By the time this post goes live, I will have been a full-time writer for approximately twelve days. I made the decision last December to leave teaching after a lot of prayer. Then, something was said that made me doubt, so I prayed a whole lot more, and in the end, the answer was clear: leave your teaching career and begin this new one that has been opened to you. So, here I am, and quite happily. 🙂
Going through this change has been both difficult and easy. Mostly, it’s been scary. I’m going from a set salary from someone else to being totally dependent upon myself and my writing ability…and the willingness of readers to buy my books. I began to think of Elizabeth Bennet in my current work in progress, Darcy’s Deal.
In this book, Elizabeth’s godfather, who is a peer and Mr. Bennet’s best friend, has arranged a marriage for her to Fitzwilliam Darcy, a man she has never met but who is the nephew of one of his fellow peers in the House of Lords. Elizabeth goes through some stuff as she transitions first from living at Longbourn with her family, then to living in London with her godfather and his wife, and then getting engaged to someone she has never met before. She has, she thinks, to give up on her dream of marrying for love. She knows she will be promising to obey a total stranger, or close to it, without much idea as to his character. Sure, she hears good reports of him from his relatives and friends, but people are often different in public than they are behind closed doors. She must trust in his goodness when she is not sure she should.
Here is an excerpt for you to enjoy:
Later that night, after dismissing her maid and climbing into bed, Elizabeth contemplated the events of the evening.
Her shock at hearing her uncle’s announcement had not abated, and she knew she would not sleep until she had thoroughly examined the idea and made some sort of peace with it.
As she had told her godfather, she had always planned to marry for love. Not convenience; that particular circumstance had never been allowed space in her mind for longer than a few minutes at a time. She had always refused to consider it. Not that she was unrealistic; indeed, she had always been practical. Her reason for rejecting such a marriage was simply that, to her, money did not matter, as long as she had a roof over her head, food on the table, and clothes on her back. She preferred a simple life, and knew that with her dowry, she was unlikely to attract a husband with more than a modest income in any case.
And now, here she was, of necessity marrying a man she had yet to meet. She cried for a long time. Some of her tears were a result of anger at her mother for putting her in such an untenable situation, and some were mourning the loss of her dreams. She was not formed for sadness, however, and once she had emptied herself of the emotion, she turned her mind to finding a way to live with her new situation. Given time, I may even be happy about it, she thought.
Her first consideration was that, if she had to marry a stranger, he was at least well thought of. Mr. Darcy’s aunt and uncle had assured her that he was an honorable gentleman. She had gathered from listening to the ladies’ after dinner conversation that he was a highly sought-after bachelor with a large estate in Derbyshire. His income was rumored to be no less than ten thousand pounds per annum, far more than her father’s. I should not have to be concerned about having food, shelter, and clothing! She still wanted to meet the gentleman. She was enough of her father’s daughter to insist on it. If Mr. Darcy turned out to be ridiculous, Elizabeth would fight the marriage. She refused to tie herself to a stupid man. She had hope, though, that he was not, for she knew, despite her reservations, that the marriage really was her best option.
Eventually, once she had worked through all of this in her mind and felt more accepting of the idea, Elizabeth was able to relax and fall asleep.
Like me, Elizabeth is going through some life changes. For her, as for me, it will all work out in the end; neither of us has reason to fear. 🙂
As of the writing of this post, I am days (maybe a week?) away from publishing Darcy’s Deal. So, to celebrate its publication and my new life, I am giving away an ebook copy of it to two people who comment on this post. Contest ends at 11:59 pm ET on June 30, 2016. Let me know what you think, and….good luck!