Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Job vs. My Career

I've seen some of my friends and some of my co-workers a bit discouraged lately. I thought I'd share how I changed my outlook by simply changing the labels I put on myself.

I have a writing "career". I have a "job" working in retail hell. Those two terms help me separate them in my brain. Let me explain how this keeps me mildly sane.

I have worked at the same place for over a decade. They pay me, and I have put in enough time there that I have accrued some perks. But I don't love it there. I don't feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

I am the type of person who firmly believes that we have a path we are destined to follow. I feel like I'm on that path when I'm writing. Don't get me wrong. I don't think I will ever feel like I'm an old pro at this writing gig. There are always changing trends, changing sales practices, and if anyone tells you they know exactly where the technology associated with the ebook revolution is going...well I will call them a liar to their face.

We are all trying to keep up as the publishing world changes and grows. I've been reading ebooks since 2009, and I know I was nowhere near being a part of the the initial wave of ereaders. Even in these past five years, I have seen so much change in the publishing world. I can't imagine where we will be in a decade. I'm just fastening my seatbelt and grabbing some popcorn as I go along for the ride.

I have only been a published author for a year, but I know in my heart that this is my career. This is my path. Unfortunately my mortgage company could give a rat's ass that my job that pays me money isn't where my heart is. And really, if I'm honest, even my heart wants WiFi.

Therefore I must endure the evil day job. I have had to turn on my "customer service smile" (anyone who has worked in retail knows this smile). I've gone to work the day after book release day. Feeling that new book high is sharply contrasted when someone talks down to you like you are dirt because you are in a service industry.

I was going a little nuts and losing heart, but then I decided I'm done labeling myself as a peon. I am a published author. No one can take that away from me. And next year I get to touch a real paper book with my name on it.

This is my career. This is how I define myself. I changed my social media to reflect that I'm an author. It felt awesome. It might not pay the bills yet, but that's what my job is for.

Whenever someone looks down their nose at me, I remind myself I am just doing a job. I am doing a job that lets me embrace my career.
If you work in Retail, you appreciate Retail Robin as much as I do.

Sometimes it gets to me. I'm not going to lie. BUT...I'm working towards a career that I have already taken the first steps towards.

This career is a roller coaster. The highs of a great review are definitely punctuated with the lows of the Library Journal hating your book. You'll get a reader contacting you and asking for more and the same day you'll find out that there is a twitter account dedicated to your undoing.

Roller coaster or not, I plan on pulling the safety bar across my lap and asking for another ride. Because this is my career. Maybe someday I'll be able to write those pesky mortgage checks from book sales. Maybe I'll be able to do more than that. Who knows.

Right now...I'm working towards the career I want. Right now I'm putting words on paper, because right now is pretty darn amazing.

I have a career as a published author. My job...eh...let's call that research.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IT'S MY BIRTHDAYS! (Yes, that's meant to be plural)

My hubby. My heart. My support.
I am posting some random memories from my journey on here. Look at the pretty pictures while I get sentimental.

Let me tell you a story...

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer. I was thirteen. I was devouring a series that was about a teenage detective. I think her name began with a J. 

My editing t-shirt.
Following the story arc had me salivating to put my own spin on it. My VERY patient teacher (Thank you Mrs. Hinkleman) put up with me turning in chapters of my own middle grade book. 

This was before kids turned in projects from computers. I had to write it out longhand. I remember turning in dozens and dozens of pages. The story rambled, and probably made sense to no one but me. I loved every hand cramp I got.

I got distracted in high school by what I was supposed to do. By sophomore year I was expected to start thinking about college. At the age of sixteen, I decided that I needed to be responsible and pick a major based on marketability of skills, and I knew darn well that English majors tended to end up teaching. 

I should never teach. Trust me. I did the world a favor.

Aside from a few poems and random journaling, I left writing behind. I graduated, got married, and bought a home. I had bills to pay, and had to be responsible.

My Sexy, Spicy, Fun Roxy button.
If you ever want one, just send me
an email. I'll drop one in the USPS.
About five years ago, I was broke. (Student loans are scary things.) And I went to the library, because I didn't have money to do anything else. It was the best thing I ever did. I rediscovered my love for genre fiction. 

I read EVERYTHING. And then I found the kindle. *angels singing*

After the kindle, came Goodreads and the wonderful women (and a few brave men) of Kindle Smut. The words "This is the dirtiest book I've ever read" were uttered, and I never looked back.

Erotic romance invaded my life, and I found my home.

The next few years were a happy blur of kindred spirits, book conferences, and finally...my writing hand itching again.

October 1st 2013 was my birthday. I turned 33, and although I couldn't pay any bills with this new gig, I was never prouder of myself than getting to say the words, "I'm a published author." 

My very first book published at Samhain
I still can't pay my bills yet, but I'm doing something I love, and something tells me I've started the journey of my heart. I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Meeting Lexi Blake for the second time.
I'm pretty sure I actually formed words.
I would write "The End" to finish up this story, but my story's not over yet.  I'm just beginning, and to celebrate the joy I feel as I head out into this strange and wonderful world, I wanted to give something back. 

So your reward for listening to me be sentimental and cheesy on my birthday is a chance to win a $25 eGift Card (Samhain, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble). 

Just comment below. What is your dream? Are you following it?  Tell me what you're doing for your soul, tell me something happy, or tell me Happy Birthday. I'm easy today. (Just don't tell my hubby)

This giveaway will be open for comments until Oct 13th at midnight EST. I can't wait to talk happy things with all of you. 
Bringing Booty Back.
Happy Birthday to
Both Me's.