Hi Guideposts, I'm Judge Debra H. Goldstein. For many years, I sat on the bench and enjoyed the role of the black robe and being a judge, but then I decided I wanted to follow my passion for writing. So by day, I was a judge and by night, instead of sleeping, I was a writer.
I think you have to find what has meaning to you and it may mean that you're getting up and writing at two in the morning. My best writing times were between two and four. They had to be. I didn't have any other time.
I found, though, that it was very difficult keeping the two careers separate, which is what I was trying to do—keep them separate.
It's a hard question to answer of whether or not somebody should follow a career that's not stable. I think it is a matter of following your heart. If you don't, there's always gonna be something that's missing.
At the same time, reality says you have to put food on the table, you have to take care of children, you have to live, and the last thing you want to do is fall into a pattern that doesn't allow you to do any of those things.
So, I believe that the tips I could give you are find something that can sustain you, in terms of salary, grants. There's lots of things out there. But more importantly, listen to your heart.
One of the things that I think one has to realize is, you're not gonna win every time. I was extremely thrilled when my first book was published, but I wasn't as excited when the publisher went out of business.
The same thing happened a second time and each time, I was told, "Write something new." When I wrote what is now the "Sarah Blair" series, I had no idea if it was going to be published. I didn't have an agent, but one thing led to another. I wrote a book that I thought had merit. An agent agreed and started representing me.
The agent submitted it. They bought three books immediately. They've now bought two more so the series will have, at least, five.
I kid around because the first one, One Taste Too Many, this was RahRah, my cat, that I put in, you know, made a cat but it was Sarah Blair and it really was the beginning of a new life for me.
So, I think that if I could tell anybody anything, you have to know that sometimes it's gonna be two steps back to get to that step that is the dream.