By Julie Steed
As I write this, my computer sits on a card table in the corner of a large closet in my house. Above my table-desk are suitcases, suspended by hooks in the air. My husband’s telescope hovers over the used desk chair I purchased for five dollars. The container that holds my Christmas wrapping paper sits directly behind me with other plastic bins. I fondly refer to this space as my closet-office.
Why am I telling you this? Because three months ago I used my dining table, sofa and bed as workspace. Six months before THAT, I didn’t even need a desk. To say that I have grown by leaps and bounds, both professionally and personally, is an understatement. I started 2008 totally immersed in motherhood and, after 7 years in that role, was growing restless and unhappy. I had lost sight of ME. Searching for something I could do from home, I accidentally discovered the book Writer Mama. That was back in February and I am still going strong, growing as a writer, and enjoying a life that is more balanced.
After reading and rereading Writer Mama, I took a huge step and signed up for an online writing class—with Christina, of course! That was a leaping off point for me, but it was a great decision. In hopes of encouraging other writer mamas to take the same leap, I want to share my accomplishments.
I Persevered: My first article was published in May. I felt instant validation and motivation. Once I saw that byline, I decided that I wanted to have one thing published somewhere every single month. I managed to complete only two articles over the summer, but I offered them to hundreds of regional parenting publications as reprints. I have achieved my goal! My byline has appeared in print somewhere each month since May, though many times it was with the same article being reprinted in a different publication.
I Took Myself and My Writing Seriously: After scrambling for writing time and space during the summer, I was thrilled to establish my office-closet in September. Along with the office space came regular office hours. Only 10 hours a week, that time alone has really helped me focus on the business aspect of writing.
I Hit SEND: With the completion of my third online class this week, I now know that I want to concentrate on writing essays. Which leads to my most exciting accomplishment so far… just yesterday I hit “SEND” and submitted an essay to a national publication! That’s right, I SENT it. And regardless of acceptance or rejection, submitting that essay is a huge achievement.
I don’t know where writing will take me in 2009, but if it is anything like 2008, I look forward to the ride.