One day several years ago I sat in my favorite chair and had a pity extravaganza. Understand, it was more than a party. It was a fete, a ball, a bash, a bacchanal.
I had a lovely home, a great husband, awesome kids, good health, and a cute dog. But I was miserable.
I’d done a lot of different things:
- Marketing for a several magazines
- English, History, and P.E. teacher in independent study programs
- Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer
- Wellness Coach
- Health and Wellness Director for a local YMCA
- Ran a fat-burning laser program for a doctor’s office (Not my finest moment, but I was searching.)
I even wrote a book about how to achieve a healthy lifestyle and started an e-zine with a friend. But nothing was working. Nothing felt right. I was adrift in a sea of angst, and I wasn’t making any money either. I sat there in my chair with no reason to get out of it when, low and behold, a stream of words entered my brain. I didn’t understand why they were important at the time, but they were. I got up and typed them into a Word Doc.
They were as follows:
A brain numbing apathy started at the top of her head and oozed down her shoulders and limbs like a fungus.
From this one sentence I became obsessed with this imaginary woman and her imaginary mid-life crisis (which was an awful lot like mine) and wrote an entire novel about her. I learned a lot while penning that first story, and not just about writing.
I discovered focusing on myself, my problems, my goals, my appearance, my finances made me less happy and successful, not more. I found joy in having a purpose outside myself. I recognized the stories I like best might be scary, but they always have bit of humor—like a well-lived life.
I wish I could tell you the book was picked up by an agent, sold to a New York publisher and went on to hit the New York Times bestseller list. It didn’t. It was pretty bad. However, something good was born out of all that oozing apathy.
Today I write.
Whether it’s a suspense novel, a magazine article, a blog post, or a tweet, I’m on a mission to entertain, exhort, and encourage.