I've been doing a blog now for almost a eighteen months. For a while, I will reprint some of my favorite blogs on Wednesdays. This particular blog is one from exactly one year ago today. Please enjoy...
Most people have some sort of life plan. When you're young your plan is frequently full of grandiose schemes and implausible events. As you get older, you see how unlikely your plan for twelve children or your dream of being the first man on Mars is and you adjust accordingly.
In your early twenties (or earlier) your thoughts turn to marriage and family. The life plan is probably still unlikely, but it's changed in minute ways that make it possible, if not improbable.
And then a detour pops up and life takes an unexpected turn.
If anyone has had a plethora of detours, I have. It seemed that every time I aimed for a certain goal, that less traveled road popped up and somehow, somewhere I ended up out in the boonies again--so far out that I couldn't even SEE the plan, let alone get there.
I have dreamed of being a writer for nearly thirty five years. I worked at my craft, trained, took classes, and wrote, wrote, wrote, sometimes in five minute increments because that's the time that I had available. I longed to be a Silhouette or Harlequin author.
But it seemed that I was way ahead of my time. There really wasn't a place for my alien fantasy characters that insisted on having sex with each other. Alien wasn't in. Fantasy wasn't in. And sex? No that wasn't in, either. Characters were barely allowed to kiss.
Which is just as well, because I had a raft of detours. Children, moving, working, children, school, working, moving, ... There was an endless stream of changed plans. I didn't plan on having any children, yet I have four. I never dreamed that I would live in four widespread states in the forty years of our marriage, yet I've lived in IL, TX, NY, and MD. I started school at 27 and then stopped, started, stopped, started my way through until graduation at 43.
And jobs? Well...let's just say that I didn't have any careers, unless you count McDonalds, Friendly's, library clerk at a public library, drilling plastic knobs in a factory, Waldenbooks warehousing, and substitute teaching as careers. The closest to a genuine career that I came to was thirteen years as a secretary in a public school.
Still my goal to be a writer beckoned from the misty future. Maybe? Maybe there would come a time when it would happen? Then last year it was finally time. Six years ago a young woman started an on-line publishing house because the print houses all said her books were too "hot". And this year my alien fantasy books are not considered "hot" enough for her publishing house.
Six years ago, I was in a position that would have been compromised by a writing career. Now? Now is my time to shine. For all the detours and back roads that I traveled to get here, there were reasons. Some of those detours made me a stronger writer with emotional insights I wouldn't have had otherwise.
I don't regret my less traveled roads nor taking the long way home.