A few days ago WordPress (my blogging platform), notified me that it had been a year since I started my blog. Yesterday I got a nice little check from my regular writing gig that should cover Christmas gifts for all of my loved ones.
Last year I was brainstorming, trying to figure out how to work from home after having a health crisis and with Benjamin needing more care again than he had since he finished cancer treatment.
I looked at a few options, considered pursuing fitness training, but when all was said and done I knew that everything else had to take a back seat to my kids and my health.
I had enjoyed blogging as a Fifth Third River Bank Run Road Warrior, and have been told time and time again that I should write a book about Ben, so that was my jumping off point. I had previously started a book about Ben, but writing from that perspective felt wrong and I shoved my manuscript away and scrapped the book idea.
But what if I wrote about being Ben’s mom? From my perspective, parenting a child whose life has been a juxtaposition of devastating and miraculous, would that make a book?
I decided to try.
I didn’t have a working computer, so between my tablet and phone I typed almost 60,000 words. The task exhausted me, so after completing a draft of just the events, I set the book aside and pursued writing for more immediate results.
My first yes was HuffPost, and one of my first articles there was a post that circulated the internet for months, the highlight of which was getting attention from George Takei.
I then sent work into some other writing venues, and got a paid yes from Her View From Home. I became a Her View Writing Team member, and have enjoyed the challenge of writing for them, often from a different perspective than my own personal blog. (Go check them out and like the page, there’s some wonderful women writing there).
Shortly after that my dear mother in law saw my plight, and decided to purchase a computer to make me a legit writer. Let’s just say that proofreading is a bit easier on a laptop screen than a tablet screen. The laptop has been a lifesaver!
Then, in September, out of the blue, a woman contacted me saying that she represented Shield Health Care and that she would like to pay me to be a regular writer for their blog about parenting kids with special needs. The offer seemed too good to be true, but after investing the company, I found it legit and jumped in. This writing outlet has provided me with a steady stream of income from my own couch, and is the source of the previously mentioned check which will make Christmas shopping fun instead of stressful.
This weekend I finally sat back down with the book, adding layers of story and details to the skeleton I had created. In the meantime I briefly had a publisher interested, but due to personal complications on their end (the company is new, and the founder had several personal crises in a row and wasn’t able to give the manuscript attention), we agreed to reconsider at a later date. As I write thus, I’m wondering if that date has arrived.
What a difference a year makes. Writing was a twinkle in my eye last December, and now is a part time job with excellent potential. I’m generally skeptical about new years because it seems that every fresh start quickly becomes the next complicated and challenging chapter in our complex lives, but I truly am eager to see what 2017 holds for this pursuit. I don’t rightly know what to expect, after all, much of what has occurred has been entirely unexpected, but that’s just part of the fun if you ask me.
At the end of the day, I give enormous credit to my upbringing. Growing up in a family that loves books and language and that sharpened my mind by reading and discussing great works is truly the origin of this story. The written word is a beautiful creation, the appreciation of which was instilled in me from infancy. For that I can only credit my mom. Thanks mom.