It’s official! I’m a “real” writer now that I’ve published my first independent article under my own byline. My kids laugh when they see me flipping through the magazine one more time just to see my name under the headline. I don’t care. It took me a long time to even realize I had this dream, let alone to pursue it. I’m not sure where it will ultimately lead, but I now feel as if I’ve placed myself firmly on the path.

The path, such as it is, offers a lot of benefits I didn’t anticipate. The writing itself, fulfilling an assignment, even just playing with the words—those are the elements I love and that I welcomed knowingly as I jumped into freelance writing. What I didn’t count on, however, was the people.

What a gift! Each person I’ve interviewed for my writing assignments has been passionate about his or her business. Each has been really interesting. I have left every interview session feeling privileged to have gotten to know a bit more about the person and the company, even when the company wouldn’t have garnered a second glance from me outside of the writing assignment.

All it takes is asking a few questions to unlock people’s passions, and when their eyes burn with intensity and their voices can barely contain the flow of their words, I feel myself drawn in gladly. It awakens my hunger for knowledge. It heightens my appreciation for the world around me. Who knew that so many fascinating people populate this community—every community? The trick is finding the right questions.

I love this freelance stuff. And not just because of the writing.

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