Today I’m sharing on my blog a guest post from back in the spring of 2013. Please welcome to my blog, Twitter friend and fellow writer, Fiona Chapman! Fiona is also a keen blogger, the author of 7 Simple Ways To Survive On A Budget and I’m delighted to share her guest post here again. Take it away, Fiona!
Thank you Lacey for allowing me on your blog today, it’s an honour.
I first met Lacey when I became more active on Twitter in October 2012. I was working Monday-to-Friday, nine-to-five in an office job and dreamed of a better life, away from the stifling air-conditioned office with its floor-to-ceiling glass, taunting me with the freedom of fresh air and The Great Outdoors. I felt restricted and imprisoned in a life I didn’t belong to – and had done for a few years, since recovering from an illness in 2005, when I discovered there was more to life than being a corporate slave. Despite this, I went back to work after the illness as a way to make ends meet and found myself back in the thick of this slavery.
Many times passed when I was sorely tempted to take the plunge and throw myself into my desire to write for a living, but with bills to pay and no progress, it was a silly idea and a pipe-dream. Yet unlike most of the things I start in my life, writing was one hobby that just wouldn’t give up on me, so I fed it, nurtured it and carried it with me while living a separate life of society’s expectations (apparently we should all have financial security in the form of contracted employment and live by rules written by another).
In 2011 I became a mother and after nine months of maternity leave, made the choice to return to work, full time, place my daughter in childcare and stress myself out to within an inch of my life just because it was The Right Thing To Do. After these nine months and a request to reduce my hours – which was rejected – I decided that enough was enough and it was time for a change.
So I quit my job and made the choice to focus on bringing up my daughter and developing my longed for career in writing. I’m slowly making progress, juggling time for writing with a tornado of a toddler, and it is a challenge. I recall an ex-colleague joking that she embraced working three days a week, just for a rest from her children. Yet I do not regret it one bit. I am permanently knackered, but I’m no longer stressed. On only one income, it’s a struggle and we have to forgo certain luxuries such as holidays and new clothes, but we’re happy. I don’t see a lot of my old friends – who are busy with their hectic social lives – but I get to choose my own hours. As well as Lacey, I’ve made some brilliant new friends and contacts in the world of social networking who have made me realise it is possible to make your dreams a reality.
For me, writing is not only a career choice but also an outlet, a channel for expression and a time for serenity. I write articles, short stories and blog about my progress. Since October, I have put together and published a mini e-book on 7 Simple Ways To Survive On A Budget. I wrote the first draft of a romance novel – The Gateway – during NaNoWriMo 2012, which started with the seed of an idea and evolved into something totally unexpected; a love story set in two different time zones. It’s still a work in progress, and I haven’t decided on my publishing route yet; be it self-publishing or traditional-publishing. But as my writing journey progresses, I hope I can inspire others to take control of their lives, too.
Thanks for reading.