Saturday, March 30, 2019

20 Day Blog Challenge Day 6: My Biggest Influence

There are always people who influence your life, some positive and some negative. Some leave a mark without them even knowing it. It might be a famous writer or a teacher who inspired you once in your life. It could be your family or a close friend. Or your beta readers or just that person who picks you up when you are feeling down. 

Writing is a lonely business and if you don't have support, you struggle. I'm one of the lucky ones. I have all the people I've mentioned above in my life and I can list them one by one. 

This blog, however, I want to dedicate to the first person who saw my work and motivated me to carry on. The most significant influence in my writing came from Sarah Bullen from The Writing Room.

I wrote my first book in July 2016. I was a complete novice, but I didn’t let it stop me. No, I ploughed on and wrote almost eight books before I took the plunge, flew to Cape Town and attended Sarah’s Romance Writing Masterclass in May 2017.

I felt like a fraud when I arrived. How could I attend a Masterclass when I've just started out? Everyone in that class had been writing for years, not months like I did! But I'm glad I went. After the weekend I figured out you didn't have to be a master to attend the class but after the class, you would have mastered more than just the fundamentals of writing. I've also mastered my self-doubts, my writing skills and my confidence.

It had been a fantastic weekend with excellent interaction and discussions. Afterwards, Sarah mentored me through the process until I submitted my debut novel, Eye on the Ball, to publishers.

I had plenty rejections but finally, a small indie publishing house accepted my novel and published it in April 2018. Since then I’ve decided to self-publish and will soon release my tenth and eleventh novels.

Sarah’s motivation and mentorship hadn’t stopped. If I had a query or needed advice, she is still there for me.

For me, that was the biggest investment I could have made in my career. Who knows, if I didn’t go to that class, I might never have published my first book, what to say the others. And watch this space. There are plenty more to come.

#mentor #inspiration #influence #sarahbullen #thewritingroom #romancemasterclass #amwriting #francinebeaton #indieauthor #20dayblogchallenge #amblogging #indieauthorsofsouthernafrica #IndieRomSA #romancenovel #southafricanfiction 

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