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New Career- Day One

I started two careers at about the same time around 35 years ago. The first, as wife to my best friend, is always new and totally rewarding. The other career, as an Arkansas State Employee has been wonderful too. However, I’m reaching the point very soon where I’ll be retiring from that one, hoping to move along to something I love-writing Christian fiction. There’s something to be said for longevity. I’ve had a sense of security all these years. But, the drawback is, just as I would have no idea what to do if I was dating again, the transition from my “day job” to my next career is somewhat of a puzzler as well.

Not that I haven’t studied this change from every angle. Writer’s groups both online and in person have advised me. Conferences in many different locations have inspired me. Now, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road, and it’s exhilarating!

Following the advice that I should have a “platform” in order to become better known, I gave my first storytelling performance at our community’s festival on the courthouse square last weekend. There were lessons to be learned, but all in all, the experience confirmed that this career will be the one I’ve longed for all my life.

  • First lesson: Pack your own chute. I was there as part of the magazine I write a monthly column for. The publisher was late, there was no canopy over us, the table was too small for his display and mine. Next year- my hubby and I can have our own spot!
  • Have plenty of “take-away” items: I came up with the idea to hand out bookmarks with my picture on them, inviting everyone to my booth once an hour for storytime. Problem is, I used my own card stock and ink at home, so I was timid about making enough. They were handed out in the first hour, and I don’t think I saw any of those people again. Next time- more generic bookmarks with a sticker if I need to put specific info on it.
  • Brochures printed at local print shop- great. I can reuse them over and over. Just need to be sure I pass out plenty of these too.
  • Check out the location ahead of time: I had a great spot right under the courthouse clock, which reminded everyone it was storytime. However, we were competing with the PA system on the main stage, and at times, it was a shouting match just to talk to my little audience.
  • Don’t be timid about self-promotion. After all that’s the whole idea. Well, not the whole idea. I’m there to glorify God by using the talents He gave me. But, the whole thing will flounder if people don’t remember who I am after they leave.
  • The premise of each storytime session was perfect: I started with a tidbit about the specific location (my inlaws were married there),- launched into a parable by my fav storyteller- Jesus, told about stories that Must Be Told- the Mountain Meadows Massacre- lightened things up with a children’s story or a pun depending on the age of my audience- ended with a poem written just for that day. Couldn’t have been better.
  • Seeing the “light” come on as my listeners “get it”, or getting a head nod really made me day. Best of all “That is so cool”, from a teenaged girl. Can’t wait till she recognizes my face on a book jacket and picks up a book by the “Story Lady”.

Stay with me Lord. I’ll be holding Your hand all the way.

  1. Sheila10-19-11

    Enjoyed reading this post! And best wishes on your “new” career 🙂

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