I’ve been afraid my whole life. When I was in school, from elementary to high school, I was bullied. I came from a poor family and didn’t have the right clothes, looks, or weight. I’ve always written. I used to make movie scripts for my Barbies and my cowboys and Native Americans plastic figures. It was just something I did. I didn’t think much on it. When I went to college, I pursued my dream of Equine Science, that’s horses in case you were wondering.
Due to finances, that dream didn’t work out for me. I came home from college after a year-and-a-half, feeling like an utter failure. Seeds had been planted in me though prior to my leaving. I’d watched three films that year: Stand by Me, Dirty Dancing, and The Lost Boys. They all made an impression on me, especially Stand by Me. I’d read Stephen King’s books for years but that movie solidified it for me: I wanted to be a writer. Never mind that I had no clue, I was determined to succeed where I’d failed before.
I bought craft books and practiced writing stories. I sent some in to fanfiction magazines in that day. Some were published. I couldn’t get a handle on the bigger market though. I married late in my twenties, unfortunately, to an abusive man. He was jealous of anything that took my attention from him, so I set my plans aside. Two children and much pain later, events happened that brought something I’d been lacking my entire life to the surface: courage.
Armed with that, I slowly began to re-build mine and my children’s life. I won’t go into the atrocities done to us. Suffice to say, nightmares plagued me for years afterward. As it did the kids. First, doctors thought I suffered from PTSD and then finally, with a family history on my dad’s side of such, bipolar. Once again, I thought my future was over. But a little voice inside of me began to make me dream again. From those dreams, a story was born. And then others.
In 2009, I decided to pursue writing again. Much had changed since I first wrote. I had a computer and that computer allowed me to meet up with other like-minded individuals. I found a wealth of information on writing that I didn’t have access to. I joined writing groups. Two of the most influential back then were RWA and HWA. Through another organization, I met a lady who owns YAFF (YoungAdultFictionFantics) and I joined the ladies there in learning how to critique and grew more levels in my writing. I started blogging back then as well. I spent a couple years on blogger in between during which I was hacked so I headed back to WordPress.
I’ve finished my eleventh book now and I’m debating on whether to go traditional or Indie. In a minute, I’d go Indie. What holds me back is what has always held me back: money. I’ve read that it costs a minimum of $1500.00 to put out a quality product. That’s just more than I can afford right now. I’m going to look at the traditional route again because of this for now, though it’s been a tough business to crack so far.
I have to start somewhere though. I can’t hide any longer. I want to be an author. Somehow, someway, I will reach that milestone: even doing it afraid.
Traci lives in Northeast Ohia and writes YA Fantasy, Scary, and Historical Romances. She is a member of YAFF (YoungAdultFictionFantatics) and regularly shares useful links for writers and readers on her blog, Where Genres Collide.
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