Saturday, September 4, 2010

I love my job!

It's almost Labor Day and I'm celebrating my wonderful job and the opportunity to follow my dream. Being a full-time writer was a dream of mine for a long time. I don't know how long exactly, because for a while it was a 'secret dream' and maybe even a secret from myself!

I loved creative writing in high school. I should have realized it then, but I didn't. Having been a creative soul all my life, I felt the need for a creative outlet especially when I found myself in a very uncreative career...nursing. It put food on the table and allowed me to pay my rent when I was a single mom, but there were days I thought I'd explode if I didn't "make" something. A painting, a craft project, anything!

When I married my terrific husband, I switched to the night shift so I could take a screen writing course at the local state college during the day. I wrote a few romantic comedy screenplays that never saw a screen other than my computer monitor! But I learned lots! One thing I learned about myself was how happy creating stories made me. My husband saw it too.

When the opportunity to write full time presented itself (an inheritence) I made a deal with my hubby. If I paid off the mortgage, he'd pay the regular bills and we'd call it even. And I'd give my dream a shot. I knew my folks would want me to.

At first he saw it as a pipe dream. He gave me one year to get published. A year? I told him that was impossible and let him know what he could do with his year! Well, I set about doing the impossible anyway and went after it like a mad-woman. While writing the book of my heart, I adapted one of my more commercially viable screenplays to novel format. Guess what? One year to the weekend of his ultimatum, I received an offer! Woo Hoo! Take that, hubby! It was from an e-pub, but he never specified. LOL

Now he's on-board completely. In fact, he's one of my biggest fans. I wish I could celebrate my recent successes with my family of origin, but in lieu of that, I have extended family--cousins and one uncle. So, I'm celebrating with them. Tomorrow they're all coming to my home for a reunion. I can't wait to truck out my paperbacks and say, "See what I made?"

14 comments:

  1. LOL, Ash, about being epubbed first and making the deadline! I love it! But you're right. Published is published! I'm like you and have to be doing something creative! That's what makes me feel self actualized! Have a great Labor Day weekend! :)

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  2. Loved it, Ash!

    I understand about needing to make something. Although I had written forever, I didn't turn to it seriously--like not playing around, I'm going to make something--until I could no longer paint.

    Congratulations on achieving the job of your dreams! A perfect way to celebrate Labor Day.

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  3. Why couldn't you paint anymore MM? I 'can't' either, but it's just because I feel blocked in that area and don't want to create something mediocre.

    Ash

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  4. Wow - publishing in a year is amazing! Good for you! Someday I would love to be writing full time too!

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  5. Hmm... my mortgage is paid off, too, thanks to an inheritance, but my DH is such a nervous Nellie he can't even think about me giving up the nursing biz to write full time.
    When I actively started writing with an eye toward publishing, it took me two years. It might have come sooner, but SB wasn't publishing romance then!

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  6. a year. two years. I'm jealous. It took me 4 years. And I just went back to the day job after being unemployed for 2 years.

    I need an inheritance. :)

    I love how supportive Hubs is, Ash! And I esp. love the one year! Good for you!!!

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  7. If anyone wants to pay off my mortgage, I'd appreciate it! How wonderful to be able to write full time. Actually, I do write full time, and work at a day job full time and occasionally catch an hour of sleep and do a load of laundry. I'd gladly give up the day job if I could afford it. You are living the dream, Ashlyn! Major congratulations!

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  8. Ash, you are just so fortunate. But of course, he obviously knows great talent when he sees it. *wink* So, is he the hero in all your stories?

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  9. My day job is the three kids special needs kids, always has been. I write around them and so far, it's working. I'd love to find out a long lost rich relative has left me enough to pay off the mortgage but I don't see that happening.

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  10. Great story. I love loop holes. One year! It took me just under four years to get published, from the day I plopped my butt in the chair and typed the first word until Deb offered to buy my story. I write full time, thanks to a very supportive hubby, but our house is too small and we've spent way too much money, creating a financial strain. I've considered going back to work.

    I'm with you. I should've realized I was meant to be a writer long before I started writing.

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  11. All of you who were published in under 5 years are way ahead of the norm! I heard it's usually 5 years or more. (But that's traditional publishing.) If I were going by when I got my Sourcebooks contract, I'd be right on the money.

    Desiree, my hubby is absolutly my hero. I dedicated Strange Neighbors to him and said, "Yup, these great heroes are real, folks, and I'm so glad I got one.

    Ash

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  12. Hey, I'm actually normal for a change! It took me about five years to get published once I started writing fiction, but I feel like I prepared for it all my life by reading so much and working in bookselling. I wish I'd caught on and started writing my own books a lot sooner. I agree about the creative urge - if you need to "make something," you have to do it or you're miserable!

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  13. It took me 20 years after college to find the guts to try to write a novel. Deb bought that novel and two others (not yet written) about a year ago, and TASTE ME will be on the shelf early next spring.

    I dream of being able to write full time. Can't do it yet, alas!

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  14. It's so important to have the support of your significant other in this business, Ash. We are both lucky girls. :}

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