Keep Your Head Down

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I’ve learned a few things from being an independent author and as someone who loves to write and tell stories, and it’s this: Just Do Your Thing.

When I saw this quote from Michael Connelly, I paused, and then posted it on my Instagram page, where I post often about writing (and some fashion, too!). It’s encouraging and it is meant to keep you focused on the story you are telling. Don’t try to make your story like someone else’s story. It’s your story, the one you are meant to tell. If love stories or fairies or wizards or futuristic robots aren’t the hot button in publishing right now, but it’s a story that you believe has validity and should be told, then just write your story. Prior to Harry Potter, there wasn’t much interest in wizards, but J.K. Rowling proved that a well-told story about a boy wizard had the means to connect with millions of people. The likelihood of reaching that kind of fame with our writing is slim, and so we just have to believe that what we are writing matters. And that it will matter to someone.

After I wrote Inn Significant, I had a few people write to me and tell me that the novel helped them get over the death of someone they loved–it helped them feel not alone. I loved hearing these kinds of comments, and for me, if even one person benefits or is entertained by my stories, I’m content.

Write because you love to write. Tell your stories because you love to tell them. And by all means, don’t pay attention to the “noise” out there. Just keep writing.

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Stephanie Verni is the author of Beneath the Mimosa Tree, Baseball Girl, Inn Significant, The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry, and an academic textbook Event Planning: Communicating Theory & Practice, published by Kendall-Huntthat she co-authored with colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus & Chip Rouse.

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