As many aspiring writers quickly discover, getting a full-time writing position isn’t as glamorous as it appears. While writers sit at their cubicles, typing the bidding of a larger company’s agenda, there are others out there truly living and taking in the very experiences artists crave in the first place. Many writers wish to slam their laptops closed and join the 34 million hikers out there on their quest for enlightenment and creative divinity.
In the hopes of escaping this very nine-to-five drudgery, a wave of bloggers have taken to the internet to share their stories of liberation from the corporate wheel.
Take Noelle Hancock, for example, a 31-year-old writer and young professional who one day decided to drop everything to move to St. John, a small island in the Caribbean.
While she at times regrets her radical move, she is ultimately thriving, with a new book as a result of her decision to run away. She writes, “But I have an island. I live in a charmingly ramshackle one-bedroom apartment on a hillside overlooking the sea.”
Yet not everyone’s experiences are similar to Ms. Hancock’s.
Take Jo Fraser, for example, a writer who quit her corporate job in 2014 to travel the world. At first, she found the experience liberating. But soon, she found her bank account dwindling and reality set in.
Ms. Fraser writes:
“My hands would get clammy and my stomach would grow cold every time I was forced to peek at the numbers on the ATM screen. Although my blog was becoming more popular, it wasn’t (and still isn’t) bringing in a single cent of money. Like a carefully placed billboard aimed at covering the slums behind it, my online presence had become a shiny advertisement for a life that looked like a dream, but in reality was speckled with stress and anxiety.”
Fraser soon discovered that sustaining the lifestyle of a freelance travel writer was not the liberating, care-free journey she thought it would be, and she retreated to New York to apply for jobs, seeking a more sustainable plan to find happiness and fulfillment.
And even for those who make it, the job isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Take Anoothi Vishal, for example, an Indian travel writer who warns others not to confuse passion with occupation, as they are not always compatible.
She writes, “The best way to travel is on your own. Sometimes you get to do that. But a lot of times you travel on someone else’s agenda, and find interesting stuff despite the touristy spiel.”