I always have good intentions when I begin a new thing. But there comes a point when you have to step back and gain some perspective on where you are in life and where you’re going. And like many others out there, 2020 dealt more than a few blows for me to deal with. I was dealing with writer’s block and trying to keep myself motivated to show up and write. Just when I was starting to get back into the groove, crippling self-doubt decided to show up. That caused me to think about what I was doing with my life. And I decided that it was time to change trajectory a bit.
I didn’t want to stop writing entirely. I love it too much to ever give it up entirely. Yet, I am not the marketing guru that many successful authors are. Frankly, I’m not the social butterfly and I don’t have the self-confidence to think that anyone really cares to hear what I have to say. So I’m a social media flop really. And apparently, it takes quite a bit of social savvy to make a writing career prosperous. I love creating characters, giving a little escape from the mundane (which I think we can all agree is needed right now), and even creating a story that people take something away from. I even love helping people to do just that. So, it stood to reason that I began to question how I could take my passion for stories and turn it into something that could sustain me financially.
In April I was laid off thanks to Covid-19. It took far too long to get on unemployment because, at first, it seemed like it would only be for a couple of weeks. Then it was extended further and by the time I was told to file by the agency I was working for, the websites were so bogged down that it took weeks to even get an application for it put in. In the meantime, I’d made applications concerning financial aid and returning to school. As it turned out, I was able to do just that. So, I enrolled at Western Governors University in their Education Program to complete my B.A.
Life is a journey though. And starting school at 41 years old seemed a little crazy to me. It’s a total career change from the office work and customer service work I’ve done in the past. Change is necessary though when you find a purpose and a goal that you feel is worth pursuing. Helping people find a love of story and perhaps pursue writing themselves is a worthwhile goal. And I know it’s not an overnight career either to get to my ultimate goal, but I can start by working with young children helping them find adventures between the covers of books that inspire them. Eventually, though, I want to teach others to write as well. Help aspiring novelists find their own voices, create characters, and twist a plot that keeps readers coming back for more.
I did a great deal of soul searching in this process. I looked at options. I thought about throwing in the towel with my books. They don’t seem to be getting any traction really. I realized that writing for the money wouldn’t make me happy. I’m not aiming to be the New York Times Bestseller. I want to be comfortable, just like everyone else, of course. That doesn’t always mean big houses, fancy cars, or lavish vacations.
At 41 and being single, I’ve made my peace with the idea that I’ll never have a family of my own. At least, it won’t be kids running around my feet. I’m likely to have a small herd of pups at some point though. I don’t even know that I’ll meet anyone to share my life with. I love kids though. And I remember how much I was influenced by amazing teachers throughout my education. I remember seeing first hand the impact a teacher can make in a community when my Great Grandmother passed away when I was young. I couldn’t even give you a number on how many former students came to pay respects. It’s a legacy of caring and generosity that she left behind. Maybe they weren’t able to pinpoint specific things that she taught them, but they never forget how she cared and tried to teach them well. I’m a part of that legacy and I want to carry it on in my own way.
So, I started the journey to getting that degree and being in a classroom of my own. I took time away from writing to adjust to academic life again. In a way, I’m glad that I’ve been out of work like this. It’s given me a chance to find a purpose again and start fresh.
I don’t want to stop creating though. But it’s time for something fresh and new to add to my catalog. Something that will showcase the progress in my writing and maybe attract a new audience.
I pulled out a partial manuscript that I was playing with before. Fresh characters, set primarily in East Texas, and with a supernatural mystery that is challenging on many levels. The concept is sound and I’m excited to get back to work on it as I await my next term to start.
Oh, that’s right, I completed a full term of my studies so far. So, we’re well on our way to that degree. And I found a new local coffee spot to make my little home away from home to work on this project. That’s promising for me. To go with it are new horizons for social interaction, putting down some roots in this community, and new attitudes for me.
For those of you who have stuck around through all my ups, downs, and lack of posts; thank you for being here and reading. I hope to be more consistent, but I make no guarantees. This is a journey worth sharing though. I hope to do just that.