Chapter One: Back to the Beginning
Publishing a novel is not an overnight success. It takes time, hard work ethic, determination, and a lot of helping hands to bring a story to life within the pages of a book. In this blog series, I'm going to share my journey to authorhood, as well as the tips I've learned along the way. Today, we're going to start at the beginning...
From the time I learned to print my name, I loved writing stories. In the fourth grade, I wrote an entire series about a girl and a killer whale. My mom still has them buried in her craft room somewhere. Back then, it was just a hobby. A way for my imagination to run wild. Little did I know, those childhood books were the groundwork for my future dreams.
Fast forward to my high school years, and I was either reading books or writing them in little journals during class. They were still as far fetched as a girl befriending a wild whale, but they were fun to write and livened up my school day. And these books made me think that one day I could become an author.
But our dreams are quite fickle in high school, aren't they? My love for writing soon hid itself from me as I began to work a part time job, ride horses and play sports, hang out with friends...all the things teenage girls do. I was too young and too busy living out my teenage years to realize I'd stopped writing.
I didn't write all through college or even into the first couple years of my job as an air traffic controller. But once the stress of my job began to affect my health and my personal life, I began the desperate search for a new career (read more about that story here). And that's when writing reintroduced itself to me.
I began writing on my breaks during the workday as a way to relieve the stress and anxiety. And the more I wrote, the more I began to fall in love with written words again. I'd crave my breaks so I could sit down and write stories. I started reminiscing on all the books I'd written throughout my childhood. And that's when it hit me.
I was born to be - not just a writer - but an author.
Little did I know, those childhood books were the groundwork for my future dreams.
Once I realized my calling, I told my husband I was going to write and publish a book. He offered his full support, and so I began. I researched how to write a book. After all, I wasn't in this for a pastime anymore. I was all in and wanted to do it right. I outlined. I did character sketches. I researched the jobs my characters held and the life events they were travelling through. I fed myself as much information on editing and publishing as I could.
It was a huge learning curve. It made writing harder in some ways but easier in others. But I was determined to see this through. And I did. I wrote my first novel and began submitting it to literary agents in a year and a half. And so began my journey to authorhood. It's been a crazy ride, but completely worthwhile. I've grown not only as a writer, but as a person as well. And the best part?
You can grow as a writer and publish a book too. If your reading this post, your either my mom (my biggest cheerleader) or you - like me - were born to be a writer. It just takes work, consistency, and determination. As well as help and support from family, friends, and other writers. All of which I'll cover as this series progresses.
Thanks for sticking with me through the introduction. In Chapter Two (why not use chapters when talking about writing a book!), I'll dive into the methods I use to brainstorm and choose the topics of my novels. Today was just a get-to-know-me kind of post. The rest will incorporate much more practical steps from drafting your novel to jumping into the world of publishing.
Thanks again for reading. We'll chat again soon!
Much love and happy writing,