16 years ago today, October 17, 1997, I changed my life forever. On that date, I had just been fired from an accounting job—a controller position. It was the first time ever that I had been “let go” from a job.
Pacing the floor that night and drinking vodka and tonics and smoking too many cigarettes, I felt tired and burned out from being an accountant. On that night, I decided to pursue a lifetime desire. I wanted to become a writer. Me telling you this is probably an old tale for a lot of you who have read me over the years. I just feel like saying it again.
At the time, I thought I was getting a late start on writing. I was 42-years old. Maybe I was too old for a career change. How strange. Now at 59, I consider myself young back then. Perspectives change as you get older.
I’m not going to go into much detail here, because, again, so many of you already know this, but my first writing break came in the spring of 1999 when an editorial I had written got accepted at CityBeat. I’ve been writing for that publication ever since.
Some friends of mine, who came along later, have written for them too. Some of these friends left on bad terms and some of these people have urged me to leave CityBeat and write elsewhere. I find this approach and attitude amazing. Such selfish motives. These people are no longer my friends. This is the publication that gave me a chance to write and I’ll never forget that.
I’ve written for other publications along the way too, have had a few books published and at this point in my life, I consider myself a writer. Getting a readership and winning a few writing “awards” has helped with feeling OK to finally call myself that. I’m no longer an accountant. There’s nothing wrong with that line of work, but that’s not what I ever was.
I’m glad to be doing what I’m doing. A lot of you also know this. I consider myself a lucky writer. A happy one too.
(Image from samanthastier.com)