Pursuing My Passion and Transforming My Writing Dreams into Reality

Embark on an inspiring journey of pursuing my passion, overcoming obstacles, and finding new beginnings in this unique life story.

Introduction: Igniting the Spark of Passion 

Towards the twilight of 2013, I decided to take the leap of faith that would shift the course of my existence. As the Director of Computer Operations at Trader Joe’s for twenty long years, I decided to cast away the comfortable path and take the road less travelled. It was time to follow my heart’s deepest longing—it was time for pursuing my passion in life. Let me tell you the story of how I eventually became a highly sought after ghostwriter.

Revisiting Childhood – The Wonders of a Bookstore

Arts book stire
Arts book store, photo courtesy of Michael L.

In the pursuit of my passion for reading, there was one place that was a sanctuary for me: the used bookstore known as Arts Books. This treasure trove of literary gems became my playground, feeding my insatiable curiosity and fueling my imagination. As a child, wandering through the haphazard stacks of books was akin to embarking on a thrilling adventure. The aroma of old pages, the touch of weathered covers, and the sheer joy of discovering a forgotten Asimov or Heinlein novel was intoxicating. My heart would race with anticipation as I navigated the narrow aisles, my young mind eager to explore every nook and cranny of that wondrous place.

My mother played a pivotal role in my journey of pursuing my passion, encouraging my love for reading by bringing me to the library regularly. I participated eagerly in the library’s reading contest where, for each book I read, I received a sticker. The thrill of earning these small tokens of accomplishment pushed me to read at least five books a week, broadening my literary horizons and deepening my appreciation for the world of books.

This early pursuit of my passion not only expanded my knowledge but also honed my writing skills. I remember crafting detailed papers for grade school on each book I read, learning to articulate my thoughts and opinions clearly and convincingly. I even started a weekly newsletter for my school, using it as a platform to share my thoughts and inspire my peers to explore the joys of reading. Pursuing my passion for reading and writing at such a young age laid a solid foundation for my future career as a professional writer.

One of my most vivid childhood memories, which profoundly impacted my love for science fiction, was watching the moon landings on television. The sight of astronauts taking those historic steps filled me with awe and wonder. Similarly, the suspense and horror of the Apollo 13 mission kept me on the edge of my seat. These real-life space explorations stirred my imagination, further fueling my passion for the fantastical worlds of science fiction. They served as a reminder of the limitless potential of human achievement, reinforcing my desire to pursue my passion, no matter where it might lead.

Inspirations – Asimov, Heinlein, and Beyond

As a child in pursuit of my passion for reading, I found myself enamored with the works of Isaac Asimov. His literary genius spanned numerous genres and subjects, his creations serving as gateways into worlds unknown. I was particularly taken by the ‘Foundation’ series and the ‘Robot’ series, the latter serving as the inspiration for the popular movie ‘I, Robot‘. Asimov’s writings were like a compass for me in the landscape of literature, leading me to a new understanding and a deeper appreciation of the written word.

Arts Book store
Arts book store, photo courtesy of Michael L.

The quest for pursuing my passion for reading didn’t stop with Asimov, as I soon found myself entranced by the works of Robert A. Heinlein. His magnum opus, ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’, was a revelation, shifting my perspective on life and humanity. Heinlein’s vision of an alien yet oddly familiar society was a masterclass in imagination and narrative, further stoking the fires of my literary passion.

As I continued pursuing my passion for literature, my journey led me to the fantastical worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, and Frank Herbert. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ was an epic saga of good against evil, friendship, and courage. Brooks’ ‘Sword of Shannara’ was a fascinating adventure, filled with memorable characters and mind-boggling twists. Herbert’s ‘Dune’ painted a vivid picture of a distant future, marred by political intrigue and ecological crises. These masterpieces of fantasy and science fiction shaped my passion for storytelling, creating an unshakeable foundation for my future writing career.

The pursuit of my passion in literature was not confined to just fiction. I explored numerous military history books, learning about the strategies, struggles, and triumphs of the past. From chronicles of the great wars to biographies of influential leaders, these books provided a stark contrast to my favored genres of fantasy and science fiction. I consumed everything I could get my hands on, each book, each genre, a step closer to becoming a professional writer. My journey of pursuing my passion has been varied and exhilarating, shaping my worldview and nurturing my love for the written word.

Corporate Adventures – A Journey Through the Tech World

As I set forth on my professional journey, I found myself not in the world of fiction but in the realm of technology. Still, I was in the business of weaving narratives, albeit of a different kind. I pursued my passion for writing by joining a computer company named Software Techniques, where I held the position of VP Consulting. Here, I focused on communicating complex technical concepts to a broad audience, which was both challenging and stimulating.

The pursuit of my passion then led me to Beck Computer Systems, where I continued to hold the role of VP Consulting. It was during this time that my writing skills truly blossomed. I was tasked with drafting intricate technical manuals and papers, my words becoming a bridge between sophisticated software systems and their end-users. This experience honed my technical writing skills, adding a new dimension to my dream of becoming a professional writer.

On the road to achieving my dreams and goals, I was also given the opportunity to work at BIF as the Senior Designer of the SCADA system. The systems I helped design were employed by places as diverse as Las Vegas Valley, New Haven, and Ohai Water Districts. Each project was like a puzzle, requiring me to piece together technical specifications and create a cohesive, easy-to-understand manual. It was here that I discovered the art of simplifying the complex, an essential skill that I would carry forward in my journey of pursuing my passion for writing.

My voyage through the tech world eventually brought me to Trader Joe’s, where I became the Director of Technical Services and Computer Operations. Here, I not only put my technical skills to use but also nurtured my passion for writing. I contributed a monthly column to the VAX Professional, allowing me to share my knowledge and insights with a wider audience. As I worked tirelessly behind the scenes, my dream of becoming a professional writer kept my spirit ignited, reminding me that pursuing my passion was not a distant dream but a goal within my grasp.

Trader Joe’s – Two Decades of Technical Triumphs

Working away at 1980s monitorsFor twenty years, I was part of the dynamic team at Trader Joe’s, an experience that was both challenging and rewarding. Pursuing my passion for problem-solving, I embarked on a significant project: building a disaster site in Chino. This massive undertaking required a deep understanding of technology, strategic planning, and meticulous execution. I led the project from inception to completion, and for the duration of my time at the company, I successfully managed the site, ensuring it seamlessly transitioned during numerous failovers.

While at Trader Joe’s, my pursuit of excellence led me, along with my peer, Jimmy, to spearhead the PCI compliance project. This critical initiative was pivotal to the company’s operations, ensuring that all transactions were secure and adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It was a massive responsibility, but in pursuing my passion for creating secure systems, I successfully navigated the project, further bolstering Trader Joe’s reputation for reliability and trustworthiness.

Big meeting - Big ShirtTechnological innovation was a significant part of my journey at Trader Joe’s. I created a private cluster built on VMware technology, enhancing the company’s infrastructure and operational efficiency. I also managed SAP, Ultipro, and Aldata Gold applications, ensuring their smooth running and integration. Even though these responsibilities were demanding, the thrill of pursuing my passion and delivering results was immensely satisfying.

Leading a large team and managing various consultants was another facet of my role at Trader Joe’s. I had the privilege of working with many veterans, special forces personnel, and Marines, their discipline and dedication mirroring my own pursuit of my passion. These individuals brought unique perspectives and problem-solving abilities, and together, we navigated the company through several major computer disasters. This experience was a testament to the power of collaboration and shared passion, demonstrating that pursuing one’s passion, even in the face of adversity, can lead to extraordinary results.

Life, Love, Loss, and New Beginnings

My pursuit of my passion, like the rhythm of life, has not always been steady. I was blessed to have found love with Claudia, a Guatemalan native who was raised in New Orleans. Our marriage spanned twelve and a half beautiful years, during which her vibrancy and resilience radiated despite her prolonged illness. We journeyed together through eight of those years as she valiantly battled her health issues. Her courage and fortitude taught me the value of persistence in pursuing my passion, regardless of the obstacles.

When Claudia passed away, my world seemed to lose its color and light. The grief was overwhelming, but I found solace in my passion for photography. Pursuing my passion during this challenging time was both a balm and a distraction. It was a medium through which I could process my loss and, in doing so, find a way to carry on.

I immersed myself in photographing Renaissance Faires across the United States. Each event was a spectacle of color, drama, and history, providing the perfect distraction from my sorrow. I captured thousands of images at each fair, the act of focusing my lens helping me focus my mind away from the pain. Additionally, I pursued my passion for dance photography, capturing mesmerizing moments from belly dancing and burlesque shows, salsa events, wrestling matches, and historical reenactments. This pursuit of my passion took me to vibrant stages and silent corners, with over one million pictures documenting my journey through grief.

Daania Hidiyah - Richard Lowe's Birthday 2013

Daania Hidiya dances in Los Angeles at Richard Lowe’s 53rd birthday @Skinny’s Lounge

On a more personal note, each year for eight years, I hosted a birthday party that was as much a celebration of life as it was a nod to my passion for dance and photography. Each event was graced by the presence of hundreds of belly dancers, their mesmerizing performances a private show just for me. These experiences became a testament to my resilience, demonstrating that even in the face of profound loss, pursuing my passion could offer healing and hope. In the end, it was through photography and the shared joy of dance that I found a way to overcome my grief, once again finding joy in pursuing my passion.

Accumulated Wisdom – The Building Blocks 

Throughout my extensive 33-year career in the computer industry, I wrote a plethora of manuals, proposals, letters, memos, and specifications. These experiences not only developed my ability to write effectively and efficiently but also honed my skills of making any subject engaging. As time passed, I realized how these years of technical writing had subtly prepared me for transitioning to a new career that I always yearned for—becoming a writer.

Daring to Dream – The Courageous Leap 

In 2013, I resolved to change the course of my life. Overworked and stressed, I realized that I was trading my health for a job that offered little personal satisfaction. A decision was made—I was going to chase my dreams, even if it meant venturing into the unknown. With some savings as a safety net, I made the daring transition from a secure job into the exciting, uncertain world of professional writing.

Over the next four years, I chased my dreams with a fervor that had been missing from my life for a long time. I was not only pursuing my passion but was also beginning to see the tangible fruits of my labor. I wrote and published 63 books of my own, ghostwrote 48 more, and even updated ‘Cyberheist’, a well-known book on computer security. I made substantial contributions to ‘Digitize or Die‘, a significant book on the Internet of Things, and penned hundreds of articles for my blog as well as for other platforms.

Embarking on my journey of pursuing my passion, I hit the ground running. Over the next four years, I dedicated myself to my writing, pouring my heart and soul into every project I undertook. My efforts bore fruit, and I found myself achieving milestones I had once only dreamt of. One such achievement that stood out was my prolific ghostwriting work. I authored over 48 books for various clients, each one a testament to the myriad subjects I had come to master.

In the pursuit of my passion, I became a literary chameleon, adapting to different genres and fields with ease. I wrote four insightful books on the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence and four riveting pieces on cybersecurity, a testament to my technical roots. Three of my works focused on the dynamic concept of digital transformation, outlining its impact and the potential it holds for the future. I updated ‘Cyberheist‘ twice, a well-known book on computer security. I made substantial contributions to ‘Digitize or Die‘, a significant book on the Internet of Things, and penned hundreds of articles for my blog as well as for other platforms.

But my journey of pursuing my passion wasn’t confined to technical subjects alone. My heart yearned to venture into other genres that had captivated me since childhood. Consequently, I penned a children’s book and a young adult novel, diving headfirst into the creative and imaginative world of young readers. I even fulfilled a lifelong dream by writing a science fiction novel, a tribute to the genre that sparked my love for literature.

Throughout this journey of turning my passion into my profession, I’ve had the privilege of ghostwriting for two platinum-selling rockstars. Their dynamic personalities and unique life stories added a new, exciting layer to my writing career. Moreover, my work extended beyond books, as I completed over 300 LinkedIn profile optimizations. Every profile I enhanced brought me closer to achieving my dream, fulfilling my passion, and in turn, helping others get closer to theirs. Each step of the way, I was not just pursuing my passion, but living it.

The Birth of a Book Empire

Continuing on my journey of pursuing my passion for writing, I embarked on a new project: the creation of the Book Empire series. This venture allowed me to delve into various genres, from the sprawling galaxies of the Science Fiction Book Empire to the spellbinding realms of the Fantasy Book Empire. The intricacies of the Romance Book Empire and the suspenseful twists of the Mystery Book Empire allowed me to showcase my diverse writing skills while fulfilling my passion for exploring different literary worlds.

Additionally, my pursuit of my passion extended to educating others about the art of writing. I wrote a comprehensive guide on the “Show and Tell” writing technique, providing invaluable insights to aspiring authors. Furthermore, I authored “How to Make a Living as a Freelance Writer,” a practical guide that has already helped a thousand readers navigate the freelance writing industry. These endeavors serve as a testament to my commitment to pursuing my passion, proving that the joy of writing doesn’t just lie in storytelling but also in sharing the craft with others.

Pursuing My Passion – The Making of a Great Ghostwriter

In a culmination of diverse experiences and a vast range of knowledge, my journey of pursuing my passion has sculpted me into a seasoned ghostwriter. The depth and breadth of my experiences, as detailed throughout this article, contribute significantly to my ability to produce compelling and authentic narratives. My years in various industries, from technology to photography and even event management, offer a wealth of insights that I can draw upon to infuse depth and credibility into any story.

Writing across genres for the Book Empire series and educational guides has honed my versatility as a ghostwriter. Whether the task at hand calls for the precision of a tech manual, the suspense of a mystery, or the tender touch of romance, my pursuit of my passion has equipped me with the skills to deliver. Moreover, my immersion in various cultures, whether it be Renaissance Faires or dance events, enables me to bring unique perspectives to each narrative, ensuring that every story resonates with authenticity.

The journey hasn’t always been smooth. Overcoming personal tragedy and healing through the medium of photography has given me an intimate understanding of the human experience. It has added an empathetic dimension to my ghostwriting, enabling me to capture the full spectrum of human emotions in my writing. Pursuing my passion amidst challenges has taught me resilience, an invaluable trait in meeting deadlines and exceeding client expectations in the fast-paced world of ghostwriting.

Finally, my successful management roles at Trader Joe’s and the enriching experience of working with a diverse team have cultivated strong leadership and collaborative skills. These are essential for a ghostwriter as I often navigate the dynamics between publishers, authors, and other stakeholders. The ability to communicate effectively, handle feedback, and meet expectations comes from years of pursuing my passion in varied roles. In summary, every step of my journey contributes to my prowess as a ghostwriter, demonstrating the value of passionately pursuing one’s goals.

Final Thoughts – A Dream Within Reach 

Finally, my dream was no longer a dream—it was my reality. My books, ‘Focus on LinkedIn‘ and ‘How to Sell on eBay‘, climbed the charts and achieved Amazon Kindle bestseller status, securing spots in the coveted ‘top 100’. Today, I can proudly say I am living my dream. If I can do it, so can you. It may seem daunting, and the path may be fraught with obstacles, but always remember to carve out some space in your life to chase your dreams and passions. You too can turn your passion into your profession.

Please note, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the book links provided in this article.

Richard Lowe

3 thoughts on “Pursuing My Passion and Transforming My Writing Dreams into Reality

  1. Natalie Reply

    Wow! So cool you worked for Trader Joe’s and decided to take that leap of faith. So glad to read you found your passion and pursued it.

  2. Karen Reply

    It is amazing how you can turn a passion into a job you can make money from, just amazing…

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