More than three years ago, I left the corporate newspaper world to follow my dream of becoming a published author.
My first project was to share my story of getting out of debt and saving money. I self-published The Hybrid Homemaker, which details how and why I left what most considered a decent-paying, respected position at the Green Bay newspaper.
In the years that followed, I wrote and polished two YA novels.
- THE CHANNELS – First draft completed during NaNoWriMo 2010.
- ARROWS – First draft began in October 2012. First query sent on July 2, 2013.
And a few picture book manuscripts, too.
I traveled to the SCBWI international conference in Los Angeles; this year, I’m going again.
Three years ago, my life changed in a big way, and within those years, I changed, too.
What life taught me.
- Trust in abundance. Was is scary to give up one of our family’s main sources of income? Yes! The recession hit. People all around me were losing their jobs, not so “spoiled” as me to just “give one up.” Mr. Right and I had taken a leap of faith, and looking back, I can see that trusting in abundance – trusting in what was right for our family – was one of the best decisions we ever made.
- Listen to what life is trying to tell you. Five years ago, I was experiencing burnout. Life was overwhelming, and I knew that. I knew me. My decision to simplify so I could do what I love seemed crazy to some, but then I remembered, this is your life. Live it well and …
- Work hard. Writing a novel is more than typing out 65,000 words. It’s revision. Query letters. Pitch contests. Beta readers. Getting up everyday and doing it. Explaining to loved ones who don’t understand publishing why it’s taking so long. And more revision. I’ve learned you have to work hard for what you want in life, and if you don’t have it yet, work harder. Maybe you have a simpler dream than me, and that’s okay. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing, “I’m living my dream.”
- Try again. My life isn’t perfect. Our family has good days and bad, my writing career highs and lows. But every day is a new chance to try. Seize it.
The regrets …
Photo by Makena G