The most profitable aspect of writing has little to do with money. When I began my writing journey, I believed I might make enough profit to buy…repair…solve… To fill in some blank in my life. Yet, during the ten years, I’ve been writing and publishing novels, non-fiction inspirational reflections, poems, and short stories, I’ve discovered the real blanks that writing filled. Very little cash involved.
The first blank would have to be Humility. Gosh, but it was a shock to discover that my initial efforts weren’t as good as I thought. That my skills weren’t up to par. That while some readers forgave my bumbling efforts and wrote nice reviews, others tossed hand grenade truths that nearly shattered my calm disposition. I had to accept a whole new level of humility or throw away my pen.
Learning New Skills hustled for the second position, ramming against every wish list I ever made. I just wanted to WRITE. Not being a total fool, I planned to leave editing, proofreading, design, and publishing to the experts.
Well, that sounded good in theory.
Unfortunately, the logic of my newfound humility meant that I didn’t have the cash flow to ensure my deepest desires. In order to get out of the humility hole, I had to learn a lot about editing—which is a far cry from proofreading, let me tell you. Apparently, it matters if my reader gets so bewildered in the storyline that they don’t know what year it is or what planet they’re on. And that irritating English Grammar thing. I’ve had to tackle spelling like the monster it is and get a good hold. And figure out what’s going on with “ing” words.
Grammarly should be up for the Literary Guardian Angel of the Year Award. Just saying…
I also had to wrangle design elements and learn the tricks and tribulations of publishing online. I did pay experts. Those poor souls not only helped me to shape better books, but they taught me much-needed skills so I can now fly solo—on occasion.
My third blank waylaid me in a dark alley and turned out to be a great friend. Once I stopped screaming at it.
Being my own editor, designer, and publisher offered me the freedom to see my work in a whole new light. Bearing responsibility and taking the consequences for my actions brought illumination to the dark corners of the writing/publishing universe.
It wasn’t merely the fact that I didn’t have a publisher breathing down my neck telling me how to get the job done or pointing to a set of guidelines, but I gained the reality of “ownership.” Did I make mistakes? Like a fish in water. Tons and kabillions of them. It’s incredibly fun to play with metaphors and spell things wrong on purpose. A snide revenge thing? Maybe. But I also paid the price for my mistakes—thus I dropped all interest in making the same mistake twice.
Part of human genius is our ability to move the camera into the corners. To switch off the lights and read by the light of the moon. To get down to hamster level and discover what’s been hiding under the refrigerator for the last three months.
I can do things differently. Not only can I, but I’d better. I develop as I grow. The world alters. Convolutions and revolutions transform me as they transform cultures and Wal-Mart isles. So the ability to not only learn humility and new skills but to hone my freedom in the service of a greater good—to tell an honest story or reflect on my latest homeschool mishap—means that I have filled in a lot of blanks.
The biggest blank is where my life would’ve been without writing. Not enough money in the world to fill that blank.
A. K. Frailey is the author of 15 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.
Make the most of life’s journey.
For books by A. K. Frailey check out her Amazon Author Page
“I loved reading Ann’s wise, hope-giving thoughts about life and love. Truly, life is the art of overcoming obstacles and becoming stronger to live a fuller life. Beautiful work!” ~Ksenia
A series of inspirational reflections that continue my journey as a widow raising a large family in a turbulent world.
“I would love for you to pick it up and for the spirit to use it as a tool to challenge, encourage, and motivate you on to more. To become a better version of yourself.” ~Amazon Reader