Guest Post by Kellie Sheridan, the author of:
Moving to Ireland Helped Fuel My Writing Career
A couple of years ago now, after I finished my first college program, I was stuck. I was working fulltime at a pet store, which was fun but all of my creativity and drive was slowly ebbing away. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and needed to find some inspiration. So, with very little warning, I decided to take a gap-year, albeit after college instead of before. People do it all the time, right? Take time out from “real life” to figure out what’s next. I had some money saved up, and so I moved to Ireland.
It ended up being exactly what I needed.
For eight months, I lived on the West Coast of the Emerald Isle in a city called Galway. In theory, I was there on a work visa, but I spent a lot more time reading and travelling than I did serving coffee. I fell in love with Irish locations and Irish people. That country (and Galway specifically) woke me up! Another bonus, it’s a lot cheaper to visit other European destinations while living in Ireland than it is from here in Canada.
I’m sure one day I’ll end up writing a book that involves Irish locations and characters, because everything about that country just oozes personality. Or maybe because I want an excuse to go back and visit. I miss travelling so much, but I think breaking into publishing is going to be adventure enough for me for awhile.
So, did I get home, pick up a pen and start writing my first novel? Unfortunately, no. I was writing, but it was still just for me. What I did do was get a job at a bookstore, which led to my starting up a book blog, which led to a whole bunch of other forays into the publishing world. Now, I’m publishing my first novel, running a book blog, reviewing for an online magazine and working with three different publishing houses. Things might have gone very differently if I’d decided to stay put and stick it out in a job I wasn’t happy with. I’m not saying everyone needs to pack their bags and move to a different continent in order to find their dream job. But sometimes, if you’re ever feeling stuck, mixing it up can go a long way towards helping you figure out what’s really important.