It's the end of another month! Really? Time goes fast. We all know that, though, so I'm not saying anything new. I like to close out the end of every month by focusing on a member of the author community in some way.
This week I was blessed to have a guest post from Self Published Author, Angelique Anderson. Angelique has written a number of books including a good few YA novels and some Sci-Fi and Fantasy. She is best known for her "Little Lost Girl" Series and is currently working on a Steampunk series and a Science Fiction trilogy.
It is clear from her large backlist and her varied genres that Angelique likes to chase her passions in writing and it has worked out well for her. Because of that, I asked her to share with us about writing what you love and loving what you write. Here are her thoughts.
Writing what you love, and loving what you write.
If you had told me five years ago that I would be where I am, I wouldn't have believed you. I wouldn't have believed that I would become so passionately involved in writing that it would be one of the deepest loves of my life after God and family.
I was so full of a dream I thought I wanted then, there wasn't room for anything else. See, I thought that I wanted to be a singer... I was living in Tennessee pursuing that dream, actually. Then, life has a way of stopping you so suddenly in your tracks and changing your mind that you wonder why you are doing what you are doing at all.
My husband's father had a stroke. With him in California and us in Tennessee, we knew it was time to stop pursuing what we thought we wanted and come home. I guess it was the almighty's way of nudging me in the right direction.
We left Tennessee, packed up all of our things and moved back to California. What does this have to do with writing what you love and loving what you write?
Well, I'd always been a writer.... poetry... songs.... short stories.... etc... but the problem was, I was so many other things too. I was a singer, (at one point I wanted to be an actor) I was an artist, I was a craftsperson.
The thing was that none of those equaled career to me. So when we moved back to California, I had to face some hard truths. Which of all things I thought I loved, could I fully throw my heart into and do passionately. I stripped everything away and realized that I only had one real love, and that was writing.
When I realized it was all I had left, I stopped caring about what other people though. I stopped caring about all the little side things I liked doing and threw myself into it 150%. It was the best decision I ever made.
The more I wrote, I the more I loved it. The more I got into the stories, the more I realized it was what I should have been doing all along. I had to stop caring about the fear of failure that came with letting go of my other dreams and admit... I was not a singer or any other number of things. I was a writer.
From there, after I got out the stories weighing in my brain... I had to take it step further. What did I really adore writing about? This one was a hard one because I felt that as a faith-based writer, I should be writing faith-based fiction.
I also have a troublesome history that included being abused, foster care, and etc... so I felt there was a pressure on me to stay true to those topics.. but that was just something I went through, it wasn't who I am as a writer.
At first, I wrote what I thought people might expect. The funny thing is, I had the passion for the writing, but I didn't know who I was and I was still trying to please other people with my life choices.
When I stripped away what I thought people wanted from me, and when I stripped away what I thought was the norm... who I really was, and what I really loved writing about was underneath it all.
I think everyone goes through something similar at every big crossroads in their life. They have to strip away what they think people want and do what is in their heart of hearts to do. This is difficult because there has to be a certain level of acceptance.
I think that acceptance of oneself is the biggest step, once you accept who you are and that it's okay to write what you are passionate about, it opens a whole other world. Then you have to accept, sometimes we have to do what we are good at, rather than doing something we are just okay at, to make a difference.
Five years later, I have eight books out, a small but steady income every month. (Very small) I do several cons a year, and I enjoy meeting all the wonderful new people I meet regularly. So be encouraged, none of us get it right at the very start.
Failure doesn't necessarily signify the end of something, it could mean the beginning of something wonderful. Also, don't be afraid to reach out if you need a friend.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, happy writing friend!!