Becoming Independent

Independence image

I’ve started my own company and it’s been up for over a year now.  It’s my company on writing – based on advice from an accountant at Writers Digest – and now I am the sole owner of an LLC business.  I recently left my full time job and that has become a bit of a challenge in a good way.  I am now challenged daily to have a work schedule that will focus ONLY on my work, my business, and making it grow.  I have a fund to work with – savings, really – and I have signed up with a shared office space within which to do the mundane things of putting up my laptop and writing in relative peace.  I can’t always write at home, especially with cats jumping on my desk and wanting a pet, or with my dog snoozing at my feet and getting all antsy once I am astir, to beg for treats at each moment that I’m not stuck at my home desk.

I don’t really miss the work meme – that sort of atmosphere of being amongst people in a company – not yet, anyway.  A friend of mine who worked for a company as a remote employee told me that she missed her cube mates.  But I’m not that sort of person even at work where I liked to chat with cube mates and meet at the kitchen to pour out coffee and comment on the day’s activities.  In my more mature years, that loner label has been cast at my direction more than once.  I accept that, and yet to some, the loner label is anathema.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  I like the idea of going at things alone, yet there is always that Higher Power that moves me and so I really am not alone.  Perhaps, in the work mode, team playing is big and that is what people are comfortable with.  Being a loner at a corporate level is not good, if I read these corporate types right. I can see why, they all need your input, they need your gut feelings on decisions and so on.  I seem to digress but perhaps this is part of the reason why I am going on my own.  I don’t want to have to work for somebody on projects that no longer appeal.

My work then is my writing.  The stuff that my dreams are based on.  I can be sure that if I spend time struggling with a document’s formatting (which I did yesterday with rather desperate results!), I can say that I am working on my stuff so I don’t consider it a waste of ‘company’ time.  I find it hard to think of some (digressing here) documents that are templates really, and make them into what I want them to be.  I think that the time to self-teach (go to and take some short courses on say, Microsoft Word?, lol) is here.  But, I would rather spend all my time learning how to create document templates (stationery, e.g.) than having to create hyperlinks to documents that go to an internal database that would never really be helpful to anyone but the person working on the document.  This sort of thing actually happened at my former workplace.  Imagine hyperlinking almost every word or term in documents for a stretch of days at a time?  No it was time to quit. LOL.

I am grateful for the independence from a job that has become onerous.  I may one day work part time to supplement my business, but that might not ever come because, hey, maybe God will send me a publishing contract (smile).  However it may be in my future, I think I’ll be ok.  I think that despite the risks involved in putting up my shingle at my age, I think I will be ok.  I give all to My God, and to His direction.  That is what keeps me from going into a stark reality that seems to cloud minds and reduce the creativity in this world.

I would suggest those who wish to strike out on their own to do it soon, but to find their passion first. And, more importantly, to ASK GOD for Guidance and Patience.  Things will one day be ok.  But the good part is that getting there will be filled with many moments of fun and good feelings. Imagine yourself in your own place, in your own office, having a cup of tea or coffee, wandering into the kitchen and finding snacks, petting the dog, and then going back to work. I think that’s an ideal life. And an ideal workplace.

Writing thoughts

writing

Things have been going on lately that I thought I’d like to share with you.  Many of them have been a bit frazzling.  I have been going through a ton of stress from work, and a lot of depressing thoughts that have threatened my peace of mind.  Not sure what to say more than that they have been really disruptive and making it hard for me to get to the writing desk and churn out more chapters to my Loveable Resident novel.

However, God has been visiting upon me a few good happenings.  I was able to sell an article (not really sell) to a trade magazine to interview a CEO of a company that is part of my organization.  That went for a few months because I had to schedule the interview (after gaining permission) and then write and then, submit.  Today I received word that the article is going forward and I’ve signed their copyright form.  I won’t get paid because, as a member of this trade magazine organization, I am volunteering my talent to showcase a person who has a unique view of how her position is helping healthcare.  I am really happy that this has now come to fruition.  I think lots of people in my life have contributed to this – some in a negative way (they merely egged me on, you see) and more in a positive way.  So for this, I am grateful to God.

The next thing that I have experienced is the long (and maybe longer) slog of finding literary agents.  This is something novel, and exciting and is a lesson in perseverance. I think for all writers, querying literary agents is challenging and when it clicks, it’s almost like hitting the lotto.  I know that the process forward is still a bit more of a hard slog but the initial spark of one person liking and appreciating the story you present is very significant.  Someone, Somebody, actually wants to know about your story.  If it doesn’t gel, well you go back and hone it some more.  But if they DO like it enough to send it out for reviews, then I’m really excited.  I’m sure that this resonates with a lot of writers out there, and for those still starting out, I recommend that you give yourself as much encouragement (self-love) to get into the hard work of writing SOMETHING.  I recommend that you take classes, take workshops in your area, find a mentor, find someone to exchange ideas with, and then also drop by your church and have a heart to heart and ask God what He’s thinking of your plans.

I know that God sometimes doesn’t figure in your plans.  I think maybe this is why there is ‘writer’s block’.  I think a lot of people dealing with the blank page is not communing with the Right One.

So, I wanted to just give you all a recap of how things have been.  I just wanted to take the time to chat, let you know I’m still slogging along, and know that I’m silently raising a toast to you all who are on the same journey.  Go with it and keep God in your mind and heart.

On Turning 60

I am now 60.  I have been since 9-12.  It is a rather strange feeling to be 60 when I certainly don’t feel like I am.  And people I know are puzzled to look at me and know or be told my age.  They find it odd that I don’t look 60 to them. But I’m just thinking that I don’t look 60 because of perhaps a few things that are unique to me:  I am single.  I’ve never had children.  And, I happen to be Asian.  These things give away the main reasons why I don’t look my age.  There were no marital issues in my life, and children had never given me the frown lines nor the smile lines around my mouth.  The turning of age to 60 is a jolt, to be sure, because I feel as though I am yet unfinished.  I am several years till retirement age.  And yet, here I am, going for my MFA in Creative Writing.  I could also want to just retire and bake bread all day, or clean my house.  Or garden. All these are fine.  Yet, I feel like I am still able to contribute to society.  I don’t like to travel and hate airports.  I’d rather then find a way to keep myself alert and do what I always loved to do.  And that is to write.  Stories. Blogs. Screenplays.  Essays.  Like this.

I am certainly feeling that God had a hand in my life story.  I’ve had many – or really, several jobs, and changed careers a few times.  So now I think that 60 is, as many profess, merely a number.

I don’t mind being 60.  I try to not think of being 60. I still feel new at the 60 generation.  I don’t like spandex waistbands but I like how they allow me to have an extra helping of pasta.  I find it hard to believe that I would even become romantically involved at 60.  My interests don’t take me very far from home.  And I surely think that God is still working on me, and from Him am I getting ideas and graces and inspirations.

So, now that I’m one fourth of the way to being 61, I am happy to say that I am glad I made it to 60.  I’m one lucky person who came through the last year of unrest in politics, conflicts in many areas of the world, and even periods of sadness that blossomed into this period of (and I hope it is a long one) happy creativity.

Another one down

Friends!

Finally submitted my final project.  I’m dancing a little jig.  I must say that the classes are better and better as I go along.  I loved Creative Nonfiction!  Oh, my!  I have discovered the writing style that I think I like most – and maybe, just maybe it will hold.  However, more to come in terms of fiction writing, so I will just keep going and see how it unfolds.

Still working on Joe and Max.  Having more ideas as time goes on.  With my next class coming soon, I am going to see if I can do more in my spare time besides work on the class materials.

How a difficult situation was eased

A couple of months ago my dog, Duke, developed diabetes.  He went to his groomer’s one day and then a day or two later he didn’t want to eat his food.  I thought this was strange: Duke always loved to eat.  I also noticed that Duke would have an accident – two mornings in a row. He also had diarrhea.  Not wasting time, I took him to his vet.  After they looked at his urine for a possible UTI, they saw no bacteria but they did find sugar.

At first, I felt the challenge to get my dog back to normal as much as possible.  But the realization of what this might mean to me, the normal routine of the house, any type of plans to travel or even have a night out – a major rethink.  I was also upset at myself for possibly contributing to my dog’s illness.  Did I give him too many treats? I remember the difficult moments as I pondered these as I tried to sleep the night of his diagnosis.

The vet was very precise in his directions to get Duke back to normalcy.  For the last eight to ten weeks, my dog had his two meals of the day spaced out 12 hours apart.  So were his insulin shots.  At first my dog, who only ate once a day, had some issues with the restrictive diet.  Duke also flinched at the shots.  There would be trips to the vet, first to ask for help and guidance feeding this usually picky eater.  Then there were those day-long glucose curves.  Those were to check how well his insulin was working for him.  Duke didn’t like that too well, mostly exhibiting loss of appetite right after his day at the vet.

Today, Duke is back to his old frisky and joyful self.  He may have some issues with the boring food – but I think he seems to know that this new normal is good for him so he will have his meal.

Our family routine is good.  If I need to go out with friends in the evening that is planned and Duke’s eating schedule is included in this.  If I have to go out of town my sitter is trained to give shots.

The other side of the dilemma has been reached.  Through it all, the challenge has been met.  I prayed each day for my dog to get better.  And even when Duke’s nose would hover over his food bowl I would pray asking that he eat.

Life has its fits and starts.  How you meet challenges is the beginning of the new path taken.  Changes are not unusual, and one has to roll with them.  I hope that your challenges are manageable. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you along the way.

Happy Pentecost weekend!