How did I get here?

25 Oct

I’ve always been a planner.

When I was in high school, I planned my future. Since I enjoyed math and science, but lacked the stomach to deal with blood and other icky bodily fluids, I scratched physician from my list of career opportunities and decided to become an engineer. In one college application essay, I wrote that I wanted to work in a factory as a manufacturing engineer. (How did I even know that?) Flash-forward a few years-degree in hand-I was hired as a manufacturing engineer for an automotive supplier. I envisioned the dream, I wrote about it, and I achieved it.

But it was the wrong dream.

I enjoyed problem solving and my co-workers, but I never felt passion for my job. I never got excited about fin damage on condensers. I remember looking around the conference room at a bunch of men (yes, I worked with mostly men) and wondering how in the world they did this day in and day out without going insane. Seriously? Getting excited over damaged parts coming off the line? Yes, I got it. Damaged parts equaled lost money and potentially shutting down an automotive plant. And you never wanted to do that. As a new twenty-something engineer, I felt the life force draining out of me.

Meanwhile, I was checking off my personal goals. I met a wonderful man (a fellow engineer) and we married. And we started a family, just as we planned. I consider myself beyond blessed when it comes to my family. And it was my family that allowed me to follow a new budding dream.

Shortly after having child #1, I saw an advertisement in a women’s magazine about writing children’s books. How many of you know the ad? Anyway, it sparked an idea that I imagine was somewhere deep down. Could I actually write children’s books?  The short answer: no.  But I started writing.  Before long I had success selling articles to local and national publications.

When our family expanded, I decided to become a full-time mom and leave the plant behind. By then the writing bug had taken hold.

I did some research. Remember I’m a planner? I discovered romance novels comprised a large percentage of the fiction market. So I began to read romances across all genres and books about craft. And finally I put pen to paper.

Flash-forward to now…I have achieved a new dream. I sold 2 romantic suspense manuscripts to Samhain Publishing this summer.

The subjectivity and flux in the world of publishing plays havoc on the planner in me, but I’m learning…

And most importantly, I’m excited about each day. I wake up and get to look out my home office at this wonderful view. I look forward to the future and achieving new goals.

And it all started out with a plan.

I just didn’t know I’d get here from there.

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21 Responses to “How did I get here?”

  1. Cassandra Carr October 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Love it, Alison! In many ways your journey sounds like mine! Congrats on the sales again!!!

    • alisonstone October 26, 2011 at 5:18 am #

      Thanks! I suppose we think we know what we want when we’re 18. I’m just thrilled I had the opportunity to pursue new dreams.

  2. carol j October 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Planning is a great thing. An old saying goes that if you want to make God laugh, make a plan. Your plan worked out wonderfully, but so did His. For you to get to where you are now, all of the other things had to have happened. You Rock, Lady! Great Blog!

    • alisonstone October 26, 2011 at 4:19 am #

      Whenever I question why I bothered working so hard to get my engineering degree, I remember that I met my husband because of this path. Yes, things do tend to work out. Thanks for commenting.

  3. emma lane October 26, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    Hello Allison, If your books are as smart as your blog, save a copy for me. I’m in.

    • alisonstone October 26, 2011 at 4:17 am #

      Thanks! How nice of you to say. 🙂

  4. Amanda Usen October 26, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    I love this post. I wish I was a planner. I went to college pre-med and ended up majoring in poetry-writing, then going to culinary school…

    • alisonstone October 26, 2011 at 4:16 am #

      Thanks. It’s funny how our lives take twists and turns.Yours sounds as dramatic as mine!

  5. Amy Surowiec October 26, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Love your story and I agree with emma lane….I’m in with the book!

  6. Anne Schlinck October 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    You are a very talented writer, Alison! I’m looking forward to reading your books. I can’t wait to say I knew Alison Stone when…

    • Alison Stone October 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      Thanks, Anne, I appreciate your support and kind words. Oh, and the part about “I can’t wait to say I knew Alison Stone when…” Ah, from your keyboard to God’s ears. 🙂

      Hope all is well in your new home. Must be nice to be “home.”

  7. Natasha Moore October 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Great post, Alison. Not everyone can say they’re excited about each day. That’s how you know you’re where you’re supposed to be 🙂

    • Alison Stone October 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      I agree! The days fly…I wish time would slow down. Thanks.

  8. jesstopper October 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Lovely first post, Alison. A good plan and a grain of salt is my motto! Looking forward to the books. 🙂

    • Alison Stone October 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

      Ah, yes, a grain of salt. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

  9. Kim Athans October 27, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Oh Alison I am with you 100%: the path, the reasons, but what did I get out of it???? Maybe because it brought me to this wonderful area. Still looking for that grain of salt to grow my plan… I CANNOT wait for those books! Soooo very happy for you!

    • Alison Stone October 27, 2011 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks, Kim. Think of all the wonderful people we met along the way. I still remember meeting you way back when in Plant 4. Seems like a lifetime ago.

  10. Dr. Robert Wiley October 29, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Great story about how early career dreams need a strong foundation stones to endure! It’s wonderful that you found another career dream much more in synch with who you are and what you really like to do!

    Dr. Robert Wiley

  11. Diana January 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    I also write romantic suspense, and much like you chose the wrong career. Best of luck. I will have to check out your novels. I’m always looking for something good to read.

    • Alison Stone January 7, 2012 at 6:34 am #

      Thanks, Diana. I think it’s hard to know what you want to do when you’re 18. Then before you know it, you have a degree and job in something you’re not so sure about. But I figure all the decisions we make, make us who we are. Good luck with your writing.

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