Once upon a time, not too long ago, I was an editor of reading textbook materials for elementary schools. I loved my job in New York City and the people I worked with. So, when DOG GONE found a home with the wonderful Feiwel and Friends, I was determined to keep my job. Unfortunately, the increasing demands of being a textbook editor pushed me into a position where I had to choose between my passion for writing novels and the career I had built as an editor. I thought it would be really hard to walk away from corporate life, to give up an office overlooking Manhattan, to lose the daily social interaction. Now, I work at a desk stuffed into a guest room. My office mates went from the two-legged kind to the four-legged kind (the photo here is of my two most common office companions, lounging on the guest room bed behind my desk. Believe me, they’re like this even in meetings. It’s disgraceful.).
Anyway, recently, a company that I worked for had massive layoffs. I still stay in close touch with my textbook pals, so I heard about all the ugly details of how this went down. People fainted. People cried. People were and are devastated. This breaks my heart. But it also causes me to sit back and consider how down to my toes grateful I am to have something that I love to do and can do almost anywhere. Something that can’t be taken away. Sure, writing is painful. It makes me tear at my hair, whimper, whine, and mutter flamboyant curses that would make a truck driver blush. It can be lonely. But, it also brings me great satisfaction and joy. Nothing invigorates me the way that writing a novel does. Not even the hustle and bustle of NYC corporate life. So, for all of those devastated people who have lost their jobs, I wish them hope and success in finding paths and purposes that bring them joy and satisfaction. I wish for them a passion that will help them through the tough times. Something that can’t be taken away.