By the Wind Grieved

By the Wind Grieved
“O lost, And by the wind grieved, Ghost, Come back again.” Thomas Wolfe

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ditching the Day Job

I am three months into my new writing life and thought it was time to start blogging about my experience.

 So this is how it happened: In early 2011, my sister and I decided to start a writing group. We started with four women, one of whom then worked at a local hospital as senior editor for the publications department. I shall call her Sakura. Sakura and I immediately developed a real resonance based on mutual passions for art and poetry, as well as a shared pre-Raphaelite romantic sensibility.

 Around August of 2012,Sakura came to me and asked me if I would be interested in taking on the task of writing the memoirs of a noted neurosurgeon at the hospital who had approached her with the idea, hoping that she could take it on. She had too much on her plate, so she declined the offer, but told him she knew someone who might be interested.

 I was working at a local college as assistant director of a learning center. I had a nice title, a second-floor, corner office in a new building, and, by the time I added in my commute, ten or eleven-hour days. I fretted for a couple of months. I shared the predicament with a few key people. Their responses ran the gamut from "What about your benefits?" to "Here is your chance."

 In October I met with the doctor. I came away with an armful of photo albums, articles, notes, and a request for a proposal, time frame, and suggested price. A few weeks later, we signed an agreement for the book.

 Well, to cut to the chase, I gave notice in October, quit for good in February, and am now three months into the writing of the good doctor's memoir--or to be more accurate--his autobiography. I have given myself a year. I have a first draft of about 50,000 words already, and I am not quite half-way through the story. I intend to blog here about some of the issues that have arisen, and that no doubt will continue to arise, as I write this book.

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