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  • J.L. Sheppard

Go For It

It's a new year, which reminds me four years and four days ago, I published my first book, Demon King’s Desire. The year before that in January, I began writing it. I’ve reread it, many times, and there are so many things I’d like to change.


Because as I’ve continued to write and read and edit, I’ve learned A LOT.

I’ve since released five more books. In every book I reread, there are things I’d like to change. This happens not only because I’m a perfectionist, but because, again, through writing, reading, editing, and working closely with several editors, I’ve continued to learn and hone the craft. Then again, writing is subjective, but still.

In the beginning, especially, I was terrified—terrified of what people would think about my work. As an author, putting your work out there to the masses, you’re putting yourself in the spotlight somewhat, putting yourself in a position to be criticized.

I’ve gotten good reviews, okay reviews, bad reviews, and nasty reviews. And I can still remember the nastiest review I’ve gotten to date. It read: “I always wanted to play a musical instrument. But, I knew I couldn’t just sit down at a piano... More than desire was required. And more than desire is required to write a book and then expect it to be read by more than just your friends.”

I share this because as much as it hurt to read, this reviewer has a point... Yes, more than desire is required to write a book, play an instrument, start a band, do anything. You have to be dedicated. You have to be willing to learn, and you learn through doing, practicing, and making mistakes. But just because you’re not good right away or because you’re embarking on something you’ve never done before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. It especially doesn’t mean you’ll never get better.

The best advice I could give anyone is to go for it. Write a book, play an instrument, start a band, record a song, whatever... Just do it. It's the beginning of the year, embark on something new. You may never be a best-selling author or play for a stadium or sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Now off you go... Go make your dreams come true. :)


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