As long as you have the passion and creativity for it, it fulfills you, and you ask God to guide your steps, you can’t go wrong.
It’s hard growing up with a narcissistic parent and grandparents. They think you should be something great, like a doctor or a lawyer, and make big money. You want to become a writer. It’s all you’ve dreamed about since you were nine years old. Their response to this? “You can’t make a living writing; you need to get a real job. Writing doesn’t pay the bills.” Luckily for you, you have a very supportive mom who encourages you every chance she gets and buys you all the books (about writing), paper, ink, and notebooks you need.
Instead of listening to their words of doom and gloom, you need to pursue this. Right now, you may feel a little lost sometimes, but I also know the determination you have to prove them wrong. I’m here to tell you that you will write and publish books. However, this doesn’t mean the road will be easy.
As a freshman, you will apprentice at the local paper, The Muncy Luminary, in Muncy, Pennsylvania. You will learn, grow, and write a few articles that get published. At the end of your sophomore year, you will move to Illinois and finish your last two years of high school. Then you will take a year off and then go to community college. While there, you will take journalism and write for the Illinois Central College newspaper, The Harbinger. You will also take a poetry class, which will be important later in your writing career. Besides writing for the ICC paper, you will also write for a local paper called The Morton Courier and make the front page a few times.
Unfortunately, you will drop out of community college because you have to take too many math classes and drop writing for The Morton Courier because it’s too much to handle while working and going to school full-time. However, don’t despair, this is not the end of the road.
If I could give you some advice at this time in your life, it would be:
-Don’t be discouraged, you have your whole life ahead of you.
-Keep on writing and never stop.
-The timing is not right for you to either find a writing job or publish a book. There are many things right now that will make it very difficult for you to do either. As frustrating as this is, it’s going to be okay.
-Hang in there and don’t lose hope. In a few years, you will thank yourself for not publishing a book. There is something on the horizon called self-publishing that will make your dream easier to achieve than you ever have imagined. Does this mean you won’t have to work hard? Quite the contrary. You will work harder than you ever would with a traditional publishing deal, but the satisfaction will be much sweeter.
-The best is yet to come.
After community college, you wind up working in a Kroger deli for eight long years. The dream of writing is still there. You’re just not sure what to do next. You’ve applied for a few writing jobs during this time, but nothing has panned out. I will tell you that while hanging over a chicken fryer, you come up with the title of your first book, Lithium Dreams and Melancholy Sunrise.
In 2009, things start shifting a bit. You will leave Kroger and go work for an independent daycare in Illinois. The fire of wanting to write and publish continues to burn, so you look around at how to publish a book. You find that traditional publishing can take forever and if you want to do it yourself, you have to pay thousands of dollars... then you’re stuck with several hundred copies of your book to gather dust in your basement. This disgusts you and you feel defeated, but you will keep moving forward. You will never stop writing.
Let’s fast forward a few years. Things are going to get very interesting. On January 1, 2014, your mom brings your attention to a segment on CBS This Morning about romance author Jasinda Wilder. She and her husband both lost their jobs and were going to lose their house. They read everything on the bestseller list and then Jasinda tried her hand at writing her own romance novel. She then self-published it on the platform Smashwords and it sold 500 copies in a day. This amazed you. You didn’t even know this kind of self-publishing was a thing. Then and there, you vow to yourself that you will publish your first book in a year.
Guess what? A year and four months later, in March 2015, you will publish your first book of poetry, Lithium Dreams and Melancholy Sunrise. You may not have made it by your exact deadline (there was a lot to learn), but you’ll do it. You will also publish two more books this year. Your second book of poetry, The Safety of Objects, and your first children’s book, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green). You will prove to those who told you that you couldn’t do it you can. Also, in late 2015, you take a class on how to be a freelance writer to see where this path will take you.
In 2016, you land two big clips, one with The Huffington Post and the other with The Penny Hoarder. You also pick up work with Crosswalk and some other small clients.
In 2017, you will publish two more books. Your third book of poetry, Shadow of Soul, and your second children’s book, Brock’s Bad Temper (And The Time Machine).
From there, you continue to freelance and ponder over more books. You have three ideas for three original books that you have been planning, but you’re not sure where to start. One day you will be in the shower thinking about this and it will dawn on you to write a series.
In 2021, you will take out a manuscript you have been playing with off and on for the past two years and start shaping it into the story you always knew it could be. Originally called Through the Pain, this story will be the first book in your romance series. You also will write a prequel novella for your Steele Family saga series called Before Us to give away to your newsletter subscribers. It becomes available in September.
April 2022 brings the release of Someone to Catch My Teardrops (Steele Family Saga Book 1). Even though it has received excellent reviews, you are still nervous about putting it out there. This is something every writer goes through, even the big ones. Instead of being nervous about launch day, do your best to relax and enjoy it. In August 2022, you will release The Ultimate Guide to Daycare: A Parent’s Roadmap. This is a book you will write based on your years of daycare experience to help parents find the right center for their children and give them other questions to ask.
You will publish Belonging Season, the second book in the Steele Family Saga series in November 2023. You will also publish a children’s story you have been sitting on for six years called My Miles and Me the same month. What’s next? You will keep going. In fact, you start working on book three of the Steele Family saga in January 2024.
A few things to keep in mind on your journey. It will never finish. You will be in a constant mode of learning. Success is what you make of it. It’s your definition. Sure, all writers want to make a comfortable living or better with their writing. It may or may not happen and that’s okay. As long as you have the passion and creativity for it, it fulfills you, and you ask God to guide your steps, you can’t go wrong. If you’re meant to grow into a household name, he will do that for you in his timing. Enjoy the process and the road you are on. Like your dad and grandparents, there will be critics. Learn to let it roll off your back and keep going. It has nothing to do with you as a person. Trust the Lord, trust the journey, and the best is yet to come.
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