belief has been proven to them.
Here’s What I Learned After Writing Content for the Internet For Almost 10 Years
Looking back, I sat on the chair with my fingers threaded, my eyes on the horizon. I realized that pursuing my writing career has never been this challenging yet exciting.
Not only did I start writing for nothing, but I also made a substantial amount of money to support my needs.
I wanted to tell them that options are available to earn an income aside from doing the boring system. Graduate college. Get a job. Working for 40 years. Retire. Die.
For a hopeless unemployed achiever, it wasn’t what I had planned.
I never thought I would become the only writer in the family. I never intended it to be. I may be the only writer in the family since our ancestors met centuries ago. My uniqueness stands out from the rest.
At least something unique happened within the family because of my unexpected choice.
At least, my choice made me appear mysterious.
At least in that way, I provoked curiosity.
For a straight-A student, working as an executive was an expected sight. But that wasn’t what I had in mind. I would rather sit in front of the beach, enjoying the horizon view while typing words on my laptop.
Just because I had good grades at school doesn’t mean my beliefs speak to most overachievers. Most of them took the chase. I didn’t.
I stepped back and spent much time reflecting on life, questioning ideas and theories. This wasn’t what the corporate world wanted to hear.
Sometimes, I wondered if another family member would do the same thing as I did. Perhaps, not in my lifetime.
If the time comes that person appears, I may either be dead or too old to recognize him. I hope not. If so, I’ll be forever grateful and eternally proud that he chose the road less traveled.
I may come from a family of teachers, but that doesn’t mean I followed the footsteps of my ancestors and was content with what was available. Despite lacking resources and support, I pursued and proved my beliefs.
Your Takeaway: Here’s How I Feel for You
You don’t need to pursue teaching, engineering, and farming just because it has been a family tradition.
You can be whoever you want to be as long as you are willing to live with the compromises and consequences of your choice.
You can be the only writer in the family or the only gifted genius. You can pursue everything, even if it’s crossing borders and dominating the world.
Whatever your family history, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Every human being is unique, though we’re born the same way.
All you need to do is ask these questions. Do you prefer living the dream or fulfilling your family tradition? Have you dared to stand up for what you truly believe in?
It’s your choice. Wake up and take action. It’s now or never.