Here in New York, public school students just started their summer vacay on Monday. That means it’s been three years since I resigned from teaching to become a full-time author. Which is really hard to believe. It seems like my old life was much longer ago. Maybe it’s because a lot has happened in the last three years. Some things are better and some things are worse, but I am an eternal optimist. So let’s focus on the good things! On the first day of my new life…
1. I had one book published. Now I have four.
2. I was just about to start this blog. I realize that three years is on the younger side for a blog, but I wasn’t even online until five years ago. That’s how I managed to write two books while I was teaching, by the way – no Internet, TV, or DVDs.
3. Getting up at an inhumane hour was no longer necessary. Did I really used to get up at 4:45? In the morning?! That’s crazy! I get up way later now, when the sun is shining. Much better.
4. All of my work was done on an iBook. Now that I have an iMac, I could never go back to working on a laptop. I went from sitting on a bad chair at my table to my sexy iMac at a grownup desk. This is improvement.
5. This one is hard to admit, but I didn’t even know who Meg Cabot was. Well, maybe that was more like four or five years ago. But I definitely didn’t know who most of the bestselling YA authors were when I started. Which is so wild! Because now they’re so important to me. I worship their books, they are my mentors, and I am constantly learning from them. I even get to be friends with some of them, which totally blows my mind. It’s amazing how much can change in three years.
It took me a while to adjust to working at home. And by a while, I don’t mean a few days. I mean a few months. That first day was strange. I’d been used to lots of people around, always needing to take care of a hundred things before my next class, dealing with last-minute emergencies on a daily basis, and maybe getting a bathroom and/or lunch break if I was lucky. But then I was working at home and suddenly it was calm. I was just me, my iBook, and music or NPR.
The most dramatic difference was being alone. My teaching days required so much energy that I needed alone time on nights and weekends to recharge. Now I have hours of alone time every day. I’m my own boss and I set my own work schedule. This actually works well for me, since I’m an organization freak. Some authors like to write in coffeehouses. I’ve tried that a few times. While I enjoy absorbing the creative energy, I much prefer working at home. It’s more comfortable and I have everything I need here. Plus, I don’t feel so alone anymore. I have you guys to thank for that. All I have to do is check in at Facebook or Twitter or read your email to know that you are out there. So a big thank you for connecting with me! It means more than you know.
Here’s something else I want to tell you. Never give up on your dreams. No matter how many people say it’s impossible, no matter how difficult your journey is, you can create your ideal life. Your heart’s desires can become reality. Take steps every day to get closer to the life you want. And never, ever give up.