BY ELAINA FELLOWS
“Why don’t you just quit your job and do it?” My husband asked me. I looked at him in disbelief. We had been in the middle of one of our suspended reality conversations. The ones where the children were grown up, finances weren’t a problem and dreams come true.
My dream was writing. I had known for a long time that my heart wasn’t in my job. Although I loved working with my colleagues, what I really wanted to do was write.
But write what exactly? And how to go about it? I had always been a realist and the pragmatic side of me wasn’t expecting to write a bestselling novel. The pragmatist wanted to write as part of a new career. But there was also another side; the side that watched for rainbows and looked up at the stars in wonder. That side wanted to write creatively.
“Do you honestly mean it?” I said. “Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.”
“I honestly mean it. We can manage. And this is a win for all of us, the whole family. You could be home with the boys and also find time to write. You need to give up that job and find something you love.”
A mixture of emotions swirled within me. Anticipation and elation, yes. But also fear. I’d always had a job, through two stints of maternity leave it had been a safety net waiting to catch me. I’d worked hard to reach the level I was at professionally; this new move would mean starting all over again.
Did I even want to take that leap?
What do you do when someone hands you the moon? A part of me wanted to hand it back and say, ‘Thanks but no thanks’. A part of me wanted to retreat back to what I knew, rather than attempt the unknown. A part of me wanted to carry on being middling successful rather than risk being a failure.
Then a bigger part of me said, ‘Screw it. Jump. Both feet and no safety net.’
In five years’ time I wanted to be able to say to my boys: ‘Your mum took a leap of faith to do something she loved. She took a risk, and no matter what the outcome is, she’d do it again.’
So here I am, two months into my new career as part-time writer and full-time mother.
I’m writing whenever I can, as much as I can and finding my voice. I’m blogging, drafting short stories and soaking up ideas as I listen to the world around me. The world has become a more interesting place, my life suddenly filled with characters that I want to write about and explore.
I just finished editing my first short story and have handed it to the person who matters most to me – my husband. I wait nervously for his feedback. Doing something you love means you put your heart on the line, doesn’t it?
It’s finished, edited and re-edited and ready to share with the world. I’m so proud of my first piece of work. Now for the last part of this journey – finding my readers. I’m ready to be heard.
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