In February, I did something I’d promised myself I’d never do again… I rejoined Corporate America. I left that world after Blake’s accident so I could walk with him down his road to recovery. It was an unexpected dream come true when I got a book deal shortly after. It didn’t take long for Booktrope to become a significant portion of my world—in addition to my books, my husband got a job with them, I worked as a freelance marketer for them, and I even accepted a position leading several of their imprints. For five years, my world has consisted of my children, my farm, my charities, my books, and helping others bring their books to the world. During this time, I’ve experienced some of my highest highs and my lowest lows, but in all, if I could have hand-carved my world, it would have looked a lot like those past five years.
So it surprised even me when I came to the conclusion that it was time to close that chapter of my life. For lots of reasons, and after a lot of prayer and thought, I came to realize that it was time to shift gears. So when I saw a job posting for a position at a good company that looked right up my alley, I applied. The interviews and subsequent job offer all happened so quickly that my head is still spinning. Just like that, I was back in a world I thought I’d never see again.
It was culture shock—I’d been working well over full-time from home, but it was still a major adjustment to switch to a full-time schedule and commute. The entire family is struggling to find our footing as roles shift and schedules change. In so many ways, my new gig is a dream job. It’s cool beyond belief. But it’s still away from my kiddos and animals, and it’s a whole new, and sometimes unsettling, world.
At first, I cried every day as I drove into work. Again—and I can’t stress this enough—it wasn’t because my job was bad, I was just mourning the loss of what I’d had. But with time, I’ve gotten my bearings at the new place and responsibilities with Vox Dei have ebbed and I find that in many ways, I have more time for my children now. Or rather, they have my undivided attention when it’s on them. It’s not entirely “work is work and home is home” because of the nature of the job, but the new job isn’t quite as all-consuming as Vox Dei had become. And the increase in pay means I have more expendable income to do things with and for my kiddos that I just wasn’t able to do before. It’s taken a month, but I’ve reduced my poor-me sessions down to Monday mornings and I’ve even made a few new friends along the way.
The question I’ve gotten most as I’ve told people about the job is whether I’ll keep writing. The answer is a definite yes. In fact, I hope to write more. Once I made the decision to no longer rely on books for an income, I wrote the entire rest of Finding Broken Arrow in one week. That’s right, a flippin’ week! It was like an enormous weight had been lifted and the words just poured out of my fingers. Even better—I enjoyed the process. I loved it. In keeping with my new “I’m just going to do this because I love it” philosophy, I am publishing this one indie. I hired an editor and proofreader, but I did design my own cover, which have to admit, I'm pretty proud of!
And just as I stressed earlier that my daily sob-sessions of the past month are no reflection on my current employer, my decision to leave Booktrope is no reflection on them. I’ve met some of the most amazing people during my time there, and I’ll be forever grateful to them for the past five years. We simply came to a fork in the road and chose different paths. I wish them all the best. (And yes, my existing books are still proudly under the Booktrope banner!)
There is so much I’m excited about right now, so many grand adventures I’m on the cusp of. Thank you for being part of the past five years with me. I look forward to seeing what the next five years hold!
Rolling hills that had been vibrant green just weeks ago were now muted in tone, as if they were taking a deep breath before bursting into the song of fall.