Reflections 1 Year After Leaving My Office Job

Today is the one-year anniversary of leaving my 9-5 office job.

And what a year it’s been.

For four years, starting a week after I graduated, I worked at a marketing and PR agency. If you had asked me in January 2020 if I expected to leave my job, I would have said no, but before the fiscal quarter was up, my desk was packed and my email was forwarded.

Since then, I’ve been left to my own devices to pick the path that my career follows. I tried a few things, but what I ultimately came back to was always the same- I wanted to write.

Copywriting was the answer to the burning desire to write that has lived inside me as long as I can remember. I spent hours playing dolls by myself when my sisters got sick of sticking to the predetermined story line I had already imagined (my friends were more tolerant, bless them.) Words have always been my thing. I used to think it was a weird thing to have as “your thing”, but it is mine regardless of how much I’ve tried to ignore it. I am a happier person when I write regularly.

And of course, writing regularly is the key to improving. I’ve written more in this past year than the last four years combined, both for myself and for clients.

I seek to improve my writing in other ways as well; reading fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as well as consuming a wide variety of movies and storylines. Oftentimes if I find myself in the middle of a movie I have no plot investment in, I’ll try to figure out the story arc and character tropes to predict what happens next. I have no interest in Lord of the Rings from a plot perspective, but the arc of storytelling and character development over three movies is a feast from a writing perspective.

But of course, nothing improves writing like simply writing more. Except having other people read your writing.

I’ve always been resistant to the idea of sharing what I write with other people. In this vein, a blog always struck me as quite vain.

A blog is not an article, email, or story. It requires as much or as little effort as you wish to produce what simply amounts to a polished stream of consciousness. And even more so, my writing has always felt very precious to me.

I’ve heard it said that to be a writer is to want to be in control of a world, to put everything in the order you deem best. But on the flip side of that, if someone doesn’t like your world, it feels personal.

But the fear of sharing our work is the same fear that would rather see us paralyzed in place than risk failing to improve. But failure is inevitable to reach improvement.

I find success to be a more attainable concept to wrap my head around when i view it through the lens of the law of statistics. It is not (most of the time, for most of us. This does not apply to Michael Phelps) extraordinary ability or talent that causes us to succeed. It’s just a statistical probably when you try enough times. If then, success is inevitable with enough effort, it becomes far easier to swallow the pill of short-term failures. The challenge of course lies in what it means to do something enough.

So maybe it is vain to start a blog. But the more I read from people who write for a living, the more the consensus seems to be many things with writing and improving your writing feel vain, but do them anyways. Because it’s how you get better.

All of this is a long way of saying, hello friend, welcome to my blog.

Here, I explore topics that interest me, including cannabis, yoga, meditation, cooking, hiking, and whatever else crosses my mind. A lot of are things I would share with you (were it not for the state of the world)

Regardless, I’m so glad you’re here.

I’ll be hanging out here a lot these days. Feel free to stop by. I’d love to hear what you think.

Published by Jessica Reilly, Writer

Writer, cannabis aficionado, and poetry lover

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