How I Turned Being Jobless Into The Best Job In The World

When I completed my MA in creative writing in England in 2008, I was looking up options to be able to stay in that country. I applied to every job I could find, including hotel janitor positions, hoping that it would be enough to get by. I reasoned with myself that I could write in the evenings and on weekend.

That search proved fruitless though, and I hung my head and returned to the states where the job market was just as bad, but I could live with my family rent-free. I thought I had failed and felt bad every time someone asked me why I didn’t stay on in England since I had always professed that I loved it so much (and I still do). It wasn’t for lack of love, but lack of sufficient bank account balances.

I applied for jobs in the US too, but to no avail. I finally turned to my other writing friends and found that my side thing of helping to edit papers and manuscripts was a viable option. I had been doing it for free for years because I enjoyed it. Those friends were kind enough to recommend me to their friends and I began charging small fees for my work. As my experience grew, I charged a little more.

Soon enough, I had a little business going that was just enough to keep food on my table and kibble in my pups bowl. I went legit then, throwing myself wholeheartedly into being a freelance editor. I got an EIN, a business bank account, a proper email and website, and I’ve never looked back.

I suppose I could have been happy as a hotel janitor writing on the weekends, but I’m so very glad I didn’t get that job. My whole life is about books now, from interning and reading those first queries, editing some great books by fabulous people and helping to make those great books spectacular, and then seeing the fruit of all our labors when a book finally comes out.

I’m not rolling in money ala Scrooge McDuck, but it’s enough to get by on. I have the freedom to write when inspiration strikes (including the wee hours of the morning), to take classes and improve my skills and not have to worry about scheduling conflicts, and I’m surrounded by fabulous publishing people like YOU!

I wouldn’t trade this for anything. <3


  1. I'm so glad you found the perfect job for you, Cass :) I only hope to do the same!

  2. OMG, I didn't notice your new header at first. SO pretty!

  3. I totally understand where you're coming from as I've been working toward a similar goal. It's so risky to strike out on your own, but if you can make it work, so worth it!

    I'm glad it's working for you! :-)

  4. It's funny how all those closed doors help you find where you're meant to be. Glad you found what you love!

  5. That's great, Cassandra! There's not a lot of people who can say they love their job, but you made it happen for yourself. :)

  6. It's really amazing how NOT getting something we think we want can be a good thing. :)

  7. And your story is an inspiration to us all! I'm in college now and trying to figure out what I will do in the future. Editing is definitely something I love to do, and I hope one day I'll be able to turn it into my livelihood as you have. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  8. While it is definitely the hotel janitorial department's loss, it is our gain. Congratulations on following your heart and making a career of what you love!

  9. Wow, our boat is pretty similar in that I came to study in England as well, and I've nearly applied for janitorial jobs to keep afloat. I think you have the most fantastic-sounding job!

    I graduated from uni in the UK in 2010 and have been job hunting for over 20 months. In my case, I got a post-study work visa that lasts for 2 years, but the big joke is I've only done a few temp stints on it! I've not been able to find anything else. I'm definitely staying here now, but just crossing my fingers my story ends as happily as yours on the work front :) Very inspiring.



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