Like many entrepreneurs, I started my company on an idea. For me, hard work, long hours, and diligent networking have helped my idea blossom into a growing company. However, six months into the process, I’m not nearly as exhausted and strung out as I thought I’d be. While starting my business has forced me to make sacrifices, the very act of going out on my own has brought balance back into my life by returning me to something I love: writing.
In writing, I find not only shelter and escape but also individuality, expression, and passion. Writing helps me get energized and motivated to do other things I care about. It clears my head and helps focus me on what I am doing and why I am doing it.
Some people keep journals. I am writing an academic book. While I do a lot of freelance writing on fashion and the arts to augment my portfolio, this writing is perhaps too incestuous with the brand management and marketing work of my company to be considered a true escape. My book, on the other hand, which is about a long-dead British poet and his interest in music, is no moneymaker. However, it is soulful, fun, and cathartic.
It is perhaps slightly insane to be finalizing my first book at the same time that I launched a new company. Yet, they are mutually reinforcing. The nerd that I am, literary criticism feeds me and writing about poetry keeps me sane. After hours of writing strategy plans, managing consultants, or meeting with clients, steeping myself in cultural aesthetics for an hour or so clears my head and reminds me of why I started my company in the first place.
So, I write in part to center myself. Yet, it also keeps me in tune with the world because it constantly reminds me to articulate what I want to say clearly and effectively. In this way, writing not only constantly hones my communications skills, but it also keeps me happy, inspired, and in good humor, all of which are critical for dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
Jessica Quillin owns Quillin Consulting, LLC, a boutique consultancy focused on content development, marketing, and brand strategy for the public and private sectors. She received her PhD in English from the University of Cambridge.
Website: www.quillin-consulting.com | Twitter: @jessicaquillin