Finding Success Doing What You Love
(It was an Apple IIe.)
The pale keys against my stubby fingers were cool and smooth. I looked in wonder at the greenish screen. My friend Pam was the luckiest girl in the whole world to have access to such a thing. Back then we were really into the TV Show Scarecrow & Mrs. King. We spent our days detailing out our own “Spy Central” and I can only hope now that we’re grown with kids of our own that our pinkie swear to never share the details of this special operation, has expired.
When she got the computer we talked about how it, added with our 110 cameras we’d earned from selling products in our school’s last fundraiser, and our ‘uncrackable secret code’ definitely gave us the intel gathering edge in the war against local gossips and troublemakers. From our headquarters (Pam’s Bedroom) we set out to be the neighborhood’s most elite spy team.
This, combined with our love of Scarecrow & Mrs. King, eventually lead me to do something that later in life many other pre-teen kids would do: Fan Fiction. Every chance I got, I sat down at Pam’s Apple and wrote my little heart out. Now, she’ll be quick to tell you that my story may have had a few holes in it (such as the hero’s knowing the name of the Chinese Super-Villain even before he introduced himself… but hey, the WERE spies) but it had passion. For me, it took a hobby that had only really been oral up to that point, and made it something I could see myself doing as profession. Telling stories.
Because what’s cooler than an international spy,
his silver corvette, and a normal housewife?
My name is DeAnna Ross. I’m 36 years old and I’m a mother of a beautiful 6 year old little girl. My husband and I moved from Michigan to Missouri about 13 years ago and as a day job I work at my local Chamber of Commerce as an Executive Assistant (which means I pretty much cover whatever needs doing!) And, even now, I still tell stories – on computer, in games, and to my friends & family. And this year, I’m going pro.
What does that mean? It means taking something I love and treating it like a real job. Only with this I have to enforce my own deadlines, ensure I show up to work every day (ie: research, write, edit, build my customer base, and market my goods), and since I’m my own boss I have to be sure to know the ins and outs of what it will take for my business (books) to be successful.
Seems daunting right? Well, it’s all in how you look at it. In truth, you could see this as no different than my childhood game of “Spy Central.” As kids, Pam and I certainly jumped into our game with passion and drive, but even playing it took real honest work.
When we decided we needed those 110 cameras to catch evil doers in action, our friends were playing at the park and riding bikes… but we walked house to house peddling goods out of a catalog. Which, if you ask sometime, I’ll tell you all about that misadventure! Selling all those items ate hours of our time because we did it ourselves. We didn’t have parents driving us around or doing it for us. We learned that if you really love something, working for it is its own joy. The same goes for being an author.
Sad as it is to say, I didn’t just wake up with information rattling around in my head about websites, social media, marketing in general, good writing practices, etc. I am so blessed to attribute all the skills I have to reading the advice of others… a lot. And not just actual practice – but lots and lots of failed attempts. Truth be told I’m still learning about these things every day. Everything you want to know, everything you NEED to know about a becoming a successful author is out there. You just need to take the time to find it, read it, practice it, and learn it.
Invest in your career.If you REALLY
want to do this, it’s worth it.
“But Dee, I don’t have time in my day to write, do my normal family and job stuff,
and then learn all that other stuff too!”
Well, that may be true. We’re all very busy, but try to accept that it’s not going to happen in a day, a week or a month. Everything worth doing right, takes time & you weren’t born with perfect grammar, spelling, and knack for twisting a good yarn. It took time and effort. The other stuff will too.
Read a blog on the topics you need to learn about when you take your morning coffee or just before bed. Bring your phone to the potty and read there… yes, go ahead & laugh, but then realize I’m serious. If you LOVE something, you WILL make time for it. You can do this. I know you can. Even if it’s only one thing a day you learn, you will eventually master it.
And, because we’re on this journey together, feel free to come by my blog. I’m trying to give back the way others gave to me (by sharing information I’ve learned.) I’d LOVE to hear from you about what you’ve learned along the way too, so don’t be shy. Leave a comment and a link to your blog. Supporting each other is an important part of the process too. Plus, it’s much more fun together. Imagine how sad “Spy Central” would have been if it was me all alone and Pam hadn’t been there?!?
You SOOOO got this, Babe!
I’m currently working on what will be my first published work. It’s a short contemporary romance for a Summer Release Anthology by the great ladies at the Writing Wenches blog. My plot deals with something near and dear to my heart – renewing romance in your marriage. I love a good story about a couple overcoming a rough go of things and coming together again – so that’s what I’m telling.
I’ve also just joined Wattpad where, every Sunday, I’ll be releasing a new chapter in a story I’m writing for fun called: Arcadia Jane & the Infinity Crisis. It’s my first attempt at a young adult sci-fi piece. I’d really love for you to come check it out and follow along as I discover how it’s all going to end (okay, I know the ending, but I’m not telling. LOL. It’s the getting there part which will be a discovery for me as I’m posting literally as it’s written!) Point is, like you, I live to entertain people and I’d LOVE to know if you enjoy what I’m producing.
In closing, I just want to say thank you to Chris the Story Reading Ape for letting me guest blog and for his continued support of my dream. It’s really appreciated. What you & other book/author bloggers do for the writing community can’t be understated. It’s so very important.
To all you aspiring authors out there: Keep your chins up writers. We’re all going to be published authors someday. Just stay focused and remember to have some fun doing what you love today.
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