How to Find Your Path
Figuring out what you want to do in life isn't easy. It takes a lot of trial and error and you don't always get it right the first time. I'd wanted to be a professional writer since I was a kid but my journey to achieving my goal wasn't a point A to point B kind of trip. It took me a while to find my path and my success.
I began writing short stories in grade school but I didn't go to college to earn an English degree. Instead, I wanted to be a screenwriter and I earned a degree In TV and Film Production. I wrote marketing videos and public service announcements for a small cable TV station in my home town before moving to Hollywood to pursue my dream. I earned an M.A. in Screenwriting and then tried to break into the biz. Well, things didn't go exactly as I'd imagined. Even though I worked in the entertainment industry, it wasn't as a screenwriter.
A number of years went by and I found myself at a crossroads. I still wanted to be a professional writer but I'd come to realize it might not happen as a screenwriter. I had a lot of writing education and experience, and I knew there had to be a way to use it. One day, along came a Regency romance. As I sat in my living room reading it, I realized I could do this, and I did. Since then. I've published over fifteen books and novellas, given workshops and presentations at writings conference, had books signings at Barnes and Noble, and won numerous writing awards. All of this never would have happened if I hadn't been flexible with my goal of being a professional writer.
Finding your path doesn't mean giving up on your dreams. It means taking your skills and finding a different way to apply them. My MA in Screenwriting wasn't a waste because the program taught me story structure, how to deal with criticism, revisions and editorial notes. My experience writing the marketing videos taught me about working with clients and meeting deadlines. My experience working in Hollywood taught me about contracts and residuals that has been invaluable for understanding royalty statements. I've built on the things I learned to create a career that I love, and you can too.
So, evaluate where you are and where you want to be. Look at your skills and experiences and figure out how to apply them to something new, then get out there and do it. Don't whine that you can't or sit around and complain that the cards are stacked against you due to some nebulous reason. Find a way to get what you want and be ready to work for it. Once I made the transition to writing romance, my success didn't happen overnight. If I had given up when things got hard or sat around complaining, them I wouldn't have the career I enjoy today.
So get up and get started on finding your path. Your dreams are waiting for you to claim them!
Check out my romance novels to see how I applied my education to my writing.
For more writing life advice click here and here.