I never thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom. However, I had no choice. While I was on maternity leave, the company that I was working for went bankrupt. I decided to look on the bright side. I’m not pressured to go to work as soon as my maternity leave ends. I get to spend time with my second son and enjoy watching his toddlerhood. Since we only plan on having the two kids, I saw my unemployment as a blessing in disguise. In Canada, maternity leave is one year. I could have looked for a job once my maternity leave finished, however, the cost of daycare for toddlers under the age of 18 months is astronomical. The cost doesn’t get better after 18 months, but to start at entry level at a new company is financially straining.
So, the question I asked myself was, “What should I do with my time outside of caring for my son?” I am applying to various companies, but the job market is slow. I decided to pursue my aspirations as a writer. Reading a plethora of romance novels inspired my dream to be a writer. To do this, I realized that I needed develop skills that were outside those I learned academically. I majored in Biology and Zoology, which is far from related to writing romance—unless the novel involves a science geek, which has its possibilities. I signed up for a variety of online courses, Networking 101 through the Romance Writers Association (RWA), Self-Editing, Editing Camp through Scribendi, Microsoft Office 2010 through ITU Online, and Story Writing for Children through Write Story Books for Children. It may look odd to take a story book writing for children course for romance writing, but the basic concepts are there for writing books. The course for Microsoft Office helped improve my knowledge of software that can be useful for writing and planning my novel.
I was surprised with two particular courses. The networking course showed me the great potential social media has for marketing your book. Being introverted, I hate the concept of selling. The networking course revealed that subtly can work. Just get your brand known and recognized. The other course that surprised me was editing camp. I am still working through it but I have learned a number of new things.
The main obstacle for me is time management. So far, I go through the courses, network, and write my novel after everyone goes to bed. But, this doesn’t leave me with much sleep. There are also distractions like TV and housework that do not help. I did find a little something helpful, late night cafés that have internet access. So, on evenings like today, I head to the nearest late night café and write this blog. Right after I post this, I will work on my novel. So, until my next post . . .