Is Your Dream Career Working Overtime to Show Itself to You?
Have you ever viewed a series of occurrences in your life backwards to unveil a seemingly magical, serendipitous path that may not have been obvious to you while they were happening?
This is precisely what I experienced when I found myself on the precipice of reinvention—only at the time I had no idea just how far outside what I’d considered for myself that reinvention was going to look like.
From an early age, I had a penchant for writing and was a natural storyteller, which piggybacked nicely on my fascination with language and uncommon obsession with grammar. But a teacher got into my head at some point and told me that being a writer was a very difficult way to make a living, and that working for a publisher would mean being cooped up for untold hours in a little office with a red pen, in New York, with little chance of promotion.
Neither being poor nor laboring in a box under fluorescent lights across the country from my native California sounded appealing to me at all. And, just like that, my aspirations of being a professional writer or editor were squashed.
I know that sounds like I gave up awfully easily on a dream career, but unfortunately, that’s how impressionable I was at the time. What I didn’t know, however, was that those gifts I’d come to this life with had no inclination of remaining dormant forever.
Yes, having higher-than-average writing and editorial skills served me well throughout college and twelve years in prominent leadership roles, and I relished them. I’d even added graphic design to my collection of underused abilities. But relegating these passions to the side was soon to unexpectedly change.
In 2010, after staying in it two years longer than I should have, my once grand position was phased out and I suddenly had my chance to start a fresh chapter. But did I return to my original loves and consider a career in publishing? No. I honestly believed that ship had sailed—or there was a hole in that sail too big to repair. I also believed using the leadership skills I’d honed for years were the predominant ones worth promoting to potential employers, not the talents I’d rarely been paid to let shine.
Once again, though, life wasn’t about to let me squander my lying-in-wait gifts any longer.
In the post-2008 recession, where I swam with innumerable applicants during the highest unemployment period since the Great Depression, I spent a full year applying thoughtfully for jobs I was certain would land me my next great career move. Yet, I heard almost nothing but crickets, leaving me wholly dumbfounded and defeated. How, I wondered, could I come equipped with my noteworthy education and experience and score a sum total of six interviews, none of which panned out?
Though it certainly didn’t feel like it at the time, there was Universal magic at work.
Had I been hired for any of the jobs I’d applied for—and truly believed I was perfect for—I would have never been forced to reinvent myself in an arena where I would finally be aligned with my talents in an unforeseen, timely, and unprecedented way.
Here’s how that (very condensed) story looks when told backwards.
As of June 2021, I’ve headed my business, The Book Doctor Is In, for a decade. I’ve delighted in working one on one with authors in every capacity of book production and publication—as a writer, ghostwriter, editor, book designer, publishing partner, and more—to self-publish books of excellence that rival traditional publications from cover to cover. To date, I’ve been involved in the full or partial production of over 200 books.
In 2019, I ghostwrote my second memoir with a client, after writing my first in 2017, during which I discovered my innate ability to step inside someone’s “soul space” and write in their voice.
In 2013, I reached out to the founder of She Writes Press and offered my services as the company sought to grow. I was hired as a layout artist and designed my first of what is now over 160 book interiors.
In 2012, I built my initial business website, spoke at my first writers group meeting, and connected with my fifth book client, my first memoirist. Earlier that year, my fourth client, a professor who “miraculously” discovered me online, hired me to do two academic language books. Prior to him, one of the top executive coaches in New York—my third client—took a leap of faith with me through knowing my second client, who had come to me as a referral from my first.
And how did I get that first client?
I had serendipitously reunited in 2008 with my junior high English teacher, who had founded two annual authors events for which I joined the committees. It was at my first event that I met the author who would propel this dream career as client number one.
Was my ardent desire to reconnect with that favorite teacher the then unknown impetus for aligning me professionally with my talents, and sparking me to further hone each one—and cultivate more—into a complete reinvention? When I view my trajectory backwards, there appears to be no doubt.
This guest post was authored by Stacey Aaronson
Stacey is the founder of The Book Doctor Is In, where she takes writers by the hand as a ghostwriter, editor, book and website designer, and publishing partner to bring books of excellence to life. She is also author of the memoir Raising, and Losing, My Remarkable Teenage Mother. Stacey lives on Whidbey Island, WA, with her soul mate of twenty-one years, Dana, and their rescued Maine Coon kitty. Visit Stacey at www.thebookdoctorisin.com and www.staceyaaronson.com.