We’re Back! + Writer Career Brainstorming

Happy New Year! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We certainly did. We really, really, really needed that break! Heather was all like, “Wake me up when 2016 is over…”

And Robin was like, “Yeah, 2016 beat me up pretty bad… but I’m still standing!”

Politics aside, 2016 was for me (Heather) a year of constantly questioning my career path and exploring my options. I began on a high note, with a new freelance gig writing an educational game, a part-time job as a freshly certified gymnastics coach, and a hopeful grant application (for tips on applying to grants, check out this post). But a few months in things were looking bad — the educational game didn’t pan out, coaching gymnastics was hella stressful and required a lot of out-of-gym work I’m not paid for, and I didn’t get the grant. But just as I was resigned to wallow in a pit of despair, an old TV friend asked me to write some episodes for his new show, Opie’s Home, and I returned to work on LongStory, but this time promoted to Story Editor! Alas, it’s inevitable in the freelance world that all good gigs come to an end (that is the nature of contract work), and by fall I was again wondering how I’d to pay the bills while also having time to work on my novel.

Enter CAREER BRAINSTORMING. What was my next move? Get back into TV writing? Start a copywriting business? Or go back to school?

What was I going to do in 2017?!

I met with friends and colleagues to discuss those options. The first two are doable, but don’t leave time for me to work on the novel right now. The third option (school) is the opposite of making money, but the best idea for finally getting a darn book finished! And the novel is still my priority.

So while WriteOnSisters was on a blogging break, I decided on my path for 2017… I’m going back to school! I’m applying for a post-grad Creative Writing program with a good track record of successful published authors. As for money, this month I start a part-time job writing another awesome video game.

I’m looking forward to learning a lot this year, from school and from writing video games, and I’ll be sure to pass the knowledge on to you guys now that the WriteOnSisters are back to blogging every week. With that…
And if there’s anything you want to know or want us to blog about, tell us in the Comments!

Author: Heather Jackson

Heather is a freelance screenwriter, game writer, and novelist based in Toronto. For more, visit her website at heatherjacksonwrites.com or follow her on Twitter @HeatherJacksonW

15 thoughts on “We’re Back! + Writer Career Brainstorming”

  1. It sounds like a great decision, Heather. Yeah, I know, studying sounds like a lot of money to spend instead of gain, but there’s nothing, really nothing that pays for education.
    I sure you won’t regret it 😉

  2. I didn’t accomplish any of the things I set out to do in 2016, but I did learn a lot from trying. I think (or at least I hope) that’s set me up for a much more productive 2017.

    1. I hear ya! I’ve been tracking my progress for the last two years, keeping track of how many hours I spend writing novels vs freelance writing vs other stuff. I never accomplish as much as I hope to, but like you, learned a lot from trying. Hopefully we both close the gap between goals and achievements in 2017!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Sarah! And yes, it was a wonderful, highly necessary break. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on what needs to be done when too much is happening. Taking a break from blogging gave me time to sort it out.

  3. Oh YAAAAY! I’ve been meaning to ask you and Robin if WoS was coming back in 2017. (Not that it was gone, but more or less on hiatus – but you know what I mean.) I look forward to reading new posts by you gals this year; and good luck with your Creative Writing program, Heather!

    1. Hi Sara! Yes, we’re back! I was pretty tapped out by the end of 2016, but new year, new plan, so hopefully that translates into lots of interesting stuff to blog about! See you around the blogosphere!

  4. Heather, what a wonderful decision you’ve made. I envy you taking a Creative Writing program – one of my (out of the question) dreams. You’ll do well and I look forward to you sharing tidbits along the way. Best to you in 2017.

    1. Thank you, Sharon! I’m lucky that I live in the city where the college is located, and that I qualify for a low-income education grant, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to swing it. I often wish I lived in one of those magical European countries where post-secondary education is free. 🙂

  5. Wow! Major life decisions. Congrats! Looks like you’ve got the perfect excuse to binge on some back to school supplies! ;p ~Tui Snider, aka @TuiSnider on Twitter, dropping by via #MondayBlogs

    1. Ha! Or maybe because I’m old and on a budget, I will just dig out some school supplies from back in the day that I’m not done with. I’m 99% sure I still have my old pink pencil case around here somewhere…

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