On October 3, 2014 I officially ended my 6 1/2 year job as a career coach for a private employment business that assisted individuals with disabilities seeking employment. Perhaps it was my mid-life crisis occurring a little later than most (at 57 years old) or the 7 year itch. Whatever it was I wanted a change. My kids were grown and out on their own. My dad's health was deteriorating and my mom needed more support. Or perhaps it was the birth of my granddaughter that reminded me of how precious and fleeting life is and how important it is to make the most of it. Fortunately, I was at a point in my life when I could just quit my job and live on one salary - thanks to my bewildered but supportive husband - he has learned over the years that once I make my mind up, it is best to let things be. Probably one of the main reasons that we have been married so long. I gave my boss 8 weeks notice and cleaned up odds and ends at work as best I could so that I could leave on a good note. Once I did walk out the door, I was surprised by the mixture of emotions- relief, excitement, sense of adventure, panic, self-doubt, numbness etc.. Now what? Fortunately, I had 2 things to occupy my mind. My desire to write about topics that interested me with the grand idea of publishing it and then going on the road to talk about it as well as the all the preparations to get organized since Christmas was only 2 1/2 months away. Not knowing anything about writing or publishing a book, I just sat down in front of my computer and started to write. In October and November, I was quite diligent about putting in a 3-5 hours of writing, Monday to Thursday and quite generous with my long weekends off. I was able to cover 3 of my favourite topics dealing with the brain, energy and kids today. I contacted by email, self-publishers and publishers that I came across online, noticed from my book collection or was told about from an acquaintance. Self-publishers were willing to publish for a price. I preferred to hold out for a bit until I tested the publisher's world. I bought the book Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2015 by Bloomsbury Publishing and proceeded to pick out the publishers that I felt would be interested in publishing a potpourri of non-fiction topics~ 25 of them. I have followed the guidelines and sent them by mail or email what they required. To date, I have heard back from about a third of them. There response has been either they have too many submissions or my topics are not something they could see a market for. I had been warned that it can take up to 6 months to get a response from a publisher - thank goodness my livelihood is not dependent on this project. I can see why writers may start off doing there writing on the side at first. The past month or so, I have slacked off from writing. Maybe because I finished the main topics that I had a burning desire to write about or maybe because I am feeling a little to isolated and the initial love of total solitude is wearing thin. Now what?
Wendy R. Landry is a 62 year old woman, mother of 2 grown children and grandmother of 2. She has been married for 40 years.