Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Portfolio Career

I have been telling everyone recently that I now have a "portfolio career". Most people don't know what I mean by this (someone even said they'd have to "Google" it!) but it's really just a fancy way of saying that you have fingers in several different pies.

I have been a "professional" writer since 1995 although I have always been a writer of some sort, ever since I was at school. During this time, I have stuck pretty religiously to writing and only occasionally had flights of fancy about getting a "proper" job. (And I still do. Only this time last week, I found myself offering to manage a jazz band!!)

However, for various reasons, I've recently been seriously exploring other freelancing options that I can do alongside writing and have now decided to "rebrand" myself as a writer, a crafter and a musician. I also plan to carry on working on community newsletters and do something in the spiritual healing/growth area at some point too.

It's quite a scary decision but I definitely feel it's the right one. The thing that scares me most is that my writing will suffer, mainly because I will have less time to spend on it and there will be more demands on my "creative energy", if that doesn't sound too pretentious. After all, I've always maintained that you can't be a part-time writer, any more than you can be a part-time brain surgeon.

On the other hand, I hope that the other "pies" will help stimulate my writing. Certainly if I manage to take my music into care homes, which is my plan, I should have plenty of stories to tell. (Although that's not why I'm doing it, of course.) And hopefully, if I feel more satisfied because I'm taking seriously some of the other things I enjoy doing and am good at, then perhaps I shall feel more motivated when I do eventually sit down to write. Here's hoping, anyway.    


  1. Hi Melissa
    Taking music into care homes sounds like a wonderful idea. All the best for your new venture. I think the danger of sapping creative energy from your writing is a real one and something that creative people all need to watch out for. But if you manage it carefully and give yourself times when your writing takes priority, I'm sure you will be fine. Let us know how you get on!

  2. Great minds obviously think alike, since I also have a portfolio career: writing corporate literature for clients, articles for magazines, coaching people in report writing and teaching English. My fiction writing isn't a career, but feeds off all the others. You can have too many pies, it's true, but I think if you can manage it well the cross-fertilisation can be very productive.

  3. Wow! I'm impressed with all those "pies" and delighted to hear that having a portfolio career is working so well for you. Keep up the good work!