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On the Pathway to Success

A writer’s personal story

Do you scream and shout? Do you smash your computer up against the wall, vowing never to type another word? Or do you pick yourself up and carry on?

In an attempt to write the perfect manuscript, I spent years tip, tapping and click, click, clacking, on my keyboard. Sadly, when I gave my manuscript to friends and family to read, they didn’t give great feedback. They said it was lacking something, but were unable to tell me what.

It was a bitter blow. I had put in so much effort. Still reeling from the negative feedback, I decided to take up a writing course.

I made some adjustments to the manuscript then gave it to my writing teacher who told me it wasn’t all bad. This inspired me to plow on. Another year passed, and, I had a finished manuscript, eighty thousand words, my first thriller.

I’ll tell you how. I felt proud — bl**dy proud of myself. And so I should. I had put in the hard work, had hung in there overcoming self-doubt, and negative feedback. I was a winner, an asset to the writing world.

With my finished manuscript, I was ready to slip into the next phase. I researched publishers that were accepting thrillers. It wasn’t promising. Many had closed their submissions. My next step was to try a literary agent. I didn’t have much luck there either. I began trying overseas markets, another dead-end.

After all the years of writing, the years of not giving up, it had all come to nothing. My dreams of book signings, gone, my dreams of sauntering into Penguin, Random House, or any literary agency, gone. My dreams of hanging out with other famous writers, gone.

In the end, all my hard work boiled down to rejection and more rejection, and misery, and more misery. All my writing dreams were up in smoke. Life over, I was never going to become known as a writer. I was simply not good enough.

Once I realised my famous writer dreams were dashed, I wondered what to do next. I’d hit the wall, and there was no doorway for me to go through. The thing was, I liked writing. I felt a connection with it. The question was, how could I go on trying to get my work published when in my heart of hearts, I knew it was never going to happen.

On a mission, I began thinking of other ways to get my book in the public domain. At first, I considered self-publishing, but who was going to read it? Probably just my family, and they had already read it.

A writer thinking creatively via freepik

I needed to do something big. And that something, I concluded, was to grow an audience on social media. I had followers on both Medium, and Instagram, but to make an impact, I needed more.

When I was writing my book, I wrote 350 words per week-night, except for Fridays when I wrote 500 words, then on Saturday and Sunday, I wrote a further 1000 words.

A plan sprang to mind; if I continued completing that amount of writing, but wrote short stories instead, I might have success at getting them published.

So that’s what I started doing. These days I write stories for Storymaker — a Medium publication and write book reviews on R.E.A.D.I.N.G.W.A.R — another medium publication. A few of my smaller articles I’ve written for Medium Publications have been rejected, but that’s okay, I just publish them myself. Lastly, I write for Antipodean — a science fiction online magazine.

A friend of mine once said to me,

Don’t worry if you don’t get your writing published, just enjoy your writing.

I understand why she said that, but I think she is missing something.

Do you go to school because you love it? No, you go to school with a purpose — to learn. Do you go to university for the fun of it? No, you go there to gain skills in a particular area, so you’ll have a career.

I love writing. I enjoy developing characters and creating stories, but I ultimately write for a purpose — I want to be published. I want my book to be published. I want my short stories to be published. I want my name, Ashley Noel, to be known.

I haven’t given up on the book I spent over ten years writing. It is my ultimate goal to, one day, see it in print.

In the meantime, I intend to work hard and write and rewrite; edit multiple times over; submit in all outlets I deem viable and keep getting my other small stories published.

Hoblife believes Ashley is on the right path and wishes her all the luck in the world!!! and you should too.

Note to other struggling writers and creatives:

“keep working at your passions and you’ll see your dreams come true soon enough. Just never stop!”



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