Life after Laker

So, I quit my job in March.stick a fork

No new job lined up. No real concrete plan. Sounds crazy, right?

Looking back, it probably was a wee bit nutty. However, I have learned a lot these past four months, and I’ve discovered some truths about my professional capabilities that are guiding me down a new career path. (More details on that in a bit. First, the revelations.)

Since leaving my job of more than a decade as editor of Smith Mountain Laker Magazine I have discovered:

  1. Professionals with strong writing and editing skills are in demand.
  2. Business owners in need of professionals with strong writing and editing skills are more accessible than ever. (Thank you, Al Gore. He created the Internet, right?)
  3. A brain filled with 20-plus years of practical knowledge about Smith Mountain Lake — people, events, business, history, real estate, recreational opportunities, etc. — is of great value.
  4. Jobs don’t have to be stressful and mired in bureaucracy but can be fun and entrepreneurial. (I actually knew this fact already, but was pleased to be reminded of it.)
  5. One can only eat so many bon bons. 🙂
Celebrated new career path – and 20th wedding anniversary! – with husband Chris on June 17.

Recipe for Success

I am so grateful it did not take long for my phone to start ringing once word got out I was available for freelance writing and editing jobs. Some of the first calls came from publishers I formerly considered the competition (so flattering!). They all wanted me to write about my area of expertise – Smith Mountain Lake.

But it wasn’t just regional publications. Lake-area business owners also were in contact to find out if I could help with various writing projects. It was enough for me to realize I just may have a recipe for success:

Take a heaping measure of knowledge and passion for the SML community, mix it with a healthy dose of honed writing and editing skills, and add a sprinkling of prowess for social media. Stir with a long list of local business contacts and personal relationships and — ta-da! — Andie has a new business opportunity simmering on the front burner.

The Big Reveal

I’m pleased to announce the creation of The Lake Writer, a business offering freelance blogging and ghost blogging, copywriting, feature writing, editing, proofreading and content marketing management primarily to businesses at Smith Mountain Lake. I say primarily because my skills extend to a variety of interests, including home and garden, sports, travel, food, books, wine, craft beer and outdoor recreation — all of which I’m happy to write about.


Lake Writer logo_web


CALL TO ACTION >>> I hope you’ll visit for complete details on how I can help your business supercharge its marketing efforts or your publication create effective stories readers (and advertisers) will love. You can also email me at

Wait, There’s More!

Smith Mountain Lake Blog
Because old habits die hard, I’ll be sharing occasional news, notes and happenings on the awesomeness that is SML on this dedicated Smith Mountain Lake Blog. There may also be some musings about other obsessions of mine, such as books, food, travel, golf, wine and craft beer. Take a peek at it here or sign up to have posts delivered automagically to your email box.

facebook screenshotFacebook Page
I’ll also be sharing cool stuff – news, entertainment schedules, photos and local events – from around Smith Mountain Lake on a new Facebook page. I would greatly appreciate some likes and shares! Click here.

Building a following @the_lake_writer on Twitter. Please join me!

Final Shout-Out
I’d like to say thanks to a few folks who have helped me sort through all this over the past few months: my husband, son, mom and dad, as well as friends and colleagues Jennifer Church, Jennifer Chaconas, Julie Harkema, Erin Raub, Brian Raub, Matt Brown and Kim Dalferes. Thanks, y’all! I truly appreciate your advice and encouragement. Cheers!

Andie Gibson
The Lake Writer

About The Author

Andie Gibson
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  1. Carol Craighead July 1, 2015

    Sounds like a great plan, Andie! I wish you great success and happiness.

  2. Stu July 2, 2015

    Awesome and congrats. Your blog sounds like a Nicholas Sparks book

  3. Kimba July 2, 2015

    SML has a new advocate, cheerleader, and all around promoting guru – YEA Andie! I see wonderful things for you and SML throughout the rest of this year and beyond.

  4. Hank Irving July 4, 2015

    Great stuff Andie. Congrats on the new endeavor. Wishing you massive success!

  5. Ravelle Whitener July 14, 2015

    Congratulations on your new venture, Andie! I’m sure it will be fun, challenging and successful. Wishing you all the best!

  6. Terri Tatarka July 20, 2015

    Awesome. I remember clearly that look you had…Hi. I just quit my job…I had just done the same and it is strange new territory to navigate. Congrats on the direction you are taking and I will do all I can in referring contacts. Mainly…because you are so very talented and well just darn likeable.


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