This summer I realized that it was time to
stop saying and start doing. I was walking out of a meeting in Tacoma, WA, and I felt something leave my insides and float away to who knows where. I don't believe that a force beyond my world made a special visit that day. Rather, I think I knew it was time to breathe, make a plan, and move on it.
I freelanced as a writer for almost five years. I learned a lot about many subjects through research and enjoyed that part of the job. I loved that my brain was getting a vigorous workout, and I loved being part of conversations regarding subjects like online training for physician specialists, globalization, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, even Alexa, Amazon's "Jarvis" for Tony Stark in the Ironman series. That was before it went on sale to non-Prime members.
I was also privy to several gigs as a ghostwriter of romance stories for 18-24 year-old-female readers. Romance was the code for an erotic tale that wasn't too kinky and always included birth control. The first few were fun; my family and I would laugh at the "research" regarding the subjects I'd rather not mention. When the "romance" began including vampires, shape-shifting, step-sibling affairs and other bizarre subjects, I gave up my stint as Danielle Steel and stuck with non-fiction.
Around the end of my ghostwriting days, I began working as a teacher with English-speaking Chinese students. The online small group classes have me waking at 2:00 a.m. two days a week; however, the students are wonderful. I'm teaching public speaking, reading, and writing. The odd time frame is well-worth it. I have learned as much from them as they have from the course. But that's another blog.
I slowly ended my freelancing work because there comes a point when even I got tired of the low paying jobs and the company's 20% off the top. My last job was to research how to succeed as a translator. I worked for 20 hours and was paid $24. I read an article about the pitfalls of working for a freelancing company and the lack of advancement and the insulting low wages. Thanks, client whose name I forget.
So back to the plan. I had written most of Midwest Secrets, had shared it with my mom and a friend I knew could be critical. I got some useful feedback but when I read my work, I knew it wasn't "finished." I had read Stephen King's On Writing and used his suggestion to take a class. I enrolled in a one month CEU fiction writing course at a local college. The class was helpful, but more importantly, put me on a path to publish by December 1, 2017. My goals were to have my website live on October 1, 2017. Did it. I joined a networking group and set a goal to leave the box at home, meet as many people as I could, sit in a different seat every week, listen and learn about insurance, banking, real estate, investing, and more. Not only is the meeting informative, it's fun. The waiter knows my order and has my Diet Coke for me when I sit down!
I was updating my social media sites, and someone from the networking group posted: "What's your word for 2018?" My children's dad is a master landscaper. We lived in four different homes together, and he did all the landscaping for three of them He would say that plants take three years before they really become part of the landscape. They sleep (year one), creep (year 2), and leap (year 3). Well, that is how I feel about my publishing adventure. I didn't want to say my word was creep. Too many other connotations. So, my word for 2018 is blossom. And next year, I will be blossoming even more as my writing begins to leap into more and more hands and hearts and souls.