Writing has been one of the most fulfilling things in my life; creating worlds, bringing them to life and telling my characters’ stories. But I’ve had my fair share of bumps along the way.
My very first book actually took me eight years and four rewrites before I was finally satisfied with the finished product. Bear in mind, I wasn’t just writing during those eight years, I was also reading every book I could get my hands on covering the craft of writing and raising. I wanted to be well educated in the science of forming a plot and characters and bringing them to life. Giving them hearts and minds that my readers would connect with.
So, after eight years, I’d finished my book and was agonizing over what to do next. How would I manage sending off my manuscript only to wait months for a reply? What if publishers didn’t like me or refused to give me the time of day? What if this masterpiece I’d worked so hard on never ended up seeing the light of day?
Thankfully, I attended a signing for Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire and Tammara Webber and was introduced to the world of indie publishing. A world that has opened so many doors and created countless inimitable friendships. A world that I finally leapt into in June of 2014.
But the indie world has come with its own share of ups and downs. It’s required a great deal of perseverance and sheer determination. I’ve had the high of finishing that first book. The support of an incredible editor who helped me hone the skills I’d been studying for years. And a cheering squad that has helped push me through to start the next story.
Unfortunately, writing in the indie world isn’t just about getting to “The End.” There’s so much more to being an indie author. A business side that borderlines entrepreneurial. I found that writing my book was actually the easy part. What I agonized over for eight years only scratched the surface of the work that had to be done moving forward.
As an indie author, I have to be relevant. I have to get my name out there through networking, social media and with the help of a very spirited support system. I have to constantly promote myself through takeovers, blog tours and advertising. And I have to write the next book.
I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and even felt like giving up a time or two. So, why did I keep writing? Deep within, there was a voice that told me to keep going; to push past the anxiety and crushing disappointment when things didn’t go exactly how I’d imagined. I had to find the gumption that set me on this path in the first place, to continue doing what I love.
You see, writing isn’t for the faint of heart, especially as an indie author. I’ve found that one of the hardest things I’ve faced is finding the ability to be vulnerable enough to lay my heart out on the page for the world to see. During the writing process, I’ve had moments that make me laugh and I’ve found myself in tears from the very words I set in motion.
Writing is all-encompassing, pulling emotions from every corner of your being. It will be the reason you get up in the morning, ready to write the next page and it will keep you up at night, demanding you get back to work as your mind is inundated with ideas that are too good to forget.
Writing is the driving force in my life. It has me pressing on, eager to tell that next story, desperate to succumb to another world of my own creation. The characters become like friends, telling me their deepest, darkest secrets to share with the world. They are relentless, demanding my attention, sometimes at the most inopportune times. And while I grumble over hours of lost sleep or the needy main character that just won’t back down, I love the thrill of another page, another chapter, another story. Writing is in my blood. It’s what I do and it’s who I want to be for as long as I live.
Ava Wood - Young Adult Author
Ava Lynn Wood - Contemporary Author
Down to Earth Romance
Author of Lies in Love, the Gulf Breeze series, In a Dream, the Limelight series, Azure Embers, the Daly Dating Duo, Predestined, Burning Love, Broken in Battle and the Broken by the Sea trilogy.
Listen to Ava Lynn Wood's podcast episode here.