I first met Kadin when we did R.B. Wood’s Wordcount podcast back in April 2011. As a former corporate woman myself, I related to her immediately and thought she’d be interesting to know. It’s great we’ve stayed in touch, and I’m thrilled to have her as my guest blogger.
Please welcome the lovely, Kadin Seton, as she gives her interpretation of “new beginnings.”
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When Eden proposed that I fill a guest spot on her site, my first thought was that I’m not much of a blogger. Then she mentioned her January theme: New Beginnings. I thought about my life and realized those two words perfectly described the direction I was headed in this year. Eden is very wise!
My writing history is filled with years of scripting long dry training documents… and for fun, several dozen short stories. Like everyone, I dreamed of writing a novel… you know, something really great.
As the years whizzed by (as a side note, I find it totally unfair that time accelerates exponentially as you get older), I hit a huge valley in my life. Three people close to me were diagnosed with cancer and one didn’t make it. Yet for some reason, during those emotionally nightmarish days, I was finally able to put on paper the book I longed to write. Admittedly it wasn’t great, but after years of dreaming about it, I finally did it! Yay! I even hired an editor and received some incredibly useful feedback. Yet it all came to a halt as I slammed into a brick wall.
What happened you ask? Well, the literary demons showed up. No one had warned me about the little gremlins who tell you that your work sucks and you should just throw it out. Tiny evil voices that whisper things like… don’t embarrass yourself by letting anyone actually read this junk! I soon realized the demons were right (stupid me!), so my novel sat on a shelf and collected dust. I felt stuck and permanently stalled-out.
I should also mention that losing people you love and/or seeing them suffer through illness, puts a whole new perspective on your priorities. In the past, I worked in the fast paced business world. It was a world that wasn’t always pretty, but it paid well and as an extra bonus, provided a steady stream of stress that jeopardized my own health. After some serious consideration, at the end of 2011, I reorganized my priorities and accepted a new job. I decided to walk away from the high stress environment, take a BIG pay cut, and work for a non-profit company. I was excited by the concept of giving back, rather than taking.
Learning a totally new industry, and a complicated one at that, was much harder than I expected. Yet, as difficult as the change was, I immediately noticed that I wasn’t stressed out. Coincidently, as 2012 rolled around, it suddenly occurred to me that the literary demons had moved out. No more creepy voices telling me I sucked. Where did they go? I had no idea, but they were gone. Furthermore, I didn’t feel pessimistic about my novel any longer and I couldn’t wait to dive back into the process of rewriting. Words, ideas, character arcs… seemed to fall into place without the usual self recrimination.
As 2012 unfolds, an interesting sensation of being at peace with myself has emerged. It occurred to me that finding ‘new beginnings’ wasn’t about making an annual new year’s resolution. It’s not about losing weight, exercising more or promising to walk the dog daily. It’s bigger than the short term resolutions we make, and then break, each year. It’s about pointing your life in a direction that gives you balance and satisfies your soul. I guess the literary demons are abhorrently repelled by notions like that.
As I feel myself grow happier with my chosen direction, I can see my writing loosening up as well. My words are more candid and ‘from the heart.’ With a little luck and some elbow grease, I hope to have my book, Descent Into Darkness, published later this year. If you’re curious, the tale is a post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure which takes place in the not-too-distant future. The story centers around a young girl who comes of age during very dark times. No literary demons allowed!
May 2012 be a year of new beginnings for you too… and good health. From the bottom of my heart, I wish everyone a year of good health!
Connect with Kadin
Kadin Seton is a professional trainer who teaches management and leadership skills. She loves her new job working for a large non-profit company and is proud to be giving back to society.
Kadin also enjoys reading and writing science fiction and can periodically be found on The Word Count Podcast at www.rbwood.com.
Look for her book Descent Into Darkness, later this year.
Follow Kadin on Twitter at: @kadinseton