A Decade of Professional Writing

I was sitting down to enter one of my works for awards consideration and was supposed to explain why I am deserving. This led to a long thought process. Awards host a strange energy. They mark achievements and help set new goals. But I’m also weary of them. Sometimes they build an ego too strong and the work suffers when a person thinks they are above criticism.

I know I deserve the successes I have met. Today, June 18th 2021, marks a special moment in time. I kind of wish I could pause it and frame it. Stand back and look outside of myself. 10 years ago today I published my first professional writing piece. The publication has since closed, but what it sparked burns inside me like a wildfire raging to take on the world.

Not to get too romantic, I never set out to be a writer. A couple of people asked me to write and publish my experiences. When I did, I was met with such warmth from individuals of various backgrounds and faiths that I just kept going.

In this time I went from a studious writer, obsessed with research and experimentation, to an author, teacher, and a friend for countless individuals ─ many of which I’ve never even met in person. The connections built through my writing have led to more magic and love than I ever dreamed humanly possible.

My career has been an uphill battle of trial-and-error.  I did not go to college for writing, nor am I from a literary family. Being dyslexic also makes authorship exceptionally difficult, but my love of people, words, and the powers that unify us all as living beings is at the heart of my work (no matter how many typos must be weeded out).

When I sit back and examine all of this, I half-fear I’m not deserving. Yet here I am typing away, always trying… moving forward.

This moment of pause is so melodramatic that I will soon have to sing some Weird Al and quote Pauly Shore or something, least I get too sentimental. Because after 10 years of writing, I’ve learned so much, yet I still change poopy diapers and plunge my toilet when it backs up.

10 years ago there is no way I would have thought that I would publish over 180 works, or that I would write hundreds more haha. I never dreamed that my writing would be featured in over a dozen books, or win a handful of pretty notable awards. I still can’t believe that 3 of the anthologies which chose to include my stories are #1 Amazon bestsellers.

It never occurred to me that I would be sitting here, unagented, and still signed and working with a worldwide publisher, or that a major news publication would hire me.Freelance or no freelance, “The Epoch Times” has been too good to me after I learned so much writing for “The New American.”

I always try not to take myself too seriously. There are plenty more rejections to come. Bad reviews lurking around the next corner. But even knowing that makes me smile. This is the path I fell into without really understanding what I was doing. This is where I belong. Writing. For you.

Excuse me while I go cut some onions and continue querying agents. They won’t accept me, but you have, so I just have to thank you… I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo great——full.

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