John shares some of his life discoveries in the following segment and then invites us to read his conclusion on his site. We travel with him as he writes as he writes about:
My Journey…My Way
Life is an incredible journey with unexpected twists and turns. I had no idea that I would feel energized and excited about future prospects like a thirty-year-old when I reached my sixth decade! It’s true, and that truth boggles my mind. Let me backtrack a little to explain this phenomenon.
When I was in high school, I thought I might have a calling to the Roman Catholic priesthood. I had my qualms about that because that career path mandated a life of celibacy, and I had a strong desire to get married and have a family. I should have listened to that warning voice inside because I left the seminary after a year and a half feeling like a huge failure.
I decided to serve in another capacity and became a high school History teacher. This career is anything but boring. I remember discussing the stress levels inherent in the job with my family doctor. He looked me in the eye and told me that he could never do what I do. That surprised me because I’ve always placed the medical profession on a very high pedestal. But he was right, not everyone has the right temperament to deal with teenagers in a classroom for thirty-five years. I rather enjoyed them.
When I retired in June 2008, I was so excited! Oh boy!! Freedom!!! Then the reality hit me hard… I was no longer making a difference. At least, that’s how I felt. I had planned to write books in my retirement for a small independent publisher. That didn’t work out since they didn’t have the time to dedicate to my books, so by December 2013, my wife, Anne, and I founded our own publishing company and called it Fiora Books.
The learning curve involved in Indie publishing literally blew me away! Soon, I was obsessed with researching how to market books in a digital world. Fortunately, neither the Internet nor computers intimidated me – we were old friends. But I had no clue about marketing. Good grief, three decades in a History classroom hardly prepares you for the business world! But I did know how to research, and my journey into this new world began.
A couple of months later I literally tripped over what was to become my future. I had been haunting several author discussion groups within LinkedIn when a gentleman from the UK noticed a question I had posed on the site about marketing. It turns out that his primary career is marketing and his second career is writing. He gave me a few practical tips and then he said the words that changed my life… “you should join Rave Reviews Book Club.” I was intrigued that such a group existed and he sent me their website link.
You see, he described the club as the most supportive collection of Indie writers that he’d ever seen. Really!! So they don’t compete against each other to sell their books, to gain an advantage, to end up on top? I had to find out more because, frankly, I was skeptical! I joined RRBC in July of 2014 and found myself being warmly welcomed by President Nonnie Jules and Secretary Marlena Hand. That’s nice, I thought. I explored their site and discovered the selfless mission of the club is to work tirelessly to profile, promote and to propel the careers of their author members. Holy Toledo!! These people are all about giving… not grabbing for themselves. Immediately, I felt like I had come home. That never changed in the months that followed.
I didn’t realize, as I explored the Rave Reviews Book Club website and read about how they support Indie authors, that my life journey was about to take a very sharp turn! All I knew then was that this organization was like no other I had ever encountered, and I wanted to get involved. I got my wish in ways I couldn’t have dreamed!
Check out the conclusion of my story, My Journey...My Way (Part 2)
I suspect many of our readers have experienced a second career. Perhaps they would like to share their journey with us. We look forward to your comments...