March 15 I got laid off from my day job, along with about 3,000 other employees. This was not unexpected, as the subprime mortgage industry has been in the news for months and many of our competitors had large layoffs or completely shut down operations. As much as I’d complained that I needed time to write fiction and promote my novel Desert Medicine (due out November 2007), it’s still a shock to my system to have my daily schedule change so dramatically. And then of course, there’s the loss of income and health insurance. Fortunately, I’ll have both for two more months.
My plan right now: Keep writing fiction and working on promoting Desert Medicine, but also set up a photography business so that I’ll have some income (first-time fiction writers are not usually paid nearly enough to quit their day jobs, and I’m no exception.) I love photography because it taps into the same need to be creative that my fiction writing does, but it also delivers something that fiction writing can’t: almost immediate gratification.
I owe a big thanks to my recently ended corporate job. Although hired as a writer, I asked for, and was given, the opportunity to take lots of photos, and was also introduced to a professional photographer, Bleu Cotton, tops in the industry, who I was able to observe. That’s when I decided that I’d like to make a career of photography, if given the opportunity. Now that opportunity has arrived.
I’m putting my money behind this new business, having ordered a professional-level camera and lens (Canon EOS 5D and 70-200 IS lens). This will supplement the Nikon D50 with both wide and long lenses that I’ve been using for the past year and a half. I’ll have to drum up some business just to pay for the equipment!
To see my photography portfolio, go to judyalexanderphotography.com
Photo: A Joshua tree stands tall in the fire-burned area just outside Pioneer Town near Yucca Valley, CA, taken at Thanksgiving 2006.