One year ago…..

In the past three months, I have written 2 novels (yes, I am seriously done with the first draft of the last book in my Portals Series already…. ), heavily edited four novellas for the series, published three of them, wrote several blog posts on this blog, finally finished research for my history blog, and still worked all of my hours at my full time job aside from my ten day isolation for COVID-19.

I am thankful for the full time job. I think that it has been a great job for me.

I need to back up and tell my story, as I often write in my series.

One year ago this very week, I made a huge switch in jobs.

I worked for a local Midwest convenience store company for what amounted to ten years all told. I started out part time, using it to supplement my income because the substitute teaching I was doing “full time” wasn’t year-round. For many years, it worked and it worked fairly well.

But almost three years ago, substitute teaching, due to issues that were going on, wasn’t working for me anymore. I needed a change from the stress of it all. I also wanted benefits like health care coverage, something I wasn’t getting from the teaching gig.

Two and a half years ago, I went full time at the store where I had been working part time. I did so with the blessing of my store manager, because staff was turning over again and he wanted someone he knew he could count on. I also substitute taught one day a week (when I felt like it), working often six days a week to supplement my income.

This move was blessing in disguise as it were since the COVID-19 pandemic hit just nine months after I made the switch. Had I not had made the move in employment, I would have likely been out of work from both jobs for several months.

When I went full time, I told myself I would eventually “look for something better” since the pay wasn’t that great at the store, but it compared to what I made in nine months of subbing. But part of me knew that I would stick around for a bit. Changes don’t come easily to me and I tend to stick situations out, even when they are toxic, because I know they work….. even if they don’t work well.

In December of 2020 and January of 2021, there were a number of events at the store that led to me finding a new job. I found one that suited me and handed in my resignation in the middle of January. I won’t go into details, but I made the switch to a full time gig at another place of employment that was better pay, better hours, and better management. There was, and still is, also a great deal less stress.

The move not only made me happier, but it seems to have unlocked my creativity.

I had been working on the third novel, Portal Seeker, since the end of 2019. But it was coming along very, very slowly. The stress from my former job and the stress from the pandemic had seriously stifled my creativity. I was coming home from work completely exhausted and feeling broken because of issues beyond my control. I didn’t feel like writing most days. When I did want to write, I couldn’t come up with anything to write about. Writer’s block had seriously taken control and I could do little to work through it.

I was frustrated. I wanted to be a writer, even if it was only part-time, but nothing flowed anymore.

It took just a few months working at my new job for me to bounce back. And bounce back I seemed to do. The floodgates of inspiration seemed to open up. No longer did my writing seem stilted at best, but words seemed to flow out of me. I was excited about writing again.

And write I did. Not only did I finish Portal Seeker, but I started hearing the stories of others in my mind. Granted, the voices were just my imagination starting to make up new characters and new tales, but I was tapping into a passion I had not felt about writing in years. And while I worked more hours, I was not as stressed out by the job, which in turn led me to want to find more time to write.

I even managed to finish NaNoWriMo 2021 because I had the energy and creativity to do so.

My dear husband is convinced it’s because I switched jobs to one that makes me happier.

Don’t get me wrong, the job isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I still get stressed. I still have bad days and what not. I still have to work with people who may not be as cooperative as I would like. But I love what I do at my job and I have time to let my imagination wander on occasion while still being able to be focused.

I am glad I made the switch one year ago.

The former job will always be a part of my story, the one I am continuing to write. But, it will remain a chapter that is finished, one that shaped me and helped me to grow as a person. It’s how it will always remain to be.

If you liked this blog post and wanted to see some of the fantasy works I have written, check out my Portals Series. If you are interested in my other online endeavors, check out the drop down menu.

And as always, #writeyourownstory

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