Thursday, February 23, 2017

Don't Quit Your Day Job

I don't think it's an uncommon desire to be paid for doing what you love. Whether it's making a living from your writing, painting, singing, acting, running, playing sports, watching tv, reading, or some other passion or hobby. I think we all wish we could be paid to pursue our hobbies or passions. Between law school and my first job as an attorney, while I waited for by bar exam results I was underemployed for just over three months. I worked as a receptionist at a student health center at a local university. In that time I spent most of my free time (when not applying for jobs) writing and working on My Not So Normal Life. That time was challenging, but it was nice to have large chunks of time for writing, reading, and editing. Working a full-time job, with a long commute doesn't always allow me all the time I'd like to devote to writing.

My sister recently reminded me that few authors actually are able to live solely from their writing and have jobs to supplements their income. So, as much as I would love to quit my job and be a writer full-time, working in different cafes, I still have student loans, house payments, and groceries to buy.

I hope my readers are either currently being paid to pursue their passion. Or hopefully, it'll happen for you one day. As for me, I will continue to find moments in my train commute and lunch break to write.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentine's Day

This past Tuesday was Valentine's Day. David and I celebrated by having dinner at Cracker Barrel and watching 30 Rock on Netflix, real fancy, I know. We generally have very low key Valentine's Day celebrations. Really, most of our relationship is very low key. Looking at Facebook, I found pictures of my friends indulging in fancy meals, or out of the ordinary activities. I believe there is no "right" way to celebrate your relationships and that the activities should be tailored to fit the couple. I also believe the notion that all love should be expressed passionately is wrong.

In Sense and Sensibility, Marianne believes love should be passionate. She cannot understand and is almost repulsed by the thought of a "calm" love. She eventually learns that love doesn't have to be drama filled. In the episode "1 in 8,000" of Parks and Rec, Ron Swanson advises Donna Meagle, who is worried about being a boring couple "Don't confuse drama with happiness." In the episode "The Tuxedo Begins" of 30 Rock, Jenna and her boyfriend Paul discover that acting normal in their relationship isn't as abhorrent as they expected.

No, these plot lines are not as sexy as Fifty Shades of Gray. If that is the type of love or romance you seek, that's fine. But for me, the love Marianne, Donna Meagle, and Jenna and Paul discover is more preferable than any love you'll find in a romance book.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Finding Writers

As I have gotten more confidence I have begun to talk more about my books. In the past, I would hide the fact I was an author. Usually mumbling something about it to very close family and friends. I was embarrassed that people would think my idea was stupid. I worried that my co-workers/bosses would think that I wasn't serious about work if they knew I had outside interests. (This one I know is pretty dumb, but I began my career during the recession and had the idea that I was replaceable drilled into my head. That work mentality made me think that I had to act as a lawyer-drone, someone who put work before everything else.)

Slowly, I have moved away from being shy about talking about my books and I learned something: there are writers everywhere. I have found a community of writers on Twitter. Friends of friends, work acquaintances, family members, all talk about the book they have written or want to write. I love talking to people about the projects they are working on or want to work on. I love to encourage them to write and publish.

Last week, I mentioned I had experience self-publishing books with a woman in another department at my office. She asked me if I had instructions on how to self-publish on Amazon because she had a book she wanted to self-publish but didn't know how. Being a publishing author was always a dream of mine and to give someone the tools to make their dream come true made me feel like amazing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Checking In

I am truly blessed to be surrounded by an amazing support system. Between my family, David's family, and my friends I know I have many people cheering me on. A few weeks ago I received a text message from one of my uncles. It was a simple message: "you still got me in your corner." 2017 has started out more hectic than I had planned and there have been more setbacks than I anticipated. But it is always nice to have someone say they are in your corner.
"Life moves really fast." And yes, Ferris Bueller was right that you should take a moment to stop and look around. But you should also take a moment to tell someone that you're there for them. You never know the type of day they are having, a simple message just to say I'm in your corner and I love you may make all the difference.