People are often amazed to learn that I’ve managed to write seven legal thrillers while still practicing law. I, on the other hand, am amazed when I meet talented people who put pursing their passion on the backburner. Here are some of the most common excuses I hear:
“I don’t have time.”
“I have to wait until the kids start school.”
“I’ll do it after I retire.”
“I’m too old to do it now.”
When I decided that I wanted to write a legal thriller, the plan was simple. Write the book, wait for Oprah to call and make me famous, then spend the rest of my days writing novels in my fabulous Malibu beach house. It didn’t exactly happen that way, but it did happen. It’s hard to believe that I’ve just released my seventh legal thriller, Lawful Deception.
No matter what your passion is, pursue it now, not tomorrow. Age is no excuse, neither is lack of time. My first book was published when I was 48—over nine years ago. I was practicing law full time, but I woke up at four in the morning to write before heading to the office.
Do you have a passion you’re not pursuing? Here are three tips to help you get started.
1. Make Time No Matter What.
I wrote my first novel by rising at four in the morning to write for a couple of hours before heading to work. I work out my best plot twists while stuck in traffic. Your lunch break can also be put to good use. With your family’s support, you might even find an evening or two to run off to your local library or a nearby Starbucks for some passion-planning time. Even if it’s only an hour a week, use it.
2. Look for Support
Surround yourself with others who share your interests and passions. There are hundreds of professional organizations whose primary function is to help members realize their dreams. I’m a diehard member of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. Find a group that fits your passion.
3. Ignore the Naysayers
Many times, people who don’t have dreams of their own want to dash yours. Ignore the naysayers and go for it. And don’t be surprised if youturn out to be your biggest critic. When that happens, stare down the self-doubt and go for it.
Pamela Samuels Young is a Los Angeles-area attorney and the author of seven legal thrillers, as well as Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide. Her newest release, Lawful Deception, involves a scandalous paternity case that turns from merely contentious to downright deadly.
To invite Pamela to a book club meeting, speaking engagement or to read an excerpt of her novels, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.