Thank you, Pamela.
I’m often asked how I’ve managed to write four novels while still practicing law. Simply put, writing is my passion. I love creating characters like the ones in my short story Easy Money, featured in the anthology Scoundrels: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes. Having a passion, however, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find time to pursue it. Balancing a demanding day job, my family life and my writing career have required lots of sacrifice and hard work.
Do you have a passion? Whether your dream is to write a novel, start your own business or go back to school to learn a new skill, you can make it happen. Here are some tips that will help you begin your journey.
1. Find Time Where You Least Expect It.
I wrote my first novel by rising at four in the morning to write for a couple of hours before getting ready for work. It meant giving up a few hours’ sleep, but it was well worth it. The next time you’re taking a walk, use the time to mull over the plot for that book you’ve wanted to write. Instead of listening to your favorite CD during your morning commute, use the time to listen to a book on tape related to your passion. I work out my best plot twists while stuck in traffic. Your lunch break can also be put to good use. With your family’s support, you might even find an evening or two to run off to your local library or a nearby Starbucks for some passion-planning time. Even if it’s only an hour a week, use it.
2. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
You may not realize it, but you have a multitude of resources all around you -- family, friends, colleagues, church members and even strangers. Don’t be afraid to request an informational interview from someone who has expertise in the area of your passion. People love to talk about themselves and many will be flattered that you want to ask them for advice. The Internet, of course, is an invaluable resource. You can enter a few words on Google and thousands of helpful articles will appear right before your eyes!
3. Join Professional Organizations
It’s a good idea to surround yourself with others who share your interests and passion. There are hundreds of professional organizations whose sole function is to help their members develop their creative talents and realize their business goals. I belong to Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. These groups have been very instrumental in my success as writer. I’m not always able to make the meetings, but when I do, I always learn something new and make great contacts. Most organizations also have online resources that can help you further your goals. No matter what your passion, there’s bound to be a networking group you can join.
4. Understand That It Won’t Happen Overnight
Unfortunately, achieving success in your passion won’t happen overnight. I naively assumed that after releasing my first novel in 2006, Oprah would call and the rest would be history. LOL! Somehow, I’m still balancing both my legal practice and my passion: writing legal thrillers. The deadlines and time demands can sometimes be challenging, and when they are, I take a breather and do something to re-energize myself, like a long walk or day at the spa.
You have to make the decision to commit to your passion and just go for it. And don’t be surprised if you turn out to be your biggest obstacle. When that happens, just look your self-doubt squarely in the face and command it to go away.
Don’t just dream about pursuing your passion, make it happen!
Pamela Samuels Young is a Los Angeles attorney and the author of four legal thrillers. Her short story Easy Money, is featured in the anthology Scoundrels: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes. Pamela’s fifth legal thriller, Attorney Client Privilege goes on sale in July 2012. To contact Pamela or to read an excerpt of her books, visit her website at www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.
And, if you liked to see a trailer for Scoundrels: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes, check it out here - http://downandoutbooks.com/2012/03/08/scoundrels-the-trailer/