The portfolio and writerspace for Al Gentile

Catching the Bug

I recently had a conversation with someone for whom I’m editing some of his fiction work, and we got to talking about alternative work circumstances.

He is a doctoral candidate and part-time professor at the local university, and he went over the way his job works. Essentially he gets offered classes to teach each semester, and chooses which he decides to take on.

On top of that, because of his mathematics work he’s often invited to teach seminars. He also told me he’s been offered a full-time position, to which, as he claimed, he emphatically declined.

This got me thinking about where I was not too long ago. As a full-time copywriter with benefits and a pretty generous paycheck, it was difficult to see how some factors of the environment made me very unhappy. Comparing where I was then to where I am now, I can’t understand why I didn’t choose to be a freelancer sooner.

Before, I would be working on the same projects and initiatives over and over again, couldn’t leave when I wanted, and when the creative juices weren’t flowing I had to work through it enough times that mental burnout set in quickly.

Today, I work perhaps twice as long, and am constantly working on something new. Now I don’t have the luxury of having “done that before” as even the difference between two 500-word landing pages requires a complete reset of perspective, approach, and outlook. I’m working for my own work, and the pay isn’t as consistent. Also, no benefits.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

I can leave when I want, I can walk away and partake in meaningful and rejuvenating activities (I haven’t played this much guitar in a long time), and I’m forced back into learning new skills almost on a daily basis.

I’m growing faster in career-based skills than…. actually….. ever.

Each day I jump from journalist to marketer to copywriter to job pitcher to a strategist, and have more time to read.

I feel like I am in survival mode, and I’m more focused than ever. To be completely honest, I was always doubtful about that endless energy entrepreneurs give off, critical even. Now, I get it. It seems I’ve caught the bug.

Are you an entrepreneur? Leave a comment about how you feel pursuing whatever it is that you do, I’d love to hear from you. Be well.


What out for me on television in 2018. Lips zipped until then.


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