Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How'd I get here? Musings on a meandering career path and taking chances with @susanhayes

I have always been a writer. Even as a kid, I loved to write stories, poems, limericks, and even the occasional haiku. (Confession, they were not good haikus.) I dreamed of being a “real” writer, but somehow that plan always got pushed aside for other things. Work. Marriage. Reality in general. Someday, I told myself. I’ll write someday.

It took the sudden death of my little brother to make me understand that someday wasn’t a sure thing. If I wanted to write, then I should be writing. So, I did. In 2009, I became a professional writer. No, I wasn’t writing romances, not yet. Before I wrote happily ever afters and hot sex scenes, I wrote comedic, list-style articles for a website called Cracked.com. Yes, you read that right. I was one of the people creating internet content like 6 Horrifying Ways to Improve your Sex Life. Not the career I had envisioned, but hey, I was a paid writer.

I wrote freelance comedy articles for a number of sites for two years before switching gears and trying my hand at writing romance. It was a completely new field for me, with different challenges and dynamics, but in the end, I had a finished book. *cue trumpets* Arousal has been through a complete revision since then, as well as several covers, and even a title change, but it’s still near and dear to my heart. It’s the book that launched me into this wild and wonderful new career as a romance writer. It also earned me my first rejection letter, which arrived in April, 2012. I still have it that email. It’s a reminder of how far I’ve come, and how much things have changed in the past five years.

..I'm pretty sure my version included sharks in the lake and a river of lava under the bridge.

Looking back, I can see the path I took to get here. It’s a broken, meandering road with plenty of loops, dead ends, and countless zig-zags. It’s a journey I couldn’t have imagined when I started down this path. I have no idea where this road will take me next, or what my final destination will be, but I do know it’s been a hell of a journey so far. I’ve published more than thirty stories, met readers from all over the world, made dear friends, and had fangirl moments with authors I adore.

Most of the time, I’ve been too busy pushing forward to take a moment to appreciate where I am, or how I got here. I think that’s true for most of us. We’re so busy trying to keep up with our lives, we forget to stop and appreciate everything we have. I wrote this blog to remind myself to look around and enjoy the moment, and to remind anyone reading to do the same. Take a moment. Take a breath. Maybe take a chance or step onto a new path. You never know where your broken road might lead you.

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