by Jasmine Bell
Every writer has to start somewhere.
It took me a long time to realize I wanted to make writing a career, and not just a hobby. In my youth, I wrote and rewrote my first novel so many times, I was starting to wonder if it would ever be done. I wrote on and off throughout my academic career, even after high school and during college. But instead of pursuing my passion, I went to Vanguard University and focused on my teaching career.
During all that time, I vicariously lived through my characters, and I continued to write. I couple years later, I finally gave in and transferred into University of Redlands to major in Creative Writing. The program not only helped me to become a better writer, it allowed me to experiment in other genres. I learned how to craft fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and to critique others work effectively. More than anything, the program confirmed that my passion was more than a hobby, it was a calling.
Success Takes Time
Every writer I know wants to be published and be recognized, and maybe become the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. I know, I do. But the reality is writing is not easy, and it can take years to even make an income. The only way to strive for that dream is to connect with other writers and authors, and get your work out there in the world. For an introvert, that is a difficult task in itself.
It Helps to Connect with Other Writers
Some of the best advice I ever received from an author was to join a writer’s group. O.C. Writers kept popping up in my emails, and for the longest time, I never gave myself the chance to join due to scheduling. Another two years later, in the summer, I finally made a decision to join the group once and for all, and I went to the write-in event in Lake Forest.
I have no regrets. It was there that I met Greta Boris and Megan Haskell, along with other talented writers that I now see on a near-weekly basis.
Having a writer’s support group was what made me feel the most confident about being a writer.
Expanding My Education
The O.C. Writer’s group gave me a wealth of information that I never received during my time at Redlands with my creative writing program, and it gave me the opportunity to go to the Southern California Writers’ Conference. As a newbie, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many workshops I wanted to attend, and other writers I wanted to meet.
Everything in the writing world is a learning curve. I’m pursuing a traditional publishing contract, but that will just be the beginning. I realize now that writing is not my hobby. It is a life-long passion and (hopefully) my future career.
Jasmine Bell was born and raised in Orange County, California. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing from University of Redlands. She also has a crazy obsession with mermaids. In her pastime, she likes to read, write, watch tv & movies, travel, and go out dancing. You can find her on her website at www.authorjasminebell.com, or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.