Freelancing: The first year

February will mark the one-year anniversary of my decision to leave the Times-Union and become a full-time freelancer. Each day that has passed since has cemented that this was absolutely the best choice I could have made.

I’ve had a great year. I’ve been fortunate enough to volunteer regularly in Ella’s kindergarten class, which would have been impossible last year. It’s been other simple things I’ve enjoyed this year – like the ability to keep Lydia with me last Tuesday for a “just because” day and seeing Declan embrace toddlerhood full-steam.

I’ve also been able to work on some amazing freelance projects. Of course, I continue to work with the Times-Union, where I wrote the profiles for the 10 Who Make a Difference, updated the salaries database, created the most expensive homes slideshows and wrote several features, including:

I’ve also picked up a few more clients throughout the year. I’ve been fortunate enough to write stories for the Jacksonville Business Journal, Jacksonville’s Financial News & Daily Record, The Diocese of St. Augustine, Jacksonville Magazine and many others.

Here I am getting photobombed by a horse at the Catty Shack Ranch on an assignment for the Jacksonville News and Daily Record.

Here I am getting photobombed by a horse at the Catty Shack Ranch on an assignment for the Jacksonville News and Daily Record.

This has been a spectacular year for me, both personally and professionally. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I’ve received from friends and colleagues on this endeavor. My goal for 2013 was to be a more present parent while also trying to write stories that are new to me, and I think I’ve accomplished both this year.

Now it’s on to 2014. I’m going to face some new challenges this year – Declan is turning 2, God help us, Lydia will start kindergarten and Ella will begin first grade. I don’t know where the time has gone this year, but I’ve loved every day of it. Here’s hoping next year goes the same.

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These guys have had a pretty great year (from left Declan, Lydia and Ella).

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