I don’t normally post anything on Wednesdays, but Anthea just e-published her short story collection and I thought you would like to hear about her process and her work. Check out her blog for more of her wonderful fiction.
Hi everybody! I’m your guest Daydreamer for the day, Anthea.
Laura is awesome, and I love her blog, so I was thrilled when she invited me to write this guest post. You see, I’ve just published my very first e-book, and Laura’s one of the people who helped me to stay motivated and actually do it!
Now, while I think it’s pretty cool that I put together a short story collection and e-published it, I think how I’ve gotten this far is pretty cool, too. Not inborn talent, or being “found” or anything like that – just finally finding the determination to own my daydream of becoming an author and doing what I can to make it happen!
I’ve enjoyed making up stories for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been writing them down for as long as I’ve been able to write, which means that I’ve been practicing for over 30 years now. For most of that time, though, I was convinced that I didn’t have what it took to be a professional writer.
Of course, I didn’t really know what it took, either. In my head, becoming a writer was something that might magically happen to you, if you were lucky. It wasn’t until I finally admitted that I want to be a writer that I started looking for ways to make it happen. I look back and think I was silly to take so long to get to that point, but I think a lot of us stop ourselves from pursuing our dreams because we don’t think we’re good enough, or special enough, or fill-in-the-blank enough.
For 2010, I decided I needed focused practice, so I set myself the challenge of posting a short story online every single week, with Laura and other friends there to keep me honest. I succeeded, and let me tell you, you can learn a whole lot just by doing! Even when things didn’t come out how I planned, or maybe especially when they didn’t, I was constantly learning, both from the process of writing and from other people’s comments on my work.
After I finished the Story a Week Challenge in December, I felt a little lost for a while. I had claimed and proclaimed my goal of becoming a professional author, but I wasn’t sure what my next step should be. I think some part of me was scared of moving forward, and indecision was the perfect way of putting off making progress…
Anyway, I mentioned the idea of a short story collection a few times. My husband pointed out after a few weeks that I was talking, but not doing. Laura said “Do it!” with great enthusiasm, and asked when she could read it. So of course, I had to follow through.
It was easier to do the revising and editing and cover design than it was to get over my trepidation at the thought of actually taking that step; from offering free stories to putting them in a store for money, even $0.99. Now, though, I can’t wait to get to work on the next one!
If you enjoy fantasy, science fiction, and general weirdness, come visit me at AntheaStrezze.com.
Have you ever had trouble claiming a dream, or been afraid to show other people something you made? What did you do to keep moving forward?