Now is the time to write.
I’ve dreamed of living a life of reading, learning, and writing since I was a young girl, and this is the year that my dream becomes a reality. Although my jobs over the past 40+ years often allowed me to make use of my writing and research skills, I’ve struggled to make time outside of the workday for creating my own poems, essays, and stories.
I did the getting-up-at-5 am thing, and the hustling-to-complete -a-manuscript-during-academic-breaks marathons, and the-writing-at-night-until-your-eyes-close, all of which were fruitful, but exhausting. I knew, all along, that the only way to have enough time for writing everything I wanted to write was to make it my full-time vocation, and that’s the destination I’ve been working and saving toward all my life.
I mention the working and saving part because I don’t want to give the impression that I’m some daring iconoclast. I’m a sixty-year-old woman with two chronic medical conditions, and I worry about health insurance as much as the next person. But 2018 is the year I stop living in fear, the year I stop trading what could be my writing time for the security of a full-time job working for someone else, the year of now.
Resigning from my position with the Women’s Economic Stability Initiative at Santa Fe College has been a difficult decision, and not just because I’m letting go of the paycheck and benefits. My co-workers there are now friends — some of the kindest, bravest women I know. In helping program participants to achieve their career dreams, I felt good about being one of many people working to change the economic inequities that exist in our community. And, I learned a lot about employment trends and the challenges faced by older workers.
It’s not the first time I’ve jumped into an entrepreneurial role, but my jumping skills are a bit rusty. In 1982, at the age of 23, I started a law practice in the Boston area and financed it at first by part-time bartending. After fifteen years and two more graduate degrees, I left the practice to devote myself to teaching writing and critical thinking skills to college students here in Florida, out West, up North, and in Japan.
As a freelancer, I’ll continue to write memoir, poetry, and researched political articles, but I’ll also be offering concise, accurate, audience-centered content to nonprofits and businesses. Wish me luck! And affordable health care for all!