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A Time of Transition


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I was looking up a list of writing prompts and found one that I thought was timely for autumn, as the leaves have been changing and summer fading away. The prompt suggested I reflect on the changes I have undergone in the past year. Well, that resonated with me. What hasn’t changed? 

This time last year I was anxiously helping my daughter with her college admissions essays. This year she’s tucked away at a large southern university more than seven hours from home and I’ve shifted my writing assistance to my 16-year-old. 

This time last year I was still hard at work with a contract job editing for a magazine and facing the reality that a lot of freelance writers don’t take assignments during the last two weeks of November, leaving the December issue in a lurch. This year, I’ve left that job and am devoting my month to revising a young adult novel and writing and producing weekly episodes of my podcast. 

This time last year I was overwhelmed with my day job, producing bi-weekly podcast episodes, and committed to writing 60,000 words of a brand-new thriller novel for NaNoWriMo, which I completed and have not picked back up since. 

How have things changed? Here are the pros. Without the day job, I have more time to research and write true crime focused on the North and South Carolina regions and tackle these YA revisions. I look forward to polishing up last year’s NaNoWriMo project early next year. I also have time to have lunch and coffee with my friends, which I have done so much more of the past two months. I hadn’t realized how much I had been chained to my desk before and I’m enjoying this new, slower pace. I’m sleeping better, cooking a lot more and the house is tidier, which is beneficial to my mental health. 

Here are the cons of this life transition. I still worry about my oldest child—I’m convinced that will never change. But thanks to technology we keep in constant communication and in ten days, we’ll get to see her for several days during her Thanksgiving break! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I miss the freelance salary I was bringing in. But I have the time now to work with other clients and I’ve never had trouble selling articles and finding publications to pitch if I really put my mind to it. My goal is to monetize my podcast to replace that editing income so keeping my fingers crossed I can make that happen. 

How has the past year been for you? Are you in a different phase of your writing life? I’d love to hear about it!  

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer who also produces the true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas.

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