It all began when I lost my job. I’ll call it Store, a major corporate retail department store where dreams go to die. But Store isn’t important here. It was a means to an end, something to pay the bills, like most jobs. It wasn’t all bad though. At Store, I learned about sales and marketing, the skills of which I applied to…
Losing my job was a godsend. Finally, my chance to follow my dream of becoming Ms. Big Shot Author! I would send out query letters to literary agents, get them to read (and love) my novel, and that would be that. Easy peasy.
Turns out, it is extremely hard. Lots and lots and lots of hard work, not the I-work-eighty-hours-a-week sort of hard work, more like I-have-to-write-research-and-prepare-and-have-the-patience-and-perseverance-of-a-saint sort of hard work.
I faced various conundrums…
Will I be able to afford to wait for this dream of mine to come to pass? After all, I have bills to pay, responsibilities to attend to (thank God I’m not married with children, though my mother would disagree with that), and a thankless and frowning society to please. I wouldn’t want to be just another delusional person waiting for the impossible to happen, am I right? Am I right?
I wrote my novel three years ago. Then I put it away, revised it, put it away again, then I revised it some more. I did what Stephen King and scores of other authors have advised. Revise, revise, revise. Store away, store away, store away. Seek a professional editor. Attend conferences and groups. I’ve played by the rules. And now, my manuscript is tied up in a neat pink bow, ready for prime time. And then I wrote another novel. Then another one. I wanted to keep practicing, find my voice. Find my story. And then I found it. I have written the manuscript version of The One.
And then more hard work.
I faced many obstacles. I call them “emotional obstacles.” I was my own worst enemy. I went through some tried and true periods, with some impressive level of success, but I cannot discuss any of it here. I made some hard decisions. And then I got over it. I just kept at it. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it right. I now work in education, but that isn’t it for me. I am also a writer. I will continue to push for that.
I am being shopped around. Too early to say what will happen next, but things are going well, and I cannot discuss it anyway. Needless to say, I wanted to be my boss, be in charge of my own professional destiny, write wonderful novels, head out of my pretty brownstone and walk to the nearest café, start a new day and a new chapter (not metaphorically, as in literally start a new book chapter). Things are happening. I am more than halfway there, and this makes me happy. I have an awesome agent that’s kickass and driven.
All I can say is, thank you, Store, for pressuring me into doing something stupid, and then firing me. You do build careers… for those fortunate and brave enough to leave you.