I was chatting to a woman I met at a party and I asked what she did for a living. She was in medical equipment sales and her voice became low and sorrowful adding, “I will probably do this the rest of my life.” What was she lamenting? I looked at her and said, “Never predict your future!”
Writing had always been that “thing” out there that I believed was for someone else. I was a “business woman.” Who did I think I was writing a novel? I had stories to tell, but didn’t everyone? As my family fell asleep–even the dog–I put my fingers to work and finished my first novel, then my second, and now my third. I have written articles, a collection of short stories, blogs, and even a series of poetry that could fill two books. I succeeded at something I had always wanted but never thought I could do… become something different–a writer.
I have been fortunate to surround myself with people who have reinvented themselves in their careers. Some because they’ve had to, others because they’ve wanted to. But the point is, life is not stagnant if you don’t want it to be. I have reinvented my career many times: marketing director, corporate sales, mother, garden designer, interior designer, and now, writer. I put myself out there, not knowing if I could do any of it. I had fear, reservations, insecurities. Who wouldn’t? But as I took on the challenges of career changes, I discovered a broader sense of who I am, what makes me tick, and what I am capable of.
After querying my first novel I realized I was one, little, tiny speck in the sea of sand that falls at the feet of agents and publishers. After years of writing and re-writing, critiques, failed submissions and hundreds of rejections (Yes, you read that number right!) I asked myself, “What the hell am I doing?” I panic I will never be good enough, published, read, or noticed. I worry someone will judge me as a loser. I may fail miserably! Then I sit back and realize, at least I’m trying!
Despite what others may think, or laugh at, they will not be with me at the last breaths of my life when I say, “Did I do all I thought was possible?” I won’t predict my answer to the question just yet. Each day brings something new and challenges me. There are so many things I wish I could have done, should have done in the past; things that make you question yourself. For writing, I will not have regrets!
PERSPECTIVES OF SUCCESS
You never know how your life will turn, where it will take you, or what you are capable of. But what you must never do is think you cannot change your life or do what you really want to do. I do not regret that I moved into different areas and tried different things. I have loved the challenges and realize that I am capable of more than I had planned on. Have I been highly successful? Well, maybe not the way my husband would like–he would like to retire early on the wings of my success! (Sorry Honey!) But I took chances and that is a lot more than most people can say. For that I am successful!
I hope the woman I met listened to my words and they gave her hope to realize that she has more in her than she thought was possible. Stagnation is only a rest stop, not the end of the journey. Don’t let fear stop you!