Do you notice that when you ask someone how they are doing, the answer is often, “I’m so busy”? We are constantly faced with growing workloads, and with a steady flow of information infiltrating our phones and inboxes, we are left with less time than ever.
As a wife, mother of three children (ages eleven, eight, and six), and a serial entrepreneur, the answer of “I’m so busy” is an understatement. While running Calgary Career Counselling and the Leadership Success Group, and co-leading Canada Career Counselling and Work EvOHlution is a great joy, time for me is scarce.
So, one might ask, where on earth did Laura find the time to publish a novel? Now that is a story!
My passion for creative writing began as a young girl who was twelve years younger than my five siblings, who all moved out by the time I was in elementary school. Raised as an only child, I learned to entertain myself with my imagination by drawing stories and telling them to myself. I loved creative writing and had my first novel idea in my early teens. I had only gotten started on that one, but another idea emerged in my early twenties, during my career in psychology.
After completing my Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, I found myself drawn to the entrepreneurial and business side of psychology through my work with career technology and competency management firms. I discovered that a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology would ideally blend of my passions for business and psychology. The path was clear, or was it?
When I was twenty-seven, I went through a layoff one cloudy Friday afternoon as our Canadian-based competency management consulting firm was acquired by a US company, which later proceeded to lay us all off. I had already applied to do my PhD that fall so the timing wasn’t too bad; however, I found myself in an unexpected career crisis.
My novel idea had been percolating for years and I began seriously considering whether I could switch focus and become a writer. I went to a wise career psychologist who helped me with the dilemma of whether I should pursue a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology or change gears into creative writing. I was entertaining doing a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, which would require some more undergraduate English courses and a huge shift in direction.
We concluded that due to my outgoing personality and high need for achievement, being a novelist was far too risky and isolating to tackle full time. So I committed to embarking on a PhD, and writing as a hobby, and began to pen my novel that summer.
As you can imagine, while doing a PhD, one is not left with much free time. But I made the time. In the summers when I didn’t have as heavy a course schedule, I would treat myself to writing in the evenings. I found a writing buddy who was an accountant by day and working on his novel, and we would trade chapters and share edits of each other’s work.
When I was writing, I was in a state of what is called “career flow.” It was pure joy and time would pass quickly. I would be entertaining myself as I wrote. I was curious, as would be my readers, as to what would happen to my protagonist, Cadence, as she tried to escape from an unbelievable situation with a crazed ex-boyfriend who was now an obsessive billionaire.
Long story short, it took me many “stop starts” to finish this novel, spanning an eight-year period, two businesses and three children! I was determined to finally finish it when pregnant with my daughter, and finished the last sentence a couple of days before she was born while typing in bed, my laptop balanced over my belly. I never had extra time to work on my novel; I made the time, carving spaces in my busy life to follow my passion.
I published Losing Cadence in April 2016, with the support of my editor/publicist Sheryl Khanna, who believed my book was better than Gone Girl and as gripping as The Girl on the Train. The genre of psychological thrillers was popular, and Losing Cadence was written, in my mind, as a movie.
My dream is for Losing Cadence to become a bestseller and movie. My readers tell me that they, too, can picture this, as they curse me for keeping them up until 2:00 a.m. needing to find out what happens. My goal is to entertain, and I believe I am achieving it as I continue to learn and grow as a fiction writer.
My life is busier than ever with my additional ventures, including opening Canada Career Counselling in Toronto, and being there for my husband and growing children. But I’m still carving out time for my passion of creative writing, as I pen the sequel to Losing Cadence. Although it may only be a couple of hours in a whole week, it is my time to follow my passion.
Do you have a passion or interest that you just can’t find the time for? Does your busy life and career get in the way, and you can’t imagine doing it? Well, I have news for you, you can make time, even if it’s only small pieces of time here and there that give you a taste of what your passion feels like.
For morning people, time may be found at dawn, before your family or work day takes form. Time may be found in the evening, instead of watching that addicting series on Netflix. Or time may be found over a cup of coffee or tea on the weekend, when you perhaps put off a chore and treat yourself to a visit with your passion.
Time is finite and there’s never enough of it. But my message and story will hopefully inspire you to follow your passion, whether it’s writing, art, music, or another hobby you’ve always hoped to pursue. If I can do this, you certainly can too. We will never stop being busy, so grab hold of your time, however little you can find, and follow your passion.
To contact Dr. Laura email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Losing Cadence, visit:
Career counselling with a Registered Psychologist or Career Coach is an excellent way to make career decisions and find a fulfilling career direction. The process of career counselling includes personality, interest and values assessments, and coaching sessions to ensure you find the right career path for you. All career counsellors at Calgary Career Counselling are Master’s- and Ph.D.-level Psychologists and Career Coaches with extensive experience helping people reach their full potential.
We’re a private organization offering fee-based services, but many extended health plans cover Registered Psychologists. Further, we regularly donate our time to helping those in need with career planning presentations and individual career counselling. Our current relationships include The Calgary Women’s Immigrant Association and Discovery House.
Calgary Career Counselling Office: Suite 305 - 1167 Kensington CR NW Calgary, Alberta T2N 1X7 (403) 261-5085