The Ping-Ponging of my Career Goals

The Ping-Ponging of my Career Goals


I have been so ridiculously indecisive about my ultimate career lately that it’s maddening. Since getting a contract though, I know I want writer to be part of my career plans, but in order to do that, I’m going to need a compatible career (assuming I can’t be a full-time writer by the time I graduate) that will allow room for writing without stressing me out. I don’t have a high threshold for stress, and I’m okay with that and accept it. I don’t want to depend on Xanax or Klonopin to help me manage my stress, not when lifestyle changes can help me manage better.

I don’t know if you guys know this, but currently I’m going for a degree in English Middle Education simply because I love English and adore that age group. But, at first, the only reason I switched to teaching is because it seems like a more assured job than finding some sort of editing job. I eventually grew excited about the idea, but my excitement began to wane as I realized that I don’t have a high stress threshold, and I refuse to depend on anti-anxiety meds to deal with it. The one teacher I job shadowed for was on Xanax, even though her stress was totally natural and not something that needed to be dealt with using a medicine for people who have real problems managing anxiety, even just for leaving the house!

So I don’t want to be a teacher anymore, but I’m going to put up with the program because I can’t keep constantly switching my degree, or else I’m never going to graduate. It seems like being a teacher won’t allow me any room to write. As I’ve said, I have a low threshold for stress, and English teachers, especially, have work to take home every night. How am I going to be able to squeeze in any writing with the workload they have? I don’t think it’s possible. You can tell me all you want that if I really love writing, I’ll make time for it, but if my brain is making me feel depressed from the stress, my writing isn’t going to be so fantastic.

Once again, I’m going back to the goal of doing some editorial type work. I don’t need an English degree with some editorial track. After all, I’ve already got editorial experience and am still gathering more. Freelance editorial work and tutoring will certainly help, and–awesome surprise of awesomeness–my writing group will be starting an e-zine that we want to go to print so we can ultimately pay the writers! It’s ambitious, but our group consists of ten people. It’s not like The Corner Club Press, which is only ran by two. I’m still going to keep up with CCP, of course, but it’s forever going to remain online because I don’t have a big enough group to make it otherwise and am already satisfied with the success CCP has had.

Either I am going to be a full-time freelance editor/part-time writer or part-time writer or actually work for a local magazine in the CSRA. I will let the future surprise me, but I know teaching is not for me. Even my therapist thinks teaching would just crush me, especially because I am a very creative person and the teaching environment as it is is very constricting.

As I’ve said, I’ll stick to the teaching degree, but it’s no longer what I want to do. Who knows? I might have fun with it regardless.

Self-Publishing Success from the Unknown

Self-Publishing Success from the Unknown

Lately the media has been in a tizzy about successful self-published authors and their books. But guess what? The success of these self-published books is coming from writers who were already established in the traditional route and were successful in the traditional route. Little is there spoken of on the unknown authors finding success with the self-publishing route, unless you’re selling like JK Rowling, like Amanda Hopkins or J.A. Konrath. But there are plenty of unknowns finding success with the self-publishing route, and even though they’re not making millions, they’re still selling enough to arguably be considered bestsellers in regards to sells. Now I haven’t read all these books. I perused Amazon to find self-published books with good ratings and and a decent amount of reviews to justify buying the book. I’m not too concerned about the Amazon Bestseller ranking. I would say 80 or more reviews usually means the books are selling relatively well–but, of course, most people who buy won’t leave reviews. I chose five of them, and some of these are on my Wish List. There are many, many more that you can find on Amazon. At first glance you can’t even tell they’re self-published, but a mere glance at the publisher can tell you whether or not the book is self-published: if the authors use their name as the publisher or createspace or another self-publishing entity, such as their own publisher, it is usually self-published–so that’s how I was able to tell these ones were. Here are the five books:

This is Tess Oliver’s Camille. Has 90 ratings and 4 star reviews. Tess Oliver is her penname. I actually interviewed her back when The Corner Club Press had a blog. She told me she simply threw up an ad and saw her sales begin to steadily rise, but this was when the e-reader was steadily rising in popularity, so back then it was probably easier to get attention. But the last time I talked to her, she told me she had the interests of a few agents. Nonetheless, she was a complete unknown before publishing Camille. You can find her book here.

Megan Thomason’s ‘daynight’

This is Megan Thomason’s ‘daynight.’ This book has 142 customer reviews and has a 4.5 star rating. This is also her first book, but her fourth written one. You can find it here.

Samantha Durante’s ‘Stitch’

This is Samantha Durante’s ‘Stitch.’ It has 119 customer reviews and a 4.5 star rating. This is her first novel as well. Notice a trend here? Some self-publishing advice blogs will tell you to keep publishing and you’ll eventually rise in sales. Perhaps these people are so far lucky, but look at their cover photos, read the blurbs, and also look at the reviews they have for their books. You can tell these authors marketed big time before releasing their books. You can find her book here.

K. A. Robinson’s ‘Twisted’

This is K.A. Robinson’s ‘Twisted.’ This book has 194 customer reviews and a 4.5 star rating. This is the author’s second novel. Her first novel ‘Torn’ was on Amazon’s Kindle Top 100 for a month. You can find her book here.

Mayandree Michel’s ‘Betrayal’

This is Mayandree Michel’s ‘Betrayal.’ While this book does not have 100 reviews, it still has 92 and a 4.5 star rating. This is her first published book and is in ‘The Descendants’ series. I wanted to put this book up here because in spite of not yet having 100 reviews, the cover is phenomenal and eye catching, a great example of what aspiring self-published writers should strive for when creating their cover art.

Now granted all these books are young adult books and written by women, but I can assure you I wasn’t deliberately looking for women. My recommendations just give me young adult books because they’re what I primarily read, and female writers because that is who primarily writes young adult. But these authors alone found success with self-publishing, and while many probably don’t, many also do not find success with the traditional route. So study the crap out of self-publishing, market hard, work your butt off on your cover, edit the crap out of your book, and keep marketing, even after the release of your book.