Today is August 11th, 2014. Exactly one year ago I clicked “Publish” on my debut novel, Someone to Listen.
It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
I remember that moment vividly. My hand was shaking. My mind was racing at the implications of what I had done. My words and story were no longer just thoughts in my head or a file saved on my computer. The daydreams and experiences and tears I put into those blank pages became a self-published novel, cast out into the world for anyone to read. It left me feeling completely exposed, but it also made me realize something very important.
That’s what it means to be an author.
Authors put themselves out there, stepping outside the lines of what’s comfortable and telling the stories that would otherwise stay safely locked away inside one’s head. It’s easy to be consumed with fear and doubt at the thought of exposing the parts of us that would otherwise stay hidden, but the whole point of being an author is to overcome that worry and set the story free.
Even though the ups and downs of being an indie author make for a bumpy ride, I wouldn’t change the last year for anything. I faced my fears all over again and then some in self-publishing The Ransom Series, a story I’ve had in my head for a long time that took darker turns than I ever expected when I actually started putting it down on virtual paper. People found this series and fell in love with the characters and the crazy ride of the story, and it took off in a completely unexpected viral sort of way among readers. It did better than I ever could have dreamed.
If I hadn’t taken the plunge to put the story out there, though, I never would have experienced the success I’ve seen with this series. It all starts with taking that first step, and I’m so glad I overcame that fear and went down that path a year ago. I’m proud to be an indie author. I’m excited about what’s coming next. I’ll continue to put myself out there and step outside my comfort zone to get more stories out into the world.
This is only the beginning.