ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Five Absolutes For Reinventing Yourself

Updated on July 11, 2013

On the set of Make Your Life Healthy

Who would have thought at age 57 I would be writing, hosting and producing a TV program?
Who would have thought at age 57 I would be writing, hosting and producing a TV program? | Source

Follow Your Dreams

Most of us have, at one time or another, dreamed of reinventing ourselves. Of fresh starts, new careers, freedom from a 9-5 job and doing what we really love to do! Whether that involves changing careers or changing positions within your career, change can be scary and for some people, the fear stops them from achieving their reality.

But many of us (myself included!) will get the chance for a total “makeover” at some point of our lives. Mine came when my sales management job was “eliminated.” Although my work was sales, for 30 years in the publishing industry, my passion has always been writing and I always wrote “on the side.” I wrote for more than 20 national magazines, traveled with my husband who is a contractor with a photography passion, and we photographed events, weddings, homes, quilts, and more. He did the photography, I did the articles—a perfect match! But real life often got in the way for both of us and after about 10 years of magazines, it quietly slid to the back burner.

When my position ended abruptly, our youngest son was in college and we were just beginning the empty-nest phase of our life. After many discussions, I decided that what I really wanted to do was find a job writing full time.

Absolute One: Don’t let fear stop you from following your dreams.

So I took a low-paying job as a reporter at a nearby weekly paper. What I learned while there was an amazing way of writing “without the fluff” as my editor put it. Soon I was the lead reporter doing 10-15 stories each week and often the photos to accompany them for our paper.

In little more than a year, I took over as editor at our own community paper, which was owned by the same corporation. There I was the ONLY reporter, editor, letter-answerer, receptionist, photographer, layout person and on and on and on. The paper had been sorely neglected and was down to a 4 to 8 page “driveway kill” weekly – sad but true. As a one-person office with an excited new leader, we quickly regained our momentum, I was able to hire some intern reporters and within a few months we were up to 28 to 32 pages again.

But the life of an editor is a lot of hours for a very low salary. It consumes your time, energy and creativity. I had no time to write the way I once did, or to do anything other than crank out 45-50 articles each week.

Eventually, I resigned as the editor and they brought in some real help. I stayed on as Lifestyle Editor and wrote for the paper in a part-time capacity for the next 18 months while I was preparing to launch my own publishing company. The newspaper gave me some income while I got things going. At one point I began selling ads at a local radio station as well.

Absolute Two: Make sure you have enough income to eat.

When I finally had my ducks in a row, I found an illustrator and published my first three children’s books. Over the next five years we published 65 books, 15 by me and 50 by other authors. But it seemed we were on the cusp of massive changes in the book industry. My small independent book stores couldn’t pay their bills and they began closing right and left. Soon we lost a couple of our large distributors and four years ago we stopped production, eventually closing out our remaining inventory.

Back to square one. I love to write but really needed the income from a “job.” I started writing whatever came along, contacting my connections and writing their press releases, newsletters, resumes, business cards, post cards, radio and TV ads. At the same time, I began revamping my novel. I honed my creative skills again and made another detour on my already intricately woven career path.

Absolute Three: Surround yourself with supportive family, friends and colleagues.

It is funny how one connection leads to another. Three years ago while attending a networking meeting for the first time, I met a lady who was opening a B&B and had done nothing yet to publicize it! My forte! I wrote their press releases, designed their brochures, photographed their charming Country Lodge and helped them launch their business. It was and continues to be, a great success story of its own.

I continued to gather enough connections to meet our monthly bills, (although there were times when I sent out resumes for a “real” job again!)

Little did I know, I was about to do another makeover.

The owner of the B&B had just moved back to our area from California where he was a music composer for many TV programs. In fact, he is a 9-time Emmy winning composer! He called me one day and said he had taken a job as the VP of Production for a new TV network. He wondered what I would charge to write a TV script for their soon-to-be medical news program.

Absolute Four: Learn all you can about what you want to do—Hone your skills.

I have done a lot of script writing over the years, mostly for plays and local productions, but a few for TV programs, movie scripts (which were never filmed) and I even took a three day screenwriting workshop. So I thought about it and gave him a price a few days later.

A couple of weeks went by and he called again. What would I charge to write a “spec script” for them? I played with numbers, the time involved, (I have no medical background), how much research, etc. and gave him a number.

A couple more weeks went by and he called again, asking me to go ahead with the spec script. They would like to see what I thought. He said to write it like I would like to see it presented—no boundaries, no guidelines, my own creation. So I did. I sent it over to him and within a couple of days received a call back.

“We love the script and want you to host the program.” Silence isn’t always golden. I was speechless.

I have never been in front of the camera—we do not own a video recorder; we have never had video or TV experience. This would definitely be a learning experience. He told me what the long-term financial goals were, but keep in mind this was a fledgling TV network. What the heck—I thought I would give it a try. With the help of our church videographer and one of my best friends, we set up a make-shift set in the basement of our church and filmed the “pilot” for my show.

They loved it! I solicited help from family, friends and our local PBS station to train us on this new, no-pay adventure. We began filming every other week in their studio and on site, for the next 24 months. Our TV program, Make Your Life Healthy is now syndicated in 16 cities nationwide and was just picked up by a new network which will begin airing in 240 more markets in September. We have filmed 50 regular programs and 13 specials. We are now gearing up for our fall production schedule.

Absolute Five: Never pass up a new opportunity—you have no idea where it will lead you.

But wait—there is more. In my connections with doctors and health-care professionals, I have been able to build my writing business to make decent money, (while waiting for the residuals of our TV program to come through), and continue to gain experience and do what I love.

A local client introduced me to a long-distance friend who needed some “social makeover” writing and I began writing for him. One of the projects of this pro-baseball player, is to market his story, his writings and his amazing career.

I am now writing a movie treatment for his upcoming Hollywood-produced story and hope to get the contract to write the screenplay.

This is why I write.

This is what I love.

This is my gift.

I love every moment of being on the keyboard and in front of my monitor.

Sigh…

I still have a quote on my wall which I “borrowed” from a book more than 40 years ago. It says “Writing is like prostitution:

First you do it for fun, then you do it for a few friends, then you do it for money.”

If you are willing to take a journey, sometimes with your eyes closed, feeling for the steps which may be covered with leaves and riddled with potholes, reinventing your self can be an incredible excursion.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Patriot Quest profile image

      Wayne Joel Bushong 

      5 years ago from America

      Fun reading and congrats!

    • Pat Stirnkorb profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Stirnkorb 

      5 years ago from Fairfield, OH

      thanks! It has been quite exciting--to say the least.

    • soconfident profile image

      Derrick Bennett 

      5 years ago

      Wow what a journey you've been on, very moving and uplifting hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)