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Monday, January 20, 2014

Claiming My Bliss

Working for myself has been a dream of mine for a very long time. When I was
younger my grandfather, a landscape designer, retired from working for an employer at age 65 and started working for himself. He loved what he did for a living, and he relished the freedom of working on his own time and in his own way. With a drafting table set up in the basement, he worked hard—sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night—making his vision for a design come to life with pencil and marker. It was an example that made an enormous impression on me.

My ultimate fantasy, of course, is to be a full-time writer—to earn my income and spend my days weaving stories and plotting happy endings. However, I’ve never been able to convince my husband to let me quit my day job based on the hope that I would one day become a wildly successful published author. I always tried to view his reservations less as a lack of faith in my talent and more as the practical views of an accountant. I decided to be practical too. If I wanted to work for myself, I’d have to diversify my skill set.

So two years ago I took my dash of artistic ability, no doubt inherited from Grandpa, and started taking web design and development classes at my local community college. The classes were all offered online, so I could balance them with my day job and the scattered hours I spared for my writing. In order to practice what I was learning, I began creating book covers and other graphic design items for authors, at first for free, just to build up my portfolio. 

Now, two years later, I have finally left my day job and work for myself full-time at my design venture, Gilded Heart Design. It has been a lifestyle revolution for me, forcing the development of skills beyond design. Every day I am honing my abilities related self-discipline, time management, and organization. I try new things and discover what works for me. Learning efficient and simple processes is my new obsession.

And something strange has happened. I am working longer hours than I ever have in my life. And I’m happy about it. I am also carving out regular writing time in a more focused and productive way. My only complaint is that there isn’t more time in each day to keep working and writing.

I’ve always believed in the call to “do what you love.” I just never lived it before. It has been a scary step and my husband is still dubious it was the right one. But I am doing what makes me happy, work that feeds my soul. I have claimed my bliss, and I never want to go back.


How have you claimed your bliss?

10 comments:

Cathryn Cade said...

Christy,

As the recipient of several of your stunning book covers and banners, I couldn't be happier that you're now a full time designer!

Agree, now that I'm writing romance full time, I'm working harder than ever before. However, I'm also loving the occasional day to play hookie when one of my favorite authors debuts a new book.

Here's to bliss, our way.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Cathryn!

Yes, here's to bliss our way. :)

So far I am working seven days a week, but I do sneak out for the occasional movie with hubby now and then.

terri patrick said...

This is a great post about what it takes to live your passion and why it truly matters that you know it.

So often I hear people stating, "I'm going to live my passion" and yet they have no idea what it is, or put any effort into creating it for themselves.

I also love that you have stated your acceptance of some common sense and financial security to earn your happiness.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Terri!

I feel like I've known what I wanted forever, and it just took me forever to get it. :)

Actually, everything I've done up to this now, even the jobs I loathed, have gotten me to this point. So I'm grateful for all of it.

Patience has never been one of my virtues, but being patient for this time, this opportunity to work for myself and focus on my writing, was worth it.

As a super impatient woman, I can now admit that patience is almost as important as perseverance when working toward a goal.

Diana McCollum said...

I love that you have achieved your passionate goals! And I agree Patience IS as important as perseverance. It takes time and effort to achieve one's goals. I really like your website and all the book covers and websites you've done. Beautiful work!

Judith Ashley said...

Christy, what an inspiring story! Your work is quality and you are a dream to work with...you didn't say that you spend hours and hours dealing with neurotic authors who fret over their cover. Because of your patience, I'm learning to just trust...and that is an element of my bliss.

My bliss includes my life being easy and effortless - staying in the light and trusting the stories to come through me onto the page. I am always amazed and grateful that they do.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thank you, Diana! I appreciate your comment and kind words about my work.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thank you, Judith. Wow, I love your bliss—your life being easy and effortless. Why don't I ever wish for something like that? Perhaps its my Scorpio nature that thinks that life should be tumultuous and frenetic. It gets tiring!

I agree that trust is a biggie too. Still working on that one. :)

Thanks for your thoughtful, heartfelt comment.

Samantha Chase said...

Thanks to your wonderful artistic ability, I have been able to live my bliss! I am thankful every day for you and love working with you!! Here's go a great 2014!

Judith Ashley said...

Can't use the Scorpio thing, Christy. My DOB is 11/19 which makes me one too. What I find interesting in your response is "It gets tiring" and that is the piece that created the space for me to stop and see if I could create a life that includes the intensity, etc. that is a part of the Scorpio nature without the piece that made it so tiring. It is a work in progress but I'm so much further down that road now. I've whole days that are easy and effortless and every day has some time in it that reaches that definition for me.

I am so grateful to have you working on my book covers and website - you have a gift for making them special. My 17 year old granddaughter saw the website draft and will put the link on FB (when it is done) which is huge! and a first...