Wednesday, January 16

Untitled, 2008

Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, 1967

When it came to choosing a college major indecision was my middle name. Every semester I would meet with an academic advisor to discuss the merits of fashion merchandising, art history, elementary education and meteorology. I would smile and nod in appreciation for the sage council then happily sign the forms declaring a new major.

When my parents threatened to suspend college funding I tried explaining to them that I was a Renaissance woman, with many and varied interests, how could they possibly expect me to make a life commitment without sampling all the various options available. My arguments feel on deaf ears.

It was then that my father decided I should pursue marketing if I wanted to continue my college education. I may be stubborn but I am not stupid and I quickly realized the intrinsic worth of declaring marketing as my chief area of study. Early on I felt like Ben Braddock, a recent college graduate with no well-defined aim in life.

For the vast majority of my adult life I have worked as a professional fundraiser. Of course, being true to character, there have been detours along the way, but I have always come back to the non-profit world. However, no matter how much I have enjoyed the work, there is still one overriding desire I have yet to pursue—writing. Once I started All the Best it became my one consuming passion.

As many regular readers know, I resigned my fulltime career this past October in order to chase this dream. I have always believed that if you do what you love the money will follow and somehow I have managed to convince my husband of this truth. Now I need to take action, which is a very good thing, I work best under pressure and accountability.

My first plan of attack is to learn more about the world of freelance writing. Something I need to do in very short order. I have many wonderful trips planned for this year and I would love to write about them for a national publication (newspaper or magazine). These including a trip next week to Paris for the Maison&Objet Interior Design Exhibition; a trip to Brussels; a tour of boutique California wineries, a second trip to Paris this summer; and various trips around Scotland.

If you have other thoughts, ideas, advice or an interest in one or more of these stories (especially Maison&Objet), do feel free to contact me. As always, I am grateful to everyone who reads this blog each day.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

It sounds very similar to my college career! Well written post. I do so enjoy reading your blog each day. Always something interesting and new to learn. I can only imagine that as this site and your name grows, more and more freelance work will come your way. All the very best to you.

Mary Beth

pve design said...

Squeaky Wheel gets the oil.

Follow your heart with a well thought out plan and be open to your divine calling! Write down your short term and long term goals and live your dream. We are all cheering for you!

Will research the fabric, love it, bold and graphic!

Anonymous said...

I agree with pve design!

I've been thinking of going into some type of public service work myself so I found it very interesting that you are/were in non-profit fundraising.

I hate being 47 and still not knowing what I want to do when I grow up.

I've helped with two political campaigns (one local and one presidential) and loved it. I also have a dear friend who has been encouraging me to really consider a career change...leaving what I know to do what I am drawn to and love is still a scary prospect (especially with a mortgage).

I think you have a gift for writing and am delighted to see you pursuing your dream. It's inspiring.


Pigtown*Design said...

It's so interesting how starting a blog has helped a lot of us/you/me re-focus what we want to do. Have you seen Habitually Chic's post about this?

I know that what-ever you do, you will do it brilliantly!

katiedid said...

Hi Ronda! If you ever do get to California for the wineries, give me a shout! Maybe we can meet up with a Bay Area blogger contingency. Let me know if you need any info on restaurants, etc.!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Hello AtB,
Your tale sounds familiar.... I started life as a freelance writer specializing in fundraising letters! On to eventually own part of an ad/marketing agency and just celebrated my first year of not doing that anymore.... Congrats. You'll make it. (And don't forget about writing the trip expenses off when you file your taxes.) I'm forwarding your post to a friend. Long shot, but who knows.


Anonymous said...

One day you will be world famous and I will tell people, "I used to read her blog over coffee in the mornings". : ) Good luck!

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you all for the comments and emails! Thank you Easy and Elegant Life!

ALL THE BEST said...

katiedid that sounds like so much fun!! I will keep you posted!

Anonymous said...

Ronda I love your blog and I love your writing. Both are fresh, interesting and warm. I wish you all the very best. I can't imaging there isn't a market for your writing and your impeccable style.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

oooh lucky you to be able to quit your job and afford to travel. You are blessed. I am sure you will get freelance writing through your blog. I get quite a bit through my blog. I can't wait to read your coverage of Maison & Objet. My friends zidzid won in the children's division last year.

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Maryam, I am indeed blessed and I never take it for granted. I can't wait for Maison & Objet, it should be wonderful!!

My Notting Hill said...

The best thing I did when I became self-employed 12 years ago was to read Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Laurence G. Boldt (I used the 1993 edition). To me this book is the perfect combination of inspirational and practical (before my business I was a therapist and career counselor) and he has a terrific section on being a free-lancer. His site is Best wishes in your endeavors - if your blog is any indication, your success will be genuine. With regards, Michele "Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own." Carl Jung


Keep doing what you are doing. Sometimes we don't realize we are already there. Your blog will be your ticket. No luck required. You've got it baby!

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you for following your dreams. I think you are wonderful writer. You have a great style...informative,yet friendly. I know you will do well!

Unknown said...

Having gone down a similar path in the last few years I can tell you that it's well worth the trip. The only thing that you have to consider is that you may want to supplement your income for a while by doing some freelance work in your past career field to support your new adventure. Possibly directed toward the publishing field. I waited two years to give up my day job and still do occasional jobs to pay the bills. While I agree that if you follow your dreams they will eventually pay off sometimes that payday can be far away! If you are struggling without an income it is harder to stay on your new chosen path. I am an absolute believer that you are making the right decision as this new direction clearly suits you. I am wishing you luck and fortitude as you will need both! I am sure you will have great success.
Wishing you all the best,

Cleopatra said...

I wish you the best of luck Ronda, really, you clearly work very hard and its inspiring. As a result Ive started a blog, and would love for to you take a peek if you have time, it will be weeks before I can build up momentum so feel free to give me honest feedback, also some technical glitches which will take time to work out. also I do want to send you another note later about your writing because we are part owners of the IHT out here and they are always looking for good writers. I can get you in touch with the Editor.

ALL THE BEST said...

Cleopatra it's a FANTASTIC start! I love the Alef Gallery, thanks for the link!! Do keep it up as I am certain it will be a great and different blog. I would love to see more posting on the homepage. You have a great eye.

You can always send me an email from my side bar.

Cleopatra said...

Thanks sooooo much! I will try to post daily if possible, my archives are bursting and need a home!

I will certainly be emailing you soon, I'm giving them a call today first for more information on hiring writers.


Kwana said...

Ronda, best of luck going for your dream! As an aspiring writer for the past few years I know how you feel.
Just have faith, set and keep goals, constantly move forward and you'll get there.

Jen of MadeByGirl said...

i also consider myself a renaissance woman and have tried many things in life. I think its a good thing to search out and try new things until you finally come across that special thing you really ENJOY AND LOVE DOING. The thing that makes you feel alive and accomplished everyday. Good luck with the writing , you have a great way with words.

Jen Ramos
'100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards'

Anonymous said...

Follow your bliss, absolutely!

Material Girls said...

Love your blog! :)

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Emily! Love yours too!!