Switching gears - again!
We all have dreams, but often we keep them within ourselves. We do not tell in case they never come true. Or we are fine with just dreaming. This lady dreams about being an author, and she is even brave enough to tell about it, even before reaching the goal. But sometimes the best way to make dreams come true can be to tell others about them as it puts some pressure on us. Being 50 and start a new career is a dream many have, and we wish her good luck with switching gears.
Name: Gia Volterra de Saulnier
Occupation: I work for a Federal contract company
Family: Married 18 years (come September) with a 15 year old son
Lives: North Reading, Massachusetts, USA
You are not a person being content with always doing the same thing in life. Now, at the age of 50 you have started to write books. How come?
A few weeks ago, I had a very strange dream and I wrote a short story about it and posted it up on Facebook. Not long after that, my good friend read it and now she and I are working together on a major project with that story (can't reveal that just yet, sorry). That project inspired me to write a book.
I feel like if I don't do this now, then I won't ever do it. It's like if I set my mind to do something and I usually get it done somehow. Kind of like getting back into playing jazz and knitting or crochet projects that I do.
Music and entertainment has been a big part of your life.
I've been performing music most of my life and for the last 10 years, we - my husband and I - have been running small Renaissance fairs here in MA (one at a real castle), but my passion is playing jazz. I started playing jazz in college and found that I was really good at it. Since my son has gotten to a point where I don't need to constantly watch him as he's a teenager, I can now go out to jam sessions and play there. I've been able to re-connect with a lot of my jazz pals from 20 plus years ago. It's been nice to get back to the community and feel welcomed all over again. Also, there is the fact that we are not doing or running the small Renaissance fairs in MA this year, so that frees up some time for me.
It was a learning process in the beginning to figure out how to market these events. Then when the Internet came along and we started doing these in 2008 I figured out how to use social media to our advantage. I was able to start a following of our pages and found out how and more importantly who was our "tribe" or the folks that would be interested in such an event.
You have a son who has special needs and you cut off your working hours to be with him, but that also gave you time to do other things, right?
I'm a mom of a teenage son who happens to have mild autism. He's a really smart kid but he's in his own zone sometimes. I work part time and then back in 2011 or so, I decided to get my picture book out in the world. Being at home much with my son gave me some time to do this. I was really lucky to get it published, but I wish that I had done more homework on that. The book is no longer published. I'm going to look into options of maybe getting it back out there again, but I've had a hard year since November of last year when my dad passed and then my mother in law had a stroke.
When the New Year came around, I made a pact with myself that I was going to do something for me. I was going to get out there and play my instrument, no matter how bad I sounded, and I was going to start writing again.
It felt good when a friend of mine told me she enjoyed my writing. I felt inspired to keep trying and learn what I can about writing. I definitely feel that this is for me and I'm sure I will make it.
Even if this is a new path in life, you did publish a picture book many years ago, but today's writing is of course something different compared to that book. What drove you to start with a big project as writing a book?
I figured it was time to try. I want to do something different. The genre will hopefully be a big hit. One has to believe in things. I've been on a lot of writing groups and writing critique groups and they have all been very encouraging and folks seem to be interested. I think the branding is different now, not writing. There's a difference. Writing can be terrible in a book, I've read some real bad writing lately and yet their books do very well. I think the rules have changed too since I was younger. I heard you can even start a sentence with "but". When I was at school we learned not to do that.
I'm doing my best to keep to my mom schedule, my work schedule, and my life in general, and still make sure I sit down and write. My goal is to try and finish this book by the end of 2019.
At this age, many women say that it is too late to start a new career. Did you ever feel so yourself?
Well, as Frank Sinatra once wrote a song called "Young at heart" here are the lyrics:
Fairy tales can come true To be narrow of mind if you're young at heartYou can go to extremes with impossible schemes You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams And life gets more exciting with each passing day And love is either in your heart or on it's way Don't you know that it's worth Every treasure on earth to be young at heart For as rich as you are It's much better by far to be young at heartAnd if you should survive to a hundred and five Look at all you'll derive out of bein' alive And here is the best part, you have a head start If you are among the very young at heartAnd if you should survive to a hundred and five Look at all you'll derive out of bein' alive And here is the best part, you have a head start If you are among the very young at heart
I think you can never be too old to change. That's what life is about really. Learning how to change and grow. The tricky part is to not let your fears get the best of you. Or get those weeds and dust out of your brain that will get stuck on the internet and the trolls that feed the negativity. We all have something that we are good at, it's just about to find and do it.