Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How Adopting Prepared Me to Become an Author



I’m not sure I would be an author if I weren’t an adoptive mom. That’s because adoption taught me how to seek after and embrace Plan B.

How to put this delicately…I mean no offense to any other adoptive parents, birth parents, or adoptees—including myself or my children—but adoption was my Plan B.  I was going to get married (check!), get a house (check!), get a stable income (check!), get pregnant and have babies and be a mom (uh…roadblock).

The getting pregnant part of Plan A just wasn’t going to happen for me. But did that mean I had to give up on the part about having a house full of babies and being a mom? After thinking about it a lot, I knew that getting pregnant was not really as important to me as being a mom. I could be a mom without being pregnant through adoption. Maybe that makes it Plan A ½ instead of Plan B. Is that a thing? Can I mix fractions with a letter? I pretty much coasted in Algebra but I do remember numbers and letters mixing in equations, so I will allow it. Adoption became Plan A ½. I hit a roadblock but I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. Call it what you will—I found a loophole, a cheat, a backdoor, an alternative route—but I became a mom.

As long as I can remember, I wanted to write books. Well, not just write them. I wanted people to read the books I would write. I wanted to be an author. So I made a plan. I was going to write a book (check!), I was going to see if beta readers liked it (check!), I was going to query agents (check!), an agent would pick it up and sell it to a publishing house and I would be an author and people would read my book (uh…roadblock).

I had a lot of positive feedback from many literary agents, but no one offered to champion my book. I can’t say why. I’ve heard that the recession was hard on the publishing industry and no one wanted to take a risk on a new author. Maybe I never found the right agent. Maybe the publishing industry as a whole is changing. I suspect all those things.

I thought that my dream of being an author hinged on an agent’s approval of my work. But as I thought about how I “unconventionally” became a mom, I decided that I could unconventionally become an author. I was tired of people telling me no! I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny, and not be the victim of some external factors (like a bad uterus or a doctor’s opinion or an agent’s opinion).

And that’s how I decided to become an indie author. I wanted my work to sink or swim on it’s own. I wanted readers to decide what they read—not some agent or publishing house. I didn’t want to take no for an answer. I didn’t want to give up my lifelong dream just because I hit a roadblock. So I turned to Plan A ½ and found a “cheat” or a “backdoor” and became a published author. And when it comes down to it, I am more pleased with myself for the courage and tenacity I had to muster to become an indie writer than I am off the money I have made doing it.

Don’t take no for an answer. Plan A ½ is out there. Find it!




1 comment:

Whitney said...

Such a good post my friend! I am so inspired by your plan A 1/2! I secretly have always wanted to write a book as well :).

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