I’ve been working on writing and self-publishing now for about four years, and I want to be the first person to tell you that it’s not as easy as it seems. The writing part is easy–that’s the fun stuff. But the editing, the advertising, the nuts and bolts of it…that takes work. I started by looking up as much information as I could, reading message boards (I still do), buying books about self-publishing, and searching for other people’s success stories. So now whenever someone tells me they want to publish a book and asks if I can just “give them the basics,” I take a deep breath and sigh. The basics are: write, dive into the indie author world, research, and go for it.
All I ever wanted to do when I was a kid was be a writer. Well, that’s not entirely true–my mom used to ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, and my first response was always “happy.” But my second answer was “a writer.” And now that I’ve published my 10th full-length novel, I think I can officially say that I’m a writer. Some people love what I write (thank you, wonderful people!), and some people hate it, but that’s okay. That’s what it means to be a writer or to create anything, really. For every person who gives me a review that feels way too personal (“I hope she’s not really a teacher–her grammar is horrible!” or “This feels like a middle-schooler wrote it. It’s trash!”), there are a handful of other people who ask when the next book is coming out, follow me on social media and say nice things, and buy whatever I put out. And this is thrilling! What an amazing feeling to have humans I’ve never met enjoying the things that I make up in my brain! And they’re so supportive and friendly…it’s wonderful. It makes it all worthwhile.
So now I can officially say I’m a writer, and I love that. But I feel like I’m only living the dream halfway, because I’m not doing it full-time. That’s the next goal, and it’s a “someday” goal. I deeply love my day job (in spite of the people who think my writing is so bad that I shouldn’t be a teacher! *insert a million laughing/crying emoji here so you can see what I think of that*) and I don’t want to quit that to write all day long yet, but…it’s in the future. I can see it: sitting in coffee shops with my laptop and the characters in my head; working in my writing room in the backyard with my storyboards and handwritten notes; books and books and books to my name. That’s when I’ll be living the dream all the way.
But for now–this is incredible and totally satisfying. I just released Book Six in the Christmas Key series this week–Baby, It’s Warm Outside–-and that felt like an incredible accomplishment. To think that I’ve somehow taken a story that started in my head ten years ago and turned it into nearly half a million words over the span of six novels and two novellas is…wild. To anyone who has read my books or just cheered me on–thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means everything to me to be living my dream even halfway, and it means even more that people care enough to be supportive! Thank you, thank you, thank you! <3
5 thoughts on “Living the dream…halfway.”
Hi Steph….I might be one of the few guys out there that read your Keys books so that makes me a bit of an oddity. But I tell you what. I really like “escaping” to that fictional island and characters. I’ve read them all and get bummed when I come to the last page. That’s a sign of a good writer! At least it is to me….off to Amazon to download it to my kindle….Steve in Colorado.
Ohhh, thank you! 😃 See, THESE are the comments that completely cancel out all the negatives! I hope you enjoy Book 6! Happy holidays to you and yours 🎄
HI I am new and I have not read any of your books yet but I am writing my first so I was going threw blogs to get Ideas on how to edit and publish and came across yours which sounds like me and what I am going threw at the moment. I have wanted to be a writing and have many life journals and am always reading and constantly come up with book titles and stories. I am writing from ideas in my head and have many drafts and would take me about a month to complete. The way I write people would tell me the same thing about sounding like a teen I pay them no attention. Thank you for sharing I will look your books.
– Sunshine in California, the bay area
It’s a wonderful journey to be on! Best of luck to you with your writing! 💗
😊 thank you
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