How Hardships Often Lead to Beautiful Destinations

Last night, in the overcast sky, I test-drove my car, since we replaced my brother’s air vent under the hood with mine and I took his damaged, duct-taped vent. So, I drove out to the old baseball fields and back home.

Yet, as I veered off a backroad and onto another backroad I couldn’t help but notice the winding road I previously took cut into the trees, and above it, the endless horizon. As someone who loves nature, especially beautiful nature shots, I pulled my car over and snapped a picture, which I used as the featured image to this article.

But, it made me think, this road leads to somewhere special. That somewhere special is a small town I’ve used as a past featured image: Wintersville, Ohio, which if you’d been following my blog long enough, is the town Richfield, North Columbia is based on.

For those of you who don’t know, Richfield, North Columbia serves as my main setting in Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights, set to be released via KDP Select (also available in paperback) on August 1st, something I’m calling a soft launch before I revert to open publishing come November 1st, with Book Two (Swords of Destiny) going into KDP Select.

A Long, Winding Road to Somewhere Special

I look back in hindsight to 2016, where I was making a comfortable living as a personal trainer, a year which also served as my high-water mark, all the way to today, July 23rd, 2017. Things are quite different. Money isn’t coming in like it used to, as I’ve decided to go with heart over logic and pursue my long-dormant dream of making a living off writing and research.

It involved me pursuing such a road full-time, without a look in the rearview mirror, except when I take a ride down memory lane, as I’m doing today. But, this picture meant so much more to me, as it symbolizes not a single one of us will be facing a long, winding road to nowhere forever.

Instead, that long, winding road to somewhere leads to somewhere special; somewhere we’ve never been before, somewhere uncertain, but somewhere much more beautiful than what we’ve left behind.

In other words, I know the road I’m on, as dangerous as it is sometimes, and as uncertain the place is I’m driving, will lead to something far better than what I’ve left in the dust; the training career that once held so much promise, but the corporate ironclaw sucked the passion straight out of me…though I still love to workout. In fact, a writer should probably consider a daily workout if they’re seated often. Not only will it keep your body strong, but it’ll also refresh your mind, two musts in the writing industry.

So, as I continue to separate myself from training and dedicating myself to writing, hardships are definitely going to be the case, as they are for anyone “crazy” enough to think they can succeed in their passion, but you know what, it’s been stress-free, considering the amount of work required.


Stress Free?

Put it this way, and Jerry Jenkins said it best: Writing is like running a marathon, and he’d take the marathon sometimes over writing.

Well, not me, because even though I like running in the summertime, I’d probably die if I had to run 26.2 miles.

But I see Jerry’s point. Writing is like running a marathon. We have a great premise, an awesome, sometimes twisty ending, but man, the marathon of the middle is tough. However, I found, and Stephen King is the expert at this, a way to keep the marathon of the middle fun, exciting, and stress-free: Keep putting your characters into terrible trouble and write to find out what happens.

I love this, especially since I identify as a pantster, someone who writes by the seat of their pants, and not an outliner, though I do try to outline via a synopsis and put an idea or two in my brainstorming as I figure out where I’m going with each chapter. So, in that case, I’m really an outliner-turned pantster somewhere in the middle of my novel.

I found this out while writing Swords of Destiny (I wrote the first three manuscripts before I even thought about releasing Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights), where I’ll be vague and state something was supposed to happen but something else happened and I loved it, so I went with it, even if it affected the remainder of the whole series, however many more books I decide to write on Lord of Columbia.

Anyway, what I’m getting to is despite the amount of work, thought, editing, plot-hole avoiding, editing again, proofreading, finding more mistakes and editing again, I thoroughly enjoy this and take on the mindset that anything most find stressful, I find as a blessing. For instance, if I uncover a tiny grammar error in an edit, I’m thankful I found it before someone else (a reader) finds it.

As for book marketing and promoting, I looked at several avenues, and for many, it seems like an uphill battle, which I sympathize with myself, since I’m very new at all of this. However, everyone has to go through growing pains, and though trial and error, I’ll eventually know what needs to be done, and what doesn’t.

However, I found a few awesome places online that really help: JustPublishingAdvice, run by Derek Haines, and The Creative Penn, run by Joanna Penn. Let me tell you, these two sites answer just about every single question about the business side of writing I have. And it’s, for the most part, free info. Both happen to be amazing writers with a large following, too…or I should say, authorpreneurs.


Success Stories

I love reading indie-author success stories. People go one way or another regarding such stories. Your jealous crowd will always state that these people are lucky and that’s why they’re where they are. I disagree; they are where they are because they embraced something called chaos. Again, I find it stress-free because I’m not only willing to take it on, but I know it’s coming.

It’s like being a Browns fan…I’m going to have a lot of fun watching them play this year, but I know it’s going to be a seventeen-week season and they’re going to finish somewhere between 0-16 and 3-13. But hey, they might actually have something brewing this year…Jarvis Landry, Duke Johnson, Tyrod Taylor, Josh Gordon’s coming back (though he’s starting camp on the R-NFI list), and a defense that actually looks NFL-caliber despite last year’s record, but anyway, I can see the losses coming. However, I can also see a lot of wins coming from this group. I didn’t even mention Baker Mayfield!

But, what I’m getting to is this: Each successful author has made mistakes. They’ve had highs, lows, and mostly lows, when starting out. However, determination, grit, toughness, and the never-say-die attitude is what has made them succeed, will make me succeed, and will make you succeed.

And that’s how a long, winding road leads to somewhere special.

I’d like to thank all of my readers for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.