On Ending One Career and Starting Another


When I found myself unexpectedly without a job in September 2022, I did what I always do: I updated my resume, upgraded my LinkedIn membership, and threw myself headfirst into the job search. And found myself in the deep end of…a cesspool. Dozens of conversations and interviews later the message from the world of work was clear message: We don’t want you. You’re too old.

After months of unemployment and uncertainty and increasing self-doubt, after decades spent climbing ladders and chasing coin, I decided to close the book on my career in communications and follow my heart and chase the long-held dream I’d pushed aside for too long. I was going to focus on writing.

This wasn’t a decision I made lightly or without careful consideration—I am a Libra after all. There were conversations with my husband and meetings with our financial advisor. I sat with myself and searched within to find what I really wanted. For me the decision was a leap of faith, like falling in love, like marriage. But for once, I promised myself, I was going to put my energy, my creativity, my talent to service for myself rather than a bloodless employer.

I was going to focus on my writing. It took years after my first two novels were published for me to feel comfortable calling myself a writer, to own my talent. Winning the Lambda Literary Award in 2022 for my last book was definitely the confidence booster I needed.

Six months after the decision to leave my communications career behind, I’ve landed safe. I just completed the first draft of my new novel—my fifth. And I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

There were challenges—how to organize my time, how to write consistently every day. There was frustration. This book was originally conceived as a collaboration. When the collaborative relationship fell apart, as it was destined to, I was left to rethink and reimagine the story.

There was doubt. Sure, winning the Lammy had been a confidence booster. It was also daunting thinking about following that success. I consider Excellent Sons to be my most significant work, my chef d'oeuvre. And it may remain so. The point is that I’m still writing. I’ve learned discipline and how to hold space and put my writing first.

There was celebration—and too much champagne drunk: reaching 50,000 then 55,000 then 60,000 words which meant I had an actual book.

You know all that new-agey talk about chasing your bliss? Turns out its not nonsense. And what six months ago had felt like defeat was in fact the universe prodding me, telling me, no, not that way, this way.

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash


Comments

  1. Well done, Larry. Congratulations on your decision and the success you have found.

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  2. Larry, I’m so so proud of you. We only have this one life. You have people that love and care for you no matter where your next leap of faith takes you.. screenwriting????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Screenwriting, huh? Well I'd love to do s limited series with Amazon or Netflix! Guess we'll see whet the universe says about that...

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