Let me tell you a story…
As an author, I’m used to telling stories about the characters in books, intrepid heroes and heroines who leave the world they know for far off adventures, only to find that they are changed tremendously along the way.
That happened to me, too.
My story isn’t so unusual. I grew up knowing I wanted to be a writer, but also knowing I wanted the security I didn’t have after my father died unexpectedly when I was in my teens. I wasn’t about to be a starving artist in a garret, no matter how much I wanted to write novels for a living.
And so, I didn’t. I went to college, got a job in corporate communications and worked up to the VP level. Instead of writing books, I wrote advertising copy, branding decks, website content, and blogs (so many blogs). And on the side, in the fringes of time I carved out early in the morning, I wrote stories. I joined writing groups, I entered contests–eventually winning a few. I queried agents and publishers and got some interest… and then I won a national contest at the same time the start-up I’d helped get off the ground ended up being sold. I was laid off with a year’s(!) severance and I had a bright new shiny writing award.
I. Had. Made it.
I was going to be a full time author. I was going to sell the book that had won the award, begin a writing career, and write books for the rest of my life.
But the truth was…I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t done the work. I hadn’t prepared myself mentally, physically or emotionally for life as a creative entrepreneur. I had no safety net (I was single, without nearby family), and I had no PLAN. I just had a year’s worth of money in the bank, and a vague expectation about what the Universe owed me.
That didn’t work out so well.
At the end of my Year of Becoming a Writer, in 2009, I returned to full-time work. Great work–even fun work. But not the work of my dreams. I still wanted to be an author, but I hadn’t made the most of the Universe’s precious opportunity. I was crushed…but also resolved.
If my chance ever came around again, I would be smarter. I’d put in the work, I’d make the connections, I’d learn everything I needed to know. I’d succeed.
Fast forward to today, and even writing that line makes me smile. Because though I’ve reached my goals and then some, the truth is, there are always new horizons to explore. There’s no perfect path, no completely right way to do anything. In my extraordinary flight as a full-time author, I’ve soared beyond all reasonable expectations…and I’ve plummeted with breathtaking speed, only to course correct and level out, and start the process all over again. I’ve learned what works for the market, what works for me, and how BOTH answers are critical for long-term success. And I’ve realized what’s really important to me as an author and as a creative entrepreneur.
It’s scary. It’s a story that keeps changing, chapter by chapter. But it’s a story worth living, unlike what I was doing before. A story that feeds my heart and soul.
What about you?
In the coming months, I’ll be creating an advanced program to help people make a similar shift to a life less ordinary. This program will be by-application only, because I know the tragedy of trying and failing simply because you’re not quite ready. But if you believe you are ready to make this shift, and you want to be considered for the special entry cohort for a limited-time cost, email me to get on my mailing list. Zero pressure, because this is the life of your dreams–I know you’ll get there. I’d just like to help a few of you get there a bit faster. 💜
Want to learn more?