So I have been writing stories, journals, papers, magazines, etc. for about as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil or pen to a piece of paper. My writing only grew more frequent when I got access to a typewriter and then a computer… But through all of that, through all of those years, I haven’t done anything with my writing!
This blog was the first step I took toward truly getting my thoughts out there to the general public, but a blog isn’t the only thing I wanted to do; it isn’t even the primary thing I wanted to do (as far as writing is concerned).
I have one of the biggest folders on my computer that you will probably ever see filled with various different stories that I have been writing throughout the years. As of this moment, two of them are complete. One I started writing back in seventh grade and I could never really bring myself to go back and rewrite it to not sound like it was written by a seventh-grader. The second, I finished over a year ago and I had a couple of friends read it, kept editing it and fixing continuity errors (well, one major one), and in October, I entered it into a writing contest. You may not think this is a big deal, but I never really thought I would put my writing out there for other people to read. I was too afraid that it would alter how they looked at me–I know this seems sort of silly, but I’m comfortable with the way I interact with people and the parts of my personality that each person sees….
So the announcement of the winner of the contest was coming up and I had only told one person, my best friend, that I had even entered the contest (which I’m sure he forgot soon after I told him). I made a deal with myself: If I didn’t win, I was going to self-publish. I’d done all of the research (it’s out there and it’s great so I’m not going to repeat it here), figured out what I wanted to do, and the contest winner was announced…. I didn’t win. I wasn’t even sad or upset about it. It was my first time entering a writing contest, and I couldn’t expect to win my very first contest. I did keep to my word though, and I set to work creating my book cover from photos I had taken (so it’s entirely my own concept–this made me really happy for no particular reason other than the fact that the book in its entirety is my very own), and I self-published through Kindle.
I am still freaking out about it, I’m not going to lie, but I cannot express my gratitude for the supportive comments I have received from people. I’m still worried that people who read it will see me differently–there are a couple of intense moments in the book–but I did it, and despite my slight “freak out” I’m not going to take it back.
I can’t express how important it is to follow your dreams as long as they don’t hurt anyone else. My parents taught me that I could do anything I wanted to do, and I greatly thank them for that, because it helped me believe that I could publish this book and put it out there for the world to see.
I’m linking to it, in case anyone is interested. But the point of this particular blog post is that it is completely worth it to take the big leap and pursue your dreams when you can. I encourage you to do research so that you don’t get swept away and lost in all of the craziness of the world, and so that you don’t get pulled into any kind of scam. Fight past the sense of panic you might feel, find a friend to confide in, and go for it! I wish you only the best of luck.