3 Ways Writing Has Changed My Life

For most of my life, I wanted to be a writer. 5th grade is my first clear memory of it. I would have been ten at the time and I had won a Young Authors competition writing a fantasy story about a girl who was taken to another world by a pegasus named Tit. Yes, tit. My Mom advised me to change the name. It was a good edit. Anyway, I won and that was really when the writing bug took hold for me.

Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story. As I got older, I realized most people don’t write books for a living. So I went to school for a degree in psychology… and wrote my first book. Then I graduated college and started doing field work to get a masters, but during this time… I edited a book. And it was then that my husband said, “You’re only happy when you’re writing, so why don’t you do that?”

And I have been, ever since. And with 37 books either already published or contracted for publication in the next year, I guess it stuck. Writing has changed my life in so many ways. How?

1. It has offered me freedom. Because my job is to sit at my own computer and come up with pretend people to harass, I have been very lucky to be able to move around. When my husband’s job required us to move to the Midwest, I shrugged, packed up my computer and moved to Illinois, where I sold my very first book to HarperCollins in 2004 (it came out in 2004 and here we are, almost 40 later). Same is true when we decided to move to Arizona. For me, there was no stressing over finding work or restarting a career. I just needed to schedule a writing break during the weeks we were prepping and driving across country. Done and done.

2. It has given me financial stability. Well, kind of. You never know what the hell will happen when it comes to sales and writing, so there isn’t a real full stability there. BUT writing has been very good to me. It helped us pay off our cars and buy a house with cash, meaning we could blow up our lives and move to Arizona. And since then? It’s been paying my bills. So thanks writing, you rock. Also, thanks readers, you rock.

3. It’s taken me to different worlds. Of course the best thing about writing, the thing that’s changed my life the most, is that I get to create all new worlds and tell myself my stories first. I have lived in Regency England, I have battled zombies in Seattle, Phoenix and Montana, and most recently, I’ve gone to New York and met some real monsters. What a fun life! What a great opportunity.

And I love it. And I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

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  • Sam

    Thank you for sharing your passion for writing, and of course, for your wonderful books! I have always loved what I have chosen for my career(s) as well, and have been very mobile over the years (6 states in 16 years) so I can relate. There are so many people who are unhappy with what they do but aren’t willing to try something else and see what happens (I understand the fear of income loss but sometimes you gotta take a risk). I love that your husband encouraged you to make the change, that you did and love it, and that it is financially sustainable as well! A true success story in my book!

    • Jessepet

      Oh thanks so much Sam! I think we writers sometimes (or maybe I get tied up sometimes) in sales figures and lists an all that stuff. But a sustained career of many years where I get to share my books with readers is very much a success. And I’m pleased to get to do it.