Borderline Genius thought of the day: If you think you’ve got skills to pay the bills then shut up and get to work
Having zero writing experience or credentials makes it hard to bust into the industry as a writer. The extent of my work was typing memos, fax cover sheets, re-writing and re-wording policies, and job training procedures for the accounting department I worked in at a local industrial contractor over 9 years ago. When the market crashed so did my job. For the first time since becoming a mom I found myself unemployed and home with 2 young children, and there was no work on the horizon.
After hitting dead-end after dead-end I needed to think outside the box. Regardless of my virtually non-existent experience; writing was still something I very much enjoyed doing (even if only for accounting documents), and I wondered if I truly could make something of it. Freelance, self publishing, and social media were not in my vocabulary at that time so I relied solely on searching the internet for resources. Where do you even start? How do you get the most exposure? This momma has some stories to write so WHO’S DOOR DO I NEED TO BE KNOCKING ON? Knowing the most effective channels to go through is still something I struggle with today.
At the time, searching the internet for information on how to even go about becoming a published writer was overwhelming, and still rings true today. There was a ton of information, and I didn’t know what to do with it all, but I knew I just needed to start. So I bought my first Writer’s Digest magazine and perused the pages. That’s where I found the Your Story contest where you are given a writing prompt and create a short story based on it. Anyone could enter, it was free, and the members of the Writer’s Digest forum voted. The winner would then get their winning story published in one of their upcoming magazines. Ok, so some real exposure to actual people in the industry. This could be good, and it would certainly let me know if I had it or not. At that time I was unsure if I honestly had true writing skills to pay the bills but surely entering a writing contest would be a good start.
There were over 900 submissions for this contest and shortly after voting ended I found out that I WON! The prompt given by Writer’s Digest was, “A woman is given the ability to go back in time and change one event in her life”. Here was my story:
It was my first and I know it will be my most emotional piece of work ever. I bawled my eyes out the entire time I wrote it, and it still strikes a nerve every time I share it with others.
The forum members voted. My words would be in print. This was big. So many ideas were flooding me and the excitement of where this might take me was empowering. Idea after idea circulated through my mind and I quickly got to typing. I started out with writing my first book, which turned into even more ideas and I then started writing my second book. Both young adult thrillers, but neither one had been written past chapter 3. My brain needed to be downloaded, and I remember wanting to jam a flash drive straight into my head to get all the information out.
With 2 young children at home I found out very quickly how hard pursing a writing career was for me. Writing consumed me, and I found it extremely hard to concentrate with the relentless interruptions. It went a little something like this, “mom mom mom mom mom mom”. All day every day. It became an uphill battle, and between kids and writing I was getting nothing else done. My house was a mess and nobody had clean socks. Something had to give. I weighed my options. On the one hand I adored my kids, but they were so needy, smelled like play-doh, and had crusty fishy crackers in their hair. Writing on the other hand was a welcome escape. It was never smelly or sticky and did not pour an entire bottle of baby wash all over the playroom table when I wasn’t looking. In all seriousness though obviously the kids stayed, and the writing had to be put on hold.
Fast forward to today and I’m back! Advances in technology are making it possible for me to unload the thoughts in my head and has given me a new creative edge. After being very anti-social media and only limiting my exposure to Facebook I figured it was time to branch out, catch up, and get with it, but I was done scouring the internet and trying to do it everyone else’s way. I want to do it my way and decided to operate as a brand rather than an author/a name. I want the whole brand baby! That is where Borderline Genius comes in. The creation and inspiration for Borderline Genius is a story for another day.
The house is clean, and the kids (although still needy) are older and have their own things going on. Typing this blog from my iPhone while at my youngest sons baseball practice is super convenient. Even though my skills are not paying ANY bills at this time (not even the student loans I racked up when I attempted to go back to school to pursue a nursing degree) you can now follow me on Instagram @BorderlineGenius10 and Twitter @BorderLnGenius and share, follow, love, and empower.