Thursday, July 7, 2011

A New Chapter

As a fiction author, I know that every chapter in a book doesn't necessarily tie things up into a neat little package nor begin with a smooth transition. Instead they end and begin with hooks that generate enough interest to entice the reader to continue on with the story. Similarly, the chapters of our lives often end and begin with more questions than answers. Some things change. Some remain the same. And there are many unknowns. It can be a time of celebration, a time to grieve, a time to move on, a time for setting new goals.

Over the past three weeks I've been recovering from pneumonia. It has been a horrible ordeal and I'm glad that I'm finally better. I can breathe. I also can take a deep cleansing breath as I move on to the next stage of my life, leaving behind the part-time job that I've held for the past four years. I enjoyed working for Literacy Volunteers, an excellent organization that helps adults improve their literacy skills. But over the past year or more it was becoming increasingly more difficult to manage because of my chronic migraines. At the same time I went through my step-dad's terminal illness and death, and have experienced the hard work and joy of making progress with my literary career, and also continued with occasional freelance website development projects. Over the past six months I have been wearing more hats than I was comfortable with and my author activities have become increasingly more demanding. It was all so chaotic and felt overwhelming at times, and totally went against my grain as someone who is a planner and likes a more peaceful life.  So as I considered transitioning away from some of my tasks I've sought to define where my time and energy would be best spent.

Now I'm happy to say that I'm officially writing full-time which to me means that is where my primary focus remains.  This is my time of preparation for my books that will release next year and there is so much to do.  I'm also continuing to do freelance work as a website developer and graphic designer, as I have had increased opportunity to continue with that work.  I also plan to revamp my own online presence through my website and create promotional materials.

My opening hook for this new chapter includes my questions about how best to prioritize my projects and reorganize my life. I also will attempt to find some answers to some of my health issues. So I prayerfully devote this exciting new time to the Lord and seek his leading in the story He is telling of my life.

What is happening in the current chapter of your life? Are you at the beginning, middle, end?

16 comments :

  1. Great post. I'm so glad you're feeling better. How exciting to be on this next step of your writing journey. I'm in the midst of edits and working toward that next step of publication.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

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  2. You've been going through some tough "scenes" in your life story, Carla. I'm glad to hear you've recovered from the pneumonia and been able to make some positive decisions for your future. I sure know the benefits of being able to prioritize and let go of some things.

    When I had the opportunity to sell my home-based business I looked forward to my early retirement and having so much more time to do the things I really wanted to do. Several years later I was still struggling to fit things in. It was partly because I wasn't making efficient use of my time, but it was also because I wasn't passionate about many of the volunteer things that consumed my time. When I finally stopped to evaluate and prioritize, I let a couple things go and instantly felt re-energized.

    I suppose I'm at the middle stage of my writing life now, looking forward to a second career as a novelist but not there yet. Hopefully that will be the next chapter. :)

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  3. Carla,
    SO thankful you're better and are in a transition phase or new season in your life which will benefit you all the way around and bless others, too! Glad you're back to blogging as I really miss your posts:)

    Good question and one I'm not sure how to answer. Life after publishing is very different than I thought it would be! And I realize that even if you achieve the writing dream, it doesn't fulfill you as only He can. I'm glad I know that personally as I used to think being published was the answer to everything. NOT;)

    I hope the coming year will be so full of blessings for you that the struggles of the past year will fade away.

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  4. I like that comparison, Carla! Glad to hear you can devote more time and energy to writing. :)

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  5. Carla, I know how badly pneumonia can sap you.

    So many things we take for granted, or even more, really never think about - like the next beat of your heart or the the ability to breathe.

    Glad to hear you're feeling better.

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  6. Hi Jodie, Thank you! It is an exciting step of my journey. LONG awaited. I'm very excited for you and all of the progress you are making. Yay!

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  7. Aptly put, Carol. Making these decisions are challenging, but as you said re-energizing! I'm glad to see you are looking forward to a second career as a novelist - a wonderful continuation of the momentum you've been building. Sometimes folks look at us like we are a little nuts for wanting to embark on a second career, but why not? It is something we are passionate about and enjoy! Good for us!

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  8. Thank you, Sarah! It is an exciting time for me and a long awaited season of my life. Wishing you well in your own special season of writing and enjoying your little ones.

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  9. Thank you much, Renee. Yes, that next breathe and beat of the heart is not to be taken for granted. I cannot tell you how many times over the past few weeks I appreciated that very thing! And it sounds like you know just what I'm talking about. The Lord is gracious and I pray my life, and every breath, every beat of my heart will honor Him.

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  10. Laura, your sweet words encourage me to keep my focus on Christ as the source of my creativity. What you said is so true...there are many things we can do and realize a sense of satisfaction, but the fulfillment to all our longings come from Him alone. It's a new season indeed, and I'm so happy about it but you have reminded me to keep my focus where it should be.

    It is good to be blogging again. I kind of had to bit the bullet for my last few posts to get back into the swing of things, but I'm so glad I did. I miss the fellowship and sweet support of my readers.

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  11. Oh Carla, so glad to know you're doing better. I'd heard you were sick. :-(

    What a great opportunity to quite your part time job. More writing time! Yay you!

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  12. Thank you, Naomi. It is amazing how much time it freed up for me. I only worked 3 half days, but it really gave me back 3 full day!

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  13. So good to hear you are over the pneumonia. I've had that twice, at this time of year. May God bless and order your walk with Him this coming year, and may He settle you into just the right balance of irons in the fire and marshmallows to roast. :)

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  14. I forgot to answer your question. Like Laura said, it's a hard one to answer. This December will mark twenty years that I've been writing, or struggling to retrain my chemo-fogged brain to write, and working toward being published. I'm again in a period of waiting and praying for doors to open, if that's His will. And keeping busy on the next book, still in love with world building and story weaving and character creating. Resting from blogging for a bit. Trusting in Him.

    So, that sounds like somewhere toward the end of a chapter, doesn't it? :)

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  15. Lori, I like the way you put that...especially the marshmallows part!

    Your diligence inspires me. And I know you are enjoying the journey as you build your story worlds. That is such a fun part of it!

    It does sound like you are near the end of a chapter. Hopefully you'll be turning the page very soon!!

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  16. Hello, Carla, it's wonderful to "meet" you!

    Pneumonia can be so serious--glad you are feeling better! It does take weeks to recuperate.

    Though I've written for years and had to put my writing on hold for a time, I would have to say I'm at the beginning stage of my career also. I'm learning to juggle and wear multiple hats. Challenging and fun. :)

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