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Merriam-Webster defines author as “the writer of a literary work (such as a book).” Okay, that works for me. I’ve written a book, A 2020 Story. It’s just not published yet. That is the next step. I’ve also written a children’s book, too, called Ginger. It’s just not published yet. So, it is okay if I call myself an author and make an author website like I am being told to do if I want to find a traditional publisher for my work.

Can I really call myself an author? This is just one of the insecurities that creeps in when one is considering trying to publish work. Here are a few more. Is my writing good enough? Who will want to read this? Will people make fun of me? Will it just be a waste of time and money? Are there more important things I should be doing with my time? Will putting my work out to the world make me unhappy, uncomfortable, or make me feel unloved, unworthy, or just plain silly for thinking I had a shot. Is this a selfish endeavor? Will people think I’m vain if I make a website about myself and my writing? Why am I even doing this?

Deciding to put one’s writing out into the world for all to see feels like being a middle school student, walking through the halls of judgement during those painfully self-conscious years. Being a middle school teacher, I encounter those insecurities in my students every day. I’m just not used to feeling like I am back in middle school again myself.

Putting my own writing out for the world to see has put me back into the position of being the learner. Learning can be scary and uncomfortable. There is so much I don’t know.

When I first decided to write a book called A 2020 Story based on my daily Facebook postings in the year 2020, I had no idea what I was getting into. Writing that book took me a year to sort, organize, and actually sit down and write the book. Then I decided to try to get it published. I had no idea what that involved. What is a query letter? What is a book proposal? How do I find an agent?

After a year of sending out queries, I got many rejections and a few good pieces of advice. This was part of a rejection email I received that inspired me to look into creating an author website.

“Thank you so much for writing me regarding A 2020 STORY. I like your book idea and I think it has potential. I wish I could pursue representation, but unfortunately the large publishers with whom I work require a more fully-developed platform.

I encourage you to continue building. It isn’t about promoting yourself, but about serving others and meeting real needs, about connecting with your target reader. I would advise taking another year or so to share your message and serve others while building your social media numbers, at which time you could have a shot at a major publisher.

You could also choose to go with a smaller publisher that requires neither an agent nor large platform numbers. A great place to search is QueryTracker or Manuscript Wishlist.

I wish you the best in your writing journey.”


So, this is where I am. With every rejection letter I received, I felt like there were a few that were offering encouragement and some wise advice. I decided to take this agent’s advice and build an author website. I discovered quickly that I am not a website designer and decided to invest a little bit of money into myself and my writing and hire an expert to design the website for me. I’m glad I did.

I’m still nervous about chasing this dream. But isn’t that what dream chasing is supposed to feel like? Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. I’m learning so much every single week.