This guest post is part of the Turning Points blog series here on distraction no. 99—in which I asked authors the question: What was your turning point as a writer? Here is Victoria Scott, author of The Collector, sharing hers…
Guest post by Victoria Scott
My turning point came the day I quit my job. I’d been working in advertising for years, which was preceded by four years of college studying the same subject. Advertising. Marketing. Make the sale, write the copy, three times equals remembrance.
Most people who leave their job do so because they hate it. But I liked my job. I’m not saying I loved it, but I liked it. One day though, as my new husband and I were lounging at a country chic hotel in a small town, I said, “It’d be cool to run a place like this.” He agreed. I rolled over on the bed. “What else could we do? If we could do anything?”
All the way home, we made lists of what we’d want to do in a perfect world: run a small hotel, open a snow cone hut, be an interior designer, recruit talent for football teams. Be a writer.
It was fun making the list and even though we laughed through parts of it, I couldn’t help jotting each thing down, like I was afraid to lose the ideas. Over the next few days, I revisited that list time and again. I found myself thinking, Why not? And of course, the one that popped, the one that screamed, was:
Be a writer!
My husband earned enough so that we could pay our bills if I left my job. Barely. But I was still uncertain. Like I said, I liked my job. I liked the people I worked with. And my salary was the highest I’d ever earned. Financially, we were sitting pretty. Could I throw it all away for a chance at becoming an author? I decided to do a trial run. My husband was the first to toss out the idea. “Why don’t you finish one book as you continue to work? If you can do it, and you enjoy it, then quit.”
So I did. I wrote that first book during lunch breaks and in the mornings and on the weekends. It was the worst story ever. The worst. But I had so much fun penning it. And a week after I finished my prized manuscript, I turned in my two week notice.
Two months after I left my job, I found an agent for my next book—THE COLLECTOR.
A Harvard professor once said to make a list with three columns. List the things you like to do, the things you’re good at, and things that make you feel like you’ve done good for others. If you find one that overlaps in two categories, that’s a winner. If you find one that overlaps in three, you’ve found a calling many never will.
Make a list.
Chase your dream.
Believe you are destined to do something big.
Victoria Scott adores all things dark and creepy, and gets her best ideas while strolling through the eighteenth century cemetery near her home. She’s the author is THE COLLECTOR trilogy (Entangled Teen) and the FIRE AND FLOOD trilogy (Scholastic). Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and adores cotton candy.
You can visit her online at: www.VictoriaScottYA.com.