'Past, Present and Future'
Last month I wrote about reaching my 10th year anniversary in private practice and related how this milestone had prompted some reflection of the past and planning for the future. Much of last month was spent reviewing, reevaluating and reorganizing the services that I offer and I have recently begun the process of updating or changing materials and programs as needed. This month I have been thinking about what new goals and challenges I might like to set for myself in the future. And one of these goals involves writing a book.
This idea has been germinating for a couple of years. When I first began writing this newsletter, I received a lot of wonderful feedback from family and friends. I had never really considered myself 'a writer' and wasn't sure whether people were simply 'being nice' or whether there was any justification to their praise. So I consulted a couple of professional editors for their expertise and unbiased opinions.
Beth McAuley is the owner and senior editor of The Editing Company, a group that "provides editing services to authors in academic, educational, trade fiction/non-fiction and business publishing." She is also the brains behind the 'Writers Support Package' in which she and Nadine Bachan, an editor of fiction and non-fiction writing, provide support and constructive feedback to authors through their journey of writing manuscripts. Both are wonderfully talented and supportive individuals who care deeply about their work and that of the clients they are assisting.
In December 2008, I submitted a batch of 39 newsletters to Beth and Nadine. I had asked them to consider whether my work had the potential for publication or whether I had what it takes to be a columnist for a newspaper. They were very affirming in their reply and encouraged me to consider doing either or both. Their response was, needless to say, very exciting and gratifying, yet at the same time, scary and intimidating. Could I manage my life and free up enough time to devote to this? Did I have the drive and stick-to-itiveness to complete the project? And most important of all, did I have the confidence in myself to throw my name into a field of thousands of others who produced books every year. In answering honestly, I didn't think I did. So I put the idea on hold.
It got briefly reignited in June of 2009 and then again in January of 2010, but each time the conversation started up again, life got in the way. It is now exactly two years since we began speaking about this and I have decided that it's time. Over the last two years, I have watched my mother become ill, deteriorate and pass away; my husband and I separated after 22 years and I have been trying to get my life on track ever since. I think the time is right now and that is why I have decided to announce this in a public way.
In order to make this possible, I will be making some changes to my schedule at work. I will be reducing the number of groups that I will offer and I will be putting the writing of this newsletter on hold for the next year. This newsletter will be my last original one and in its place, I will be recycling some of the columns that you have enjoyed in the past. I would love to hear from you about some of your favourites and put together a "Best Of" list.
Thank you for your devotion to this column, your thoughtful comments, perceptive insights and ongoing support. It has been wonderful to share this connection with you.
I want to wish you all the very best for a happy holiday season. For those who have already celebrated Hannukah, please accept my belated best wishes. I would also like to wish you all an awesome and inspiring new year.
Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”
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