Posts Tagged ‘being versatile’

Progression of a Writing Mom…by Micrimas

In Guest Blog Posts on November 20, 2009 at 12:23 am

I spent most of my life chasing my dream as a writer but tangentially.

I was forced to get a business degree by my company at first. I got one in PR and Marketing, just because it defied what I actually did for work (I worked in Customer Service for a Fortune 50 company as a project specialist). Defiance of the odds is a hallmark of my life.

If you work for a company that has tuition rembursement (for which I will be forever grateful, my company put me through two degrees and part of a 3rd) they usually make you get a degree in whatever field you are in. So I got a business degree but majored in something I actually kind of liked.

I am really creative but can’t stand b-school classes. I never, ever used what I learned. Except the Marketing and PR stuff, but that was when I left the company!

I relocated down south and maintained my Project Specialist title, except my job morphed from this boring, numbers crunching woman, to a fun, numbers crunching woman who got to evolve from crunching numbers to corporate training. There I created training modules from scratch to teach the managers and their staff how to read cost center reports as well as fixed property reports, so they could make sure their cost center’s bottom line was all good. I did this for every business sector, even though I was working in the Aerospace, Defense, Electronics and Government sector. ADEG for short.

My quirky and outgoing personality caught on and soon my manager had me rolling constantly. I traveled and helped the company’s bottom line in a unique way. I got very interested in getting my teaching degree. So my manager (who was female and my biggest influence and also my biggest cheerleader) allowed me once again to defy the norm. I got a teaching degree but it was in Teaching English as a Second Language.

My degree at that point was meant for me to leave the company and travel the world. Either for the Peace Corps or the Foreign Service.

What ultimately happened is, I started teaching refugee adults during a practicum. The men ( I hate to say this but it is true ) liked the blonde hair and could not focus so therefore, I asked the director of the agency I was volunteering for if I could work with kids.

I’ve always loved kids and have lost quite a few. So I was teaching, and childless, and unmarried, and older.

She pointed me to this agency in DC that worked with children who were emancipated minors from war-decimated countries. I got checked out security-wise and my career in mentoring and teaching UNHCR sponsored refugee children began.

It hasn’t finished.

I’ve never stopped.

During that course I met and married (within a 3 week timeframe) my DH. He is a foreigner from an island in the Ionian Sea of Greece. We met through the personals and boom. Married.

We celebrate nearly 2 decades of marriage next week. As parents of 20 month old fraternal twin boys.

And still, I write. I write my blog and writer for others’ blogs. Mostly about motherhood, music and miracles. My kids, and my life are miracles.

After I got my ESL degree… I moved on to a writing degree. My manager pushed it through by it being a technical writing/editing degree however, I took a boatload of fiction and screenwriting classes. Didn’t much like screenwriting. Too formulaic and limiting. Loved fiction and poetry and I use my blog to play with others’ work and showcase theirs, and mine.

I also learned I had renal cell carcinoma. My dream job… working for an 8a, minority owned business dedicated to helping grassroots and nonprofits, a branch of the UNHCR… believe it or not (nicely dovetailed with my mentoring work) — the Bureau of Humanitarian Response — had to be put on hold.

 I struggled for 10 years… fighting cancer, illness, near death, and lots of trauma. That trauma included losing an adoptive son, and having to stay at home as a mom. Because of the issues that were created by my cancer and the aftermath. Spinal injury during surgery and a host of other bad stuff that sometimes happens when you have had a lot of surgery.

Then I became a mom.

And I started blogging. That was 2 years ago. I love it.

 During the time I was sick, I dedicated myself to gratis grantwriting work. I had done it before for a cat rescue, where we had adopted our cat. I was grantwriting for nonprofits, gratis.

It gave me excellent experience.

When the boys were born, I stopped because I have twins and basically no time except at 5am before the boys wake up or when they are napping. Like now.

I don’t know how Dominique does it — with her child at her feet and juggling multiple websites and blogs… writing a novel in a month! I give her kudos… and am handing off this blog entry to her after weeks of illness (whatever the kids get, I ultimately get, my immune system is fragile from the cancer).

 So I am handing off my entry, Profession of a Writing Mom, to D — because you all can take a lesson from me.

 I fell into every single writing job and ultimately, my paid and gratis career as a writer. I have basically moved from one segment of the writing spectrum to the next. I’ve loved the diversity and pray that someday, I will be writing again for the government once we move back to DC. When the kids are in school. I have a standing job offer working for DHS documenting meetings and disseminating info, when the boys are in school. One of my friends is a high level, hiring GS18 and she is holding a job for me, if I choose. She’s been there for me… knows about all my health issues.

Our sons are 2 days apart in age. She gave birth to her son, and our Traditional Surrogate gave birth to my fraternal twin sons… two days apart. Ours came first and then her boy. I am frequently in the DC area and the children play well together. She knows I have a unique writing style and hopes that I will work with her. I hope so too, if my health stabilizes. I am homeschooling the kids right now but at some point they will be in Pre-school and then I hope to return to the workforce and get paid… for their college funds.

A diverse spectrum of writing always stands you in good stead. I say, as a writer practicing for decades, just roll with what falls into your lap and don’t limit yourself to one thing. Because diversity is where you become employed much easier. I have copyediting, copywriting, grantwriting, corporate training modules, number crunching/budgeting (falls under grantwriting), technical editing/writing, and teaching module skills under my belt.

There are probably more but I have to roll off, take a shower before the boys wake up, and feed them lunch.

By the way… I am nearly 48 years old. And still marketable after having left the workforce for quite a while (the paid workforce). Because of my health and now, being a mom. I love to blog about my kids and my life… It is my passion. Dominique has been featured a few times on my blog. I have guest bloggers and love to hear what they have to say.

My fingers fly and life rolls on. Life as a mom, and a writer. You all know writers are born. Not made. You cannot “train” a writer. It is bubbling in the blood, fingers aching to explode on the keyboard.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being able to blog gives me the ultimate experience in my creative state. Marrying my love of photography, poetry and writing is the best.

Thanks for reading and I hope you young writers take heed. I’ve made it work for decades now, as a writer. By opening my heart and mind to all possibility vs. limiting my creative state and focusing on one area of the spectrum.

Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo