Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beginnings Blogfest - My Path to Full Time Writing


 

In honor of L.G. Keltner's Beginnings Blogfest, (check out her awesome blog Writing Off the Edge: http://lgkeltner.blogspot.com) My beginning is the story of how I left the corporate mix master, set up my home office and started writing full time:

I had a pretty damned good job...at least it paid well. I earned it too, got an MBA, fought my way up the ladder by working 14 hour days and proving myself capable of doing anything my arrogant male counterparts could do. After nine hours of interviews I landed my "dream job" (yeah right) as a plant manager in the plastics industry, a job in the exclusive men's club.

To make an 11 year journey short, after battling unions, leading a plant to the top in EVERY metric known to man, taking another plant from a $6MM loss to a $6MM profit in one year, I was lumbered with a bad decision. The company I worked for purchased another factory that was making a loss and dumped it in my lap. I had six months to close it down and bring the business into my plant...and start making a profit on sales negotiated with a losing margin. By the end of the six months, we had turned the corner and were making ground, though my margins had not made the miraculous leap that the company had hoped for. All of the sudden this golden girl started getting her ass kicked...for a bad decision from corporate. DON'T MESS WITH ME, YOU SONS OF BITCHES!

During this horrible time in my life, wondering if I was going to get fired, my (3rd MS) first book, Koicto, got published. I'd also lived frugally for years and built up my savings. I got another book contract (Chihuahua Momma, which comes out July 28th). About a year ago, my husband and I put our heads together and decided we'd take a chance and become a one-income family while I took the big leap and write full time.

In 2012, I wrote four 90K word romances, one of which is now under contract, two historical romances (part of a series) are under consideration and the other I have just started marketing. I've got a WIP on my desk, and outlines for two more historical romances, and I'm going to Scotland this May for research.

I have to tell you. It's been a year, and I've yet to make any money. I couldn't have done this when I was younger, but now I have a husband who supports my efforts fully. I'm still working 14 hour days, but I'm doing something I love.

My advice to you? Find what you love to do and then find a way to make it happen.

~Write on friends!

40 comments:

  1. Bad decisions from corporate rarely ever get blamed on corporate. I'm glad you get to do something you love! When you love it, the long hours don't feel quite so long.

    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

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    1. LG - This has been fun! What a fantastic idea :-)

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  2. So true. No amount of money is worth spending hours doing something you hate. I'm glad to hear things are going well for you. :-)

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  4. Yep, I quit my job five years ago, and I never looked back. I am making money at this. In fact, I make as much as I made working for a boss. However, I also write articles as well as fiction. When the fiction really takes off I may go to fiction full-time. But I like some of the article writing I do, and I don't know if I want to leave some of it.

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    1. Awesome! You are my new poster child :-)

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  5. Thanks LG, Misha and Jolie :-) The best thing is that sometimes you need a bad thing to happen to catapult you into a new beginning!

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  6. Your story is very inspiring! I'm glad to have discovered your blog through this fest, it's great to meet you. :)

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  7. I saw the determination and passion in your eyes when we met, but more than that I saw your happiness - the true measure of a good decision. Thanks for sharing your story Amy!

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary...you have a wonderful gift for being observant.

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  8. I used to teach high school and I often offered similar advice to my students.

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    1. How wonderful to be able to affect teens on a large scale!

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  9. I believe things happen for a reason. If you're happier now, that that was it. I'm much happier since I stopped practicing law and started writing.

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  10. Write on - sounds like you are well on your way to writing independence!

    Visiting from Beginnings Blogfest.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. I love thrift stores...thanks for visiting!

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  11. It's lovely to meet so many bloggers today! I'll have to participate in more blog fests!

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  12. Sounds like getting out of your past business was the best thing that could have happened.

    Glad you 'made it' and best of luck :)

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  13. It's amazing. Not everyone gets to work on something they truly love. Congratulations and my best to you in your future projects! :)

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  14. So glad you can now do what you love and love what you do!

    --
    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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  15. execs love a scapegoat
    so glad you dumped them! and are able to do what you love! a positiv from a negative!

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  16. I'm looking at everyone else's blogs and see that they have reply links to comments...Does anyone know how to set that up? I looked in Blogger, but couldn't find it.

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  17. I'm so glad that you are doing what you love! Congrats on all your success!

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    1. Hi Trean! Thank you. I'm doubly excited because I just figured out how to set Blogger so that I can click reply to comments. Yea!

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  18. That sounds wonderful - unfortunate that the transition was stressful, but what you're doing now is so exciting! Congrats.

    Visiting from L.G.'s blogfest - nice to meet you.

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    1. Thank you, Azara, very pleased to meet you...The transition was definitely worth the stress!

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  19. This is a great post, very inspiring. It's better to be doing something you love and earning little money than doing something you hate and getting a lot of money.

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    1. Very, very true, Laura! It was a little embarrassing putting it up, but now I'm glad I did :-)

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  20. Hi, Amy, I'm popping in from the Beginnings Blogfest. Thanks for sharing your beginning, I found your story inspiring. And I'm glad you were able to wrap things up on your own terms, rather than on theirs. :-)

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    1. Hi Mina - So glad to meet you and thanks for your positive comments!

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  21. You are definitely on the right path though! You seem like a real go-getter, and you are having writerly successes already even if you haven't made money off it yet. That will come! :)

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    1. I agree totally. My motto--I'm working on my future income!

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  22. I love this. You are da MAN, Amy! (...okay...da WOman)From where you were when I met you to where you are now...HUGE accomplishments. You are an inspiration!

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    1. Hey, it's not the first time I've been called "da man" :-) But, thank you, I appreciate your encouraging words!

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  23. Great post, Amy. I just love your story.

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    1. Hi James - Great to see you here, and Thanks. It's not easy to bare one's soul :-)

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