We graduated from law school with high hopes. PJ moved to the left coast, both of us went on to clerk for judges, wrote some very fine law – if I must say so myself (and I must) – and then [cue screeching needle sound] each of us underwent much treatment to have kids (what a coincidence!), she in California, and me in New York, New Jersey and Chicago. This endeavor slowed down each of our legal careers in a way that was not reflected in our husbands’ career paths – those went along just fine. Around that time, during our many phone conversations, PJ and I compared notes about our lives and the cases that had come before our judges. “You can’t make this stuff up!” we would always conclude.
During some chat about the legal predicament of someone PJ knew, we concluded that, if we just twisted the facts this way and that, and threw in some pop-culture elements, why, we’d have a mighty fine screenplay. To us, a mighty fine screenplay that we would sell to someone meant instant “coolness” and universal acceptance. Writers love acceptance. We opined about the color of dresses we would wear to the Oscars™ (I believe navy taffeta was mentioned) and if we could top Sally Field’s “You really, really like me!” for our acceptance speeches.
Of course, never being gals to remain satisfied with the easy way out, we endeavored to write two screenplays concurrently – a thriller and a romance. Our goal, as I remember it, was to write something we would want to see on a date night – if we ever had a date night with our husbands again.
PJ’s baby arrived eleven months before my two made their appearances, and no baby took a nap at the same time – across four time zones. You can see where this is headed, right? We spun lots of bits of great stories, but didn’t, well, have not yet, finished a work (but they’re really great, believe me!). PJ wrote regularly for her newspaper, joined a writers’ group and won awards for short fiction, and I did quite a bit of ghostwriting.
Life happens, which is to say, while our “babies” were growing gloriously into full-fledged children, they incurred, by golly, expenses! In the ensuing years, if you throw in a couple of illnesses the treatment for which insurance does not pay (this predates The Affordable Healthcare Act), some other catastrophes, and the economic collapse of 2008, our catch-as-catch-can phone calls took on a wistful “how do we get back in the game because the proverbial wolf is at the door,” feel.
Until June 18, 2013.
On June 18, PJ called me.
“Hailey!” PJ said, barely suppressing a happy squeal, “Did you see the report on CBS about the writers?”
I had not.
PJ recounted for me the now-famous tale of a midwest couple, parents of five little children, the youngest of whom became ill right before they lost their jobs, who generated enough income from their steamy romance writings that, the very first month, they were able to pay their mortgage. Subsequently, they have continued to publish, and their income has topped $100,000 per month.
This is a video of the couple, Jack and Jasinda Wilder’s, experience in self-publishing:
(If clicking the video doesn’t work, try clicking here.)
“Hailey,” my BFF PJ exclaimed, “This is for you! Your circumstances are dire! Why don’t you write your way out?”
So I’m writing and researching (can’t stop that lawyer training).
I hope you’ll visit often and linger, leave comments, and take the journey with me here to see what comes of this. Readers are why writers write – I appreciate your stopping by.