I HAD TO QUIT MY JOB TO FIND FREELANCE SUCCESS By Patricia Ann Florio

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In order for me to catch a glimpse of success, I first had to quit my day job. I know that doesn’t sound like a practical thing to do, but in my case it became necessary.

I was happiest in college when I was taking creative writing or literature, so what made me go into the field of court reporting? In one small word: MONEY. But after 17 years I was on burnout. In that field, there’s no time for creative writing. Your days and nights are spent transcribing everybody else’s voice. And I knew I had a voice inside screaming to get out.

I had lots of stories to write about my experiences in the court room, places where I traveled as a result of earning a profitable living and nostalgic memories of family members. These were the ideas that kept rushing through my head constantly. Then my husband said, “Do what you want to do.” He suggested I stop worrying about finances, that things have a way of working out.

So one day I was in the courtroom and the next day I was sitting at my computer at home. The first article that got published was On The Road To Castillo Di Santa Maria, a charming castle I stayed at in Umbria, Italy. I was like a child when the Two River Times called to say they were publishing it.

Then I wrote a story about my husband’s Aunt Rose, Born on the Fourth of July, and that got published. Before I knew it, within three months of quitting my job, my articles and stories were showing up everywhere. I signed two contracts with a Philadelphia newspaper and one with a New Jersey paper for commentaries and travel pieces. For a local weekly in New Jersey, I started to interview interesting people and write their profiles for the feature page. I became invigorated.

My thirst for writing overwhelms me. I love it! For a few bucks, I go into my husband’s office (court reporter also) and transcribe! The juicy cases fill that memory bank with stories, and characters and plots that I can use to my advantage. I’m so glad I finally listened to him.

For almost 20 years, Patricia Ann Florio worked as a court reporter in the United States Bankruptcy Court as a contract vender (someone who bids on their employment contract every year). During those years, she and her husband Ralph, the greatest husband and father, (also a court reporter for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court) raised their four children, a set of twin boys Anthony and Joseph, another son, Jude and daughter, Kristin. They are blessed with two granddaughters Lauren and Madison, and great daughter-in-laws Jeannine and Denise, and a musically talented son-in-law, Rich. Patricia adds, “I’m blessed to have such a loving close family who supports my writing and love of artistic adventure. Three years ago we moved to a historic town called Ocean Grove and live 50 footsteps from the beach and enjoy the sounds of the ocean as I sleep.”