Am I a Writer Now?

It’s been almost a year (!) since I updated this blog. I just got busy with life, you know how it is, and I stopped making writing a priority. I’ve only had very mild successes and I kind of was just giving up on myself. Even though there’s literally been nothing else I’ve ever wanted to do or be than a Writer. Capital “W,” as in someone who is acknowledged and paid as a professional.

But as I neared the end of my 30’s, I began to believe that I was the only one who agreed.

Every now and then I’d dig out an old children’s story I wrote and illustrate it and make half-hearted attempts at self-publishing it (I decided to stop seeking agent representation and traditional publishing a long time ago for various reasons, which I may discuss in a future blog). But when it came to the logistics of self-publishing (wtf is bleed? Trim? Gutters? How do I get an ISBN? Do I even need one? Why won’t this stupid site accept my upload??? ARGGG!) I’d just give up.

I tried Barnes & Noble Press. I tried Ingram Spark. I tried Amazon KDP. I gave up on them all. I sat at my desk and cried. I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. I lay on the couch and cried. Not all at once, but over the course of several months. Just whenever I mustered the strength to sign up with a new self-publisher and was subsequently thwarted by an ineligible PDF.

And then the day came where my husband had had enough. He had some down time at work which left him with some daytime hours to spare. He also is incredibly gifted at figuring out computer-y, technical stuff. He reads code with the same ease second-graders read The Adventures of Captain Underpants. He told me to just give him all my files and he would have a crack at it. Through snot-covered lips, I snuffled, “Okay.”

He also immediately experienced brick walls (mostly due to my completely incorrect formatting when I was illustrating all my books) but instead of rebounding off into the street to wither and die like I did, he just calmly stepped over and kept going.

And…he did it. Every single one of my books is now currently being printed and we should have our proofs next week. I ache to hold my books in my hands, just like when I was pregnant with each of my kids. I want to see them, smell them, hold them against me. I want to show them off to all my friends with the same enthusiasm I had for my son and daughter – “I made this! Well, John helped.”

Oh, and we also started an LLC so that we can help other writers accomplish what we did. More details on that in a future blog, as well.

I wanted to share all this today because I think it’s so important to recognize the power of having just one person believe in you. Just one other person to stand beside you and help you accomplish your dreams. I’m so incredibly lucky to have found and married My Person. For other people, that Person can be a friend, mentor, parent, or even an agent. You may have to pay for that support and that’s okay. Just because you’re paying someone for their supportive services (such as a therapist), that doesn’t mean they don’t have a vested interest in you and want to see you succeed. So if you’re stuck in a funk from which you can’t escape, ask for help! Don’t be like me and just give up.

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