The wrong way to make changes

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One good thing about being a freelance writer is you there are a lot of opportunities to expand what sorts of writing you do.

The downside is that you never know where you next gig is going to be coming from.

Throwing hard work in the trash

At the beginning of the year, I was facing the end of a contract and already looking for the next job. I’d been considering some marketing copywriting opportunities—an area of writing I had some previous experience with—and decided it would be in my best interests to have my personal blog reflect my skills as a copywriter.

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So I did an overhaul. Restructured everything. Got rid of all my old posts that didn’t fit with my new plan. Made an editorial calendar.

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…Then my contract was extended. Not only that, but I got an opportunity to flex my copywriting muscles outside of my blog, in a more formal setting.

And suddenly I was looking at this mess I’d created. Sure, it worked for what I’d wanted it for, but it wasn’t my blog. It was a portfolio, and a largely unnecessary one. And I didn’t want to work on it anymore.

Lessons learned

Trying to turn my blog into something it wasn’t ever meant to be was a mistake. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with mistakes.

But I learned not to tear down something that was working to try to make something new I didn’t really need. If I’d wanted a portfolio, I should have made myself a separate online space for that. And if it’d proven to be too much work for my overburdened calendar to maintain two blogs, I probably would have figured out where my priorities were a lot sooner—without losing anything.

So I’m starting from scratch again, but I’m doing it a little bit wiser. Trying new things is okay, but you’ve got to be smart about it, and I wasn’t. New things shouldn’t always replace old things. You don’t need to give up something you have to experiment with something you’d like to try.

Alison J. McKenzie—screwing up so you don’t have to!

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