{via Real Simple}

That’s the questions I have been asking myself these last 6 weeks since I officially and finally moved back to Hawaii.

Why?

I know that’s the question most of the world would be asking. Why would a writer have a difficult time writing amongst turquoise hued skies, pearly white sand and a “you could get lost in it” ocean.

Lots of room for inspiration right?

Yes. It’s true. I’ve been writing more for my fiction piece than I did when I lived in California. But on the other hand, finding new writing gigs have turned out to be pretty dismal.

I know it’s only been a month since I started looking, but I learned fast that my usual writing gigs finding route (searching the web) just wasn’t going to cut it this time. In fact, what made it harder was that in the time that I’ve been here, I’ve been getting call after call from recruiters trying to fill writing jobs up there. {*Sigh.}

What I learned is that every state may have a different protocol for finding writers. While I was lucky to have been a freelance writer for the last 5-years in Silicon Valley, where everything is basically online, I now knew that if I wanted to avoid being a starving writer, I needed to put myself out there. Hence my recent transition from shy, introverted work-at-home writer, to pretend extrovert. I’ve been attending networking events like nobody’s business. Not an easy feat for someone who’d rather stay at home with a good book than talk shop and hand out business cards.

But it’s been worth it.

I’ve had one job offer, and a handful of leads since I started networking. It’s not easy, but I think the more you practice your elevator speech, the more comfortable you’ll feel connecting with others. And not in a car salesman sort of way, but in a way that genuinely depicts who you are, what you’re passionate about and what you want to do.

If you do that, you’ll find just what you’re looking for in no time.

  • Aloha, Brandi. I didn’t know you moved back to Hawaii. I thought you were just visiting. I am so jealous. I love Hawaii and my dream has been that I would get to a place where I could work on my fiction writing while living in Hawaii. Ah, dreams… Are you living in Oahu?

    You are a talented, creative writer and this new stage of your life will work the way it was meant to be. Go get ’em, Girl! Mahalo.

  • Interesting piece, Brandi. I’ve been freelancing a long time, too, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that living in a different state might require a different approach to finding work. I’m impressed that you figured it out and adapted so quickly. Many people would have languished for months on end or given up and taken a “real job.” Your opening quote truly says it all. You’re making opportunities, and that’s the key no matter where you are. Keep up the good work!

  • buyemura

    Thanks for the sweet comment Jessica! It might be just the switch from the mainland to Hawaii that makes things so different. I haven’t tried freelancing in another state so I’m not quite sure. I’m definitely getting my feet wet back into the in-person networking culture here. It’s who you know not just what you’ve done that seems to make the biggest difference. Wish me luck!

  • buyemura

    Yep, I’ve officially been back for little more than a month now. Hence, my MIA status on Twitter. I would love it if you moved here! Always could use benefit from the company of another writer friend. =)

  • Hawaii is such a small town atmosphere! People want to know who you are: your family, your high school, your town, your island. It is a way of making connections. It was the same in the small, rural mainland town where I grew up, but very different in larger towns and cities even in the same state. There is a lot of online activity in Hawaii but it is almost always accompanied by in-person events. People like to know who they are dealing with!

  • buyemura

    You said it sister! It’s so true. I hadn’t realized the connection until you mentioned it. But maybe it’s consistent with small towns because there everyone knows one another. There is a sense of trust in communities like that. And it’s especially true when hiring someone new. I guess that sense of knowing one another carries across other areas. Anyway I’ve been enjoying all this in-person networking, even if it is draining for me too. It’s something I didn’t take advantage of as much as I could while in the Bay Area.

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