A different kind of 12-step program, you might say, but one that’s also filled with pain, discomfort, and uncertainty. (Also joy! But I have not gotten to those steps yet.)
After many, many, many months of querying agents in Canada and the U.S., I had a “bite” on Sept. 8, 2021 when an agent was “intrigued” with my pitch (synopsis, first chapter, and query letter) and asked to see the full manuscript.
She was the FIRST agent to ask for this. *happy tears*Read More
Back in 2010, when our son was only six months old, I bought a package of wooden door-hangers and painted special Christmas gift tags.
I liked the idea that there was a consistency to gift-giving — that our son (and later, our daughter) would always know exactly how many gifs they would get from us, and what categories those gifts would fall under.
The kids love being able to easily spot specific gifts under the tree, and deciding which categories to open first or last.Read More
(Shout-out to my LinkedIn profile for providing me with such exact dates. If it weren’t for reading about my own job experience on LinkedIn, everything would be a blur of “two thousand and something” and “before kids” or just … blank confusion.)
It was my livelihood for a decade — living from one assignment to the next, chasing down interviewees, juggling different deadlines, and hoping I’d get paid before I was really strapped for the cash from a particular invoice.
I’m still a freelancer, in theory, but only for a handful of clients I just can’t quit. I’m now also a full-time content marketing manager, which means I get a guarenteed paycheque direct deposited in my bank account every two weeks like clockwork, and I must say, WOW, it’s pretty amazing after 10 years of never knowing when I was getting paid. I still marvel at it, almost a year in.
The last time I was a full-time employee was when I went on maternity leave with D. Twelve years ago. TWELVE!
I was working full-time.
I was getting up early to write/edit novels.
I was sending out pitches (and collecting rejection letters).
I dreamed of being an author.
I had a small brown dog.
I was weirdly obsessed with chicken wraps and Twilight soundtrack. (Holds up.)
Oh, and Michael also had a buzzcut.
Of course, a lot is different now, too.
We own a house in the country, instead of a condo in the city.
We have two amazing kids (something I blogged about wanting, desperately, back in 2009)
We have two vehicles. (Ironically, lately I’m missing the Jeep we had back in 2009. Don’t tell my husband*** because he’s been pestering me to talk about trading vehicles or something, and I just don’t have the bandwidth for that kind of discussion now … or ever.)
***No worries about him reading here because the goof doesn’t even read my Instagram posts, which are way shorter than this, lol.
My goal in 2009 was to have beautiful babies — check! check! — and have a house I could decorate and organize to my heart’s content — check!
My goal in 2009 was to make a living with my writing, and I did! I’ve made a living with my writing ever since my maternity leave in 2010, actually, and now I make a living on my writing but also the related skills that come with that — like editing and magangement.
If not, maybe twelve years from now, I’ll be writing another post about how 2033 Heather also weirdly likes the playlists, red lipstick and Smoky Bacon chips of 2021 Heather. 😉
I’m Heather Laura Clarke. I’m writer living in beautiful Nova Scotia, I have a 11-year-old son and a nine-year-old daughter, I married my high school sweetheart, and this is the story of my handmade life.
I have depression and anxiety, and I fight like hell every day to keep it from taking over my life. Creating things helps.
Whether I’m writing novels, decorating a room, busting out my power tools to build furniture, getting muddy in the pottery studio, sewing clothes for my kids, or cross-stitching a swear word, I’m all about using my creativity to craft a life I love.
I’ve been writing this blog since 2009, so if you dig deep into the archives, you’ll meet a bright-eyed 25-year-old newlywed who was basically obsessed with having kids, buying a cozy house, and supporting herself full-time as a writer. (Spoiler alert: she got exactly what she wanted.)
© Heather Laura Clarke and Heather’s Handmade Life, 2009-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heather Laura Clarke and Heather’s Handmade Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.