December 2019, four years in and I’ve never been happier to be able to do what I love. When I first hit publish back in December 2015, I never once thought that I could do this long term. I didn’t think that by this year, I would be writing full time, no longer working for a boss, instead, I’m now the boss.
2019 has been a year filled with ups and downs, many more ups, but there have been moments of doubt, which is something I’ve had to come to terms with. I’ve bee mentoring new authors this year, teaching workshops to educate local aspiring authors on the mistakes I made, and how to take the plunge and hit that PUBLISH button.
It’s definitely been a long road. I’ve learned so much over the past four years, some bad, some good, but it’s always made me even more excited to be a part of the indie book community. I’ve made some incredible friends, met amazing people, and even traveled to the US three times, THREE TIMES, over this time for signings.
If you’d have asked me when I was at college what I would be doing as we head into 2020, I never once would’ve said that I would be a published author. Not because I didn’t want to be, but because I didn’t have faith in myself at the time. Growing up wasn’t easy, I was the shy introvert in the back of the class not wanting to put her hand up to answer the question. For me writing became a hobby that I could do in solitude, and I never thought about having other people read my words. Let alone put it up on the internet where the world could see it. But I fell in love with words, with the characters, and the worlds I could get lost in. And now that I can do that daily, and give those same words to you, I feel so blessed and humbled, I have moments where I need to pinch myself.
I wouldn’t still be here if it weren’t for you, yes you! My readers are what keep me going. The ladies who are always there for me, supporting me, offering advice, and lending an ear to listen to my worries. I’m lucky to say I have my tribe and I love them to pieces.
To those who are still out there with the dream in hand and a world of characters in your head, don’t be afraid to take a chance and put yourself out there. Trust me, I know how difficult it is. And there will be many times on your journey that you’ll wonder why am I doing this, but it is so worth every moment.
Some advice from someone who’s been there:
Don’t trust everyone, find those who are loyal and honest. As beautiful as this community is, there are also people who will use you. They are few and far between, but just be careful about who you put all your trust in. Keep your tribe small, and keep them close.
Make sure you do your research. Don’t dive in without knowing what you’re doing. Network and contact authors you look up to and email or message them and ask for advice. Listen to that advice because most of them will be speaking from experience. This isn’t a race, it’s a marathon, slow and steady.
Don’t, I repeat, DO NOT compare yourself to anyone else. We are all on this journey, and we all have our own paths. The worst thing you can do is compare what you’re doing with what someone else is doing. Focus on your own words, your own books, and don’t feel despondent if something doesn’t happen for you just yet. It will come–with hard work and perseverance.
Don't compare your behind the scenes with someone else's highlight reel. - Unknown Click To Tweet
And now, on to the planning and plotting for 2020, and another four years, and another four after that because what I can say is that I love what I do. Even with all the stress, the sometimes sleepless nights and early mornings, this is one of the most rewarding paths I’ve taken. It’s worth it. It’s more than worth it.
Before I sign off, I want to thank one special lady that’s stood by me through everything. Even when things got really tough, and I had been in the deepest, darkest place I could go, she was there to lift me up. Jane Anthony is not only a talented author, but she’s one of my best friends. She pulled me out of a depression I was lost in.
Okay, back to the post–don’t give up, don’t compare yourself, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.