Monday, January 3, 2011


I'm back!  Thanks to everyone who left me with encouraging words when I went on hiatus. I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season despite the weather.

I love the promise of a brand new year: so many exciting things that can happen, no disappointments yet to disillusion my bright, shiny vision of the future.

As I mentioned before my hiatus, I am at (or just passed through) a crossroads. I spent the last 7.5 years teaching for a small college in the U.S. It allowed me to keep my foot in the academic world, despite living on another continent for most of that time. But it never felt right. I never loved my job.

A few months ago, the college—in response to economic pressures—increased the minimum class size and decreased the number of courses on offer. Full-time faculty were assigned the remaining courses and adjuncts didn't have their contracts renewed. I was downsized.

Was I mad? Yes. Furious, actually. For about two hours. And then I realized that this was an amazing opportunity.

Over the past 18 months, I have rediscovered my passion for writing and gotten some positive feedback from agents and editors on what I write. I love writing—even rewriting—in a way that I never loved teaching. This is my opportunity to make a real go of writing as a career. And for the first time in my life, I know I'm doing the right thing.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But I'm also doing something that I love. I am taking every opportunity that comes my way, even if it doesn't pay. The articles I'm working on now will result in published clips, the first rungs on the ladder to my writing career.

My resolution for this year is to transition into a career that I enjoy. And I have already discovered the benefits: I am happier, my kids are happier, and my husband is happier (or will be when a paycheck arrives; good thing he's supportive).

What do you want to accomplish this year?


  1. I'm sure you will do well, you sound so much happier already.

  2. Good for you, Alison! You sound like a different person!

  3. Being happy in what you do is so important. really pleased for you Alison, hope 2011 brings lots of nice surprises.

  4. Wonderful wonderful wonderful! Writing puts me together in a way that nothing else does. Here's to you and your future success! :D


  5. Good for you Alison! Way to own the opportunity. I can tell you from experience that being on the non-payroll is pretty scary at first, but you do adjust. As I'm always saying, this is the happiest I've ever been working while making absolutely no money! :-)

  6. Carole Anne: Thank you. I am!

    Toby: Thanks!

    kangaroobee: Thank you... I hope the same for you.

    Mercedes: Your #10bythen inspired me, actually. Thanks!!

    Julie: I'm following in your footsteps, my dear. It is a little scary, but my husband has a good job, and I am determined to make it work. :)

  7. Wonderful and courageous choice, Alison! I wish you the best of luck on this adventure. You certainly have the talent!

  8. Congratulations on your opportunity. Embrace it! I'm jealous because I simply can't afford to NOT work. However as each job ends and I begin the search for the next little stint, I am always thankful for the time at home, the time to be with my children more, and the time to WRITE!

  9. Megan: thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Christie: our situations seem to have reversed, but you'll figure out how to get the writing in. I'll be focusing on magazine articles and getting started with the educational press for a while.