Highlights of Episode 99:
- How Joanna Penn realized that writing is her next career
- Her initial block around fiction writing and how she overcame it
- Where she focused on getting validation/feedback from her early work
- Structure and discipline required to establish herself in a new writing career
- How she maintains positivity through all the ups and downs and industry changes
• • •
Have you ever imagined yourself doing something entirely different from the work or the career that you’re doing today?
Maybe you’ve been an accountant for all your professional life and you’re beginning to think “I can’t possibly be an accountant for the rest of my life” and you’re wondering what else is out there.
In the land of pivots, a full-on career reinvention is the most challenging one to carry out. That’s like attempting a reverse 4 1/2 somersault in the pike position, which is currently the most difficult dive to pull off, apparently.
Joanna Penn did one of those somersaults in the pike position.
Today, Joanna is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author. She left her corporate career in IT Consulting in Sept 2011 when she became a full-time writer.
But this reinvention did not happen overnight nor was it a straight line.
In this episode, you’ll hear Joanna’s career change journey. How long it took, what all she tried before she became a full-time writer, and how she overcame her initial insecurities and blocks about being a fiction writer.
We also talked about the challenge around seeing yourself in a new identity and becoming that person, the discipline she applies to her work today, and how she maintains a positive outlook through all the changes.
If you don’t think you can do something, give it a go anyway. It’s like skiing again. You just have to start moving in order to change direction.
One thing: The backdrop of her story is her transition to a writing career. But even if you’ve got no desire to be a writer, you’ll find this conversation relevant. The context may be writing, but the experiences and lessons-learned apply no matter if you want to be a chef, a nurse, or to go back to school and become an accountant.
Mentioned in this episode
- The Creative Penn Podcast
- On writing her first novel
- Success Principles by Jack Canfield*
- Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield*