I made a huge, monumental and life-changing decision for myself today.
I’ve decided to give up hair styling.
Now, the thing is, I’m relatively new at both being a hair stylist and being a published author. I left an unsatisfying career in 2013 and went to beauty school, convinced I’d found something to channel all my creativity and passion and love of people into.
And I did. I loved it. But as a new stylist, there are things you have to do if you want to build a clientele. You have to market yourself. You have to do a lot of hair models for free (not as sexy as it might sound). You have to be all over social media. You have to observe how others do things, ask questions, make mistakes. You have to build success from the ground up, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s a lot like being a published author, I’m learning.
When I signed my first contract with Dreamspinner, I had no idea what was going to happen. The career I’d given up my job and salary for, the career I’d just completed ten months of schooling for, the career in which I’d planned to devote all my time and energy toward….things started to shift away from that. I found myself spending more and more time on the writing. I found myself building the foundation of a career — just not the one I’d planned. And finally the truth of it hit me — even though I didn’t necessarily want to, I needed to choose one or the other.
I knew which one my heart wanted, but I kept talking myself out of taking the leap. I worried about everyone else and what they’d say. I worried it would make me a failure or that it meant my going to school and all of the last three years was a waste. But I would never be in the place I am now if I hadn’t have left that miserable job (and I fully plan on keeping my license and doing hair in my kitchen on the side 😉 ) and as tough as a decision as it was, believe me, I know how blessed I am to be in a position to make it.
As I talked with my boss/mentor today, I realized something. If this had happened when I was in that job I hated, leaving to focus on writing would have been so easy. But it would also have been a mistake, because I need to feel that passion and excitement for something to do it and do it well. For me, at the time, it wouldn’t have been the right reason.
But now? Walking away from doing something I genuinely loved, for the best boss and mentor I’ve ever had, was very hard. And that’s how I know it’s the right decision. As my mentor told me today, I could try and focus my energy both places or I could try and focus my energy where my heart wanted me to go. She was excited for me and told me to go for it and let her know if I wanted to come back to doing hair. She’s maybe the best person in the whole world, no lie. That’s why it was so hard to make this decision.
But I made it, and today I took the leap and became a full-time writer. I’m exhilarated, terrified and confident I made the right choice. This might be the most important decision I’ve ever made, and no matter what happens, I’m glad that I did it.
Now, I guess I better get to work 😉