by Megan Haskell
A lot of things come to mind when I think about the word. Freedom of the press. Freedom of speech. The soldiers who honor our country and fight for our freedom. But today I’d like to discuss freedom as a lifestyle.
Looking back at my career path and life choices, it was inevitable I would choose to pursue an author career. More, it was inevitable I would choose independent publication instead of pursuing the traditional route. To understand why, you need to understand a few things about me.
My mom was a teacher. Before she met my dad, and for the first few years of their marriage, she was an elementary school teacher. But my dad was a Navy pilot, which meant she was forced to move quite a bit. Not very conducive to finding and keeping teaching jobs. So my mom got creative.
Some of my fondest memories of my mom in early childhood involve her before and after-school Spanish classes. She taught preschool through elementary age kids the basics of the language: vocabulary, songs, games, simple sentences, that kind of thing. She built the business on her own, with no direct school sponsorship, though she had a number of teachers who loved her and recommended her classes all over town. She was an entrepreneur.
She was also a full-time mom caring for three kids and a small farm, with eight head of cattle, two rabbits, a horse, one to four dogs, and an occasional llama guest. She was flexible, her schedule rotating with the seasons and the needs of the family.
I joke about it in my bio, but it’s still the truth. I was practically born with a book in my hands. And yes, my mom had to ground me from reading to get me to do my chores. Some of which included picking up buckets of rocks out of our front pasture. Did I mention I was raised on a small farm?
In any case, books have been my escape and my greatest vice for my entire life. Every summer, I would not only achieve those library challenges for the number of books you could read during vacation, I would blow through them two or three times over.
I am a reader. People have at times been forced to snap their fingers in front of my face to get my attention when I’m absorbed in a good book. I’ve missed train stops because I was too engrossed in the story to pay attention to the robotic voice on the intercom.
If you’ve been following this column, you should already realize I’m a Type A nerd. An overachiever. A perfectionist. Not to mention, competitive. I try to keep those as positive traits, without moving into the extremes that create personality disorders, but all the same, they’re elements of me.
That said, the corporate lifestyle never really suited. I got tired of working for someone else, depending on their goodwill to earn a pay raise or promotion. I had some wonderful bosses, and I learned a great deal about professionalism and sound business practices, but even the bosses had bosses who had bosses.
I’m an ambitious booknerd who values a flexible lifestyle that lets me work and earn an income while also staying home with my kids. (I’m also blessed with a supportive husband who’s onboard with the staying-at-home aspect of my life.) What else could I possibly do, but write books and run a small business? Because that’s what independent publishing is. It’s creative art wrapped in an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s an income with enough flexibility to put my kids first, to attend every activity and work when and where I’m able. It’s the ability to control my projects, my timelines, and my products.
It’s the freedom to pursue my dreams and wallow in my favorite pastime.
Can you relate?
Legend has it, I was born with a book in my hands. Thirty-ish years later, I’m a stay-at-home-mom who prefers a good story over doing the dishes. Only now, I’m building my own fantasy worlds! I’m the author of the Amazon best selling series,The Sanyare Chronicles, and Program Director of O.C. Writers. You can find me on my website at www.meganhaskell.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
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