The world (maybe the old world) tells us that we are not allowed to have two careers ~ that we have to define who we are, with a singular thought; give our all to building our brand; stay loyal to one industry; then, slowly, climb that corporate ladder until we’ve achieved a thirty year resume of impressive, award winning accolades.
Then retire with a big shebang, move to Myrtle Beach, drive a golf cart, then become a lady who lunches at the club over mixed drinks.
Not a single drop of that describes the life I’ve lived. It does describe the majority of people I had all around me the majority of my adulthood.
I went rogue a long time ago.
I attribute this to the karen crisis. All these middle aged women are only just coming out of their Xanex induced comas to discover that they are humans, far beyond what others expect of them.
Living the life not meant for us, but expected by others is torture.
If you have the desire to write ~ write.
Currently flipping that switch back on. I finished a full novel in 2006 ~ my first.
I entered it in a contest with a large organization. When we do that (did that), it got shopped out to six judges who were also writers.
It came back as an “eh!” at best. Fair. I got two rejections, then gave up.
ONLY TWO! Then, I read Stephen King’s On Writing ~ still my favorite Writers on Writing book if you are shopping for one. There are others.
The people in my personal life all laughed. They all belittled and devalued the writing career possibilities. I took it personally.
I welcomed that bullshit lack of support into my brain house, then served it tea.
It didn’t occur to me for two decades to get rid of them, and get some new, more encouraging people ~ my tribe was long distance ~ I still haven’t fully met them.
Online served my need for writing buddies ~ sort of. At least they were speaking the language I thought I had made up. Stuff like,
“Are you a plotter or a panster”
“Do you dream about writing? Are you writing while waiting on line? Do you stare out the window, imaging worlds that nobody else can see?”
I’m a natural born day dreamer, but told my whole life that it’s not practical.
Of course, I was already past my traditional 21-55 age before I decided to go for it.
A friend died. It woke me up. Then, another. And another. Three more announced their struggle with cancer.
Have we woken up to doing everything we can to pursue the love of what we do yet?
This past year was screaming at us to get the fuck up and start running like fire to the thing that we dream of, even when we’re asleep in our daily lives.
So here I am. Writing.
The transition is giving me anxiety ~ it’s a good thing that boring day job of mine also helps people to heal from anxiety.
Know who makes the BEST rehab/addiction counselors? People who have been there. Know why? They have a nuanced, fine tuned sense of each stage of the journey of recovery.
Know who makes the BEST career advisor? It’s not the young college student turned career counselor who never actually worked outside of their chosen field. Nope.
It’s the person who has failed. The person who no longer gets debilitating self doubt when they receive the rejections. The person who has tried on a few hats in various industries to fully know what they do not want to do.
That’s part of living our best ([in my case, writing] life.
Knowing what we DON’T want as much as we know what we DO want.
Reading is part of writing.
Researching is part of writing.
Shit~ I took every last class and then some of a doctorate, which required 40-page papers x2 in almost every one. I was already writing.
Who are these non-writers to tell us what a writing career is and more importantly, WHY are we listening to them.
Give the world the gift of your writing ~ Take what you need to make it succeed.