We have all been there wishing today would be over. Waiting for our dreams, our hopes to come alive, especially when are you a mom juggling kids, work, hockey games, husband, volunteer work, and whew … I am exhausted thinking about it. We have all wanted to finish that degree, take that trip to Maui, or write that book in the midst of our busy every day lives. I’ve been there. It took me twenty years to finally finish my first novel, and by that time I had hit that magic number, age 50, and I was looking back trying to figure out where all the time had flown. I’d raised my two children and had a career in healthcare, but I had this entrenched feeling that I would not be happy until I finished writing that novel.
My little voice kept whispering, do it. Do it! But, my purse that needed a funds reimbursement daily said, no. You have to work to earn money, have a job, I told myself. You can’t sit around writing for the fun of it. I had this image of writers being broke, hungry, chasing after the next check. So I hindered myself a few more years with that negative image. I thought successful writers were the lucky ones, but they were so few that I had no chance. After all, I’d been a manager for twenty years. What would I do without a paycheck and without someone to tell what to do?
I finally decided to jump out of the boat, take a risk. Live without a paycheck. Took my funds and invested in a real estate career. Started selling houses, and boom the market fell through. Oh well. I took my injured ego back to healthcare and decided that if I went out like that again, it would be with something I knew best. I started writing a business plan for a credentialing verification organization. Was thinking about it constantly, you know the adage ‘your thoughts become things.’ One day, I went into my basement to go through some old files to find resources to help me with the business plan, and the first thing I put my hand on was an old version of my soon to be book. That’s when I fully understood, ‘having an epiphany,’ the ‘Aha’ moment as Oprah would say. I was going to finish my book.
Three months later, I was done and realized I was going to have to wait until I found an agent and then I would have to wait until the agent could convince a publishing company to put it on the market. Heck, I was 50-plus. My patience had already worn thin. After finding an editor, I decided to release it myself. I did and I was so proud when the Print-on-Demand publisher I used sent me my first copy of Dreams Thrown Away.
Now, I had the bug and as I look back I had it bad. I went back to my computer and began number two, but life started getting in the way again. I went from one demanding project to another. Couldn’t blame children or husband for distractions anymore, it was all corporate employment demands that filled every minute. And then, I had another epiphany. If I can work long hours for them, I can do it for me. I finished the second novel, a sequel. Decided to rename and re-release the first and went for it. I still have time challenges, but it doesn’t matter. I am in my season. Writing brings me joy whether I earn a penny or a million. I wouldn’t change the time spent on it, even if I could.
But, here’s the kicker. I have no regrets about all the paths I have traveled before getting to this season. Every minute of life is valuable and contributes to the better life ahead. So don’t sweat about your current season, another one is coming.