The Long Overdue Status Update


It has been far too long since the last update I shared with you. The good news is that this means I have some pretty cool updates to share with you all at once. And that is more better.

One Busy Journalist

A big part of the reason why I've been MIA lately is that some really incredible opportunities presented themselves over the last couple of years. I became a contributing writer for my local paper and began writing pretty regularly for them. So regularly, that I stopped writing for several other publications altogether. 

After about a year, I became a columnist too. Pretty soon after that, I began writing all the articles for a brand new publication that focuses on veterans, active-duty military and first responders in my county. I can't think of a cooler project if I tried.

This was by far the most rewarding and fun work I've done to date. I relished every minute. I say that in all sincerity. I don't know about you, but there are virtually no jobs that I like pulling all-nighters for, except this one.

Journalism is fun because it allows the writer to live "a day in the life" of other people. I've had behind the scenes tours of all kinds of cool places and interviewed celebrities. Not to mention, there's a sense of accomplishment in sharing important stories that inform readers and get the word out about pertinent news and issues. Human interest stories offer a completely different, yet equally cool side of the job in that they allow writers to shine lights on heartwarming aspects of our communities and cultures.

I'll always miss being a journalist, but at this time, I have to lay my pen down. 

It's Time to Press Pause

That's right. September's columns and stories will be my last. 

I spent July thinking really hard about everything I have going on. I've been juggling three careers for years. Things started to fall to the wayside. I don't run as much anymore. It's been two years since I've met my reading goal. I've not marketed my current novel properly. I haven't written anything that wasn't an article or column in years. Oh, and my social calendar withered away back in 2012. 

It got to the point where I realized that I never see the sky. I'm shielded from the sky by ceilings in my work and home offices and by my car's roof as I scurry to work and back. I miss the sky. Is it still up there?

Establishing work/life balance has to stop being something on my to-do list. So last month I took a long, hard look at my schedule and made a tough decision. For two years I've been writing articles in my "free time," but this effort has been competing with two other careers. Those careers have put a lot on my plate in 2017 and I have to focus on some massive projects. For now, I have to push pause on my journalistic endeavors so I can focus on these projects and open up some time on my calendar for LIFE.

I read somewhere that your 30s is the decade when you work the most, and by all appearances, whoever wrote that was indeed correct. But that doesn't mean working all hours and never having coffee dates, vacations or taking in a starry night.

Lifting the Pen Again

I started to see the results of this choice immediately after I made it. I felt better knowing that I had set things into motion and didn't have to agonize over the decision anymore. I felt lighter knowing that in a few weeks, I wouldn't have as many deadlines looming over my head.

A few days later, I started seeing chunks of time open up in my schedule again. It felt great knowing that I didn't have mounds of work waiting for me when I got home from my job. My weekends are free now. Instead of mentally checking my weekend to-do list, I now daydream about what book I'm going to finish, which route I'm going to run and where I'm going to do my yoga practice. 

For me, daydreaming is the first step toward writing creatively. And that is just what lies in store for me. Opening up my schedule will make room for creative writing projects that have been smushed in the corner for years. I'm looking forward to it and I hope that you all are as well. 

This blog has been off the creative writing path for a while. This part of my life hasn't received the attention it deserved since I finished my novel. It shows. And now, it's time to press reset and give this another go. I must say that the timing couldn't be better as we are heading into fall and that is the very best time to settle into a rough draft with a pumpkin spice latte. 

Happy writing,