Writer. Thinker. Strategist. Creative Tight Rope Walker.

All Aboard: A New Writer Joins the Writing Team by Nina Gass and Holly Layman

Here’s a story of a girl named Holly who recently proved to me (Again!) that people come into your life for a reason, and maybe we would all be a little better off if we became more attentive to this fact.

First, here is Holly’s version of what recently happened:

“What did you want to be when you grew up? A fireman, a fairy princess? Or maybe an astronaut or a movie star? Some of us are born with an unerring certainty about what it is we’re here to do. Most of us, not so much. Like many little girls at the time, I dreamed of being a ballerina. I was dedicated and spent several years pursuing my dream and loving every minute of it. I had a strong work ethic and even a bit of talent. However, even with the best laid plans and the best of intentions, oftentimes life has other things in store for us. We are swept off our chosen path into new, uncharted territory.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that we are exactly where we’re meant to be. Call it destiny, karma, God’s will – but one way or another, our fate finds us. This is exactly what happened to me one blustery autumn morning.

A Thanksgiving event at my son’s school was coming up. I had a few questions about the particulars and my son’s teacher suggested I go to an upcoming meeting to get the information I needed. It turned out the meeting was for volunteers helping out with the event. As I contemplated the fact I had basically just been tricked into volunteering, another mom entered the room. We started chatting and I discovered that Nina was a writer.

I was instantly intrigued as I’ve been writing most of my life. Silly stories in childhood morphed into journal entries and more serious writing. Throughout high school and college, I found myself tutoring and proofreading. Adulthood found me blogging, travel writing, and working on novel-length projects all while being a wife and mother. However, divorce found me swept off my chosen path once again. I was starting over, and this time determined to live my life on my terms. I was eager to start a career as a freelance writer but wasn’t sure how to go about it. That’s when I met Nina. And, the rest is history as she’s thrown me into a number of projects and has helped to steer me towards what I hope to be will become a long and storied writing career.”

Now, here’s my version:
“I’ve been working for quite some time as a writer and enjoying having my career on my terms. The last two years have led to a thriving business with a lot of new clients that have kept me busy (or, as I say, out of trouble!). Hardly ever one to say no, I took on more and more, which got me thinking about adding talent to the mix, especially as I’ve found myself how hard it can break into the writing gig. I’d recently worked with other writers and still continue to do so, which has been a tremendous help. Recently, two of these writers have branched out and have grown their own businesses into happy, healthy careers.

In thinking about how happy I was that two other writers were now well-established, I eagerly set off to a meeting at school for an upcoming Thanksgiving event where I planned to volunteer. While waiting for the meeting to start, a fellow mom started up a conversation with me. We talked about what we did for a living and how it helped us have the time to volunteer. Holly seemed very interested in what I did and wanted to know more. She had a lot of questions and I could see she was serious about finding out more.

We exchanged information and I soon received some samples of Holly’s writing. I could see that she was not only talented but that we also shared a similar sense of humor that further endeared her to me. She recently started taking on assignments on her own as well as working with me on various projects. In adding her to the team, I feel that clients benefit from more resources, a varied voice, and a wider perspective.”

In the end, a chance meeting turned into something that has helped two people in many ways and it is a prime example in my mind of how we should all work and interact with each other as human beings. We are all here for a reason and we all have individual value and unique talents. Whether it’s learning something new, finding talent and support, adding a client or gaining a friend, each day and each encounter is there as an opportunity. I have found so many of these chance occurrences have added something special to my professional and personal life.

Thanks, Holly, for crossing my path, and thank you to each one of my clients and loved ones for doing the same. You have made my story all the more interesting and satisfying.

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