A Path to Publishing

This cliff face image matches the post's metaphor for publishing as a difficult task.

Before the world was rocked by the pandemic, publishing was hard.

Now, like just about everything else in our existence, it’s doubly-difficult. Maybe thrice as tough. Still, I’m going to make it happen.

For my first course in my Strategic Communication program, I am using my publishing journey as the topic for my work. While it is a highly unpredictable, incredibly variable process for most people, I know the pathway will be an avenue for learning and I want to take note. One day I plan to look back and admire all I’ve accomplished—with a paperback copy of my work in hand.

The last couple of years have been rough for teachers. Remote and hybrid teaching were intense, exhausting on the best of days and demoralizing on the worst. If you haven’t had to teach school (let alone middle and high schoolers) in these conditions, it’s hard to understand the stress of the experience. Suffice it to say, it’s like dog-paddling against a current, with all manner of river debris coming at you, for miles. Maybe add ankle weights, for accuracy.

I needed an escape. Growing up, books were always a refuge, a means to traveling when my immediate world was standing still. Over time, I had my own stories rattling around in my head, waiting to hit the page. An avid reader, I couldn’t help but wonder at storylines, link new characters, and let my mind wander to my own fictional worlds.

After closing my laptop late one night after lesson planning, I popped it right back open and began to type. My fingers flew across the page, penning a story in which a teenager heads to a familiar place only to find things a little different than when she left. The Piemaker’s Apprentice, a YA urban fantasy, was born.

Fast forward to last summer when I took two weeks to travel through the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming and then hiked over the Catalinas in Arizona. An adult mystery and a YA contemporary novel came of those experiences and I was—am—hooked on writing.

It isn’t enough to write a book, though. At least not for me. I want to publish, build a readership, and write even more stories for them. Most of all, I want to hand my daughter a book and say, “I did that. You, too, can do anything.”

So, here I am, with a goal forged in a dream. I need to grow my knowledge and skillset in strategic communication to build my brand as a publishable author and create the content needed to support that brand. Focusing on what it takes to publish will not only serve my assignments in this first class, it will craft the platform from which I launch future success.

I’ve never been one to shy away from a climb.

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