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Confessions of a 20-Something Author: Part 4

Everyone has felt the bite of rejection. It stings for a while and sometimes it's really hard to get over. Luckily, I'm not about to go into the best rejection letter I've ever received, because I've already been there and done that on my post called "Exits and Entrances".

The real reason why I made this four-part series in the first place is to tell everyone about my successes, not my failures. How I've overcome the hurdles in my (short, to some) life and came to where I am today.

No, I'm not a bestseller, but I'm published.
No, I don't make six figures a year, but I'm rich in creativity.

I hope you listen to my words and gain inspiration to find happiness in your life. This is my ultimate goal. I think this is my calling. The only way I can truly help others. Even though I'm currently on a hiatus from writing, I can still encourage other people to make their dreams come true. I've mentioned how you could overcome other people's expectations, how writing can take you away from the stress of everyday life, and how time could affect your creativity. Now, it's time to overcome your own fears and reach your greatest potential.

Yes, it hurts when the people closest to you doubt your ability to reach success, but when you doubt yourself the possible becomes impossible.

In 2008 or 2009 I asked my only friend on the planet to beta read my first book before it became self-published. I sent her the whole novel through email. A couple months went by and I didn't receive a single reply. I wrote her again and she said she was so busy that she couldn't get past the first chapter. The whole time I'm thinking, she must have hated it completely. This friend was an avid reader. She is the person who let me borrow "A Rose In Winter" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and hooked me on romance. Why would she let me down when I'm trying to become one of those authors she adores?

Let's just say it hurt. I got so emotional about it, I published the book without making sure it was the best it could be. I wanted my estranged family to read it. I wanted my coworkers to read it. I wanted the world to read it. I think it was a cry for attention or at least notice, because after they'd read it I asked for input/reviews, etc. Most of it was positive. They wanted me to write a sequel. Do you want to know why they felt this way? Because I knew them. They cared about my feelings. It became a personal reaction, not an unbiased assessment of my work. Of course, years later, I see every single flaw in that novel and it irks me to know I let this reach so many hands. I'm ashamed, rather.

Then I read the newest book on the bestseller's list and wonder why I can't write like they do. Why hadn't my published book get placed on the list? Maybe I hadn't done as much marketing/promotion as I could have. There are things that I could've done, but so many more things I could be doing.

The fact of the matter is there are things that are in my control and there are things that are beyond my control. Right now, I still write everyday, whether schoolwork or a blog or even a comment. I learn as much about the craft as I can and I take these skills to my own writing to improve the quality. This is all I can do for right now. Until I have a large outreach, this is all I have to do. What I can't do is force people to buy my book and expect readers to find me themselves. Writing is amazing, but it's a career for a reason. You have to build yourself to the top like everything else in life worth having.

So, you wanted the recipe for success? Well, here you go. Never give up, never surrender. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate every single one of you!

Happy writing!
Diva J.
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