MY STORY (VI): The Path to Branding & Taking the Leap to Pursue My Writing
Ever since I started writing I was dreaming of this: having my own small storytelling business. It really just sounded like a dream too good to ever come true.
Fast forward and about 4 and a half years later, here I am: building my own brand, my own storytelling business. I am not where I want to be yet but looking back on the past few years I realize how far I have come and that this might really be my path to go.
Let me start from the beginning and give you a little insight into how I came to where I am now and what obstacles and emotional roller coaster rides this involved - and still does.
It All Began With My Expat Adventure
As many of you might know that have been following along for a while, I created The Redhead Story when I embarked on a year of living and studying abroad in London, UK. It was my creative outlet, a means to share impressions, experiences, and thoughts as I was exploring the U.K. I loved it. I changed blog and writing styles, re-defined myself, and was looking into new cameras (I still have a long way to go when it comes to photography but I have a decent camera at least - looking to upgrade it, though). My creative explorer vein was pumping.
After about 8 or 9 month of sharing impressions I knew that I wanted to make something more of it. Bring this blog further. I was constantly changing it. But was never happy. One thing, however, was clear: I wanted more exposure, connect with more like-minded people. And so I began writing for different outlets and blogs. For free. Also, to build my portfolio.
It must have been shortly before I had to fly back to Germany and my year as an expat in England came to an end, that I got my first paid writing opportunity. Ever since, my dream of making this a full time gig at some point in my life - if ever?! - lingered in my head and I couldn’t get rid of it.
I knew that writing is what truly fulfills me, combined with being on the move as often as possible.
Envisioning More for This Little Blog
And so I continued filling the pages of my blog with words, thoughts, contemplations, impressions - basically my whole heart. I got writing gigs here and there (by that time not even actively looking for them), while beginning to enter the “actual” job world. This should bring me to San Diego in December of 2015.
It was the beginning of a new chapter, not just for myself, but also for my blog - and ultimately paved the path toward my desire to step it up a notch and pursue the branding process.
I began to create and write my very own story in Southern California and The Redhead Story changed designs throughout the past two years of living in San Diego. The blog grew organically and new travel writing opportunities came up.
But I was not really happy with the little corner of the internet I had; I tweaked it here and there but couldn’t get very far as I chose the wrong host from the beginning. A friend of mine from London, who studied web design, helped me out every once in a while but it never really was what I envisioned - and I was lacking the skills to bring the site further.
Telling My Story As an Expat in San Diego - A Growing Desire
Exploring new places, building my life stateside, meeting the man of my dreams, and reflecting upon expat life while developing a desire for slower travel and seeing the world while being close to nature were all things that drove me to be even more passionate to tell my story and share my thoughts with you.
The thought of needing expert help to develop my own brand and site into something more appealing, something that speaks more to my readers - and myself as the writer and creative behind - got more prominent.
I wanted more out of this little blog. I knew this was the way to go and writing is what truly fulfills me. But I realized that I needed to invest - to get my return of investment and, first and foremost, create a space that is me, has my personality shine through in design, and is being enjoyed but my audience.
There were many obstacles, disappointments, hopes, and seemingly shattered dreams I had to experience in my 4 and a half years of blogging - and do so even now.
Taking the Leap and Following My Heart
Fast forward, at the end of 2017 it was time: I took the leap to seek expert help, begin the branding process of The Redhead Story, and step towards registering a writing business here in SoCal.
And my next adventure began. The adventure of doing something that is scary yet feels so right. The adventure of stepping outside of my comfort zone and making myself pretty vulnerable. The adventure of simply following my dreams even though I knew it would not be easy.
I quit my full-time job (probably scariest thing I have ever done to date) beginning of this year. I invested a bunch of savings. I reflected a lot and did a great amount of internal work since I started the branding process a few months ago. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions but I know this was the right way to go.
Pursuing your dreams in the writing industry is hard (you yourself might maybe be at that point right now, realizing exactly this). But it’s the passion that matters, what can I say. It’s my love for sharing my story, connecting with others, and highlighting the growth traveling and living abroad can bring you that drives me.
Going for It - Branding Process in Full Swing
And here I am. Only a couple weeks shy of launching my beautifully branded new website. I cannot wait for this new chapter of my life; to build my base of clients spread the word about travel; encourage others to start and keep exploring which begins locally.
I am all in. I am excited. Yes, I am very scared because it is a big step and the future is unknown but I wake up every morning knowing that it was the right thing to do. To just go for it. For that voice from within I am thankful. I know there will be more ups and downs as I continue building my little writing business, but I also know that I would forever be disappointed in myself if I hadn’t at least tried to go this path.
Stay tuned for post 7 of my pre-launch series coming shortly, in which I am sharing more about what The Redhead Story will be doing and offering in the near future.