Settling Into a New Stage in Life

It’s been nearly a year since I finished homeschooling my youngest son, and my plan has always been that when I finished homeschooling my boys, I would work on my writing full time, and my husband fully supported this plan. However, the circumstances of life have a way of changing our plans. I know that God has called me to be a writer, and I know that God has a purpose for the novel I have been working on for about five years now, and my desire is to finish the final edits of my novel and publish it so that I can work on my next book.

However, writing novels in today’s world, and even in the past, isn’t going to earn anyone, except the rare bestsellers, a decent amount of money in a reasonable amount of time, and with gas prices fluctuating and now, mostly, on the rise again, as well as grocery prices constantly rising, my husband and I realized I needed to do something more than work on my novels. But, I was unwilling to do anything that isn’t writing related. In addition, I was unwilling to work outside the home, so I spent months searching online for a job that paid a decent amount of money and involved writing, and I prayed that God would open the right door.

I became frustrated when most of the jobs that popped up in my searches online required a college degree. With all of the writing experience I’ve had over the years, why couldn’t they look at my work and give me a job? What was a college degree going to do for my writing that all my experience hadn’t already?

Then, one day, I met my critique partner in a coffee shop and shared my frustration with her. She responded by telling me about an ad, she saw in a local paper that said they were looking for writers. The position she mentioned sounded minimal and boring to me, but I decided to take a chance, so in the late morning of that same day, I called the newspaper and explained to the woman who answered, the reason for my call. She said the person I needed to talk to wouldn’t be in until later that afternoon, when I wouldn’t be available. So, the woman took my name and number and said she’d have the person call me the next day.

The next day, my phone rang, and it was the Managing Editor of the paper. I explained why I had called and he explained more about the position my critique partner had mentioned then asked if I thought that was something I’d want to do. So, I decided to take a chance and explained that I’m a Freelance Writer and was looking for something more, so we talked for a while and I explained my previous writing experience, and he sounded interested. Then he asked if we could meet the next day, so we set up a meeting for the next morning.

The next morning, I met the Managing Editor, we talked, and I showed him samples of my writing in all the different forms I had written, and he offered me a job as a Local Reporter. That was near the end of January 2023 and I completed my first article for The Lancaster Patriot in early February 2023 and I have been writing one article a week, nearly every week for this local newspaper, and I really enjoy the job.

What about my novel, you might ask. Well, that’s part of trying to settle into this new stage in life — my plan is to write for the paper, write my 40 Book Reviews for Clean Fiction Magazine each year, finish the final edits of my novel so that I can publish it and start the next one, post more frequently here on my blog and on my Linkedin account, and resume my activity on my MeWe page and my MeWe writing group page. In other words, I want a life of full-time writing.

However, I also have to be my youngest son’s transportation back and forth to work most of the time because he is studying for his permit and cannot drive yet, and my mother is a senior citizen and has some health issues and she requires some of my time to take her to appointments or help her with things around her home that she can’t do on her own anymore, like running the vacuum cleaner and mopping the floors. Then, of course, there is caring for my own household and spending time with friends.

So, as I continue to try to create a schedule that allows me to be a full-time writer, life continues to throw other challenges in that force me to focus on writing for the newspaper and write my Book Reviews, and only work on my novel a couple hours a week and let my blog and MeWe pages slide. I find this frustrating and sincerely hope I can fit all of these writing things into my schedule soon, but it may mean writing a blog post and a Linkedin post once a month and doing a short MeWe post on each of my pages once a week. I’m still trying to figure it all out. If you are a writer who manages to do multiple writing tasks and still handle family and life responsibilites, please leave a comment letting me know how you handle it all. Maybe seeing how other writers handle life, will give me things to try until I find the best schedule for my life.