I left my job at the end of August 2016 for several reasons.
The main one was that I was burned out. Six years in and I couldn’t take another step forward. I was up for a big promotion and I knew in my gut I didn’t want it. I was exhausted by the mere idea of it. I knew that if I took it, I’d be there for at least another two years, which seemed gut-wrenchingly unfathomable to me at the time.
So I needed to think of what the alternative was.
The problem with being burned out is that you don’t have much energy to think (let alone job search).
But, as often happens when there is a major fork-in-the-road, I made the time to soul search. And I knew that if I was going to leave my job - one that I did love, but just couldn’t do anymore - then I had to leave it for something that fed my whole being. Top to bottom. That got me up in the morning. That replenished me.
The only answer that came to me was to write. Because, the root of all of my jobs has been writing. I love books. I love stories. I love writing. I love it when words flow. I knew that the only thing I really wanted to do was to finally finish the book I’ve been on-and-off serious about since 2011. To learn about the industry. To figure out if I could make it a career. To have a schedule flexible enough that I could network, learn, expand.
So, with whatever energy I had, I leapt.
And I’m so glad I did.
Like a new parent does with a baby, I’ve been tracking things week-by-week. And I’ve been cataloguing accomplishments, big and small. Since August, I’ve devoted 16 weeks to my new writing career. Some days I’ve felt it in my bones that I made the right decision. Some days I have felt soul-crushing futility and have found myself searching the job boards again.
Most of the time though, I’ve just been taking it day by day.
I won’t outline all my detailed notes here, but I thought it would be good to start 2017 off with a brief list of what I’ve accomplished so far, and a list of what I hope is to come. Thank you for tolerating this self-indulgent post, aimed at inspiring me more than anyone else to keep going, but I do hope others will find it motivating as well.
So, here we go…
In 16 weeks I…
And on a personal note, I’ve…
All of this is to say - I’ve been giving it my all. And even on the days when I feel like nothing has happened, I have to fight my self-deprecating instincts to admit that so much has.
Am I a published author yet? No. But, my editor has my book and that’s pretty great.
Do I know if I’ll be able to make this my career yet? No. But it won’t be for lack of trying.
Do I know what 2017 will bring? No. But, whatever it is, it will be based on informed choices, and you can’t ask for more than that.
So, what are my 2017 goals?
I honestly do not know where 2017 will go. Maybe I’ll be back at a traditional job by spring. If that happens, will I be disappointed? Absolutely not. Why? Because, no matter what my day job is, I am a writer. I’m a writer and there’s no changing that. It’s in me. It’s in my blood. I have story upon story that I want to tell. I can’t wait for you all to read them!
Thank you for all your love and support. XOXO.
1/2/2017 03:27:34 pm
You are so inspiring!!! Please keep up the great work and I look forward to reading your book!!
1/2/2017 06:32:48 pm
I so admire you for doing this Kelly. It was something I dreamed of doing many times during my career but just didn't have the courage to take the risk. Now I am trying to become a published children's author in my retirement and just hope I haven't waited too long. I wish you nothing but the best and would be wildly happy and excited to see you succeed at this. You are doing all the right things!
Thanks MaryLou! I'm positive you haven't waited too long and I can't wait to share your children's books with Cora and the other kiddos in my life. I'm also excited we're on parallel roads here. I wish you the best too and look forward to supporting each other through this!
1/3/2017 06:56:27 am
You are such a role model for women!! Congrats on all of your accomplishments thus far. Looking forward to reading and saying, "I know her!" when your book comes out.
1/3/2017 07:59:25 am
Thanks for sharing. I admire how vulnerable you are and am encouraged by how you take on life and changes! Hope we can connect soon to talk even more about this!
1/4/2017 05:40:54 am
You go girl! What a brave decision to make that leap of faith! Keep on following your dream. Your words of wisdom are something for me to take to heart.
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