This is a little taste of what I’ve been working on lately. I’m writing and designing a 100th Anniversary Commemorative Book for Sacred Heart Hospital. It’s quite the project! The history of the hospital is impressive and it’s cool to learn about the place I work.
In the early 1900s, a diphtheria epidemic ravaged the citizens of Allentown and the greater Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania). Local hospitals were completely overrun with the sick, so in Allentown’s time of need, Monsignor Peter Masson called upon the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart in Germany to aid the city of Allentown. The Sisters arrived on June 15, 1912 and set up headquarters in the local Catholic church’s old rectory. Thus, Sacred Heart was born! By 1919, Sacred Heart Hospital was officially incorporated.
It’s fascinating to learn the medical history of Sacred Heart Hospital and how things changed over the years. Sacred Heart was the catalyst for much of the medical facilities and treatments in the Lehigh Valley, including the start-up of Lehigh Valley Health Network, now a massive conglomerate of a hospital.
This project combines three of my favorite loves – art, design, and writing. How could a girl not be happy? The Marketing/PR department wants to have a book release event with a book signing! Then, the book will be sold in the gift shop and given away at different events. Granted – this is all voluntary and I’m not earning a dime from it. BUT the publicity and the chance to share my ability with the public is priceless.
This whole project is a reminder of how much I love art and writing and long to make it my full-time work. I now work in the IT department as an assistant to the Director of IT. While it pays the bills and I’m treated well, it is not where I plan to stay forever. It’s just a job, whereas the writing and art is a passion. When I visit the Marketing/PR department, I never want to leave. I get caught up in the event planning, designing, graphics, etc. My eyes light up and I feel alive. At least I have an outlet in helping as a volunteer with a significant amount of the 100th Anniversary planning. There are events being held throughout the year and I’m on most of the committees for those events. So while I can’t do this full-time yet, I can at least have a hand in it.
I’m amazed at those who can earn a living writing full-time and/or creating art full-time. Yet the thought of losing a 9-5 job with all its benefits and consistent paycheck is terrifying! I worry about how I’ll pay the bills, how will I buy food, what happens if I get sick….a gnawing, churning anxiety settles in the pit of my stomach. So until I’m confident and assured at least SOME kind of paycheck, my day job continues.
If you’ve transitioned to a full-time writer, how did you do it? What is your experience? What advice do you offer? I’d love to know!