My writer’s journey began in 2007, when I left my stable, lucrative career as a physician to pursue my dream of being a professional writer. My behavior seemed pretty reckless to those who loved me. I gave up a six figure income and my house in San Diego with a view of the ocean and cashed in my retirement account so I could buy my freedom (to quit my job, I had to pay a $120,000 malpractice tail in case I ever got sued in the future.)
My husband was unemployed, we had a newborn baby, and my backup plan was… well, not exactly backed up. But I did it. I took a leap of faith and spent the next year writing a memoir called I Don’t Do Men: Confessions of an OB/GYN. After loads of rejections, one literary agent finally loved it and swore that she would get in a “monkey knife fight” to represent my book. So I named her “Monkey Barbara,” and we high-fived over cocktails about the six-figure book deal we would get for the book Monkey Barbara jokingly called “Eat, Pray, Vagina.”
Only that didn’t happen. In fact, we didn’t get any book deals. Eight editors loved it, and eight marketing departments said they’d never heard of me, that I had no platform, and that it didn’t matter how good my writing was if they couldn’t sell it.
I was crushed. Finally, after a year of rejections, Monkey Barbara and I had a tearful release ceremony while drinking margaritas as I tore my manuscript into strips of paper, burned them, and tossed the ashes into the ocean. (Melodramatic – yes. Cathartic – yes.)
Enter Owning Pink
Monkey Barbara told me I had to start a blog if I wanted a career as a writer. This news left me fuming. I was already a doctor, a professional artist, and a writer. Now I had to become a blogger? WTF?
But Barbara insisted. So in 2009, I started a blog I called Owning Pink, named after an art series I had done several years earlier. When asked what my blog would be about, I answered, “Creativity, spirituality, health, sexuality, money, the environment, business, mental health – you know, everything that makes you whole.” I was promptly told this wouldn’t work, that I had to pick a niche. I refused and went about creating a website featuring over forty bloggers that left branding experts using me as a case study for how not to brand yourself.