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Rita Farin Interview : Page 2 of 3

Writer and Creative Coach
Rita Farin

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Rita FarinQ: Any advice for our readers who are hoping to make their own transitions from day job to dream job?

A: Have patience. It could take months or years. It's a process. Time is irrelevant. What's more important is that you incorporate something you love to do into your life on a regular basis, so you can experience the joy that comes from connecting with the deepest core of your being. Give yourself permission to be a beginner, and know that it's ok to do it badly at first. You'll get better. Just have fun with it and see where it leads you.

You don't have to turn off your old career and skill sets altogether. Your experience, skills and talents will serve you well in your new life. During transition, you may have to juggle multiple jobs until you start bringing in revenue from your new career.

The trick is learning how to reallocate old skills into new projects or jobs, and find the right balance between what you love to do, and what you can do. It takes time to learn this. When I was attending the MFA residency in Boston, I met many writers who wanted to know how I'd been successful at writing marketing copy. They were intrigued by the idea of making money from any type of writing, while I had been looking forward to the day when I wouldn't have to live in that world anymore. Over time, I learned to embrace all of the opportunities that are available to me, and I still do a small amount of marketing work today. Too much financial stress can create terrible creative blocks.

Q: Can you tell our readers about the new career-life transition coaching package you recently developed? What can potential clients hope to gain from this new service?

A: This package is designed for corporate professionals in the midst of transition. It's important for them to find the right fit, in order to lead more joyful lives. I help them gain clarity on their envisioned futures and careers and begin taking small steps towards their desired professional lives. I've partnered with my colleague Beth Martin, of Parker Blake Consulting, to offer resume and interview assistance and provide introductions into companies. Beth has 20 years experience in the recruitment and career counseling field.

Most recently, I've started working with yoga teachers and healing professionals to provide them with a bundled package that offers creative transition and small business coaching. I always recommend that my clients complete the creative transition coaching first, because the process itself enables them to gain so much clarity about themselves, their dreams, and ways to reconnect with their true passions. From there, we work on the skill sets needed to grow a business that fulfills a person's true calling in the most playful and joyful ways.

Q: Can you discuss some of your upcoming creative nonfiction? Looks like you've got quite a few projects in the works! When can readers expect to see these new offerings in bookstores?

A: Right now, I'm working on completing an article for publication called "Order in Chaos: From Electronics to Art," which is a story about an amazing Cuban artist. I interviewed him while I was in Cuba last year. He was an electronics technician who just started painting one day and became successful immediately. I'm also working on a series of articles along the lines of the ones I publish on my blog. I will be compiling them into the book called Outside the Sealed Room: On Transitioning to a Creative Life. I hope this book helps others who are in the midst of life transition. My plan is to finish this book within the next year.

Q: Outside the Sealed Room: On Transitioning to a Creative Life sounds like a fascinating read. Can you tell our readers what inspired you to begin this book? Where has it taken you that you didn't expect to go, and what have you learned along the way?

A: My own transition inspired me to write this. I had been working on another book called I am Spam, Spam I am for three years, and the main reason I decided to enroll in the MFA program was to finish the manuscript. As I transitioned into this new life, all of these issues started coming up for me, and I knew I needed to write about them to try to make sense of it all. And to keep me writing about it, I started my blog. It was so rewarding to finish pieces and send them out to the world. The whole book idea was unexpected, really. I was committed to finishing my manuscript, but it felt like it was time to stop revisiting my past and pay attention to the transformation I was undergoing. I thought that this writing might be able to help others too.

I may finish I am Spam, Spam I am someday — it contains some of my best writing. I feel this book could help people in so many ways, particularly the story, "Sealed Room." It's the story of how I fell into a life I didn't really want, and takes place in Israel during the Gulf War. I've learned that creative projects have a life of their own and will let you know when they're ready to be born.

Q: In reading your blog, I get the sense that you were a very serious child. As an adult, how do you keep that childlike playful side alive in your creative work, and in other aspects of your life?

A: I feel like I'm aging backwards. I have lots of toys in my workplace. I play on slides at the park. If I get stuck in my writing, I write out my ideas using crayons. And if there's something I really, really don't want to do, I put on my toy tiara. Or I'll stomp around like a kid to let out a big tantrum. I get really, really excited about very small things like the perfect cupcake, and I am in constant wonder of nature. I have a favorite tree who is a good friend. When I take walks, I notice the flowers and skies and clouds. Sometimes I take pictures of them with my cell phone and send them to myself or to my friends with happy messages. Since I have such a strong connection to the six-year-old in me (I actually feel like a six-year-old), I've recently started experimenting with writing picture books.

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