I was born to write.
It just took me a long time to realize it.
For those of you making New Year's resolutions, I offer the following missive of encouragement.
My report card categorized me as a slow reader in elementary school. But I didn't let the label keep me from creative writing. In fact, I excelled at it all the way through high school despite my frustrations with reading.
The desire to write continued to grow until, in my mid-twenties, I decided to write my first novel, Rise of the Dibor, despite my lack of a college education. The book was my first attempt at high fantasy—one that started me down the long road of becoming a full-time author. I am forever grateful to Pam Schwagerl and the fine people at Tsaba House, Inc. for taking a chance on me.
I went on to write and co-write six more novels over the next fourteen years, which included The Lion Vrie, Athera's Dawn, all three installments of The Berinfell Prophecies, and my first steampunk entry, The Sky Riders.
Despite all these books and the combination of both traditional and self-publishing, writing remained a side gig—one which I was proud of despite its inability to support me full-time.
By the fall of 2018, however, the winds of change stirred.
My wife, Jenny, had long encouraged me to pursue writing as a career. She was able to see what I could not, and I'm forever grateful for her keen insight and persistence in urging me toward the desire of my heart. Her strength, along with a midlife crisis, where the catalysts which would reshape my future.
By January 2019, I made the decision to leap into the unknown and pursue the elusive dream of writing for a living.
The drive to succeed helped me write three novels in six months, all while working a full-time job. Those books became the start of the Ruins of the Galaxy series, published with the USA Today bestselling author J.N. Chaney.
Today, I have almost two million words published across more than twenty novels, several of which are Amazon- and Audible-certified bestsellers and have reached #1 in their respective genres.
Along with my fiction, I will graduated this spring with a Master of Arts degree, and I'm looking forward to publishing my first non-fiction works in 2022.
My point is that while most people see our brightest moments and think, "Wow! That's so cool that you're an overnight success," even the most successful and talented people you know took years if not decades to become "great." The cool thing is recognizing that they were great long before the world paid them any mind.
Plan well. Work hard. Don't give up.