All stories have a beginning, middle, and end. As such, I’d like this blog to have the same. It seems rather logical, but the only problem is this is the story of my life; and as such, I’m only a character within a far too complicated plot – not the author. I have no idea what to point out as significant, or what details to put emphasis on as a foreshadowing of the future. Instead I’ll simply say it as I see it.
It’s only polite to introduce myself. My name’s J. E. Brand, and what those two letters stand for is a secret for only me to know. I’m in my last year at college – a full-time student trying to balance a part-time job and writing. I’ve never been the best at juggling, and it shows in the slowness of my writing. Slow but steady wins the race, I’d like to think.
My major has nothing to do with my creative passion. I’m getting my Bachelor of Science in Finance with minors in Mathematics and Education. Why? Because, aside from being a geek, I also pride myself on being a nerd. (Yes, they’re different.) I can’t quite explain what it is about the stock market that really gets my adrenaline pumping.
Why am I writing this blog? It seems to me that we only hear about failure in hindsight. “I was rejected by hundreds of agents but now I’m a full-time author living financially stable.” It’s easy to look at those moments after you’ve succeeded in your dreams, but while living them out you go through a whirlpool of emotions. This journal will be dedicated to embodying such, so that my fellow struggling authors realize that we’re not alone.
Me? I finished my first novel last year. It was rejected by nineteen agents altogether before I decided to move onto another story series. I know that number might seem rather low to some, but every single one felt like a bullet straight to the heart. I’ve completed five short stories since then, and each of them has been sent back to me with an email that begins with “Thank you for submitting ‘So and So.’ Unfortunately…” It’s all rather discouraging, but luckily I’ve a support system unparalleled by many.
First, there’s my sister: Kristen Brand. She’s an Indie author (Links to her books are below! I simply must recommend them, as is my sisterly duty. If you have ad blocker off, you might need to enable it. I promise Amazon links are the only ads you'll see.) and taught me most of what I know. I still remember the days when she was in high school, and I was in elementary school. I would beg to read her stories while I was attempting to be just like her and write something that at least vaguely could be called a story. I never could write past twenty pages before I moved onto the next plot. Now, I give her all of my stories to read, and she returns them with edits that help me give them depth, magical scenery, and basically just completely transform them into something I can be proud of.
Then, there’s my best friend Nick. He’s just an overflow of support. Whenever I doubt my abilities, he’s my own personal cheerleader. A day doesn’t go by where he doesn’t ask about my progress or characters. Whenever I’m excited about a new development, he listens with genuine intrigue and asks an overflow of questions showcasing his interest. Not only does that get my creative juices flowing, but it lets me know at least I have one person rooting for me (two if you count my sister).
I’m going to combine my final two mentions into one paragraph: Kaitlyn Lunceford and Niki Potosky. Why do I use their full names and why are they lumped together? Because, aside from being close friends, they’re also my professional co-workers that I want to brag on. You have Kaitlyn to thank for this beautiful website layout and whatnot. As for Niki, you haven’t seen what she can do yet. Soon to be added this site will be an upcoming comic book, and she’s the master behind the beautiful art. She takes my words and turns them into epic-ness, to say the least. You’ll see more of that in time! Yes, that’s your cue to get really excited.
So, I suppose my first suggestion to all of you struggling authors such as my self is this: find people who support your dream and surround yourself with their uplifting energy. When the world is only feeding you rejection and misery, it’s nice to have a sibling or friend that you can sip a cup of tea with while they remind you that you’re awesome. What’s the best way to make sure you’re not annoying them with your constant mentions of the fictional characters that dwell in your imagination? Support their dreams, too. It becomes a web of positivity, and then you and the people you care about are able to fight the odds and not give up.