8 thoughts on “If I had it to do over again …

  1. Are you kidding? I could definitely see you as a journalist. I can picture that byline, but unbiased reporting would definitely not be the avenue for you. Opinion column for sure. 🙂

    • The reality is, at my age there are not many opportunities, especially in an industry that is fighting to survive and is constantly laying people off. So I do submit articles and essays and opiniion pieces and that is truly the best I can do. Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

  2. Fransi, I can certainly identify with the urge to try a new and different path in life – one that has been calling, sotto voce, for a long time. I’d say, “Go for it!”
    I was a reasonably successful scientist for about three decades, and when I retired, I wanted to take up writing – both fiction and nonfiction – which I had been doing as an amateur for twenty years. But at my age (and I’ll bet I’m older than you), it’s very hard to find someone (like an agent) who’s willing to take a risk on an unknown woman “of a certain age.” I understand, because of the need to calculate the long-term pay-off for cultivating an “asset” that might not be so long-term. So I’ve been trying to get into the game through self-publishing, hoping it will prove my commitment and ability to deliver.
    Don’t know if that’s the right strategy. What would your strategy be for changing course as you would like to do?

    • Hi Joanne. Not so sure you’re older, but we’re probably in the same range :). What you’re doing is very exciting! And I don’t know where you live or what the market is like there but here in Toronto it’s very very difficult to find an agent/publisher if you’re unpublished and/or not known REGARDLESS of your age. So self-publishing is pretty much the only route to take. At this stage of my life I am not looking for a full time job. I do freelance work in the field of advertising now and I submit articles to magazines/newspapers when I have something I think is appropriate for their readers. I don’t do it as often as I should or could and I am trying to improve that. And I am also writing a book which I will self-publish, if I ever finish writing it :). If I was in my 20s or 30s and was really looking to start over and switch careers from advertising to journalism that would be a whole other ballgame. And if that was happening now, getting hired as an employee would be extremely difficult because that industry is struggling to stay alive. Regardless I would still have to prove myself as a journalist. As I wrote in the blog, in the eyes of editors and publishers writing advertising, no matter how good you may be, doesn’t count. Back in the day if I’d been serious about a career in journalism, I would have gone for a degree in journalism. Good luck with your books! Don’t give up, it may be tough but it’s doable; and worth the effort.

      • Thanks, Fransi! I’ll take that as encouragement! I have “self-published” two books (as J.A.V. Simson), and I have amassed two collections of short stories, one of which is out to contests as we speak (write). A few of the stories have been previously published, and one was a “semi-finalist” for a national literary contest. If the collection doesn’t win or place, I’ll probably publish that through CreateSpace or Amazon Kindle. The real key to sales, though, is marketing, and that’s another challenge! Thanks for the encouragement, and best wishes on completing your book!

      • That is fabulous Joanne! If I were you I wouldn’t necessarily give up on getting an agent — you have a track record. Yes, marketing and promotion are essential. I’m lucky I can do that for myself. I have become friendly with a fellow blogger who has self-published several books; and let me tell you, she promotes herself/books like a pro! So it can be done.

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