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Working Moms Find Dream Job in Book Publishing

I never expected that the life of a working mother would qualify me to write a cookbook. My career started in the aerospace industry and then took me to the fast-moving hi-tech start up world, with long and exciting days. After two children, however, the excitement wore off and the days seemed rigid and restrictive. I wanted more time with my family. I also wanted greater control over my own work and destiny, to be my own boss, and to express more creativity.

I asked myself a few questions:

1. What do I like to do?
2. What do I want to be doing in five years?
3. What's the most important thing to me?

The answers led me to consider starting my own business.

That's when I called my college friend, Wona Miniati, with the business idea: a cookbook using ingredients from our favorite grocery store, whose prepared sauces, marinated meats, and prepped vegetables gave us miraculous culinary shortcuts. Wona was in a similar situation, struggling to find the best way to juggle a career as a marketing consultant while finding time for her family. She loved the idea and was ready to jump on board with me to make this book a reality.

The beauty of this cookbook was that it was more than just a book. It represented a survival tactic we had developed over the years that allowed us to put homemade healthy food on the table every night, despite working full-time jobs. Fast food and take-out simply weren't options for us, and this new style of cooking helped us feed our families in the way we wanted. We decided other busy moms and professionals could use these time saving tips too.

Writing a book is the ultimate flexible job - you can use snippets of time to write - you can choose to do it part- or full-time. In the traditional approach, it takes no upfront capital, so why not consider the possibilities? Here's how to start.

1. Brainstorm! Write about what you know and love. The world of fiction novelists might be intimidating to most and hard to break into, but the world of non-fiction writing is more accessible and just as enticing to readers. Consider all the nonfiction topics you could write about: how-to's, references, self help, hobbies, personal stories based on life changes like parenthood or a career change.

If you collect Southwest pottery, write about how to acquire and identify it. If you've adopted overseas, share your success story. If you have a unique viewpoint on how to organize finances, make homemade baby food, or become a successful consultant, that's your niche. Come up with something interesting and unique-your hook

How we did it: There are hundreds of cookbooks on the market, but we knew the idea for ours was unique. As for how I stumbled upon the idea originally - it came to me almost effortlessly, because the subject matter was ingrained in my day-to-day life. If you write about a topic that has personal significance to you, not only will the writing be easier, but you'll have fun doing it!

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