It's no secret that two of my intentions are that I either graduate from the program I'm in (which I feel called to do despite hating it) and work in this field OR that God shows me what He wants me to do if it isn't the SLP route. Either way, I just want to do His will... while paying back my student loans. It's the only debt I have (besides paying off my laptop) and I want it gone.
In an ideal world, I would be a writer -- either of novels, as a ghostwriter (which I have experience in), or for Catholic publications. I just want to write. I want that to be my work... but I haven't had the best luck trying to break into it because I'm not as aggressive as other people in trying to land work. I don't like using my connections to get jobs. I want to get them on my own merit and talents.
When I asked God to show me my gifts a couple of weeks ago, I was and wasn't surprised to see that writing came up. I wasn't because I've always had better success communicating through the written word than verbally. I was because, like I said, I haven't had much success in the writing world over the last couple of years. Still, I've felt pulled back to write... and to make a better effort to make it happen, career-wise.
Last month, a friend asked me if I was doing NaNoWriMo this year and I, on a whim, decided I was going to. Yes, I have a full load of schoolwork and everything else but I need the creative outlet that writing offers. I've only had two nights since November 1st to work on a third novel but I've already made a decent amount of progress in those 2 days.
I'm going to start over... in a sense. Since I let my @nerdwriter Twitter account go the 30 days without activating it, it's gone. It can't be reactivated and I can't gain all those followers again. That doesn't bother me. In fact, it makes things better because I have the chance to have a fresh start as a writer. The nerdwriter era had to come to an end and I don't regret doing it. I opened up a new public account and am going to be using @MelissaCeciliaG as my new handle since that's what I use professionally. Warning: If I come to realize that this was a rash decision, I have absolutely no qualms about shutting the account down. I can do without Twitter... if I'm not writing. For now, it's a necessity.
Why did I start over again last night? Because, as I prayed day 9 of the 54-day Rosary novena, I felt like I was having a mental dialogue with God that went something like this:
"Use your gifts."
Me: But I'd have to start over again.
"Is this your passion?"
"Then start over again. Don't let anyone or anything extinguish your gifts."
"Don't let anyone dampen your light; your fire."
I felt such a motivation and a sort of push to get back into things... with some modifications. I already know what and what doesn't work for me in terms of Twitter because I still have that love-but-mostly hate relationship with the site. Taking a cue from one of my favorite non-fiction writers, author Jennifer L. Scott, I'm going to be using the account to post things that are associated with what's going on with me as a writer. And, okay, I'm also going to share the odd tweet and/or article that I find amusing that I would like to share but I won't be as active as I once was.
There's one more thing that is a big change for me: I'm 98% sure I'm going to make the transition from New Adult fiction writer to a non-fiction writer. I already have two projects (one of which isn't even mine; I'm ghostwriting someone's memoirs) lined up for the end of the year. When I felt the push from God to try my hand at writing again, it became clear to me that I do better as a non-fiction writer. I literally went "Ohhh...!!!" aloud when I came to that realization a couple of days ago. lol. I don't know why but writing about things that happen in real life (i.e. these blog posts, past articles I've written for various publications and companies) makes more sense to me. Sure, I have a ton of stories bouncing around in my mind, but I think I connect better with readers when I can just be myself, warts and all. I still may write the occasional YA/NA novel (my third novel is one I feel compelled to write/publish) but my focus will be different this time around.
Now we come back to St. Francis de Sales... I've been wondering all year if this was why he kept popping up in my life whenever I questioned my career choices. I kept thinking to myself, "does this mean I should give writing another shot?" He is the patron saint of writers... but he's also the patron saint against deafness which falls in the speech-language pathology field. I'm currently studying for speech-pathology AND audiology as part of my second Bachelor's program so I've been learning more about the deaf community this semester. I have more audiology courses next semester so, you know, I won't be surprised if he continues popping up in my life through graduation.
Could it be possible that God wants me to work in both fields? It is a possible option, after all. After I finish my degree (if I can pass my courses this and next semester), I plan on doing my license hours so I can get my SLPA license. There will be a lot of free time in between graduation and when the license hours will be completed since the local programs will begin in September and end in November... if I can get into the cohort that begins in Fall 2018. If I don't, I'll have to apply for the Spring 2019 cohorts (which end in April) and see if I can get into them. In the meantime, I'll need to do something (work-wise) to begin paying back my student loans. With how physically debilitating my chronic fatigue syndrome can be, I can't think of a better potential job than writing. Is this what you meant, God (via St. Francis de Sales)?
I've been saying (for weeks/months) that I don't feel like I'm meant to keep my focus solely on the speech-language pathology field, even going as far as saying that I didn't see myself doing it long term. Could it possible that it was because I had to figure out that I was meant to do both? I guess I'll just have to wait for more clarity from God. For now, I'm going to continue to try to work as hard as I can in my coursework and exams... and try to get the third novel completed and published. I probably won't get the novel finished until sometime next year but, at least, I'll have a way to reward myself for doing well on my exams (for every passed exam, a full day of just writing and no studying).
Anyway, those are my thoughts for now. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter. I can't guarantee I'll check it daily or as often as before but now I'll be able to keep in touch with some of y'all with whom I'd lost touch when I closed down the @nerdwriter account.
That's it for now. I have an exam to study for and an assignment to complete... and then more writing to do. Whoo! :D
I hope y'all have had a lovely week thus far!
As always, thanks for reading and God bless!