Becoming a writer and seeing my book on the shelves of a bookstore has been my lifelong dream. I went through the whole shebang to achieve it. When I went to college, I majored in both creative writing and marketing. I thought it would help me promote my books later. When I needed to get a part-time job, I applied to a local publishing company and got a paid internship. Granted, I only did get coffee and writing supplies for the writers and editors for two months straight, but the experience drove me to pursue my goals.
Unfortunately, life happened post-graduation. I tried to get a full-time writing job at different publications, but they were only looking for seasoned writers. Some were willing to give me a shot, but they would only do it if I allowed them to publish my work under someone else’s name. I ended up doing the latter during a desperate moment, but I eventually quit after a few months. I realized then that I would rather be a regular office worker than be unable to get the credit I deserved for my creativity.
The Big Break
I stopped writing after getting married. My wife, Mary, wanted to become a stay-at-home mom, so I tried to make it happen by working hard and providing for our little family. The income was great because I was a marketing executive in a growing company, but I wasn’t genuinely happy with how my career turned out. Deep inside, I still wanted to be a writer.
The big break came one afternoon, however, when a literary agent called and praised my manuscript. I was confused at first about what he meant and thought that he might be prank calling me. The only manuscript I could think of was for the fictional story that I wrote many moons ago. No one had ever seen that except for my wife. I printed it and even had a cover designed for it, but I did not plan on looking for a publisher. I figured that my writing days had been over a long time ago, and I just wrote it because I had free time.
Once I got over the initial shock and understood that the man on the other end of the line was indeed an agent that Mary contacted on my behalf, I felt excited about writing again. My feelings intensified when the agent offered his help to get my book published. And in a matter of weeks, he managed to find a publishing company that read my work and believed in it.
Saying that I was over the moon when I got the first copy of the book in my hands was the understatement of the year. If I was honest, it felt like holding my baby for the first time. It was such a surreal experience. On my family’s part, they were very supportive of me. My wife always came with me wherever I went. Even my kids promoted the book to their friends and teachers at school and took pride in telling their peers that their dad was an author.
Nevertheless, things became a tad bit challenging for us when the publisher asked if I could turn the book into a series. I had many ideas for sequels, of course, but it meant that I would be unable to spend enough time with my family.
Balancing My Life As A Writer, Husband, And Father
My wife and I had been through enough ups and downs, so I was not scared to be vulnerable in front of her. I told her how much I feared taking another step towards my writing dreams because I might turn into a lousy dad and husband. Mary hugged me then and assured me that she would help me make sure that it would never occur. What we did was fix my schedule so that I had time for everything and everyone I held dear to my heart.
For eight hours a day, I worked in the office. I did not give up my position in the corporate world because — let’s be honest — it was a stable source of income. After work, I would help the kids with their homework and catch up with my wife. An hour or two before my family was up in the morning, I would be on the balcony, writing my next book.
This routine was so straightforward; that’s why it’s so effective. In no time, I got to send a new manuscript to my publisher and was later given the signal to write another one.
Am I at the peak of my career now? Perhaps yes. If there is one thing that I’m sure of, though, it’s that I made the right decision to major in both marketing and creative writing. Without the former, I would be unable to provide for my family. Without the latter, my life would be incomplete