Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sara Taney Humphreys: Beginning Again

Life is full of beginnings. We set goals and put plans in motion to achieve those goals. However, sometimes those plans don't always to come to fruition. So what then? We make a new plan and begin again.

When I was fresh out of college I began my initial career path as an actress. I pursued that for a while. I landed a little bit of work here and there (very little). I had my mind set on doing that for the rest of my life. That was it! I was an actress. Period. End of story. Ummmm. No.

In my early twenties I married my college sweetheart. We began our married life with big plans! Definitely no kids for the first two years of our marriage. Well... about seven weeks into our marriage we discovered that we were five weeks pregnant. New plan. So we began again.

Four boys, lots of bills and several years later, I began a career as a motivational public speaker. I had no idea that I could make my living talking. As a kid my nicknames were Motormouth and Chatty Cathy, so getting paid to talk has been a perfect fit. I remember sitting at my first speaker training with Making It Count and recognizing the importance of that moment. It marked a brand new beginning. That was ten years ago and I still love public speaking. I get to do it almost every day for The College of Westchester.

However, I couldn't shake that driving need for a creative outlet. So two years ago I took the story in my head and put it on paper. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be a published author. Never. I mean... c'mon. That would've been crazy talk. Right? At the RWA conference this summer I had a moment very similar to the one I'd had ten years ago. I knew that I was at the edge of another new beginning--my career as an author.

Beginnings are exciting. They're full of promise, hope and the glorious unknown. Sometimes these beginnings stem from the most heart wrenching experiences. Sometimes they come from the simple desire for change or the unexpected bump in the road. At each point in my life when I have to begin again and come up with a new plan, one phrase always comes to mind. "While we make plans God laughs." (He/She has been polite enough not laugh too loudly.)

So I'll enjoy this new beginning and welcome what's to come with an open mind, heart and spirit.

How about you? Have you ever had one of those "ah-ha" moments?

17 comments:

  1. My father was so excited about my writing and knew beyond a doubt I'd be a published author. And then he suddenly died from a fast-acting cancer, and I couldn't write a word. All I could think about was his life and how rich and full and death-defying it had been.

    I finally sat down at my computer and with tears rolling down my cheeks, wrote about his 13th mission over Germany where he was shot down and became a POW for 16 months. It was published in the Ex-Prisoner of War Bulletin--and I received fan mail from a man in Belgium who had been a boy at the time and thanked my father for coming to free his country, and me for sharing his story, and I received heartfelt fan mail from other ex-POW's.

    He was right. I would become a published author. Once I shared his remarkable story. After that, I never set my "pen" down again. :)

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  2. New beginnings, dreams, jobs, experiences, ends, joys, disappointment, etc. just pad our portfolio of fodder for characters, plots and scenes. I'd love to sit in on one of your speeches ... I'm horrible in that field!

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  3. I was typing up medical reports when I suddenly got sick of the whole thing, veered off course, and started writing a story that became "Cowboy Trouble." The minute I typed the first line, I knew I'd hit on the one thing I was supposed to do - but I never would have made it to publication without lots of help and encouragement!

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  4. It was my darling hubby who first suggested that I write my own romance.It was as if something clicked inside of me and my imagination took off.

    I use family names and my Irish heritage in my stories. Margaret Mary Flaherty, my great-grandmother, is the heroine in my first book. Her cameo (the same one that sits on my fireplace) is on the cover of The Marshal's Destiny.

    I cannot take credit for the gift of my creativity, but I work hard to continuously hone my craft so that I can share it with those who love romance as much as I do.

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  5. Your career path sounds like mine. I was going to be an opera singer, then a clinical psychologist (have degrees and everything!) then decided to be a teacher, and here I am an author and stay-at-home mom. This was definitely not my career plan, but somehow it's exactly what I should be doing.

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  6. Hi Terry-I think it's fantastic that you honored your Dad like that! I am so glad you picked up the pen again. Your werewolf series is one of my favorites.

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  7. Hi Carolyn--I'd be happy to do a mini public speaking workshop anytime! With your vibrant personality public speaking should be a piece of cake for you.

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  8. Hey Joanne--Isn't it the best when you find that passion? When it all just *clicks*. I know what you mean about having all of that support. It makes all the difference.

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  9. Hi C.H.--I love using family names too. Helen Costigan (aka Nonie) is the heroine's grandmother in Beyond Control. Helen Costigan was my great-grandmother's name. I use family names in all of my books too :)

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  10. Hi Shana--It's a great feeling to know that you're exactly where you're meant to be. Mom is the best job of all isn't it? The most exhausting...but the best.

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  11. I know exactly how you feel. Every time I say I'm not going to do something--I find myself doing it. It is what led me to the medical field..and now to writing.

    I've learned never to say never and keep looking for the unexpected!

    I must say, I do envy your ease with public speaking. That is a true gift!

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  12. Hi Sara, loved your post. For several years, I was quite certain I'd be the next Dian Fossey, hanging out with the Mountain Gorillas. Then I took college Chemistry and decided I'd tackle something a little less challenging like business management.

    My writing ah-ha moment came after reading several books where the story left me wanting something MORE. So I started researching what it would take to write a romance book. And then I began to write and I've never stopped.

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  13. I don't think anything has ever gone as planned in my life. Doesn't stop me from dreaming though. I eventually get from point A to point B, but end up visiting points Q, Z, X and * along the way. Keeps me on my toes.

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  14. Tracey--I love that you saw what you wanted and just went for it. Great stuff!

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  15. Olivia-The circuitous route is usually the most fun.

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  16. What wonderful beginning, Sara! It's interesting to know you started your creative path as an actress. And what a bonus to be a public speaker when marketing your book. I wish you all the best!

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