Guest Blog by Maggie Grinnell
I did not know I wanted to be a writer until college. I wanted to be a vet and work with animals. I applied for a vet assistant job. When I was told I would have to assist the vet in putting animals down, I decided that was not the profession for me. Therefore, I decided it was time to find another passion. I had a passion for reading but could not find a job where I would be paid to read full time. Therefore, I decided to write fiction. I have a wild imagination already (as I have been told by my friends). I started writing about my high school adventures. In addition, before I knew it, I came up with great ideas for some new fiction stories that were suspenseful. I looked up to suspense writers like Dean Koontz and Mary Higgins Clark whom I both met. So writing suspense fiction became my new passion. Now I do not write novels because as a reader, I want to get to the end of the story without many details. So my stories were about 2,000-5,000 words which is considered short stories in the writing world.
I wrote a short story in college that after reading it, I tossed it away. I did not think it was good enough to submit and be published. I remembered that story 10 years later and completely rewrote it. I submitted it and it was my first published story. Therefore, I stuck with short suspense fiction for a while. Then I turned to writing for children, which I think, is my ‘writing voice.’ I have read articles where it is good to find your ‘writer voice’. I connected with a self-publisher and have published three children’s picture books to date. Now these books are only on Amazon but in my dreams that are in Barnes and Noble.
After I got my first children’s book published, that is when the writer’s envy came out. I compared my book with not only other children’s authors but other authors as well. I did not think my book was good enough. That writing envy did not leave until I wrote my next children’s book. Of course, when the second book came out, the green-eyed monster rose repeatedly I compared my book to other authors. My envy deepened when I read a book that I loved and that author has had much success and recognition. I wanted that too. I know I would have to work for success but I felt my stories could do just as well.
Therefore, I tried promoting my books in other venues that I normally would never try. Those venues kind of work. I am still trying to promote myself to get my books out for the world to read.
After my third book came out, I tried to not be envious but envy came back. This time, I told myself that I am a writer and love words and that is all that matters.
Therefore, for those writers/authors who get envious, just remember your love of writing and believe in your work. It may take time as in my case but that envy will go away and you will be happy with what you wrote.