THE LONG VERSION...
For two decades—Holy Hennessy I'm aging myself—I worked in healthcare in some capacity or another and enjoyed parts of it (like the parts where you actually help people, not spend hours in bullshit meetings listening to number-crunching knuckleheads and filling out soul-crushing paperwork...oh yeah, and only get paid for hands-on time.)
I felt stuck.
It certainly didn’t feel like I was doing what I was passionate about. I had the typical American work week/work year where I busted my hump 250 days for a measly 10 days of vacation—or sick time or holiday time...PTO in healthcare is like the combo burrito of modern-day time off—only to return knowing I wouldn’t be able to do it again for another mind-numbing year.
***Does any of this sound familiar?***
I had an overall sense of BLAH and felt mired in a passionless job. So I took some time to evaluate my pathetic little self.
Whiskey in hand, I contemplated all that I love and what my perfect life would look like, had I the choice.
What did I discover?
That I'd never win the lottery unless I doubled down. I kid. I've only played the lottery once in my entire life. It was brutal...like using dollar bills as kindling for my backyard fire pit.
I considered my happiness, my goals, my physical health, my emotional health, and my financial health. I considered the balance, or lack thereof, in my life, observing the teetering of work and rest, work and play, and its constant battle to sink me. Fulfilling activities that surfaced over and over were reading and writing and traveling. (Oh! and tap dancing. We mustn't forget tap dancing! Those Caribbean resorts keep turning me down, but this girl's got a few good years left in her yet!) Where were we?
Does reading and writing make me happy?
Does it contribute to my overall sense of well-being?
You'd better believe it.
How does it affect my financial health?
Weeellllll, other than frequent trips to the bookstore denting my pocketbook, I don’t know.
Something to ponder.
I decided that I wanted to somehow earn a living in the literary world and be able to do so from anywhere I chose. But how? A career in the literary field felt foreign (but not like the good kind of foreign where you get to wear your "I'm cultured" hat and scarf and flirt with the Argentinian cutie patootie). It felt beyond reach. And what were the options even? I had an education, but it was in healthcare.
Obviously had to start all over. (Actually I didn't...but sometimes I do things the hard and dirty way—ewww...not like that. Jeez.) And at thirty-something, I did. I went back to college and enrolled in the English and Creative Writing (with a focus in fiction) program at Southern New Hampshire University. I also enrolled in every online editorial, publishing, writing, business development, and marketing course I could afford (aka charge to a credit card). Let me tell you, I’ve been one busy girl!
While working full-time, going to school for creative writing, taking online courses in editing, copyediting, proofreading, business creation and development, and authorpreneurship, I decided to start an editorial business. In addition, I read countless books, listened to numerous podcasts, sat through way too many webinars, and searched through hundreds of blogs and online articles to gain as much knowledge as possible. I attended as many author events as possible, learning firsthand what successful (even award-winning) published authors find crucial to their success. (Beta readers are high on the list!)
I cannot tell you how much knowledge I’ve scooped up over the past years just researching this. But what I can tell you is that much of what I spent time on could have easily been condensed. I would have loved to have found a course (that wasn’t years of time and tuition…arm and a leg) or book that was that one-stop shop when it came to getting all my ducks in a row for a career in this field. And I had the hardest dang time finding any resources specifically for beta reading. So I decided to create some—just for you, my new bookish bestie!
I've since graduated, but the learning hasn't stopped. I can’t help it; I love it! I am still educating myself as much as possible in the art of writing. I am still reading, reading, reading and writing, writing, writing. But I’ve decided that I would feel down-right giddy and honored to be able to share all I have learned with you. I would love nothing more than for you to read my books and/or take my courses, love them, learn from them, earn from them, and then shout to the world that you have a new skill set that you love and can do anytime, anywhere.
(I promise your BFFs and frenemies alike will be soooo jelly.)
And so that is my mission. I do not guarantee that beta reading or editing or proofreading, working with authors in any capacity—not to mention starting one's own business—is for everyone, but I do know that striving to learn something new or to improve in any way can do nothing but put a good ole cheezy grin on the soul.
I love that I get to do something I am passionate about and am rewarded for it. My wish is the same for you. Let's read books and help authors change the world—and get paid to do it!
Fellow book lover, it was a pleasure to introduce myself to you. I certainly hope you find this site valuable and love working with authors as much as I do!
Your New Best Book Bud,