I get the question time and time again. How did you get into writing?
I get calls from fledgling writers asking for advice in how to launch a writing business. Clients ask me how I got my start. I don’t often share the heart of my why, but my why is the driving force of my business.
So what better time and place to share with you how I found my true calling and became a writer.
My journey into writing began as a child. My favourite subject was English and as soon as I learned to read, my appetite for books was voracious. In elementary school, I had a deep hunger and drive to plow quickly through the little readers. I ADORED spelling and was excited to look up words in a dictionary and create interesting sentences using a brand new word.
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I read every day. My parents sent me to bed early, but I would sneak my bed side light back on and read until I could not keep my eyes open. As a young child, I would read and reread favourites. Angel Unaware by Dale Evans was well loved and filled with my little girl tears. I carted that little book around with me for years and escaped into its pages.
This book was my first glimpse into love and loss. A powerful story about a beautifully loved, baby girl born with Down’s Syndrome. Robin’s story introduced me to the joys of special needs children and profoundly influenced my burgeoning faith in the possibility of heaven and eternal life. Dale Evans touched my heart and I believe influences my personal writing. I desire to call to peoples’ emotions, speak truth, and influence my readers to love.
As a young adult, my first jobs were in retail sales. How I loved it! I enjoyed meeting new customers and through my beloved mentor, Mike Maydaniuk, at Radio Shack, I uncovered a gift for leadership and sales. Mike encouraged me to pursue sales and management as a career and I took a Dale Carnegie Course. I met people in that course who truly understood me… I found my calling. My calling to be a leader, a communicator, and a marketer.
Fast forward through a blur of marriage, three babies, and a painful divorce. I came to a cross roads and had to decide at 29 years old what to do. How would I support these three babies on my own? I attended a free course which recommended pursing Marketing and so … I started college. During that time, I met and married my beloved husband, Andrew, and he supported me in finishing college with a Marketing Diploma.
In University, I excelled in my coursework. Marketing comes easy to me. I have a natural flow and just get it. I loved the writing aspect of it… I adore words, and have an innate understanding and love for language. Essays flowed from my hand, almost without effort. You can read some of my creative writing including some poetry on the blog.
After I completed college, I began doing contract marketing work. During the course of work for a non profit, I contacted Cindy Christiansen, the then Operations Manager for Subway restaurants in BC. She offered me a job over the phone and a year later, I took her up on it. I spent 5 years as a Field Consultant looking after 25 Subway restaurants a month. I would attend 1 or 2 restaurants a day and write a 12 page report on the status of the restaurant before I left the store.
My time in Subway honed my writing, leadership, negotiation, and conflict management skills…and there were times when the restaurant owners were less than impressed with my reports. I practiced the art of persuasion to influence the owners to make the required changes. I also practiced giving written and verbal positive feedback and built solid, productive relationships quickly. I am grateful to Cindy, my role model, more grateful than she will ever know or understand. She guided me to be better… a leader among my peers. She called me on my faults in a way that somehow built me up instead of tearing me down.
Hers was a powerful influence, and I felt truly loved by her.
After I left Subway, I went back to marketing consulting work. Although I loved the work and especially the clients, I was frustrated. The marketing only worked when the business owner actually implemented the strategies. I was working hard, but not seeing results… not really changing lives or having much of an impact.
One afternoon, I was sitting in my front yard, meditating on scripture and I asked for guidance. While pouring out my heart to the Holy Spirit, I asked “What should I do?”
God answered and told me to write but I didn’t listen due to fear. Six months later, I was in my front yard, and I asked again, “What should I do?” He clearly said “Write.” This time I said yes! I obeyed the still, quiet voice. I had no idea what would happen, how it would happen, or what the next steps were. I merely said yes.
The next day, while I was working in an office doing a marketing project for a local small business, a guy walked in and asked for help with a resume. All my life, I helped family and friends with resumes and cover letters. I told the man that I would help him and landed my first paid resume writing gig. I never even knew it was possible to make a career writing resumes and cover letters!
Since then, I haven’t looked back. I went on Amazon and bought EVERY book on resumes and cover letters. I wrote some copy, put up a simple website, and people started calling. The first resumes were written with up to 20 books in front of me opened to pages of resume samples of their industry. I learned, I practiced, and perfected the art of writing persuasive resumes and cover letters and my clients were successful. I found my true calling.
The work is fulfilling. I am blessed to be invited in the lives of diverse clientele. I work with women leaving abusive marriages. Men and women who are bullied and harassed in the workplace and who are either fired or have to leave for their mental health. I work with clients who just need a change or are trying to land a promotion. I work with beautiful people who have visible and invisible barriers to employment. Barriers that are self created or wrong perceptions.
I am privileged to work with clients from all levels from entry level, to middle management, and CEO. Teachers, therapists, trades people, students, accountants, lawyers, health care professionals, banking, business owners, educational support staff, and others. My clients are culturally diverse from every socio economic background. I am honoured to work with clients in the LGBTQ community and people from all religious or faith backgrounds. Christians, Muslims, Jewish, Buddhist’s, Catholics, First Nations, agnostics, and atheists.
I said yes.
Every day, I work with clients to help make their life better and I have the opportunity to love the person in front of me. Every day, I can choose to make a positive impact and can call a person to their highest potential. Every day, I have the opportunity to speak love and truth over a beautiful soul and I am so thankful to the calling I received while simply sitting in my front yard that day.
Every day, I am humbled by the Lord’s trust in me and His equipping for the tasks set before me.