I just quit my job in a bad economy. Yes, really.

May 6, 2013 · 62 comments

in Inspiration, Journalism how-to's, Money issues

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After 16 months of full-time journalism, I am now officially unemployed. Never ever before have I quit a job without lining up a new gig. And so begins the next adventure, of reinventing myself — yet again — while living off my savings.

This is incredibly scary for me. As a single mom with a kid going off to college, there’s a lot of financial responsibility on my shoulders. Health insurance alone is going to be very, very expensive. The bill will run anywhere from nearly $900 to $1,500 per month, out of pocket, depending on the plan I finally decide to choose…

But things evolve and it was time to move on. For me, that’s one of the benefits of having life experience; I know now. I can tell when situations demand me to make outside-the-box changes. It was great working with a team of wonderful people, who I will miss a lot. And oh my goodness, the skills and knowledge that I now have about 21st century journalism! The parting was cordial, which is very important to me.

What next? Hmmmm. Well, after 16 months of working my butt off in the demanding world of digital journalism, it’s time to catch up on me. Here’s my to-do list…

8 benefits to quitting my job

I want to self-publish a book. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that this is an on-going yearning. Maybe not the most practical solution for making money, but crucial for personal fulfillment. The rough first draft is done and I’m ready to rock this dream!

Expanding my YouTube presence. There’s not much up right now but look for more. During recent One-to-One training lessons at the Apple Store, I’ve learned to use Final Cut Pro X. Now it’s my chance to put those skills to practice in editing my own how-to videos about all kinds of things. Stay tuned!

Spend time with my daughter. She is now a college-bound, young woman. If you’ve been through this stage with a kid, you know that part of me wants to scream. So much going on, on multiple levels. Major transitions in our relationship. There’s also the fun ahead of prom and graduation. Really glad that I now have the time to fully engage in the moments ahead.

– Start dating again. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve been in a relationship. With a full-time job, I was married to my work. But maybe there’s a chance for a shared life ahead. I’ve grown up a lot over the past two years and am much more willing to risk the vulnerability and intimacy required to be with a significant other.

– Start painting again. The easel and my oils have been calling to me. Over the past year, I’ve also been ripping out stuff from the newspaper in hopes of collaging with newsprint someday. Well, maybe “someday” is on the near horizon.

– Jump start my teaching career. I left a great teaching career for the adventure of being a digital journalist filing daily stories online. And every day, part of me missed being around young people. Even though all the colleges that I taught at said that they’d love for me to return one day, most of my gigs are gone. But I do have one assignment for the fall: I’ll be teaching food writing to undergraduate journalism majors at NYU.

Catch up on home repairs. My sweet little house could be in much better shape. It really bothers me that the screen on my front porch door has been busted for the past year. My deck posts are rotting away and need to be replaced. Yes, this means dipping more into savings. But I can’t let my house fall apart. It’s my main asset and needs to be maintained.

– Catch up on my sleep. Yesterday morning at around 9 a.m., my daughter knocked on my bedroom door and hollered for me, sounding worried. She wanted to know if I was sick because I’m usually up very early. Helloooo, can’t Mommy sleep in on a Sunday morning? Haha. 

That’s the list for now. The idea of risking big for big dreams is exciting to me. This is a lot for anyone but especially for someone my age. I will turn 57 this summer!

Ultimately, the goal is to establish myself as a brand with useful information and inspiration worth sharing — which leads to the next thing, and it involves you…

I need an audience to make all of this work. If I can build the traffic numbers on my blog, it will make it easier to market my book and YouTube videos. So, if you haven’t subscribed yet to my blog, please do join me! And if you know anyone who might be interested in my progress, please share the link to my blog.

There’s a lot of unemployed people in this economy. You might have even seen the New York Times story about the rise in suicide rates among middle-aged baby boomers who are stressed out by financial worries and the economy. Well, even though I fit the demographic, I am here to prove that the best of my life is just ahead.

Hope you’ll stick with me for this new adventure — because your company will make a difference. And please feel free to leave suggestions and feedback in the comment sections below. After all, this is a shared adventure! xoxoxoxoxo.

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen O'Neil May 6, 2013 at 7:35 am

You are an inspiration to me (and many others!) Can’t wait to see your book published!!
One of these days would love to work on some kind of art video project with you……………….
xxoo

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Jenni Stone May 6, 2013 at 7:48 am

Perhaps I can help with some astrology timing. Happy to look at your chart – that will give you an indication of how big a change this is. Send me an email. Its easier to plan the future when you know the road ahead.

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Toby May 6, 2013 at 7:59 am

WOW! You have courage – no one can deny it. I’m delighted to learn you are returning to teaching, even if only in a limited way. I know from Billy’s experience that you are a superb teacher and there are always too few of those. As for self-publishing, it does seem to be the wave of the future. As a magazine editor, a lot of books come “over the transom,” hoping for a review and I must say, by far the most interesting tend to be self-published these days. It also means self-promotion, which is a lot of work, but it can pay-off. I know of one author whose first book we enthusiastically reviewed – perhaps the only publication to review it. That led to a second book which in turn led to her being picked up by a publisher and she was off and running. There is a lot of competition of course, but in what endeavor is there not? Usually, I think, the cream does rise – or often anyway – well…at least it does sometimes. We hope for the best.

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Skye May 6, 2013 at 8:03 am

Good morning! I can’t wait to respond when I get home to all of this! Betty, I am proud of you and everything you are setting out to do. Looking forward to the book and your next adventures. Even though this looks a little scray, I’ve heard it said before by Joyce Meyer that sometimes you have to “do it afraid.” It’s still doing!!
You rock, Betty, and you are a brand in the making to be reckoned with!

Here’s to more reinvention, more sleep and knowing when to move on. Love you!

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Jean C May 6, 2013 at 8:31 am

You GO Betty, you amazing woman!! I definitely want to hook you up with Amy Edelman, who founded IndieReader.com, knows all about indie publishing, and who trusts the universe with her wild leaps of faith. Actually I’m surprised you don’t already know each other! Now about newsprint. Get some newsprint colored acid-free paper and xerox that stuff if you ever want to see it again. The best drawings of my life died of newsprint. Can’t wait to watch your new life unfold!!!
xoxo
Jean

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Samantha Harrison May 6, 2013 at 8:50 am

Betty, I also left a college teaching job back in 2003, when my mom passed away. I am now planning to go back, but in the meantime I have had a small and rewarding business tutoring special-needs kids. I am thinking about getting my reading specialist certification so that I can expand my business if I don’t find a full-time college teaching job right away…that market is truly brutal. Sometimes we just have to go with our heart. I am sure you will find what you are looking for.

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Jenna Dailey May 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

Good for you! I think it’s incredible you are fearlessly going after your dreams. Sometimes I worry I won’t have the courage, so thanks for being an inspiration :)

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pat May 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

Good luck on your new journey.

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 9:20 am

Good morning! I just got back from my regular 8 a.m. appointment with my shrink. How nice to find you all here. So many changes, to the point where he even noted that I look tired. And I am. But it’s a happy tired. The session left me with more clarity about this moment in my life. I am standing right at the fork in the road. I can either move forward overcome by anxiety about my decision. Or, I can just do it and enjoy the adventure. Guess which fork I will choose! The key to enjoying is a new equation: Risk does NOT equal struggle. Risk can be fun, fulfilling, exciting, etc. That’s what I’m going for.

Karen, yes, let’s talk video soon. I plan to set up a studio in my bedroom. I’ve already bought a curtain rod to hang against one of the walls. Also purchased white fabric to make my own curtain. This white background will be the studio! Simple, but it will work. More soon.

Jenni, I may take you up on your generous offer soon. At the moment, I just need to decompress and figure out what I can. first. Thank you!

Toby, your son was a joy to have in my class. So glad he got something out of our time together. And great to hear yet another positive story about self-publishing, which is no longer considered schlocky — not when major authors are finally doing it.

Skye, the fear factor will keep me awake, that’s for sure, haha! Come back and write some more. You know how much we all enjoy your comments.

Jean, what a super-practical, useful tip. I will start looking at newsprint-colored acid-free paper. What happens with the xeroxing? Does that fade too? I just saw the Enrique Chagoya exhibition at the Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase. Looked like he collaged with images cut out of comic books; wonder how that will fade…

Jenna Dailey, in my situation, I discovered money is power. Having some paper in the bank gives me the ability to survive for quite a while. Saving money will help boost courage. You can do it, and you’re welcome!

Pat, thanks much. This is very much a new journey and glad to have your company along the way. :)

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Karen May 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

Betty, it was to great to see your blog this morning! Love your to do list!! By coincidence, I’ve also recently started a process of reinvention (again). For a variety of reasons, I want to move from freelance writing/editing back to a full-time job. Let me know if you want to brainstorm ideas for reinvention.

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 9:35 am

Karen, good luck with going F/T again! I love how this back-and-forth activity between your choice and mine shows that there are a variety of solutions. The benefits of working F/T were tremendous for me. For starters, it was a real privilege to join the working world on that level again and see what that’s like. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the thrill of receiving a regular paycheck with benefits. Will truly miss that. Will also miss the truly smart people I worked with. F/T work also made it possible for me to re-finance my mortgage — the regs have gotten so strict that the bank said they never, ever would have considered my application if I was a part-timer.

So, yes, let’s brainstorm, starting now. Everyone, please feel free to share here any tips you have about the freelance and/or full-time life because others can benefit too.

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Hillary Rettig May 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

Congratulations, Betty! Quitting was an act of true liberation. I, too, have quit at different times – to travel, do activism, and, six months ago, to really focus on my writing – and I’ve *never* regretted it.

That NYT article on the sharp increase in suicide among the middle age over the last decade shook me, as well.

This is a golden age for writers, filled with new opportunities brought on by new technologies and business models. A perfect time to take a risk on behalf of you and your talents.

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 9:42 am

Hillary, thanks for the positive reinforcement. This era is a genuine challenge for the aging boomer population. My younger years were filled with limos, hot parties and yes, more than a few nights at the original Studio 54. The future was supposed to be filled with plenty plus the prospect of a wonderful early retirement to travel the world, etc. Instead, I know so many people who are in denial but their needs to downsize. That’s the new reality. But we can do it.

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Christina May 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

Wow! I am curious about what made you decide to leave your gig? And, if there was an option to do it part-time,. Whatever your reasons, I am happy you have the confidence to know what’s right for you.

As for college teaching, have you considered a M.A., or have one already? I know you have lots of credentials, but the academic ones are important in higher ed and may lead to full-time teaching posts if that’s something you are considering.

Either way, sounds very exciting to have time and space and freedom to design your life to manifest your heart’s desires. Blessings on the journey!

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

Christina, you get right to the heart of things, don’t you! Jobs evolve and so do employees. Not to evade your question, but as a blogger who blabs a lot, I am very, very respectful about privacy boundaries. So when I post about being divorced, you’ll notice that I never reveal specifics about the baby daddy. And while I blog about my dating experiences, you won’t catch me gossiping about past relationships.

On the other point, thanks for raising the need for a master’s degree. Back in 1980, I got one of those from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Wasn’t a particularly great student but getting it is among the best decisions of my life. Really opened doors in helping me establish a teaching career — with NO education training. But I turned out to be good at it and I’ve taught part-time journalism and writing at NYU, The New School, Sarah Lawrence College, St. John’s University, Baruch College. Even won a teaching award at NYU and was runner up for an award at The New School. So I’ve got a foundation to build on. What I need now is a published book because that seems to be pretty important for full-time opportunities. That’s another reason to become an author. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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Hillary Rettig May 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

Betty I’m going to blog this post. Is it okay if I illustrate with one of your paintings? (Which are marvelous, btw.)

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 10:06 am

Wow, Hillary, I’d be honored! And yes, yes, please feel free to drag and drop in any of my paintings. Thanks for the double dose of encouragement!

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Christina May 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

Go you! So you have all the necessary credentials and then some. I am pretty practical so I always think of the details and the “how” of things. I admire those who are open to the “process” which is a lot about going on faith and not sweating all the details — I love the details — so I find it challenging, fer sure!

And, yeah, I am very direct. People love it, or hate it, but most respect my honesty. As I age I am learning to hold back. Not everyone wants or needs to hear what you think, and sometimes it’s not worth the energy. Hah! Life lessons.

I do see the wisdom of preserving some privacy on such a public forum. It’s easy to forget because it feels like you share so much, so publicly! Another good reminder for those of us not as experience with having a virtual presence. It’ll be nice to catch up in person.

Whatever step is next I wish you the best!

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 10:28 am

Christina, we could build a whole blog post around your comment…I need the published book. There was a time where saying that I was self-publishing would make me look really cheese-y. But that’s now the hot new market. My ability to self-publish shows my ability to embrace yet another 21st century skill — and that can only help students of all ages who need to learn this stuff in the wild, wild west of our horrible economy.

As for privacy as you brand online — be very strategic! I always tell my students to only put online what they want the world to know, including prospective employers. Eg, when I was younger, I never would’ve been comfortable blathering on about being in therapy. But right now, that fact is essential to marketing myself as someone who is open, good at problem solving, and maybe, a little bit outside-the-box, haha!

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Christina May 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

Betty — I admire that you are willing to grow and change and be your best self every day! You are in an arena that is totally foreign to me so I enjoy learning what I can from your adventures.

Publishing can be a huge nightmare. Now that I finished my dissertation my next step would be turning it into a book if I wanted to pursue an academic career, a project I find daunting. The idea of self-publishing sounds exciting though I am sure it also has its own challenges. Will look forward to hearing more from you on that!

I have no interest in having an online presence, but the truth is I have one anyway. So hard not to have a digital fingerprint unless I want to avoid any social interaction these days! So, it’s something I am still thinking through, especially, when forced to. Hah!

Also, would love to learn more of how you learned your budgeting skills! Amazing that you were able to give yourself the gift of this time. Paper in the bank does do marvels.

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ingrid May 6, 2013 at 10:55 am

Hey Betty: welcome back aboard the freelance ride! Guaranteed thrills, chills, dangerous loop-di-loops and unexpected stops and slides, but what a ride! Left my last full-time job when I was 29 (decades ago), and have been working full-time ever since, so I know what you mean.

Recently published my first novel with Amazon’s Createspace. Did a lot of research, including correspondence with other self-publishers & found Createspace the best — and one of the best priced too. They really followed through, and you get right on Amazon — and, for a few additional bucks, they generate a Kindle copy for you.

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 11:01 am

Christina, as Hillary says, this is the golden age for writers. We’re no longer bound by the old system of going through a conventional publisher. Just look at Ingrid!

Ingrid, congrats on your new book and thank you for leaving us info about the process. Please feel free to come back and give us the title, url for purchase, all of that.

Btw, Christina, you have a very strong online presence via your FB. You already know how to do this. It’s just the issue of tweaking and adapting for the various options — Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It will take a combo of these vehicles to market a book. A blog helps a lot too. You raise other good points that could make great blog posts…maybe one on how to save money by downsizing? That’s at the foundation of my strategy.

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Karen M May 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

Betty, you’ve made my day. Thanks for such an inspiring account of your life.

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

Karen M, you’re welcome and thanks for stopping by. Bloggers live for comments (among other things), so you’ve made my day too!

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Nancy Ryerson May 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

Hey Betty! I loved your food writing class and I know NYU journalism students will be happy to have you back. Good luck!

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Nancy, thank you for letting me know that you liked the class! Sometimes it’s hard to tell. When I get back in the classroom, I’ll have so many new ideas and contacts. During the past year, I’ve been reporting on farmers, farmers markets and the whole farm-to-table movement going on in the Hudson Valley. This is where NYC restaurants and shops get all their produce, meat & artisanal products. I’ve got a solid understanding now of how the pieces fit together and can’t wait to share! Hope you’re doing well too. :)

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Ivan May 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Betty,

If there is anyone I know on this planet that can pull through it’s you. Everything you taught me is that decisions from the heart go a long way. When I was out of luck last year, after life pitched 100 mph lemons at my face, my best friend nicely told me, whatever happens to you next is going to be better. Less than four months later she was right. You’ll be fine Betty.

-Ivan

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Aw, Ivan…thanks! I’ve never had an opportunity like the one facing me now. This is my chance to gamble as an entrepreneur and I plan to totally roll with it. :)

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Ivan May 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm

As you probably know I was forced into that situation and then my personal life also took a toll. As another wise person taught me, fire forges steel, and I’ve always wanted to be the Man of Steel. :)

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Kristine May 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Betty, you are truly an inspiration! You go, Betty! I can’t wait to read your book.

Enjoy your new adventure.

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Penny May 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm

You go on Ms. Betty! I’m glad that you are pursuing another awesome chapter (no pun intended) in your life with such enthusiasm, :) I also love your short term goals, nothing too major but just enough to keep you busy and going. I can’t wait to see what is beyond the horizon for you. Cheers!

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Charlotte May 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm

You go girl! Good luck!

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Asianmommy May 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

How exciting–good luck on your new venture!

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Kristine, Penny, Charlotte, Asianmommy — thanks so much for dropping by with your good wishes. Really appreciate the support!

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Kirrie May 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Hey Betty. Best of luck on your new adventure :)

Though I haven’t been in your situation before I met a lot of friends who are freelance illustrators/ youtubers. They offer me this advice before. “You can’t please everyone, however if you have something to say, say it the best (clearest, most fun, etc) you can and people can see it. Hard work and staying true to yourself is something everyone can appreciate.”

The video: “Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius” a TED talk on youtube is something I watch whenever I’m stuck on something for writing. I don’t agree with everything she says, but I find it very up lifting all the same.

Again best of luck!

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betty ming liu May 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Kirrie, thanks for sharing the info on Elizabeth Gilbert. If only we could all write an “Eat Pray Love” bestseller! But you get to the heart of the issue for me: I can’t do everything, can’t make everyone happy. Thanks for the reminder!!

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Gigi Lin May 7, 2013 at 2:22 am

Betty, you are such an inspiration! I love your honest commitment to your passions and to your personal/spiritual well-being. I look forward to hearing about your new journey!

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betty ming liu May 7, 2013 at 2:30 am

Gigi, thanks for sticking with me. Btw, I’ve gotten quite a few private emails from folks who wish they could go full-tilt in pursuit of their dreams. It’s scary. All I can say is that it really helps to have a nest egg. Savings = power. Money = power. Or at least, it can’t hurt in this situation!

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Cassandra Aoki May 7, 2013 at 3:41 am

What you have just done, I did at 30 and things didn’t work out but it changed my life for the better and helped me to know what I didn’t want. You have teaching experience and you are an artist so you should be able to support yourself and your daughter’s college without dipping too much into your savings. You are single head of household so hopefully that allows her to apply for FAFSA and or/some scholarship monies and student loans. Dating: now that is another thing. Once you are off the race track, it’s hard getting your motor running and getting back in the race. You’ve been away for 2 years. So slowly find your way back on the race track and then blend in and take off! Once she is securely settled away at college, you will have all the free time in the world to concentrate on you. Add some volunteering to your busy schedule and you just might find someone who has a lot in common with you. Good luck and God bless. I’ll continue to follow your blog.

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betty ming liu May 7, 2013 at 5:01 am

Cassandra, you make me want to weep! Thank you for your confidence in me: “You have teaching experience and you are an artist so you should be able to support yourself and your daughter’s college without dipping into your savings.” Amen, Sister. :)

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Cassandra Aoki May 8, 2013 at 3:30 am

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be afraid. You have to worry about two of you so, yes, be very afraid and then forget it and get down to work finding jobs to keep that kid in college. Of course, if she applies for Financial Aid by the deadline of March 1, 2014, for Fall 2014, she probably will get it because your income will not be that much for 2013 so she qualifies! You two might have to give up a few things (I should say 3 because there’s a cute dog involved) but you’ll make it because you are talented and very attractive…and because you have a lot of friends and family who care what happens to you. As long as you don’t doubt yourself, you’ll make it. Also, don’t be afraid of getting older–I don’t think you are going to live out the rest of your life alone. There is someone coming into your life with this new change. Everything happens for a reason!

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Cassandra Aoki May 8, 2013 at 3:41 am

From Beliefnet.com
“Applying for college scholarships requires you to risk putting yourself out there,” says author Kristina Ellis in Confessions of a Scholarship Winner . Here are some of her favorite tips for winning the funding you need to go to school. The first: Be Fearless! “I’ve found a certain amount of fearlessness evident in people who succeed, and especially in major scholarship winners. That passion and burning desire to find success motivated me in my scholarship quest, and it can surpass all the fears or doubts that try to hold any student back.” Does being fearless mean that you’re never afraid? Absolutely not. It just means reaching deeper within—past the doubts—to find the courage to overcome whatever might be getting in your way. You may get rejected sometimes, but if you don’t put yourself out there, you won’t win anything. So give yourself a chance! Fearlessly put yourself in a position to succeed . . . and see what happens!”
http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Galleries/The-Key-to-a-Scholarship-Be-Fearless.aspx?source=NEWSLETTER&nlsource=38&ppc=&utm_campaign=Prayer&utm_source=NL&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_term=hotmail.com

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Hillary Rettig May 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

Blog post is up! http://www.hillaryrettig.com/2013/05/07/betty-ming-liu-quits-her-job-liberated-time-management-in-action/

I hope everyone enjoys it.

Betty thanks for permission to to use your art. I thought I was copying one image over, but they all came along for the ride!

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betty ming liu May 7, 2013 at 10:03 am

Hillary, the post looks great! I am so honored. And yes, that particular image you chose is actually one whole image. Thanks so much. And I just followed you on Twitter, in hopes that your blog on NOT procrastinating will keep me on track.

Sooooo, this is my first day as a full-time entrepreneur. The adventure begins!

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Mimi May 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Wow, I’m impressed. OK, you have my support! If you want to start a kickstarter campaign (which is a good idea to help pre-sell your book) I’ll pre-buy one. And I’ll try to arm-twist our other class-mates into doing likewise if you want. Good luck!! xoxox

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Hillary Rettig May 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I actually did that:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/preorder-hillary-rettig-s-the-seven-secrets-of-the-prolific-and-save

A lot of work but totally worth it, not just for the cash but the marketing.

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betty ming liu May 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Hmm, pre-ordering, a new buzzword for me. Mimi, thanks for the idea. I will take you up on the offer to armtwist our former classmates, haha! And Hillary, thanks for linking to how you did the pre-ordering process. Nice to see it in action. :)

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betty ming liu May 8, 2013 at 4:08 am

Cassandra, thanks for the reminder about applying for college aid in March. Then again, who knows, I may not qualify because I’ve made too much money during the rest of 2013 — haha! How’s that for thinking positively? Yes, I hear you on fear. And, on new beginnings. All good. I take a very silver lining approach to life, as you know. Agreed — things happen to all of us for a reason. Hope that means you are having a good time in your own life as well!

And fingers crossed for my daughter because she is applying for a merit-based scholarship today. But to be very honest? Part of me really doesn’t mind if we carry the bulk of the tuition cost. Yes, writing those checks is gonna hurt! But we are not poor. There are plenty of kids out there who need the money much, much more.

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LuAnn Taylor May 8, 2013 at 5:03 am

Betty –

It’s so good to see that you are still challenging life to give you the best of what it’s got! I’m happy that you were able to start on a new adventure on your own timetable and I am positive that you will be successful! I look forward to your book…keep me posted on the status!

Congrats on your latest adventure, and congrats to your daughter on hers, also.

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betty ming liu May 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

Thank you, LuAnn. And thanks for reinforcing that I’m acting on my own timetable because in truth, I didn’t originally expect to be leaving the full-time job this soon. But stuff happens, which leaves me looking for win-win solutions.

I had another one of those moments last night…ran into an adjunct professor who was hired to take over one of the p/t teaching gigs that I had given up to go back to f/t reporting. It was a slightly awkward conversation for me because she’s happy there and doesn’t seem to be leaving any time soon. Which means this is another potential teaching job to cross off my list. But other adventures await me and this colleague really needed the work too. So I will view this as win-win.

Just FYI: Here’s my blog post on win-win vs. win-lose: http://bettymingliu.com/2012/03/win-win-is-better-than-win-lose/

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Flora May 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I ‘found’ your blog because of your painting and I come back to it because of your writing, your honesty and your humour.
Congratulations on taking the leap. Yes, it’s scary, but how wonderful to be doing what you feel you need to in your heart. Life is so precious and so short.
I can’t wait to see your new paintings and to check out your videos too.
Art marketing Guru Alyson Stanfield had a pretty cool tutorial from a guy who makes videos for a living and he taught me more about it in the online class than I ever knew. ha ha. Maybe it wouldn’t be that useful for you as you’ve had an actual live course, but here it is anyway. http://www.artbizcoach.com/video/

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betty ming liu May 8, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Flora! Thank you for inspiring me. I just checked out Alyson’s $27 video tutorial and will do it! This is a new offering for her. Thanks to you, I know about it.

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jaimie May 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm

wow, betty, look at all the support you have! look at how much you are loved! you’ll have to because i can’t read all these comments! anyhoo, i just wanted to applaud your endless courage, your seeming ability to constantly reinvent yourself, to read the weather & get on your board & surf the winds of change with immense grace & optimism. you are a HUGE inspiration! & i also want to applaud your ability to constantly learn new tricks — ohhhh, if i could only wrap my head around garage band!!! … on a more practical note, i can’t believe insurance premiums for you & your best gal could be so extravagant: have you checked out freelancers union for its insurance? i’ve been lucky to have been sheltered by that umbrella for many years now. … o.k., betty, keep inspiring us, keep going for the gold!
xo

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betty ming liu May 10, 2013 at 7:59 am

jaime, I know, the amount of comments here are so comforting — so many people that I know in real life and so many that I only know as friends via my blog! Thank you for your encouragement too. Love your lovely phrase about me “reading the weather” and surfing winds of change. I like that image of myself it will stay with me for a long time.

Also thanks for the reminder about the Freelancers Union. Didn’t know anyone who actually used it but now I am definitely going to check it out. I have work-related health coverage for us until the end of this month, which means we are on endless medical appointments right now! Gotta get stuff done!

As for you and garage band, http://www.lynda.com/ is an online learning center you can go to, to learn tech skills at a reasonable subscription rate. But next time you buy a new Mac, get that $99 One-to-One membership that entitles you to a weekly session with a personal tech trainer. Btw, many of them use lynda.com for their own training too. Always glad to hear from you. xo

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Rose T. Ellis May 10, 2013 at 11:41 pm

The spring my only child (daughter) left high school, I too, as a single mother, left a relatively secure job with the school district to move across the country & begin a new chapter of life. Sixteen years later, I’m still here re-inventing myself, with the motivating motto, “Something’s always worked out before, so why not now!”
I look forward to reading your upcoming chapters Betty.
And have you seen who’s also back on the dating scene?
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/here-is-martha-stewart-s-new-match-com-profile-162337536.html

http://www.today.com/news/martha-stewart-i-nearly-signed-match-com-6C9624610

http://www.match.com/profile/showprofile.aspx?lid=1000005&TP=U&Handle=TheGoodLongLife

http://www.today.com/news/martha-stewart-meets-her-match-es-1C9856610

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betty ming liu May 11, 2013 at 12:31 am

Rose, you are brave…you made those changes 16 years ago when single moms were really out there struggling on their own. And how wonderful that the reinvention continues! I think the minute we stop, we become old. And that just won’t do!

As for Martha Stewart, yes, I’ve been following her online dating — might even blog about it next week. Do you think it would be a good topic to explore? :)

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Rose T. Ellis May 12, 2013 at 9:01 am

Regarding Martha Stewart dating Betty, obviously it’s attracted my attention … well with all those links I posted above!
I recently ended a year-ish relationship because I couldn’t get past seeing him as more than a “friend with benefits” … not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he just wasn’t the one for me. It knocked me on my butt a little more than I expected tho so I’m being gentle with myself. Dating “vicariously” seems to be about all I’m willing to handle right now!
Happy Mother’s Day!

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Shirley Bubbles May 21, 2013 at 12:45 am

Hi! Betty, just read this & learning about the “breaking news” about you! I hear you and I think you made a right decision to go with your guts instead of worrying other issue. Enjoy your time in leisure before the fall! ^^

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betty ming liu May 21, 2013 at 6:57 am

Thanks so much, Shirley! I’m in the midst of figuring out a new routine for myself but it’s fun. :)

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Leslie June 11, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Hey Betty:

I quit my job seven years ago, and have yet to find another full time gig. It did free me up from a terrible situation. And I definitely needed a change, but if I knew then what I know now, then I probably would have taken a leave of absence, and not quit outright… Tough in this economy. Tough when the field of journalism is shrinking more and more every day. It’s helped that my other area of expertise – teaching, has substitute positions available. On the downside, it’s been extremely difficult to get writing assignments, so I think you’ve got the right idea, blog, to get your writing grove on. And perhaps if I get myself organized and start a blog, it will lead to freelance writing assignments again! Sounds like your entrpreneurial pursuits, art pursuits, and continuing your blog are a great way to go. Also, you’re lucky that you have a bit of a money cushion right now. Cause, it sure is tough when there isn’t much of a cushion!!!!!

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betty ming liu June 12, 2013 at 7:53 am

Leslie, blogging can’t hurt! It shows prospective employers — whether freelance or full-time — that you are enterprising and are in tune with today’s tech world. At least, that’s what it implies. The blog helped me get every gig I’ve gotten since the blog’s launch. The blog isn’t about money. It’s your 21st century calling card. This also means that you have to be very strategic in how you present yourself. And yes, so lucky to have some savings. Makes all the difference!

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