When I first started my writing adventure, I was only writing for myself. I never had plans to publish. I didn’t have aspirations of greatness. You see, unlike most writers I talk to and meet, my background is NOT in journalism. I only took one English class in college, and that was because it was required of me. I couldn’t type with more than two fingers only a couple of years ago. I didn’t plan on becoming a writer. I went to school with the goal of being a dental hygienist.
Dental Hygienist? You may be wondering how you go from teeth to words? Well you don’t, and that was the problem! I went to college, took all my prerequisites, got accepted into the program, and decided that I didn’t want to stick my fingers into some stranger’s mouth for a living. I worked while going to school, so I wouldn’t have any student loans. I shelled out all that money, and still didn’t have a career in anything science or medical related. Meanwhile, I was working my way up in retail management.
My name is Juli, and yes I have worked in retail management for close to twenty years. You may think that I’d hate my job since it wasn’t the career path that I purposely chose for myself, and you would be wrong. Although I grumble a bit a times, most days I love my job. I love working with people, and I’m good at what I do. I’ve trained MANY people and watched them develop and move up the food chain. I’ve worked with some of the same customers for over a decade. They are my friends. They come to me for advice. My job keeps a roof over my head and keeps me socially sane. Sure my knees may nag at me for all the abuse that I’ve given them, but at the end of the day, I can usually say that I still enjoy my job.
So, if I love my job and it’s paying the bills, why try for a career in writing? I keep asking myself this same question. All I know is when I went back to it, after writing nothing more significant than a grocery list or employee review in more than twenty years, something inside me clicked. Writing feeds my soul in a way that I never thought it could. It’s an outlet for me mentally. When I get done with a good bit of writing, I feel so good and alive. I feel challenged.
Being a writer is more than putting forth words. I’ve had to learn about social networking, self-promotion, and photo editing. It’s not enough for me to put the words into a journal and call it a day, not anymore. I’ve had to educate myself on self-publishing verses going through a publishing house. I’ve had to learn how to use a computer and an e-reader. I’ve had to learn about fonts and margins and all sorts of gobbledygook that I’m sure other writers learned in school, the stuff I didn’t need to know until recently. All of this has stretched my brain, and given me more gray hair, and made me extremely happy.
So what are my plans in the future? Well, the first book is coming out this year. It is no longer a maybe; it’s all that I think about! The second book is already written, and short stories and outlines of other stories are simmering away quite nicely. Do I plan on giving up my day job? No way! I don’t picture myself ever coming to a point in my life where I’d be happy staying at home. I love my family, but my day job keeps me connected to the world. My writing keeps me connected with my spirit. I think I need both to be a complete person for myself and them.