14 In Writing

I’m Not an Ambitious Woman and I Choose to Write for Free

I’m Not an Ambitious Woman and I Choose to Write for Free

I’ve never considered myself as an ambitious woman.

In saying that, I do suspect that people perceive me as ambitious which never ceases to surprise me!

In all seriousness though, most of the time I feel like I’m going through life paddling frantically to keep my head above water!

On the flip side, I also go through spurts of ‘doing lots of stuff’, where I’m like a girl on fire after which I crash and burn (as I am now after 12 days straight of working days and evenings…of course my body was gonna crash!), hopefully, to rise again like a phoenix.

Is that ambitious? I certainly don’t see myself that way.

Yes, I am passionate about many things. And of course, I want to do things, achieve things, and live a certain way. And most certainly, I want to do what I love. But ambitious? No, I don’t see myself that way at all.

I guess it all comes down to your personal definition of the word ‘ambitious’.

I picture being ambitious as some cut-throat suit-lady climbing the corporate ladder whilst treading on everyone else with her stilettos… Now that is SOOOOOO not me (although I do love stilettos!). But is that a kinda screwed up way to look at ‘ambitious’?

I was recently featured in the Freelancer in the Spotlight series for the month of April, and to quote myself;

There’s … the expectation in some areas that freelancers will write for peanuts. It can be devaluing, but admittedly I took the hit to initially build up my portfolio.

Yep, I’ve written for peanuts and admittedly this has been devaluing. But changing careers and starting a writing career at the age of 37 has been hard, as it would be for anyone changing careers. You don’t expect to be paid the big bucks straight up. Now that would be egotistical (or is it ambitious?).

To be honest, I never had any expectations that I would earn any money writing. The fact that I’ve earned something – now that’s bloody brilliant! But to be honest with you – and you are going to think I am so CRAY CRAY – I prefer writing for free…

There are such projects you would sell your arm to write for. Whether its an organization, cause or topic you are passionate about, the words flow through your fingers like water, leaving you feeling elated and like you are walking on air. These are what I call ‘love projects’.

I told you you would think I was crazzzzzy!

So here’s where I defer to the official definition courtesy of Google:

Ambitious: having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed.

Okay, I admit I wholeheartedly want to do what I love. I also have a hard-work mentality (most of the times, to my detriment). And do I want to prove some people wrong? Hell yes! And I will definitely put both hands up to attest to the fact that I am a chronic people pleaser, something I’m trying to change but am failing at dismally. But ambitious – screw that. That just sounds like too much hard work! In all honesty, I just want to do what I love and live a more peaceful life That’s about it. I want to be happy. I want to help others. And I want to live my life with those I love doing things that I love.


Join our list

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

  • Tara Schiller
    April 24, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Lol. I think you’re ambitious in disguise. I think this calls for a new vocabulary word. How would you describe yourself in one word? Make it your new “ambitious”.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      haha so true. I think Im going to go down the ‘passion’ path. My perception of ambition may be tainted by where I live…the corporate world is not so nice (then again is it anywhere…).

  • Debbie Rodrigues
    April 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Interesting the way you put it, Janine. I from my side am proud to be “ambitious”, but not in the sense you associate the word with.
    My perception of life has change a lot because of my whole situation. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
    I read your featured article and I will keep it as reference.
    Thank you so much for featuring my blog from last week!

  • Eloquent Mind
    April 24, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Very honest post, Janine 🙂 There are instances in life where we just want to be ourselves and do what we love. If we are at such a place, nothing can beat our will to be in the moment and just enjoy. You have cited examples which just show that.

    Ambitious, nah ! Following a loved interest can never be ambitious. 🙂 Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      You so get it! Enjoy your weekend.

  • Mackenzie Glanville
    April 25, 2015 at 8:04 am

    I can’t call you crazy, as I would be crazy too. Actually I am pretty crazy, but love it! Let’s embrace our crazy, great post

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Yeah I love being crazy!

  • Debbie Rodrigues
    April 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Janine!
    I want to let you know that I featured on your blog on my ShoutOut Saturday list of this month.
    Please feel free to grab the “featured” button on my blog.
    I also invited you to the Pinterest community board “Debbie in Shape – ShoutOut Saturday”.
    Thank you for the great information that you share!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks so much Debbie!! love you.

  • Marie
    April 29, 2015 at 1:26 am

    I totally agree with you! It’s not the money, I just want the freedom to write what I want to write. Which is for free.

  • Muriel
    April 29, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Well, Janine, can I just say that you might not be ambitious, but you are clearly passionate ? And even if writing doesn’t pay much, I don’t know about you, but when I am paid (even a little) I feel like a million dollars!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 30, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      That’s the word – passionate 🙂 You are correct in saying getting paid is nice, but chasing writing work to get paid all of the time and writing for things you don’t love sucks! Well, I reckon it does. Loved you most on the matchmaking site by the way!

  • Lorraine Reguly
    December 2, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Janine, I appeciate your FREE contribution to Wording Well! I know I told you that before, but I want you to know that I really DO appreciate it.

    And working for peanuts is sort of par for the course. However, as you build up a portfolio, you can charge more.

    Also, I wanted to mention that I don’t like how your links display in your blog posts. Unless the mouse cursor hovers over them, they are invisible.

    You might want to change that. 🙂

  • Send this to a friend