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Happiness and hard right turns

Wow. A few months after feeling my life was in a constant state of upheaval, I find myself giddy to share some great news. I’ve turned a corner. A hard right. Professionally and personally, I haven’t felt so happy or so accomplished in quite some time. All it took was choice and whole lot of hard work.

It’s an amazing feeling when passion and success collide!

You know, people always say, “do what you love and success will surely follow.” Who doesn’t want to do what they love? The reality is however, being able to take that leap and assume the risk of not being able to make ends meet doing what you love, often times holds people back. And, rightly so. The truest thing I can attest to is that working hard – I mean really hard and pursuing what you want to do or really enjoy doing should pay off eventually – but it definitely takes time. Be prepared to live on the lean side and make many concessions until you reach a point where you can actually make a living (or part of your living, as I do) doing what you are passionate about.

So, four years after I leapt into my freelance writing career and now I’m here, finally arriving at a place where I feel pretty darn great. It was a battle nevertheless to get here. Sometimes clawing my way through, along with many tears, mini-triumphs, and personal and professional toils but my hard right turn finally came this year – with acceptance of who I am and what I offer and of course, a dose of due time.

Why so giddy Jenn?

Well, there are multiple reasons. Let me start with the most recent piece of great news to come my way. After three years of being a finalist, I was awarded with a Tourism Saskatchewan Award of Excellence for Travel Media. Not only did winning this award thrill me, I’m beyond honoured to be recognized for my contributions to my home province.

It may sound like no big deal to win this award but it’s not limited to journalists from in-province, rather, it’s an international award. Over the past three years I’ve been up against international travel writers, bloggers, TV productions, film studios, a poet laureate and novelists to name a few. The caliber of talent that has been nominated for this award is impressive to say the least, so you can understand how winning it makes me feel. I’m truly over the moon.

I really hope you don’t mind this mini-celebration!

jenn smith nelson

Writing about Saskatchewan has always come easy for me. Its home and I love it. Before winning this award, I also was humbled by two other incredible awards over the past year. Most recently, my article Unplugged Prairie Escape in Saskatchewan (produced for Just for Canadian Doctors/Just for Canadian Dentists) won a North American Travel Journalists Association Bronze Prize in the Illustrated Magazine category. And, I also picked up a Travel Media Association of Canada Achievement Award in the Best Outdoors/Adventure Feature category for my article, In Saskatchewan, Bison are King.

Notice a trend here? I’ve found some success writing about home.

And, I have no plans to ever quit as there is so much here still to discover!

I have had such great support both professionally and personally so I want to take a second to thank my readers and friends all for the words of encouragement, the hugs, the dm’s and all the love I feel from so many of you. I share this success with all of you and I’m constantly inspired by my friends, colleagues and the people, places and amazing offerings of our province and beyond on a daily basis.

The awards are one thing and I am very proud. But what makes me happiest of all is the growth I’ve felt personally and within my writing over the past year or so. I’m finally starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. And professionally, I’m working with editors and publications I’ve dreamed of having working relationships with. I’m getting asked to write some wonderful pieces and am trusted to take on stories where I am able to learn a little something as well.

I’m also less afraid then I’ve ever been. I say ‘yes’ more when I feel challenged, and ‘no’ when I’m not interested. It’s a very sweet spot to be and I don’t for one moment take it for granted; not in this industry at least where things can change in the blink of an eye. Yep, I’m soaking in every fleeting second of feeling OK. I’ll admit though, turning this corner is very gratifying and it’s nice to feel assured that I can find work or it will find me.

I finally feel confident saying yes, ‘I am actually a writer,’ this is what I do. I know that may come as a surprise but my confidence even though I’ve been doing moderately well, definitely wanes time and again, which I think is normal. To be 100% truthful, there are still days where deadlines scare the crap out of me and I feel like – what have I done? Why did I say yes? But somehow, I always find a way to get it done and I’m recognizing that I’ve put my best foot forward. It’s all I can do. This feels like a remarkable feat for someone who struggles constantly with perfectionism.

Now personally speaking – LIFE IS GREAT! – Did I just yell that? Heck yes I did. I’m not going to dive into details right now but let me just say that I’m feeling very cared for and excited about the future once again.

Thanks again to all my readers and blog supporters and I’m sorry for the lapse in posting as the following few weeks have been crazy.

Want to be a guest on

I expect my summer to be much the same way as I have some amazing travel booked nearly every week from June – August. With that said I will be hosting some guest bloggers and if you think you may want to contribute, feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected]. I’d love to feature work that is a fit regarding travel and/or happiness, or showcase images or photo essays.

Cheers! xo


8 thoughts on “Happiness and hard right turns
  1. YES!!! You write so eloquently and especially about your home province.We were absolutely gobsmacked by our Saskatchewan road trip. Every Canadian oughta see ‘er! Congratulations on your recent awards. Well-deserved.

    • Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

      Thank you so much! I’m so lucky to be able to write about Saskatchewan. I wish I could even produce more, quicker, as I love telling the world about how truly wonderful this province is. Hope you come back soon for a visit. 🙂

    • Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

      Thank you Carol. Especially about the hair. 😉 All kidding aside, your ongoing words of support mean a lot to me as you are certainly someone who inspires me all the time! Hope to see you soon.

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