Some of you may be wondering where I’ve been. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I quit my big corporate job in December 2010 and took two years off, during which I wrote and published two novels. Then the severance money ran out, and I got another job.
Not another big corporate job, but a much smaller one, a job that would still leave me with the bandwidth to continue my writing. I made the transition from business analyst/part-time novelist to full-time novelist, back to writer who has a day job that pays the bills but doesn’t suck the life out of me.
I dropped out of sight here on the blog.
That was the end of an intensely creative time in my life, a time of huge personal growth that was not without its bumps and rough patches. I felt I needed to regroup and settle into my new work life. After all, I had just accomplished my lifelong dream, so I deserved to take a break from creative endeavors. During my two years off, rehabilitating from the stress of my big corporate life, I learned to be kinder to myself. Re-entering the workplace was a big transition, and I wasn’t going to expect too much out of myself.
Except that I always expect too much out of myself.
The truth is that going back to work felt like a failure to me. I didn’t make it as a writer so I had to get a day job. That’s what the voice in my head said anyway.
But the real truth is that I’m not the only one. I am far from the only one. Since time began, people just like me have felt the calling to do something bold, to embrace their creativity, to risk failure, because the muse has got them by the tail and won’t let go. Regardless of circumstances, creatives across time and all over the world have defied circumstances in order to make their art. They make it happen regardless.
I confess that it’s hard. It’s hard to juggle life and work and creative endeavors. Add a family in there, and it feels like time and space for your art will never happen.
It’s easy to treat your creativity like a summer fling, and say, hey, that was great while it lasted, but it’s over now. I’ve got to get back to the reality of my real life.
Here’s another truth. If you are a creative, and you put your creativity aside because of your real life, you will suffer.
While the social and financial aspects of your life may bloom, flush from interactions with co-workers and bi-weekly paychecks, your inner life will begin to wilt. That spark that you carry inside you, the thing that makes you feel alive, that’s the thing that needs to be given space to grow, no matter what.
I know now that I can never live a life that does not include my writing. A very large part of who I am would never be fulfilled without it.
I endeavor every day to contribute my creativity to every project I approach, whether it is my own or in the employment of others. This is who I am.
So while I have struggled to keep going with my writing, and you may not have seen anything from me in a long while, I’ve been working behind the scenes.
I’m working on the sequel to Sterling Redmond, titled Amelia Desmond, which will pick up with the next generation of the family at Northampton.
I trained to be a Life Coach, studying under Martha Beck. This coaching work is transformational, pivotal and immensely satisfying. You’ll hear more from me later on that.
The idea that consumes me now is the one I see when I gaze back at the journey I made during the two years I devoted full-time to my creativity. That was an incredible journey filled with unexpected obstacles, but also amazing assistance and guidance.
I discovered so many teachers along the way, who offered me exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it. I am so grateful to them for providing the next hand up in my climb toward my creative potential.
Looking back now, I wish someone had written a book about what it’s like to embark on a creative journey. Someone who could lay it out and tell you what to expect, if you had the courage to even begin. Someone who could tell you why it’s so important to begin.
I waited too long to circle back to my creativity in mid-life. Too many of us never make it back and the world suffers for it. It is a life-changing experience, and I came out the other side a healthier, happier and more fulfilled person. I wish that for everyone.
So I’ve decided to take it on. I’m writing a book about the creative journey. This is what I feel most called to share creatively with the world.
My intent is to blog about the concepts and share excerpts with you as the book develops.
So now you know where I’ve been and where I’m headed.
If you’d like to head there with me, stay tuned for more from the blog.
It feels good to be back.