Monday, December 17, 2007

Freedom!

I realized while college hunting with my daughter this past fall that I'd allowed my life to fall into a vicious circle of survival. As I encouraged and urged my child to reach for the stars, follow her dreams, pursue a career she'll love -- it occurred to me that I wasn't much of an example. Oh yes, I am published. This is a dream. I am grateful. Yet I was spending five days a week in an over-the-top stressful job and using my weekends to recoup from the damage the stress had created on my psyche.

I thought long and hard. Because of the aforesaid college-hunt, it's obvious my income is very important and quitting was not an option. So how to fix this current dilemma? I stepped outside the box. I answered an advertisement for a paralegal in an area of law that I wouldn't exactly classify myself as an expert in -- actually, novice would be an apt description. I wrote a great cover letter that showed my intelligence (I hope), flexibility and commitment to learn the new. Then I forgot all about answering the ad and continued on my very unhealthy and mentally excruciating existing career.

A week or two later, I received a telephone call requesting an interview. Gobbersmacked would be an understatement. To make a long story short, I have this new job. It's package-perfect for me. Stress has been eliminated. Writing is now fresh and unfettered. And I feel that I finally achieved what I can only dream of for my daughter.

My holiday wish for all is that you, too, can find that perfect blend of income, goals, dreams and reality. It's an unbelievably wonderful feeling.

On the writing end of the scale -- I'm soaring. Four very different projects are being written simultaneously. I'm not certain why I'm writing this way. I never have in the past. But it seems to be working and the pages are adding up. I'm writing my next commercial fiction for submission to Medallion, a second book in my Dragon Dancer series, a young adult (which is an amazing experience) and a chick-litty type piece that's really just for me and will probably never be submitted anywhere. It's a little bit of cathartic release about my mixed up emotions regarding my mother's decline in life through early onset Alzheimer's. My main character is a bit wacky and I'm having fun with her.

RIP Dan Fogelberg.

2 comments:

Liz Wolfe said...

Hi Julie!
Isn't it strange how your writing methods grow and change? I've always been a plotter, working from an outline. But the current WIP is resisting my efforts to plan ahead and just kind of pouring out. It's also a completely new genre for me. Maybe that's why.

I didn't realize that Dan Fogelberg had passed. How sad.

Cathy said...

So very happy you've found a day job that doesn't interfere with your writing time- that's rare! Congrats!