Yves Brown McClain: Literary Fierceness

Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

Writer Wednesday: Teasers – To Post or not to Post?

Posted by Dahlia on August 31, 2011

I once lurked around a discussion board about writing and publishing. One poster mentioned posting an excerpt to a story she was working on. To say the discussion went bananas after she wrote it is an understatement, they went ape —-. So many of the writers said they would NEVER post a WIP (work-in-progress) on their blog or website because once it goes live, it’s published.  Once published, you’ll have a hard time snagging an agent. I felt so bad for the poster who made that statement. Poor thing, they had ripped her a virtual new one.

Last month, I bought a copy of We Are Not Alone The Writer’s Guide to Social Media by Kristen Lamb. The topic of posting WIP excerpts comes up in her book. She makes a compelling argument why it’s generally a bad idea to include WIP excerpts as one, some, or all of your blog posts if you’re not yet published. I’ll briefly touch on a few of them. (*start plug* if you want all the reasons and details, I recommend purchasing her book, it’s a really good read *end plug*)

  1. Difficulty getting an agent if you post too much
  2. The feedback may not be honest enough
  3. The feedback may be TOO honest or just flat out mean-spirited
  4. Frustrating the reader who wants to buy the book only to find it isn’t available yet

However, there have got to be exceptions to the rule (isn’t there always?). I managed to find a few. Established authors can get away with it. I recently read a few not-yet-published teasers on the Facebook page of an accomplished, published, and bestselling author.  Considering she has an agent, a book deal, six best-sellers, and a loyal fan following, I’m sure these teasers won’t hurt her a bit. They’ll only make her fans beg her to publish them not now, but RAHT now. Even if she doesn’t publish them right away, her fans will wait. I’m sure it helps that they’ve got six books to choose from to pass the time while they’re waiting.

The second exception is the self-published/independent author. This person has complete control of his/her work from the roota to the toota. He or she is his/her own agent/publisher/marketer/PR person. Sylvia Hubbard would be my example of Exception #2. Not only does she offer a few of her novels for free, she also does what is called a Live Story in Progress (LSIP), where she posts pieces of her story on her blog as she writes them. This method has been met with success. Her fans can’t wait for the next installment and are more than willing to buy the completed version once she formally publishes (I am one of the fans eagerly awaiting her most recent LSIP to be published). However, Sylvia has her own publishing imprint.

I would have to agree with the posters who slammed that poor lady on that discussion board and Kristen to an extent. If you don’t have an agent and/or not published, it probably isn’t wise to post teasers to your book. You never know what might change in your story (the title, the characters, maybe even a huge chunk of plot). It may seem innocent enough to give potential readers a taste, but in reality it can be a setup to fail and a setback for you. However, if you meet one of those two exceptions, then you may be safe to tease away.

Writers – Have you ever posted an excerpt from your WIP on your site/blog? How was it received? Do you think teasers for unpublished pieces are helpful or harmful?

Readers – If you read an excerpt on a writer’s site, do you expect for it to be published (as in the next few months). How would you feel if it’s a long way from being published? Do you still support the writer or do you feel you’ll get tired of waiting after awhile? Of course, this is assuming you liked what you read. 😉

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Posted in Marketing & Promoting, Publishing, Writer Wednesday, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Blog Interview with Morgen Bailey featuring…moi!

Posted by Dahlia on August 30, 2011

Hi! Today’s post will be very brief. I just wanted to announce that I’m being featured over at Morgen Bailey’s blog today. My first interview…woot-woot!

Let me give you a little information about Morgen Bailey. She is a fiction writer out of the UK (so this means I just went international…BOOM!) Her blog is full of great information, such as blog interviews (such as the one I’m being featured on), author spotlights, guest posts, podcasts, writing tips, as well as her own work as a writer. Her blog interviews are open to any blogger/writer in any genre, so if you’d like to subscribe or even be featured on her blog, check out her Blog Interview page.

So, to check out my interview, please click here to go over to her page. Let me know what you think!

Peace & Blessings

Posted in Announcements, Author Interview, Marketing & Promoting | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

This book would make a great movie…

Posted by Dahlia on August 5, 2011

Taking a popular book and turning it into a movie or tv show happens all the time, sometimes with great success, sometimes not. I can mention the obvious Twilight and Harry Potter series. Then there’s I Am Number Four, The Nanny Diaries, Rizolli & Isles, Lipstick Jungle, Sex & The City (a good example of book to TV show to Movie ) – It even happens to books written by African-Americans and/or featuring predominantly African-American characters. Precious, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale made it to the big screen. Disappearing Acts was on HBO. Zane’s The Sex Chronicles got a series on Cinemax. Steve Harvey’s book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man is filming as we speak. Helena Andrews, who penned Bitch is The New Black just got a movie deal for her book optioned by none other than the super-fab Shonda Rhimes. And yes, the screenplay will be written by Helena.
I don’t know of a writer who doesn’t play Fantasy Casting Director with their books, wondering if their novel, memoir, or self-help book has what it takes to grace either the silver or small screen. We’ve imagined who would play who in the movie version of our book. What can I say, writers dream big. I’d like to suggest a few books, both fiction and non-fiction that would make good movies or TV series.
Flyy Girl — Talk about 80s nostalgia! It’s hard to come by a black woman who didn’t love Omar Tyree’s coming of age novel about a girl in the hip-hop era. Even he knows it should be a movie; the follow up to Flyy Girl, For the Love of Money is about Flyy Girl becoming a movie.
The Strawberry Letter: Real Talk, Real Advice, Because Bitterness Isn’t Sexy — I envision Shirley Strawberry’s compilation of letters from people seeking relationship advice that have become very popular on The Steve Harvey Morning Show becoming somewhat of an ensemble movie, like Valentine’s Day or He’s Just Not That Into You (also started as a book) where the characters don’t all interact with each other, but they’re all connected. I can only imagine the drama, comedy, and hijinks a well-written screenplay played awesome actors could create.
Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime — Written by Damon Young and Panama Jackson, the title alone to this dating and relationship book has me envisioning movie trailers and promo posters. Again, another ensemble cast is in order.
Scenes From a Sistah, Getting to The Good Part, Tastes Like Chicken — this series of books by Lolita Files featuring best friends Misty Fine and Reesy Snowden can easily be the replacement to the void left behind by Girlfriends.(see Gotta Have Girlfriends). However, this show would need to make its home on either HBO or Showtime. Network TV and basic cable won’t do this show justice.
Casting The First Stone — Love, Honor, and Betray — Kimberla Lawson Roby’s eight-book (to date) series of stories centered around Rev. Curtis Black could be the perfect hour-long drama series. Lies, greed, sex, scandals, cheating, gossip, power struggles, scheming, money, love, and church. Whoo! I’d tune in every week. Hey, Brothers and Sisters just got cancelled…10pm every Sunday is appropriate AND perfect.
Those are just my thoughts, and I know there are more out there that I haven’t thought of. So, now it’s your turn. What book do you see making an excellent movie or tv show? If you think a book is better suited for television, what station would you put it on and why?

Posted in Books, Marketing & Promoting, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Writer Wednesday: Killing your story softly #1

Posted by Dahlia on August 3, 2011

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. However, I’m a reader first. I love reading books as much I enjoy writing them. I have found from both the reader’s and writer’s perspective that there are things an author can do to a book that could place it in urgent care, ICU, or just flat out kill it altogether. Based on feedback from both writers and readers the Killing Your Story Softly (KYSS) Series was born. So, you ready? LEGGO!
***
KYSS #1: The Half-A** Committment
Say you smash your toe into the wall, burn your hand on the stove, break your acrylic fingernail right across the nailbed. If you’re like me with a bit of a cussing spirit (maybe a lot), what’s your reaction? I’ll tell you what it ain’t… “Oh, S!”
I once read a book where boyfriend and girlfriend are having a heated argument. Girlfriend finally has enough of boyfriend’s mess and says…”F*** you!”
Seriously?
No, for real…where’s the rest of the word?
I kid you not, that’s really how it was written.
So, what the f*** is up with censoring the words? It’s a novel, not a live performance on CBS. The FCC isn’t going to come after you for spelling the whole word out. I was really bothered by that. It wasn’t a serious enough blow for me to put the book down, but I proceeded reading with caution.
My thing is if you’re not going to commit fully to whatever you’re putting in the story, be it strong language, action sequences, steamy sex scenes, whatever, then just don’t put it in. This is where the come correct or not at all rule comes into play. There are workarounds and alternatives if you’re not comfortable. However, censoring the word in print isn’t one of them because people who use profanity don’t talk and think in asterisks. I consider this a dialogue fail in the story. The author “bleeping” out the f-bomb wasn’t necessary. There had to be another way to effectively show how fed up the female character was.
Now maybe it’s just my cussing spirit, but if one of my characters is going to say it, you best believe you’re going to get all four letters on the page. Or all five, eight or maybe even all 12 letters if the scene calls for it and it’s in the character’s nature. Now, this doesn’t mean every three words should be a s, d, or f. Not every character likes to get his/her cuss on. Too much strong language can kill a story, too. Perhaps it’s taboo for the genre. (Now we know there are five-year-olds out there that can cuss you under the table and probably chew so much Dial they burp, hiccup, and fart soap bubbles, but those words shouldn’t be in a picture book…sorry.) The writer has to determine the appropriateness of strong language as it pertains to the story and to the character(s). If it is appropriate, go on and let him say it. All of it. Don’t hold back. Commit.
***
Now it’s your turn. My beloved readers, what things have you come across in books that have made you scratch your head or just throw the book in the garbage? For my writer peeps, what pitfalls are you avoiding so that your work will be its best effort possible? I’d like to know. Perhaps your story pet peeve will make the “KYSS of death” list. Happy writing and happy reading 🙂

Posted in Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Gotta have Girlfriends

Posted by Dahlia on August 1, 2011

I’ve got a ton of associates, just as many colleagues, and people I know that I think are generally good folks. Friends, specifically female ones, I can count on one hand. I’m talking about those real, true girlfriends that always has your back and will ride with you no matter what. Some you’ve been friends with since diapers. Some you met somewhere along the course of growing up, either in the sandbox, first day of school, sitting next to you in homeroom. Others you met in college. You sat behind her during freshman orientation. Perhaps she was the roommate that didn’t set your suite on fire (yes, this happened to me). Maybe you met her during that dreadful summer internship at XYZ Corporation the summer before junior year. Still, there are some you don’t connect with until your adult years, be it at work, church, the beauty salon, a networking event, et cetera.
I believe that the “girlfriend” relationship – that close bond with another female is a very significant one. A key relationship in life. True, some women don’t want to be bothered with female friends. Why? Because some women can get overly emotional, sometimes petty, and in some instances just flat out nasty. Just watch any reality show with a predominantly female cast. And in order to avoid the foolishness and dramatics, it can be easier just to have platonic male friends. But, still for most of us, we need girlfriends. That relationship is as important as the romantic one or the family one.
Think of the TV shows that celebrate and embrace the Girlfriend relationship: Girlfriends, Sex & The City, Single Ladies, Desperate Housewives, Laverne & Shirley, Kate & Allie (yeah, I went in the Way Back Machine for those last two). Or the books with strong female friendships, such as Misty & Reesy from Lolita Files’s Scenes From a Sistah, Getting to The Good Part, and Tastes Like Chicken. Or Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria, and Robin — the women from Terry McMillan’s Waiting To Exhale & Getting to Happy. Those are just a few examples of fictional girlfriends. And for the most part, those relationships are pretty solid, just like real-life friendships.

So, in celebration of the BFF, below is my little list of reasons why you need at least one Girlfriend in your life:
1. She’ll tell you those shoes are kick-ass and you need to buy them. Like now. Raht now. Same goes for that Coach bag.
2. She’ll cheer you on when that idea/dream/aspiration you’ve been pursuing makes you want to not just throw in the towel, but throw the damn thing out.
3. She’ll help you escape when dude with the ecru-hued teeth and breath from the pits of Hell gets all up in your personal space.
4. She understands that your manager is Satan’s mistress.
5. She’ll let you cry, vent, whine, whatever. You don’t have to “suck it up” with her.
6. She shows up at your house with the vodka, martini mix, and shaker when that date/day at work/ relationship has gone totally and completely wrong.
7. She holds your hair when you’ve overdone it on the vodka and martini mix.
8. So, Beaches, Steel Magnolias, AND A League of Their Own are on TV? Not only is she game, she’s bringing the cheesecake.
9. She thinks it is completely normal to eat an entire half-sheet of birthday cake by yourself. Matter of fact, she’ll grab a fork and take half.
10. Despite what that family member said about your lack of direction/husband/children/career, she always thinks you rock.

These are just a few reasons. I know there are more. What are your reasons that girlfriends are important? Why is the girlfriend in your life so important? What is it about her that makes you say that she’s more than a friend, she’s your sister?

Posted in Relationships | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Change the Game

Posted by Dahlia on July 28, 2011

Lately, I have been thinking of ways to expand my platform to get more readers. Like I mentioned before, I love the writers who follow me. Great relationships have been formed because of it, and while I know writers read, I really wanted to reach out to that reader that I’m writing for. And the majority of my posts haven’t been for the reader.

I subscribe to Kristen Lamb’s blog and get her updates in my email. For those who don’t know who this fabulous lady is, she is considered a social media expert. She has written a book titled We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and it’s all about platform building to attract a following of you guessed it, readers. Not even halfway (I was at about 22%) through her book, I saw that my strategy was wrong and I needed an overhaul of my blog. Simply put, with the imminent publication of my novella with a full novel to follow, I’ve got to change my game. However, I don’t want to lose the writers that have hopped on this journey with me. Supporting each other is
still important to me. At the same time, books generally don’t sell themselves,
especially if you’re going the independent route like I am. So, I’ve got to
reach my target audience and change the way I’ve been approaching social
networking.

So, here are the changes that I’m going to incorporate. **drumroll, please and thank you**

1. Blog title change

You may have already noticed this. I feel the new title is more inclusive of
not only this writing process but the content relevant to my genre and my style
of writing.

2. More frequent updates

No, I’m not going back to daily. I’m a writer who blogs, not a blogger who writes. I am pushing for three days a week. I want to dedicate my Wednesdays to my writer followers that have been hanging out with me since February. And since I like alliteration like that, Writer Wednesday is for you! Smooches!  :X

3. More reader friendly content

I write fiction. Specifically women’s fiction. Even more specifically chick-lit (and the occasional drama). My characters are predominantly African-American. So, my niche is African-American Chick Lit. So, I need to talk about things related to what someone reading African-American Chick Lit would read in a book: relationships (not just the romantic ones but the ones between parents and children, siblings, etc.), love, friendships, fashion, socializing, and maybe a little bit of drinking. Also included in this would be interviews from authors similar to me, book reviews of books in the same genre, etc.

4. A slight Twitter change

My original twitter handle was already ok. It was @ycbmcclain, but I felt
it was better to use my full professional name. It’s a part of branding. Unfortunately
@yvesbrownmcclain was too long, so I settled for @yvesbmcclain

I would HIGHLY recommend Kristen’s book to any writer trying to navigate the internet and all these social networking sites to engage readers. It can get overwhelming and time-consuming. The tips just make good common sense and can help you from spamming away your network. This is only the beginning of the revamp of my platform and I am very excited. You can get either the print or the electronic version. It’s so worth the investment in yourself, your brand, and your product.

Posted in Announcements, Marketing & Promoting, Publishing, Purpose, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Relax, Relate, Release…

Posted by Dahlia on July 27, 2011

I completed my novella’s draft about a few weeks ago (I’ve got an excerpt available here). I was a little tapped out creatively to jump right in and start revisions on it, so I decided to return to my other WIP that I’d placed on hold to write the novella.

However, I wasn’t able to flip out of one story into the other for a few days. My novella had taken on a more dramatic tone, whereas my novel is a bit more lighthearted. Two things helped me transition: One was an enlightening conversation about fear and vulnerability with a fellow writer friend. (I won’t name names 🙂 ). This conversation helped me see that I must see my novel through to the end, despite the internal and external obstacles. Second, I read the work of one of my favorite authors, Lolita Files. And I laughed. A lot. I won’t get into too many details, but I’ll never see a thunderstorm the same way again.

Then I went back to my WIP. I began to have an experience similar to Beyonce’s after she wrapped up Dreamgirls and started work on her second album, B-Day. She said in an interview that she’d been confined to her Dena character for so long that when she got into the studio, she was able to release and all this creativity just came out. I
had taken about a month to craft this novella that’s a bit out of the box for me because of the drama involved in it. I tend to like my writing lighthearted and fun. But, I needed to do something different because I was getting stagnant with the WIP. (When you’ve been working on it as long as I have, it can get that way sometimes). So, I took the challenge of being a drama writer and immersed myself in it completely. So, it was safe to say that when I finally got back to my WIP, I needed to release. And I did. Suddenly, I had all these ideas and ways to fill in the blanks of the chapters I needed to add and make adjustments to existing chapters. And for me, I found them to be not only lighthearted and fun, but funny. (I’ll find out soon if others agree with me on the funny stuff) I’d been through too much pretend drama in the past month. I
needed a good laugh.

So, you may not need to go as far as I did and write a completely different story to get a break from your current project. It just so happened that I had the idea and decided to run with it. Fortunately, it helped me return to my WIP with a fresh set of eyes and a bunch of ideas while at the same time, I was able to stretch out of my chick-lit comfort zone and dabble in drama for a bit. So, what do you do to release when you find that your WIP is getting a little stagnant?

Posted in Encouragement & Motivation, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Short Story Challenge comes up Short

Posted by Dahlia on December 30, 2010

I had the best intentions, really I did. I challenged myself to write a short story and I thought the concept of someone returning home at Christmastime to visit family after being away for awhile would be lighthearted and quick. Turns out, not quite. Once I started drafting 12 Days, it was quickly confirmed that the short story is not my forte’ and I’m okay with that. I respect anyone that is able to tell a story in less than 30,000 words. Maybe one day, I’ll try again…

So, what’s going to happen with my holiday story? I’m adding it to my story idea log to become a full-length novel. I considered starting on it in January after Wild Oats goes to print, however there’s another novel that’s been brewing for quite some time now that I decided a while back would be my second. I have learned in this process that you have to be flexible enough to go with the creative process but know when to reel it in and stay on task.

 I hope you enjoyed letting me get a few ideas out about the Griffin family and their “straight-man” of the bunch, middle daughter Ainsley. So, while 12 Days is getting shelved for the time being, it shouldn’t be the last you hear of it.  Happy Holidays!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Day One

Posted by Dahlia on December 2, 2010

“I think he only did it to get out of buying a gift.” Deanna suggests. “What kind of dude breaks up with you 12 days before Christmas?”
“Yeah, instead of a partridge in a pear tree here I am drowning in grey goose in a pear martini.” Ainsley responds with a sigh.
“You want to go bust his windows?”
Ainsley shifts her brown eyes to her light-complexioned friend, who is smiling at the thought of a bat cracking the glass of Ainsley’s latest ex-boyfriend’s car. “No, I don’t, Dee, and don’t go getting any ideas that’ll land us in jail.” She takes a sip of her martini and sighs, “I don’t get it. I thought we were good.”
“Yeah, all the more reason we should go and key up his pretty black Lexus,” Deanna says. “Think about it, he worshipped that car. Imagine the look on his face when he walks outside and sees the word “asshole” etched into it.” Ainsley leans back in her seat, and gets a visual of his face and smiles. “See, you’re smiling. I knew it would make you feel better.” Just then, Ainsley gets a visual is of the police knocking on her door with a warrant for her arrest and her smile fades. “Not worth it,” she says, sitting up.
“Come on, Ann. Haven’t you just wanted to try something a little crazy?”
“No thank you. I’ve got enough crazy in my family already. That’s probably the real reason he broke up with me, to get out of this trip.”
“Stop it, Ann. He broke up with you because he’s a jerk.
“Jerk or not, the ticket had already been bought. Who else takes a loss on a $250 plane ticket unless he had some insight of what he was getting himself into? Hell, if I could dump my family I would.”
“You must be exaggerating. Your family can’t be that bad.”
“Of course you would say that. You were ready to throw bricks through the man’s windows just a minute ago. We must’ve been switched at birth, because you would blend right in.”
“If you must know, I would not use bricks. A bat is more accurate.”
“I’m not even going to ask how you know that,” Ainsley laughs, finishing the last of her drink. “I need to get out of here so I can finish packing.” She then reaches for her purse, but Deanna stops her by saying, “I got it.” Once Deanna signals the bartender, she asks, “So, when was the last time you were home?”
“Five years ago.”
“Five years? Seriously?”
“Yep. It was for Cricket’s 45th birthday.”
“That’s your mom, right?”
“Yeah. She was completed wasted. My dad was trying to keep her from making a complete fool of herself, but when you’ve been drinking since noon, there’s not much you can do about it. My oldest sister Coco was arguing with her boyfriend, accusing him of cheating on her because he showed up an hour late to the party. Then there was my older brother, Boo, he was hustling all the guests on his latest business scheme, and my little brother Tank wasn’t even there since he had been arrested that morning.”
“Wait, don’t you have another sister?”
“Oh, Star. She was only 12. Too young to realize her family is insane. Anyhow, I left the day after the party and said I was through with the drama. I’m only going this time because Star called last month and begged. She’s also got this huge scholarship thing she wants me to go to. I figure they would at least behave in public. And since my chances of selling any property in this economy at this time of year are pretty much non-existent, I might as well go.”
A few minutes later, they head out of the restaurant and Deanna asks, “I’ve gotta ask, what’s up with these nicknames?”
“I guess it’s a down south thing. My folks are from Mississippi. Everybody’s got a nickname.”
“So what’s yours?”
“I’m not telling you that.”
“Come on Ann, we’re girls. What’s your name?”
“Ainsley Simone Griffin,” she replies.
“Fine, I won’t press the subject. But I will find out.” Deanna declares. Once they reach their cars, Deanna says, “It’ll be good to be with your family. Ann. You can go relax and regroup.”
“Relax? Please,” Ainsley says with a roll of her eyes. “I can go and realize that being single and practically unemployed in Florida isn’t all that bad compared to being there.”
“You need the change. You’ve had a rough year. I don’t think you’ll regret it.”
“I already do,” Ainsley replies.

“12 Days” ©2010 by Yves Brown McClain. All rights reserved.

Posted in 12 Days: A Holiday Story | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The 15 year identity moratorium

Posted by Dahlia on November 24, 2010

Marcia states that a person in identity moratorium is when “the person actively searches out various possibilities to find a truly solid adult path.” It is considered a “mature way style of constructing an identity.” Other definitions are somewhat more off-putting. Wikipedia defines Identity Moratorium, as “the status of individuals who are in the midst of a crisis but whose commitments are either absent or are only vaguely defined.” However, both definitions are valid. A person in this status is seeking out various opportunities in an attempt to find their true self and because of it, cannot truly commit to any one thing. I know this from first hand experience.
The search for my identity started in the 11th grade. I had been participating in a pre-engineering program since the 6th grade, taking Saturday courses to stimulate interest in the field. I was in the first day of a drafting class when I realized that I didn’t want to be an engineer. In that moment, the identity moratorium began.
By the time I graduated high school, I had settled on accounting. I figured becoming a CPA was the best thing to do because I had always been good in math. However, one semester into my freshman year, I had a change of heart. I took inventory of what I was good at. I changed my major to information systems. I like technology and could pick it up easily, so it seemed like a good fit. I did well in my courses, but even as I progressed, I couldn’t fully get in to it.
When senior year rolled around, I was unhappy with the choice I had made. However, I was attending school on scholarship and changing my major, yet again, at this point in college would’ve prolonged my stay into a fifth year. In my extracurricular activities, I had put together several events. I enjoyed it, but the closest major to event planning was hospitality management. I talked to my counselor about my options and when she told me I could just add a hospitality course and not change my major, I was relieved. I would still graduate on time with a business degree, so I had the foundation to transition into event planning.
I spent the next three years after graduating college working in marketing and communications. There was some event planning involved, but it was mostly writing, which has always been a natural ability for me. After three and a half years, I had been job eliminated twice. Dealing with unemployment forced me to take another look at what my next move would be. I went into business, creating custom invitations. Though I had picked up a few clients in the first few months, the money I was making with it wasn’t enough to sustain my home and I took on a few part time jobs while still trying to figure out what my identity was. I was still interviewing for marketing positions, but the economy had just begun to downturn and it became nearly impossible to find another marketing  job.
On impulse, I responded to a job posting for flight attendants. I figured, it’s different, a bit out of the box, and I found it fascinating. My job as a flight attendant lasted over eighteen months, until I had my son. At that point, I no longer wanted the lifestyle of a flight attendant – the constant travel and being away from home. So, I resigned and decided to return to school and find a new job.
I walked into a technical training school just wanting to pick up a few materials. I had no idea that I would be intrigued by the medical field and before long, I had signed up for courses in medical assisting. It was a steady and growing field and a precursor to nursing. I breezed through my courses, discovered I really liked venipuncture, and became excited at the prospect of becoming a registered nurse. It was actually a need to fill a prerequisite for nursing that I took a developmental psychology class.
However, there was one thing that was always around through all of my career changes and transitions. It was writing. It was something I enjoyed as a child and I had always gone back to it in my free time. This year, I decided to self-publish a novel I had been working on since I graduated from college. As I started the process of publishing, I came to realize just how much passionate I was and still am about writing. I began to envision my book on shelves, going on a book tour, working on the next novel. It can be considered an epiphany, but I call it a “Come to Jesus” moment. Nursing, while an incredible career choice, wasn’t for me. Through all of my experience, I had always been a writer. Writing is what I do. It is part of who I am. It’s what makes me the most happy. This is my life path – I am an author.
Looking back on my choices, my moratorium was a search to find my true self. I’m unsure if this holds true for anyone else in this status, but my true path had always been there, but I had been afraid to follow that road. Because it is challenging – it may be one of the most brutal career choices there is because of the heavy competition and the high likelihood of rejection. But fiction writing, like any other art form, is a career of passion. You do it because you love it and it wouldn’t be right to do anything else. I had spent fifteen years trying to do everything else, and it was never a good fit. Therefore, I have finally begun the transition out of the moratorium into Marcia’s fourth status, identity achievement. My adult life’s direction has been decided, and though the path ahead will have its challenges, I know through all of my experience in moratorium, that it is the road I should be travelling.

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