I have received different versions of that question a few times over the last several weeks of meeting and talking with different people as I research data for my book in progress. Who do you write for? Is this book for you or for a company? Are you working for someone? These are all good questions which I usually answer on the spot, but I thought I would also answer them here for the record, and for those who might have wondered but didn’t ask.
I am writing this book on my own, no company, no partners, no co-writers, this book is all me. Since I don’t expect newcomers to the blog to read through every single post to get my whole story, here it is in a nutshell. I turned fifty last year and two months later I quit my job to become a fulltime writer. Hubby and I talked it over, we reviewed our bills, we looked at our modest savings, decided we could live on one salary and said, what the hell, let’s do it. We agreed that since all three of our children were now young adults and basically self-sufficient, and since we were no longer paying anyone’s college tuition, it was time to do our own thing, beginning with me writing fulltime.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, I have been writing in numerous capacities at almost every job I ever had for more than twenty-five years. I spent a year as a reporter for a small political newspaper right out of college. And I have been blogging for nine years. I have co-written company manuals, helped with grant writing for non-profits, written select legal documents for lawsuits on behalf of one company, and authored additional intellectual properties that I had to leave behind when I left other companies. With the exception of my byline as a reporter and my signature on a few legal documents, the companies I worked for received the credit for all my years of writing.
So I was more than ready to write for myself after decades of writing for other people. And yet, to be quite honest, I have been frequently terrified along this road I chose— to write fulltime in middle age, with the hope of competing against writers with known names, writers with more credentials, more degrees and a bit more youth in them than I have. However, when I get too panicked, when it feels like I’m not good enough or not smart enough, when it feels like I’m just some no-name wannabe who blogs, I tell the shitty voices in my head to zip it. I am running in my own race, my only real competition stares back at me in the mirror.
I have a talent and a passion for writing, it’s why God put me here. The combination of those two things — talent and passion — is all I need to do what I was born to do. However, this time instead of doing it, trapped daily for eight hours in buildings of loveless, drama spun, energy-draining, and sometimes blood-sucking people, I choose to spread my wings and open my heart in love-fests of my own choosing. Now that I can work sans the office drama, I find that I have another under-utilized skill: I enjoy loving on people, I thrive when I can radiate love. Even if I spend only a few minutes, I am thrilled to talk with a stranger who is receptive to my book idea and wants to participate in the survey. For a few minutes not only am I collecting research, but a stranger and I are vibing on cooperative energy, helping each other, blessing each other with kindness, living the way we as human beings are meant to connect and it’s awesome!
I am writing, not only for me but I am also writing to give hope to all those people out there who are just like me, who maybe felt they would never be good enough or who felt they were too old or too young in the often intimidating face of the competition. Even more important and closer to my heart, I am writing for the formerly broken people of the world, those who faced episodes where life sucker-punched them so hard in the face, they thought they would never recover. And now look at us, still standing, even kicking ass on some days.
Who do I write for? I am writing for me. And I know I’m doing exactly what God intended for me, because here YOU are, reading along. Thank you. I’m glad we found each other. And I hope you’re at one of these stages— thinking about doing your own thing, getting ready to do your own thing or already doing your own thing. In other words, I hope you’re doing YOU too.