How adversity can help your writing career

Monday musings on the life of a bestselling author

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

By Raine Thomas

I self-published my first books back in 2011 in what some might say was the height of indie authorship. It was an incredibly exciting time! I’ll never forget the experience of working with a cover designer for the first time…of going through the painful editing stage for the first time…of pushing that button and officially publishing my books for the first time. At long last, my hard work was being read and enjoyed by perfect strangers!

The funny thing is, I only got to write those first books—books that have since been on bestseller lists and have been optioned for film—because I lost my job.

That’s particularly funny because I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing back in 1997. I got my master’s degree in Humanities with a heavy literary focus in 2002. But I somehow never found the time to work on the book I’d always said I was going to write. I was always “too busy.”

Then the recession of 2008 hit the real estate industry hard. At the time, I worked in a field closely tied to it. Days before Christmas in 2008, I got the dreaded news: I was suddenly without a job.

Back then, my husband and I were struggling to pay off hospital bills incurred the year before. We had a nearly three-year-old daughter to support. We couldn’t afford for me not to have any income, but the job market was, quite frankly, perfectly awful.

Rather than dwell on my circumstances, I chose to use what time I wasn’t spending on my job search writing the books I had been wanting to write for years. By the time I found a new job three months later, I had completed the first draft of one book and was hard at work on the second. I have been writing and publishing books ever since.

Flash forward to now. COVID has hit and I’m once again working in an industry heavily impacted by the virus (weddings and corporate events). While I haven’t yet fully lost my job, my pay has been scaled back to little more than minimum wage and my hours are a fraction of what they were back in March.

Like I did 11 years ago, I’m choosing to use this unexpected downtime from my other career to focus on my writing. I’m reconnecting with readers and reviewers I haven’t heard from in a while. I’m participating in marketing and promotion efforts I haven’t had time to try. I’m working on outlines for several upcoming projects that have been whirling around in my head for years.

Despite the scary and uncertain times, I’m feeling more positive and excited about my writing career than I’ve felt in years. If you’re like me and facing hardships due to COVID or anything else, I hope you’ll follow my lead. Dig out an old writing project and polish it up. Come up with some new story ideas. Join a few new groups on social media. Do something productive so when we get to the other side of all this, you have something amazing to show for it.

I can’t wait to see what you do!

Raine Thomas, new adult, young adult and romance

Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen.

She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Get to know Raine on her

And follow her on Twitter @Raine_Thomas.

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