When I chose to begin a career in writing back in 2011, it was laughable. Truly. I loved to read, but aside from that I knew nothing. I admit it. I knew absolutely nothing about the business, how to format an eBook or even what type of program to use. So obviously, when I told the few important people around me about dreams of writing, I was presented with the generic stamp of approval. Little did I know how a single decision could impact my life so drastically.
As time went on, and more people around me began to learn of my dreams of publishing work, they wanted to know more about it. And of course I played it down. I’m humble in that respect. Simply telling anyone who asked that it wasn’t a big deal. And such was life for nearly two years. Taking care of my kiddos during the day while my wife made real money, and skipping sleep at night to pursue a dream. I wasn’t making any real money(at least not much), and the bills continued to pile in. Those “friends” around me began to whisper. Began to sell tickets to my failure in the world of writing.
But instead I published my first book.
The truth is, when I published my first book it changed something inside of me. Triggered something. God knows I wasn’t making much money, but I was making a little. Most importantly, it was doing something I loved. And trust me, after nearly twenty years of hating my jobs, it was a welcome change. Life was the most fulfilling it had ever been.
Then it happened. I began to see a downside to the business, one I never saw coming. Authors began to single my work out, leaving negative reviews and even going as far as to email me ahead of time. An effort to kill off my growing sales. People around me began to point to the path of getting a “real” job. I lost friends. Some of them longtime friends, others a welcomed departure. And with three books in print, I was strongly considering laying the writing down for a “real” job. Something that would help my wife a lot more than royalty checks. And then the most amazing thing happened. My wife read the first part of Guardian Angel, which at the time was just a rough draft. And the self-proclaimed hater of science fiction loved it. She encouraged me to keep at it. She said things would eventually happen.
They did. I’ve lost a lot of friends in the past year alone. Some of it because they don’t understand that writing is “real” work, and others because I just couldn’t meet up for beers on a regular basis. The writing beckoned. But today I truly realized that I have made a lot of friends as well. Some of them deeply rooted in the business, and others vicious supporters of my work. And today, finally, I landed my first sign of hope. A decent check.
Nothing outstanding, which is alright. I’m not an outstanding writer yet. I’m a pretty good one who works his tail off, and has been for a couple of years now. I am also blessed to have the support of my wife, a handful of best-selling authors and a group of readers that I wouldn’t trade for anything! I have two wonderful kids who amaze me each and every day, and I have a brand new outlook on things.
I will succeed.
And in doing so, I will not apologize because I enjoy what I do. I will not apologize because I love my job, especially to those who cannot stand their situation and would use me as a whipping post. I am truly, to the pit of my soul, happy. The happiest I have ever been, and it is because the world of writing has allowed me to finally earn a living while helping me weed out the trolls in my life.
I want to thank everyone who has ever supported my work, through purchases or helping to spread the word. Because without you, I would be back in some warehouse or cubicle slaving away to someone telling me what I’m worth an hour. Instead, I answer only to God, my family and my readers. And that’s alright by me. Now if you’ll excuse me, my office awaits(pictured below).