How Steemit Brought My Creative Path Full Circle

in #life3 years ago

Discovering Steemit changed my career trajectory, pushing me towards a familiar path

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One of the best aspects of the Steemit platform has been the way it rekindled my interest and passion for writing. I wouldn't ever claim to be the most innovative, creative, or eloquent writer around, but I have always enjoyed the act of organizing my thoughts into a coherent, meaningful, and useful structure.

I began my writing path from a journalistic perspective, creating content for an NBA news service as well as editing the sports page for my community college's paper. I surprised my overly humble self, winning several awards for my work and sending me towards what I thought would be a long career in journalism.

Or so I thought

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I left community college for Central Michigan University, a second-tier state school with a first-rate journalism program. Within my first semester, I became disheartened and disillusioned with the state of journalism.

Eric Alterman's book "What Liberal Media?" was an in-depth expose into how corporate influence in the media space had corrupted news organizations, making the possibility of true investigative journalism an unlikely feat. Advertisers and parent companies have immense sway in terms of what news is fit to print, inevitably leaving the hardest-hitting articles to be chopped, heavily-redacted, or simply squashed altogether.

And that doesn't even take into account governmental agencies and other organizations who collaborate and wield their power to ensure certain stories never see the light of day. The fact is, mainstream journalism is hampered by endless gatekeepers and self-censorship overriding one's desire/ability for telling the truth.

Eventually, I switched majors, my idealism leading me towards the social work profession. I spent a few years working in the community mental health field, a profession which I quickly discovered was, unfortunately, also rife with ethical quandaries, unimaginable corruption, and endless frustration.

An unlikely outcome

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Truth be told, I never foresaw myself returning to the writing path in any serious way, especially not in a manner which would pay the bills. I thought I would eventually return to school at some point, earning my Masters Degree and practicing some form of therapy.

Though I enjoyed many aspects of the helping profession, there were too many hold-ups that stopped me from taking the plunge of going back to school (and accruing massive amounts of debt in the process). Unless you operate a private practice, the return on investment for a masters degree didn't seem worth it.

My last job in the mental health field had me working in an underutilized, direction-less residential facility, which lacked clients, other staff, and any sense of meaning or job-satisfaction. Quite honestly, it was the most boring, uninspiring job I've ever held.

But sometimes, the least desirable situations can precipitate the most rewarding outcomes.

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Due to my endless downtime and freedom to surf the web, I stumbled upon the Steemit platform out of pure chance. Pondering leaving my job led me to an article someone had published on Steemit, discussing how they had left their corporate job to drive for Lyft. They also happened to earn over $300 on the post, which certainly piqued my attention.

At this time, I had zero monetary stake in the crypto-game, but after researching a bit about various cryptos, I decided to buy a stake in a number of promising alt-coins, including Steem. This was February of 2017, perhaps one of the best periods to invest in the space within the last few years.

It turns out, working at a job you hate does have its upsides. Without that particular gig, I sincerely believe I wouldn't have rekindled my passion for writing and I'd probably be endlessly tormented with regret for not taking the plunge into the world of blockchain currency.

I've recently started to pick up more freelance writing gigs, leading me to believe that my career path lies somewhere within the field of writing. I'm not where I need to be to make a sustainable livelihood out of it just yet, but with a lot of hustle, a bit of luck, and relentless persistence, I think I'll be there soon enough.


All uncredited pictures from pixabay.com or my personal account

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If you haven’t yet, you might be interested to check out Civil.

They’re a blockchain-based project focused in the journalism arena, addressing some of the projects you addressed. Very professional. Some significant players on board. Very cool things in the works.

Might likely be something that catches your interest there, perhaps even some great opportunities, if you haven’t left the journalism stuff behind entirely... 😇

Thanks for heads up, I've pondered giving their platform a try and seeing if I can make waves with it. I like the concept, as traditional journalism is in need of a serious revamp/revision.

Under those conditions, journalism may become much more appealing, but I'll see where the work takes me.

Congrats man, you seem happy with what you are doing. Good for you bro.

Guess it's you and me both. Steemit.com has been a blessing, I completely sucked at writing before I started here, now, not so much

Really love stories like this, very well done! I see people doing well on here and sharing good content and if that helps with living and bills, even better 😊

Thanks! I've had a few posts earn a significant amount at a time where I desperately needed it. It's been a long while since I've cashed out my earnings, but it's ultimately a fantastic motivator to keep writing and improving my work.