Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Celebrating a New Career as an Author by Pat Nichols

Five years ago, a tragedy compelled me to open my computer and type “chapter one” for the first time. Twelve months later I finished a novel based on our God daughter’s life, but with a happy ending. Although I made a ton of novice mistakes, the experience ignited a passion I couldn’t ignore and compelled me to transition from retirement to career number two as a writer.

On January 10, my debut novel—the third book I’ve written—was released. It’s a humbling and thrilling experience to know friends and strangers will read words I’ve written and take a journey with characters who seem so real to me I sometimes want to invite them to dinner. One day when my husband and I parked beside a truck, I glanced out the window and said “That’s what Charlie drives.” Tim smiled. He knew I was referring to a character in my book.

In addition to discovering that a writer lives in two worlds—the one around us and the one inside our heads—I’ve learned some important lessons. Beginning with the enormous value of feedback. Whether it’s from beta readers, editors, or contest judges, embracing it has taken my writing to exciting new levels.

I’ve also discovered that three skills I honed during my twenty-seven-year corporate career serve me well in my new venture. During the creative process no one tells us what to do or when to do it. We have to set our own schedule and have the discipline to stick to it. Whether it’s for thirty minutes or eight hours, writing something five days a week is critical.

The second skill is goal setting. For me it’s writing 1000 words a day and devoting forty-five minutes to marketing. My corporate career conditioned me to exceed goals whenever possible. I do the same with publisher’s deadlines, which gives me wiggle room when life throws unexpected curves.

Next is multi-tasking. In the business world I had to juggle meetings, interviews, hiring, training staff, paper work … you get the picture. As a novelist it’s writing, editing, studying, developing relationships, attending meetings, pitching. Then there’s the which WIP am I working on? Published authors are often marketing one book, editing a second, and writing a third. It’s crazy. It’s also important to understand that perfection is something to strive for yet is never achieved. There is always more to learn.

This journey is one I will continue until God takes me home. I thank Him for putting my feet on this path and pray my experience will prove that age is irrelevant and it’s never too late to follow your dreams.


Pat Nichols launched career number two as a novelist, proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Drawing on years of corporate experience working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, she creates stories about women who face challenges in the pursuit of their dreams. She lives in an Atlanta suburb with her husband of fifty plus years, is the mother of two, and grandmother of three. She is grateful for God’s blessings and unfailing love through all of life’s peaks and valleys.