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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Milestones in My Life As an Author

First but not acted upon, or even thought of AS a milestone, was my mystery short story, a homework requirement for a junior high English class.  (It wasn’t called middle school back then!)  My teacher singled out my work as an honorable mention in front of the whole class.  The only one, too.  I thought, yeah.  And moved on.  I didn’t even save a copy of it.  Where would my writing career be today if I had taken the gift I had from the beginning of my life and started working on developing it and marketing it right away?  Well, I’d be further along.  Still no reason not to continue on now. 

This one event proves how dismissive we are about our unique skills and talents.  Don’t do that with yours.

However, I am not sure my writing career would have done too well back then, before the advent of the Indie-publishing avalanche we are in now.  Timing.  My time seems to be 2011 and into the future.  I am one happy woman to participate in, to belong to, this inventive and creative amalgamation of authors who have additional freedoms to invoke.

In my twenties, in the interim between that first and the upcoming second milestone, I wrote some short stories (or more correctly, I wrote stories that stopped at page twenty-five, not ended, but stopped)—none of which I saved apparently, ARGH!—and I was also reading like crazy.  Couldn’t get my fill of other peoples’ books.  But I often had the response to these stories, “I could do that too” or “I could do that better” or even more amazing and hypnotic, "I don't want the story to end yet.  I want to live in it.  I want to be surrounded by these people and call them friends."  I yearn to write those kind of books.

Second milestone was when I finished a short story and submitted it to a contest.  My one and only contest submission.  I did not win.  Still, I finished a story.  Do you know how many people wish to write a story and never do?  It may be the number one career goal out there (per one goals coach whose uplifting emails I receive daily).  I wish I had written down the exact date of that contest.  I may have it somewhere.  My best guess is March 1997.

Third milestone for me was finishing a novel-length book in NaNoMo 2009.

Fourth milestone was finishing a second novel.  That feat erased the fleeting worry that I was just a one-book wonder.

Fifth milestone was uploading my two nonfiction books to Amazon on March 27, 2011.

Sixth was uploading both nonfiction books to Barnes & Noble on April 27, 2011.

Seventh was receiving my first royalty check on May 27, 2011.

I am working on my eighth . . . .

You should be working on yours as well.  Time passes whether you reach for your goals or not.  The difference is, just during the first six months of this year, I already have accomplished three milestones.  How fantastic is that?  By the end of 2011, I hope to add a few more. 

Join me.

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