Lisa Rogers is a young entrepreneur who is making a living from writing and from freelancing in general. It is said that writing is ideally suited to introverted people, because they express their feelings better with the written word. As a child, Lisa states that she was shy, and that she could find comfort in books. Writing was, for her, a kind of open heart surgery or pacemaker implantation: a fresh beginning. Her love story with writing began at age seven, and it never ended.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped being so shy, but the writing never stopped. Which meant the experiences never stopped, either – travel, breaking through comfort zones, fighting my fears, and learning to let go of the things I could not control.
As an adult, she prefers being around people, but not big crowds: small groups or one-on-one is preferred. Being around people makes her feel the need to recharge her batteries by reading a book.
Lisa Rogers: words and wanderlust fuel my imagination
Since Lisa was a child, she wanted to see everything, do everything, and be everything. She still loves to learn new things and then write about them. Who is Lisa Rogers? She doesn’t know that yet.
She’s still under construction and may never be finished. At least, that’s the plan…
Her education was simple: a traditional degree in Political Science with a German minor. Then classes from the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), an almost international MFA, and she’s currently working through Gabriela Perrera’s DIY MFA program. Plus, a lot of reading.
She hasn’t always been a full time writer. Earlier, she was a receptionist, a data entry clerk, an executive assistant, a fundraising consultant, and a TEFL teacher. In her writing career, she has written in many different formats: blogs, standalone business books, and an action/adventure series. Also, she has worked for an advertising agency, written financial commentary, produced copy for several nonprofits as a grant writer, has written magazine articles, and even a couple of travel writing articles as well. Her diverse portfolio is fascinating for anyone who is interested in writing.
How it all started?
The very first thing she did was to write an article for a local medical magazine about a nonprofit. The deadline was 48 hours; then later, a friend came to her asking her help on managing other writers because her freelance career sucked up all her time, and she wasn’t capable of doing it all alone.
Before I knew it, my writing was taking off, and I wrote for everything and anyone who would hire me.
Her writing career and entrepreneurial life haven’t been all rosy, but some moments make up for everything else. By far, there’s nothing like the feeling of seeing her name in the byline or holding a book she has worked on in her hands. The memories bring her a rush of excitement every time. We can only imagine the feeling: gratitude, happiness, contentment, pride.
Being an entrepreneur can be tough, and one of her worst experiences happened just a few years ago. Long days, little money, sometimes she couldn’t even feed her family. Experiences like this are horrible, both personally and professionally. One of the most challenging moments in her life was something similar to what I mentioned earlier. She and her husband weren’t making enough for a security deposit, first and last month’s rent, so they got stuck in a cycle. Then one day, there wasn’t enough money for rent, food, anything else, so they had to spend the night in the car with a bag of fast food.
The next night, we drove to the next location, and my husband, who is a musician, began busking. Within an hour or so, we had enough for one night in a motel ($60).
Her husband was busking during the day for a motel room at night. Then their luck changed after a rough period of time, and a publication she had contacted earlier called and asked if she wanted to write for them. She agreed and got an upfront payment of $2,500 that helped her climb out of the cycle.
Lisa Rogers has managed to see a short-story collection published, and this is another exciting story that must be told. A few years ago, she applied to an MFA in Creative Writing Program in the UK, at the University of Lancaster. Part of the application process was to write two short stories. Thirty-two days after applying she got an email stating she was accepted in the MFA program, but she wished to remain in Prague for a while. So she declined the acceptance, but now she thinks it would have been a better idea to defer it for a year. She then realized that this moment of palm-meeting-forehead would be another story to include in her small collection.
I recently co-founded a new company, Fast Lane Digital, with my former Virtual Assistant (VA). We haven’t even launched officially yet, but we have three clients in the pipeline. Add this new business to the work I have ghostwriting a business book for a dentist and my bi-monthly ghost blogging for a tech recruitment firm based in London, and I guess you could say, I have a pretty active writing life!
Tech entrepreneurs, freelancers, and solo-preneurs are the brave risk-takers
For Lisa Rogers, tech entrepreneurs, freelancers, and solo-preneurs are the brave risk-takers who go against the current of the mainstream to carve out new personal opportunities. They are the ones who fail and then try again with the enthusiasm of a child.
‘The world is their oyster’ isn’t just a trope. It’s the truth. Online work opens up the world.
One of her craziest dreams is to write a full-length novel and see it in a bookshop. She wants to go through the entire process – book launch, marketing campaign, book tour, and most important of all: she wants to win an award!
Beyond books, though, my second biggest ambition is to have my own bookshop in an inn that I run. I want to be an innkeeper and an author who runs a bookshop. These are my two crazy dreams.
Her husband gives her the greatest gift a writer can receive: time. He’s a musician, so he knows enough about time, and how inspiration works in this creative industry.
Her parents don’t understand what she does to make a living, even though they are solo-preneurs too.
They still think “starving artist” when they think writer and I can’t quite get it out of their minds. It’s a work in progress.
Those who wander are not lost.
Lisa Rogers loves being busy with her business and writing for a living. Even so, sometime she would like to take the time to write for herself. Although she knows she may never become as prolific as others, she’d like the freedom to try. This is a year of re-assessment for her, so her plans are not fully resolved.
My plans for the future are to take things one step at a time.
Life motto: Those who wander are not lost. Wondering and wandering help us find the stories which need to be told.
Lisa Rogers taught me that modesty is gold and: Be brave, fight for what you think up to the moment you win the fight, and get the life you desire and deserve!
Photos: Perosnal archive