The biggest adversity I faced when deciding to become an author was my own self-doubt. Coming from a small island, which is still considered a third-world country, I grew up hearing about how only people in the bigger countries got the opportunity to be great. Most of my life was plagued with the expectations set on me by my family and by myself regarding what a successful person should do and aspire to be. I now see that success means something different to everyone, and happiness to one is misery to another.
Throughout my high school career, I wrote (albeit not well) poems and stories which I used as an escape from what I considered a dreary existence. Looking back on it, I find, I am grateful for the very life I detested, but let’s simply summarize it as teenage angst and move on from there. During the years, I would grow to open up about my poetry to an English teacher who still wholeheartedly supports my journey. Those original poems, first published on Quotev (remember that?), turned out to be the base for my first collection.
Deciding to become an author in 2022
Over the years, I started stories only to abandon them when I deemed them unworthy of further development. In the background, my parents slowly pushed me towards a career in Computer Engineering, and for a while, I agreed with them (and if my current day job is anything to go by, I still do). But I never quite found happiness in the successes of my field of study. It was only in 2020, when I had nothing to do but stare at the ceiling or sit in front of the computer, that I decided to give writing another shot—a serious shot. A shot in which I’d put as much of myself into writing as I could, so that if I succeeded, it would be to my own merits, and likewise if I failed.
I wrote 80,000 words in 3 months. Most of which will never see the light of day. This one endeavor taught me that I could do anything I truly set my mind to and that I was the one creating barriers to entry, and success.
After that, I began researching what it took to become a serious author. I sent query letters (all rejections) before realizing it wasn’t enough to have a decent story, it also needed to be edited before being received by an agent. The entire process was not as my fifteen-year-old self had envisioned it. I then managed to find an editor with my limited budget (thank the stars for her) and polished off the manuscript, but by this time, I’d decided I wanted to go into self-publishing—a decision I stand by.
I am still learning how to be a writer and publisher, but with each new book, my doubt fades. I don’t know if I’ll ever be doubt-free, but I’ll keep striving toward my dreams, desired success, and ultimately, happiness.
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L. M. SANGUINETTE WAS born on a small island in the Caribbean, where the palm trees watched over her like giants and the sea crept up to her feet to say hello. Ever since she was little, she surrounded herself with tales of fantasy and magic, hoping that one day, she too would be involved in a story like the ones that captured her imagination.
Years—and many rewatching’s of Avatar the Last Airbender—later, she is happily living in the worlds that her mind created, filling her bookshelves with more books than she will ever read, and practising her own version of magic.
When she’s not sitting at the computer, she can be found snorkelling near forgotten shores, twisting from silks that hang from the ceilings, or in one of the many hidden coffee shops of Madrid, conversing with the spirits of the old city and dreaming up new adventures.