The new life begins.
Today is my first day in my new career and new job. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. God indeed works in mysterious ways and my life just confirms that for me.
My writing began when I was younger. I would get these thoughts and write them down just to get them out of my head. That was until someone found them.
I quit writing for years. Then theatre came along and sparked a new energy for the written word as I saw people acting out the words on the pages. This allowed me to open up a new part of my brain and walk into it blissfully unaware of the path that it would lead me to.
College came for me and theatre was my life. I lived off campus and had several days a week where it was too far to drive back and forth multiple times a day on a jobless income, so I opted to stay backstage and in the shop and be productive in my own ways.
I wrote and directed a one act play and starred in a friend’s short film while acting in numerous plays and musicals. Did I mention that I was introverted?
The working class.
With college behind me, I was in the working class now. Bored and spending frivolous money, I searched for a hobby that brought fulfillment. Needless to say, several hobbies came and went. The one hobby that never left me was writing.
My interest in writing spiked when I came to the conclusion that it would be the most profitable with the least amount of financial investment. Plus, I enjoyed it.
After looking into different types of writing and different ways to make money with writing, I came across blogging. The curse began. I began reading blogs and added the numbers of disappointment daily. No one was writing anything that I wanted to read.
So, I did what any uneducated person would do. I grabbed a free WordPress site and started blogging. I’ll be honest, I was venting about how I wasn’t happy with things. It had a few followers once I started writing about my dog and that sparked the idea for a book series.
But, how do I write a story?
The digital experiment.
Most people would think that being raised and trained in theatre and having a degree in it, that that would be enough to write a story, right? It couldn’t be farther from the truth.
At this point in my life, I was trying my hand at affiliate marketing. Which bombed mind you. However, I did learn how to create a website and that stuff that goes with it. And I’m still learning more as the time goes by.
Now, I have a website that I am trying to make money with and another that I am trying to build an audience with for my writing. Neither are doing well.聽
A year passes and my membership term expires. My experiment was to try affiliate marketing for a year and see what the results were. I am still waiting on results to show up. I kept this site and ignored the possibility of making money with my writing.
The new chapter begins.
At this point, I am depressed and full of resentment for people. I worked desperately for an entire year to make something that mattered to people, and the numbers showed that only robots came to see what I had.
NO ONE CARED.
That was a heavy blow to my introverted self-confidence. I finally was able to crawl out of my pit of despair and write some stories.
I discovered the flash-fiction form of writing and became hooked. It was a perfect fit for my style and ability. I started turning out the stories one after another. It was a major esteem booster.
But were they any good? I needed feedback.
Scouring the internet proved to little profit. I found Wattpad on my phone, but with complications amassing, I dumped that effort. Found another online community that was on the decline but joined anyway. I entered my stories and got mixed reviews. They were mostly half my age and couldn’t connect with my material.
After entering a contest and placing 8th out of 40 or so people. I decided that this was what I needed to focus on.
Articles upon articles, opinions following opinions, I finally gained enough knowledge and confidence to really put together something.
Searching the wide and deep oceans of the internet proved a mixture of methods and techniques to getting published. Self-publishing, indie-publishing, magazines, ebooks, and the mother of all, traditional publishing.
I did my research, read until my eyes bleed, and finally found a path that was available. Open submission publishers. They were like the mythical unicorn that are sought out by those pursuing the dreams of writing.
My dream from when I was a kid, was to be published by a publishing house and sell one copy to someone I didn’t know. Weird dream for a kid to have, but I was on the path to seeing this come to life.
This was all new territory to me with new languages and customs. I had never dealt with publishers before, which is why I bombed my first attempt at being published.
My ignorance of the publishing world tightened the noose around my own neck. I would soon submit material that would drop the floor out from under me.
After submitting one story for them to review, they said, “We would like to see your full manuscript.” Fireworks flew through the sky as I exploded with happiness. Needless to say, many of mine were duds.
I gathered together a mixture of the different styles and genres that I was experimenting with. I was still in the stage of finding my writing voice and decided that a mixture would be good to send them. They would pick the style they liked and then I could write more along those lines.
Here is where the head slap comes in hard.
They rejected my proposal. I bet you didn’t see that coming did you?
Having a lack of word counts was the main reason of the rejection. That was when the light was turned on and I realized my error. They were looking for a book or a collection of short stories to make a book with.
I couldn’t believe I had been so dumb.
A new focus.
It was then that I decided that I needed to learn. I began reading and reading and reading. I created a board on Pinterest for writing. I subscribed to emails lists and then jumped off them because all they wanted was money. I did research. I learned a lot.
Two and a half years later…
I have a book contract.
That’s right. I succeeded where I fell on my face years earlier. I put together a series of stories that center around relationships of various types. The publishers accepted it, and now we are working on putting it into book form.
So here I am. Starting my writing career. Starting my new part time job as well.
It hasn’t sunk in fully yet. My childhood dream of being published soon to become a reality for me. Within a year of this post, I will have a physical copy of all the hard work that went into it.
But, I couldn’t do it without help.
My wife was the biggest pusher for me. When very few people supported my writing, she was always there for me. She pulled my stories apart and helped me put them back together again. Although, there are some stories that I refuse to let her read.
God was my helper. Without Him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He gives me my stories and the wonderful characters that bring them alive. The stories are God’s way of teaching me as each one has a challenging aspect to it that makes me say, “I needed to learn that.”
As my progress continues, I will write about how the book is going, what life brings me, and what I learn along the way. If you want to keep up to date, do the subscribing thing and I’ll hear from you soon.
Thanks for reading.