My last blog was on April 10, 2017…a month after my mom’s funeral and three days before her 78th birthday. I took two years off from the rat race to mourn, heal, and write my debut novel SNOW IN VIETNAM to honor my mom. It has been a therapeutic reprieve immersing myself into the literary world and learning how to write and publish. The biggest challenge has been learning patience. The publishing world is a hurry up and wait kind of industry and if you do not have the self-discipline or the tenacity to market yourself, then it can be a lonely space to be in. On top of that, most writers are introverts and spend their days or nights alone with only their thoughts and imagination to keep them company. If you see any of us writers talking to ourselves, it’s ok…we’re just plotting and having a pow wow with our characters.
Switching careers when you’re in your 40s is daunting. I spent most of my 20s and 30s branding myself and climbing the corporate ladder. I went from a six-figure income working with powerful and influential people to making zero dollars an hour and hanging out with quadrupeds. Oh but by golly I have learned so much these past two years on my journey as a novice writer authoring my debut manuscript. Ever heard of that riddle why writers are always cold? Because they’re always surrounded by drafts? Well, it’s true. I was naive to think it would be a one and done deal and my manuscript would be perfect the first time around. Anyone who knows me knows I’m OCD sometimes and can be a perfectionist…You have to be if you work with board of directors, C-level executives, and famous people. I made so many revisions to my manuscript and even after I sent off those query letters to agents and editors, I still had an itching to tighten the plot, change the ending, fine tune the story, develop the characters, even rework the narrative tense. Ay caramba and dios mio!
I’m happy to say that all those years of thinking outside the box while coloring inside the lines has given me some perspective on life. In short, life is a gamble and you have to take smart risks. Go ahead, throw your socks out the window and dare to go barefoot. Pack your bags and only bring one pair of shoes. Book a trip and forget your spreadsheet of activities, planned down to the minute!
Find your passion. Live your life. Love those who love you. Fight for those who hate you. And be the hero for the ones who need your strength so that they can find their own.
God bless. Peace.