I announced on Twitter last month that I’d taken my final step away from professional garden writing, and resigned as About.com’s organic gardening expert. I started the site in 2009, and it was exciting to watch it grow from nothing to a site that thousands (and, in some months, several hundred thousands) of gardeners turned to for information. I’m very proud of the work I did there, and even more excited to see that the lovely Angela England has taken over as the new organic gardening expert. It kind of feels like we’ve come full-circle; Angela was the first person to welcome me into the world of professional garden writing, back when I started with Suite101 nearly ten years ago. Crazy how things work out sometimes. 🙂 About.com is lucky to have her, and I’m excited to read the new content she creates there.
I think several people, garden writing and garden blogging friends, especially, were surprised and maybe thought I was a little nuts for resigning. About.com is a great gig. There are few places online where you can make that kind of money writing about gardening.
The thing is, it was time for a change. It was time to go full-force into this whole crazy fiction writing thing. Since the release of Lost Girl in December, I’ve made more than I’ve made in the last three years of garden writing, combined. In three months. And fiction is where my heart has always been, no matter how much I enjoyed garden writing. Time to do this, and give it the time it deserves.
So the first thing was that it was time and I’m able to live my dreams now and write about gods and sexy demons and shifters and all that fun stuff. The second thing is that I feel (and have felt for quite a while) that I did all I wanted to do with garden writing. Find a good-paying job in the industry? Check. Write a book about gardening? I wrote two for Lone Pine Publishing. Have articles published in my favorite magazines? Check, check, check.
But fiction writing… that brings me new challenges not just every day, but every hour. Every word. And even on the worst days, I can’t imagine not doing this. And I’m just really, really lucky that the books are selling and that people seem to like them. I am grateful for that every single moment.
I took a leap when I published Lost Girl. I really didn’t expect much to happen, except that I could say I’d finally done it. I took a leap the day I applied for that job with About.com, not expecting to actually get hired, seeing it as a long shot.
Sometimes, you just have to leap and see what happens. Even if you fall, at least you know you were brave enough to try. Will my books keep selling forever? You never know. Probably not. All I know is that I don’t intend to stop writing, and that I try, really hard, to improve with each book. That’s all you can do. Keep working, keep learning, and hope like hell that someone takes a chance on you.
Thank you so much to everyone who has taken a chance on me. You are the best!
Have a great weekend!