I Live in New Jersey
I was a meeting planner and special events coordinator. The next trip on my corporate itinerary was a meeting I planned in Alaska. I live in New Jersey. Going to Alaska was part of my job description. In fact, it was the biggest part of my job description. Did I mention I live in New Jersey? Traveling to places like Florida, Arizona and Illinois were also part of my job. A job I loved when I first started; a job that allowed me to visit 42 of our 50 states. It was also a job from which I took three maternity leaves. And each time I returned to my job, the traveling got harder. But somehow, I could always rationalize it when I was traveling within the Continental United States. If anyone at home needed me, I could be there in the same day. But Alaska? It felt so far away! I began to panic about leaving my three young children. Where? You guessed it. In New Jersey.
This far away trip was weighing on me and began to show up in my dreams. It was in a dream I told my boss I couldn't go to Alaska. He called me a big baby. He told me to suck it up. He told me it was my job. In my dream, at the top of my lungs, I shouted a few profanities at my boss, before uttering the words, "I quit." I related the dream to my husband the next morning, and ever the funny man, he said, "What do you think it means?"
A Writing Life
I'll tell you what it means. I got my corporate contacts in order, put the word out to the professionals I knew and left my job as a meeting planner/special events coordinator on extraordinarily good terms. And so, before ever having to take the trip to Alaska, I took the leap to start my own freelance writing business. Writing was a big part of my job description, and my favorite part at that. Instead of writing for one company, I could write for many by reinventing myself. While seemingly more risky, I was happier to be home with my kids and writing at my computer than traveling. I write freelance for various corporate clients and in 2009 added another arm to my business: Publisher.
My true passion is creative writing. In 2009 I self-published the children's book I both wrote and illustrated titled Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies -- Where Healthy Eating Starts with a Poem. Pardon the pun, but I truly believed the time was ripe for this book. And it seems I wasn't alone. My company took a chance on an unknown author -- me. I am thrilled to say the book is in its second printing.
In 2012 with the help of e-publishing and a "sign" (which is a blog for another day), I took one more chance on me and self-published my first novel, This Moment. The experience has been humbling and the feedback exhilarating: "A beautiful piece of women's fiction." (Candy Beauchamp, Top 1,000 Amazon Reviewer)
Take the First Step
If I never took that first step toward reinvention, the one where I put my corporate contacts in order and started my own business, I don't think I would have had the time or courage to publish my books. The bottom line is, I love to write: poetry, fiction, non-fiction. And I still write for corporate clients upon request.
Sometimes, you have to go where life takes you... unless, of course, it is to Alaska on business. Because when life takes me to Alaska, I'm taking my family with me.