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Written by Julie Navickas
My husband and I used to be really into the AMC television show, The Walking Dead. Every Sunday night we’d tune in and root for our favorite characters to survive the apocalypse another week. Spoiler alert – they never did!
(Stay with me – I promise this article really isn’t about a TV show!)
Death and zombies aside, this show did more than just entertain us – it spurred some truly interesting conversations in our household. Most notably, I recall my husband once asking me, “if we had to try and survive an apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?”
I ran through a list weapons in my head. A sword? No, I have no upper body strength. A bow and arrow? No, I have no aim. A gun? Hard pass… I could never pull the trigger.
Let’s be real. If the world ever becomes overrun with zombies, I’m probably not going to find myself on the list of survivors. My power doesn’t come from brute strength or survival instincts.
So, when my husband asked me what my weapon of choice would be, my answer was… a pen.
The Power Of Words
Words hold power. They have meaning. And they leave behind a legacy – an account of what matters. Writing is an artform – it’s a release of the soul, documenting the innermost thoughts and feelings of our hearts. And for me, it’s the most powerful tool I possess. I wouldn’t survive an apocalypse, but you can be damn well sure my words would.
Writing has always been a part of me. Since the early days of elementary school, I’ve always found storytelling challenging and exciting. And now, as a PR professional in higher education, I’ve been trained to write strategically, concisely, and always with a target audience in mind. I enjoy the work, but I’ve also always felt like there was something missing – something that the elementary school experience once offered that I’d somehow lost over time.
In hindsight, what I craved was the creative. And I didn’t realize it… at least not until COVID-19 impacted the globe.
The Impact Of The Pandemic
We all experienced the implications of the pandemic differently. I live in the Chicagoland area – and effectively, the entire State of Illinois shut down from about mid-March to mid-June 2020. Like many, I was asked to pivot and work remotely.
At first, the transition was no big deal. But then daycare closed, and I was seemingly left with the impossible task of still performing well in a demanding full-time professional role and caring for my children at the same time. While many parents experienced the challenges of virtual learning for their school-aged kids, I found myself in a different situation. I had a three-year-old, a two-year-old, and a one-year-old (but that’s its own story!).
To be quite real, I struggled – a lot. But from that struggle, I rediscovered a part of myself – a piece of my heart I’d long forgotten. So, after months of tears and pent-up frustration from trying to work and parent full-time, I learned a valuable lesson. I learned to give myself permission to step away from the expectations – prioritize my needs – and my desires too.
I discovered an outlet to channel my anger, displacing my this isn’t fair attitude into something meaningful. I found storytelling. So, in the middle of lockdown, I laid my heart bare to the blank pages in front of me.
Every night, I plotted and planned – created and developed characters – and told their story. And within about ten months I found that I had written a 75,000-word contemporary romance novel, signed a contract with Inkspell Publishing, and won an award for my debut novel, I Loved You Yesterday. On August 23, 2022, my book will be available to the world (with I Love You Today followingly closely behind on November 8, 2022 – and I’ll Love You Tomorrow slated for April 2023).
Blogging From Idea To Publication
The journey to becoming a published author opened up an entire new world for me, and I found I had a voice remarkably different than the one that writes a press release. I found power. I found knowledge. I found passion. And above all – I found the door into the creative.
I started a blog, recounting my journey, filling each post with pieces of inspiration, women’s empowerment, and writing tips, tricks, and best practices. It’s incredible to have the power to share the knowledge I’ve picked up over these last few years – and I’ve found that blogging allows me to reach an audience outside of the romance genre.
Blogs are easily sharable. They’re also on average about 1500 words in length, which makes them quick, easy reads. We live in a world of constant media bombardment (podcasts, magazines, advertisements, social media, television, radio, etc.). No matter the platform, we have access to information and resources at our fingertips instantly. And we simply cannot consume it all, which means each word I write needs to pack a punch and give each reader an immediate bang for their buck (or time).
Simply put, blogging allows me to do that.
Surviving With Words
So, if the world falls tomorrow and the walking dead truly do take over the globe, the weight of my words will carry on – and the power of my pen will persist in the blogosphere. The real question is… who will be left alive to read them? 🙂
Please join me on my journey:
Author Website: https://authorjulienavickas.com/
Publisher’s Website: http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/julie-navickas.html
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