When my father’s dementia started to decline, I cut back on work to look after him. Facing the constant barrage of demands of looking after someone with dementia, my soul was craving more. I needed an outlet to stimulate my mind and something outside of caring. Not only did I want something to distract me from looking after Dad, but also something I could profit from financially.
So I searched the web for online courses so I could look after dad and study from home. I found an online college called Lifestyle Learning Direct and scrolled through the varied courses offered. There wasn’t a lot that interested me but I narrowed it down to three courses. It was a toss between fashion design, beauty therapy and article writing.
Although I have a keen interest in fashion and beauty, I knew these types of careers were quite competitive so I chose the latter. My passion had always been writing and only a few years prior I had success selling a couple of articles. But, after a few rejected submissions, I lost heart, and allowed failure to dominate. Now that I had more time to focus on writing, I seized the moment, and enrolled in the course.
After the first assignment, my teacher gave me positive feedback, which encouraged me. I knew I was on the right track. During the course, I started sending out articles to different publications, most of which accepted my work for publication. I was so excited that I could do something I was passionate about, and get paid for it!
Not only was I writing feature articles on various topics but I also used my own life experiences to write in some pieces, one of which was being a caregiver to Dad, the initial reason I got back into writing. I wrote a personal story on how dad wandered from home, which was published in Majellan, and then in Signs of the Times as a reprint. Then, I wrote personal essays for Kaleidoscope and Transition. I currently have upcoming work in Vibrant Life and Spotlight on Recovery.
Although looking after dad has been a tough journey, it provided me with the impetus to return to my first love, which I will be always grateful for.
Julie Guirgis has been a freelance writer for three years. Her work has been published in Australia and abroad. Her writing has appeared in several publications including Creation Illustrated, Signs of the Times, Vibrant Life, Now What?, Majellan, Alive Now, Significant Living, The Aquarian Online, Back Home, Insights, The Edge, Adventist Review, Transition, Kaleidoscope and have upcoming work in Madonna, Insight, Guide, Friend, Postmortem and Spotlight on Recovery.
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