I like to refer to myself as a “recovering attorney” – after spending years and years in school and in practice, I finally realized that what I loved about law was the writing, and the chance to advise people on things that could change their lives. Now, I get to do all of those things every day, in a much prettier setting and without the billable hours.
While I’d been writing on the side for years, it wasn’t until I moved from San Francisco to Portland that a few things in my life converged to tell me I shouldn’t be practicing law any more. I finally listened to that “still, small voice” and, while I definitely still miss my old paycheck, I feel incredibly lucky to get to do what I do.
Well, the money, of course…that pay cut was a tough pill to swallow. Also, I’d always identified very strongly with being an attorney, and what that meant in terms of being respected by my peers. Being a ‘fashion writer’ doesn’t hold much weight in serious circles, so that was a hit for my ego at first. But as it turns out, I just needed different circles!
Be bold, but be smart. There’s a lot of ocean between diving in headfirst and never even getting your feet wet. Start small, see what’s possible, and trust your instincts. Oh, and ask for help! No one ever made it alone.