I Quit. I don't Quit. I'm Re-Adjusting My Sights | Sheryl Steines
I quit

I Quit. I don’t Quit. I’m Re-Adjusting My Sights

I quit.

I started writing my first book twelve years ago when I was forty. I pushed away the self-doubts and lack of confidence and sat down and created my world, my characters, my story. You see, this was a culmination of a dream I started when I was seven.

What I've learned since then, dreams are only achieved by two things, confidence and luck.

It took me a long time to find that confidence. Life sometimes gets in the way. A job, kids, husband, family, health issues. It's all there. It took a chance meeting at my twenty year class reunion to get myself into the author frame of mind.

It wasn't what I expected.

It was a combination of my class reunion and my love of Harry Potter that caused me to write my own fantasy series. There were ups and downs. I felt like I was riding at full speed on a roller coaster. I'm not exactly a fan of roller coasters to be perfectly honest.

I had good marketing help in the beginning, but I was new and I couldn't figure out a practical way to push off of any success and merely found myself rolling in the muck, not gaining traction, and not moving forward.

Marketing is hard. Social media is for the social extroverts. I nearly quit, several times. I published book one of my series three times. I published book four twice.

I've searched for better keywords, book descriptions, prices. I've done ads, and social media. I'm still spinning my wheels.

Quitting

It's hard when you know the dream is slipping away. It's hard to realize, there are certain skills you don't have control over and need in order to to get notices in the thousands of books like yours that flood the market daily.

I haven't quite admitted I've quit, and yet I have. I'm still writing. The likelihood I'll publish again is very small. And yet I'm still writing.

It feels like being a gambler, one more spin, one more hand. One more book.

Inspiration

I needed something to read. I heard about J.D. Robb. I've talked about this before, on social media and here. There was something about the series. Great characters, great story. I was immediately hooked and read all fifty book in three months at the same time I was releasing my fifth book.

It got me thinking. I decided to be a writer at seven, after reading Nancy Drew. A great female character who solved mysteries. It was the genre, the themes that drew me into reading and writing and here I was, following Lieutenant Eve Dallas, watching her life unfold as she battled evil.

I wanted more and started re-reading the books. And then I decided to search for similar authors and found the Stephanie Plum series written by Janet Evanovich.

Another female character, another life unfolding, more characters to love.

And it hit me. Really hit me that what I had been doing, was writing the genre I loved to watch on television, but wasn't crazy about reading. While there were fans of my series, I didn't fully understand the genre enough to make an impression in the world of urban fantasy.

Writing Again

I think as we walk our journeys through our lives, we need to find what makes us happy. Writing and creating makes me happy. I can never fully give it up. But the thing is, finding the right place to put my energies, the right characters…

I look back and sometimes wish I could re-write Annie and Cham into a non-magical, non-fantasy book and start over. But I won't. Instead, I will find that character that I think can reflect who I am and how I want to interpret my world, my issues, my journey.

My goal is to write the books that have so entertained me and left me wanting more. Surely I can write the books that I truly love.

I think the key is to find our passion. I can never truly quit. Instead. it's time to step back and re-evaluate and jump on a different path. I suppose I never really did quit. I just changed the course.

Escape reality in a new summer binge. The Wizard Hall Chronicles

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