Writer. Author. Obstacles. Support.

I have always, always wanted to write a book. I still do. The feat of compiling 50,000+ words into a succinct, meaningful read, holding in my hands the actual book with a glossy cover, seeing it on a bookstore shelf, finding it offered for sale on Amazon, getting an email from someone who was inspired by reading it…oh my goodness, what dreams!

With so many questions, so many doubts, and so many excuses, I have sat here day after day with no pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) floundering about how to even go about it. I even let life get in the way of being a solid blogger. Neither my book efforts nor my blog efforts (not to mention my social media presence) has suffered because of stupid excuses and a meager effort. I want that to be different.

As of January 2023, the blog will start to look a little different. My social media presence will ramp up quite a bit. And my efforts at book writing will become much more purposeful and dedicated. Currently, I am working through a book that prepares writers for becoming authors (from organizing their thoughts to determining their desired readership to securing a publisher). Good stuff. I am excited about the possibilities!

As part of my book-writing research, I have had to identify my ideal reader. What does the person “look like” who wants to read what I write? I answered a battery of questions to come up with a profile. I’m happy with it. I will now be writing TO and FOR that person specifically. Other people? Well, I hope other people, regardless of differences in demographic, life experience, political affiliation, religious beliefs, or lifestyle can glean some nuggets of goodness from my writing, too. And if not…that’s ok!

What I’m preparing myself for is…

Critical people. I have been told already, critically, on several occasions, both in person and in the comments of my posts, that I “think too much”. Hello?! Exactly! Writing is an outlet. It helps me sift through all that stuff in my brain. You think I adore this hurricane in my mind?! Wouldn’t I love to turn it off?! Thank God for writing! That’s what writing is…thoughts…a lot of them…woven together.

People with strong differences. There are other people with thoughts similar to mine, people with shared anxieties and common experiences, who read my words and realize they are not alone. Writing creates a kinship. Everyone won’t relate to my writing, but somebody will.

People who argue. For whatever reason, some people will choose to argue whatever point I’m making and insert their two cents into the mix about how they feel I’m off base. Others may turn whatever I’ve written into a pissing contest. Yep, I imagine it’s just getting started, and I’ll have more of that to deal with.

Hear me out…I’m not whining. My skin has thickened and will continue to over time. I know that the Facebook Universe is a cesspool of trash thoughts, polarizing propaganda, and keyboard warriors. I had to identify my ideal reader, so naturally, I have to prepare myself for the opposite of that.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to write, expand my online platform, and increase my efforts toward publishing a book. Throughout the journey, do this for me, if you please…

Know that the writers (authors!) you follow, people like Shauna Niequist, Amy Weatherly, Mary Katherine Backstrom, Susanna B. Lewis, Whitney Fleming, and even Brene Brown, are just people. They are women who started off just like me, sharing their thoughts in hopes creating a kinship, making a friend, or changing a heart. They have families and children and problems and messy lives, and they’re just trying to realize a dream.

Know that people like me are on the ground floor of that same dream hoping we’re eventually elevated to author status! We are clawing to build the confidence necessary to call ourselves “writer” while hoping we ultimately level up to “author” all amidst building an online platform and struggling to carve out our place in the world among hundreds of others.

Know that YOU are a writer’s ideal reader. If you ever feel the urge to be discouraging, to be critical, to argue, you’re following the wrong writer. Find your niche. Find the writer who speaks to you. You don’t have to like everyone, even the “popular” ones. You don’t have to be a miserable, critical, discouraging cow either. Let go of the writers who aren’t a fit for you…even if that’s me.

Now…I’m learning quite a bit about becoming an author. (My goodness, just saying it in my head makes me tear up!) I’ll be changing up my blog, adding new content, committing to consistent posting, and dedicating more time to writing at length. My prayer is that I am surrounded and followed (at least right now as this journey takes off) by supportive people who believe in me. If you’re one of those, thank you. Thank you more than you know. Your kindness, each LIKE, each SHARE, each word of encouragement means so much.

Published by Amanda Herring, Writer

Practical wisdom, joys and pains, motivation and tough love, from the perspective of a Mississippi mom, traveler, business owner, goal crusher, substance seeker, and full-time dreamer

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