2018, A Time of New Beginnings

The Dream

As 2018 begins you resolve to do more writing. Your plan on having a special writing place and using the same time Monday through Friday to be working on your craft dominates your dreams. Ideas are stockpiled in your mind and outlined in moleskin and leather bound journals.

The Reality

Then your spouse or day job’s non-negotiable expectations drop on you. External responsibilities pile up. Life crises hit you head-on and demand resolution. Your calendar fills with seemingly never-ending meetings and tasks that devour your time and creative capacity. Instead of working on your craft, what ifs cloud your mind and managing tasks which do not include writing become your new norm.

As a writer, you know regular writing is essential to developing your craft and selling your stories. It’s also what your soul demands. Yes, you must take care of your spiritual needs and your health with proper diet and exercise. Yes, you must give a spouse and children your time. Yes, you must earn money to provide for food, shelter, education, insurance. How you balance the writer’s life will be your choice.

The Goal

This tension between the daily grind of life and writing is the focus of jimmiekepler.com. As an application support analyst for a Fortune 500 privately held company and the caregiver for a mother with a kidney transplant, then aging father (in his upper 80s), and wife with two cancer and who has had three cancer surgeries, I had to work for the time to write. I’ll be providing ideas and suggestions on how you to can balance life with the writer’s life and maybe like me, manage to write books, short stories, and articles while being a responsible spouse and employee.

Even after transitioning to writing full-time, my wife including had a cancerous brain tumor removed.  Finding time to write is still challenging.

My Story

I am a military brat who grew up in a career United States Air Force family. In my youth, I worked in a grocery store, warehouse, a folk-rock band as a rhythm guitar player, vendor at a major league baseball stadium, and for a milk distributor. I graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with minors in English and military science.

Next, I served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army on active duty for three years and then five years in the United States Army Reserves. While in the military I graduated from the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, Platoon Leader Maintenance Management Course, The Army Maintenance Management Course, and the USAF Aircraft Loading Course. I am honorably discharged as a Captain, Ordnance Corps.

Following active duty, I went to graduate school completing Master of Religious Education/Master of Arts degrees. During graduate school, I worked as a custodian, painter, early childhood educator, and as a route auditor for a soft drink distributor.

After graduate school, I worked as a director of Christian education and private school principal for sixteen years before transitioning to the computer science field. I completed a Doctor of Education degree in educational administration in 1987. I went back to college studying computer science in the late 1990s completing the core curriculum for a computer science degree as well as earned induction in for Phi Theta Kappa for academic excellence. 

I sold my first magazine article over 35 years ago. I have sold nonfiction, inspirational,  how-to magazine articles including getting three covers and short stories in the science fiction and horror genre. My novels include Miss Sarah’s Secret and The Rebuilder. I have a short story collection titled Charlie’s Bells. The nonfiction book Thy Will Be Done 60 Prayers for the Chronically Ill and Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection of 109 poems all are available on Amazon. I regularly review books in the military history genre for several publishers.

While born in Texas, I have lived in Ohio, Illinois, South Carolina, Arizona, New Hampshire, Kansas, Georgia, Louisiana, California, Washington, and Texas. I have three grown children and one granddaughter. 

I am a former information technology application support engineer specializing in Salesforce for a Fortune 500 privately held company. I now write fulltime and live in North Texas with my cancer-battling wife.

Photo Source: CC0 Creative Commons  Free for commercial use.  No attribution required. https://pixabay.com/en/design-2018-to-reach-new-year-3047520/

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