What a Difference a Year Makes! By Kathryn Higginbottom Gorin

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and as my ‘day job’ shuts down for two weeks of UNPAID vacation, I can’t help but reflect on last year.

In a panic to make month end bills and still have a little ‘Christmas’ money, I took a two-week temporary assignment answering phones in an Accounting firm. I missed my children’s entire winter break to run a switchboard, making less money than I’d seen per hour since first year university!

That two weeks was a turning point for me. The office was quiet and I was encouraged to surf the Internet when the phones weren’t ringing. I spent hours each day writing and searching out new markets. I always knew I could write and this gave me the quiet time to pursue it seriously (while motivated to find some way to keep my mind off all the fun I was missing at home).

Before the new year, I submitted eight pieces for consideration and had already received an acceptance. My resolution was to make 2004 the year that I really became a writer.

That goal became a reality. My transition started when I began valuing my work and not being afraid to send it out to paying publications. Through the year’s victories and challenges, acceptances and rejections, I held on to the truth that I was indeed a writer. And regardless of the bumps in the road, I didn’t let anything shake me from my dream for too long.

Now, facing the upcoming two week break, last year’s panic is a distant memory. I am waiting on three confirmed checks for work already completed for reliable paying clients. Those payments will carry us through the holiday. On my break, I have an assignment to research and write for our local paper, a radio producer eager for me to pitch another script, and a stack of ideas and markets yet to be pursued.

This year, though, I won’t be working on my writing at a quiet switchboard. My work will be woven in between baking cookies, watching Christmas movies and putting more glitter on goopy, gluey creations. And that is the way it should be.

This year’s resolution? To expand my business base and start saving a little ësafety net’ so that weaving my work around my children can be a full time reality, not just a Christmas treat.

Kathryn Higginbottom Gorin is a Freelance Writer and Mini-Van Momma from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Her work has appeared in several publications including Blue Mountain Arts gift anthologies and greeting cards, More God’s Abundance, The Surrey Now, and BC Christian News. Her consumer commentaries can be heard nationwide (in Canada) on CBC Radio One.