My professional writing journey started with a question.
I grew up a voracious reader with parents who encouraged my love of books and taught me to write. I loved creating my own stories and diving into new and fabulous worlds between the pages of books.
In high school, I started writing my own stories with a couple close friends. Eventually, I gathered the courage to try writing my own stories (which, of course, I showed only my best friend). But I still didn't think it could be anything more than a hobby.
I'D FALLEN EARLY FOR THE COMMON BELIEF THAT CREATIVE WRITERS CAN'T MAKE MONEY.
When I was 19, I attended my first writing conference with my best friend, who is also an author. I brought the first few pages of my space opera fantasy novel to a mentor appointment. With great fear and trembling, I showed it to this well-established industry author and asked for his feedback.
He flipped through my pages slowly, looked up, adjusted his glasses, and said, "So, who's publishing it?"
I was floored. I knew so many aspiring writers who said they wanted to write a book, or make a living writing, but it never came to anything. I'd never considered that my writing could ever be more than just a hobby. I came back the next year, and a well-known publisher asked for a book proposal, accepted it, and brought my novel to committee.
THE SEEDS WERE SOWN FOR MY DREAM TO WRITE A DIFFERENT ENDING TO MY STORY.
But my story, like many stories, took an unexpected turn.
The publisher considering my novel decided to stop publishing my genre. The few leads they gave me dried up. No one wanted my story.
So, I set aside my dream of making a living writing and editing fiction. I went to college, got a "sensible" degree in journalism, and started working for a local newspaper. I even helped a friend launch an indie publishing company, and self-published my co-authored romantic suspense novel.
At least I was making a living writing, I told myself. And I still have time to write fiction in my spare time. That's more than most people can say. I was prepared to settle for a life short of my destiny.
But another twist lay in store...
IN FEBRUARY 2017 I LEFT MY JOB AT A NEWSPAPER AND MOVED overseas.
I was recovering from a bad break-up, struggling with depression, and needed a change. So, when I was offered a full-time job overseeing communications for a global non-profit, I decided to take action and make a giant leap of courage.
And guess what, lady? I've found that every meaningful life change starts with that crazy step of courage.
I didn't know a soul in England, where I'd be stationed. I'd traveled overseas a handful of times, but never by myself.
For almost three years I traveled to 20+ countries all over the world writing news articles, taking photos, and producing mini-documentary films about humanitarian projects.
To say it was a stretch would be an understatement.
I was living the dream, but I knew I was meant for more.
My life looked like what I'd always wanted, but I was dying inside. I was traveling the world, taking selfies in iconic places and trying exotic foods, but I was on a plane every other week and had no real home of my own. I struggled to juggle long-distance relationships across oceans with friends, family, and my boyfriend.
I was burnt out. Lonely. Making a difference in the world, but feeling like my world was coming apart at the seams.
Yet another big change and step of courage lay before me.
I returned home. I married my incredible husband/Netflix buddy. I felt a gentle nudge in my soul, and I knew it was time.
I wanted to be my own boss.
I wanted to make a profit from my passion.
I wanted the time freedom to be there for my friends and family when they needed me most.
I wanted to encourage and equip women authors to break the creative glass ceiling and create a writing business and life they loved.
IN JANUARY 2016 I LAUNCHED MY OWN BUSINESS.
I had no money. No idea how to run a business. No clients. Just a passion for writing and determination to find a way to make my dreams a reality. Yet, through hard work, perseverance, and the generosity of a few key people, I began to get clients. I began to grow my business.
Starting a creative writing business from nothing was the hardest thing I've ever done. So many times I wanted to give up.
yet, WHAT had LOOKED LIKE AN UNWELCOME DETOUR WAS ACTUALLY A TRAINING GROUND.
During my time overseas, I learned to be a woman of true strength and wisdom. I learned to make decisions based on my own values and beliefs. I learned that "impossible" is only another word for an excuse. I learned to take action and move forward despite my fear, instead of letting it stop me. I learned that on the other side of my fears is freedom.
I pushed through my major fears of investing, and HIRED A BUSINESS COACH.
I'd stalled out in my business growth. I'd tried everything to get visible and grow my business, but kept getting crickets. I knew I had so much more I wanted to offer and accomplish, but I couldn't get there on my own. I needed help from someone who'd traveled that road before me.
But we were broke newlyweds. My husband had lost his job three months before the wedding, and was working two part-time jobs just to make the bills. How could I spend thousands of dollars on my business?
Choosing to invest in my business was one of the best - and most terrifying - decisions of my life.
I'm now visible online to my ideal audience. I have a clear business model and marketing strategy. I created an author brand that feels authentic to myself and my values. I'm meeting or exceeding my income goals every month. I've organized my business to give me a lifestyle of freedom and genuine connection.