First, thanks for hosting me, Tymothy. For those who don’t know, I’m the bestselling author of Unconventional as well as the President of MindStir Media, a self-publishing and book marketing company. Unconventional (paperback & Kindle) has spent time on the Amazon.com bestsellers lists, and the Kindle has been the #1 inspirational book in the Kindle Store numerous times. It’s been a fun ride for sure. To learn more about my writing, please visit my official Web site at http://www.jjhebert.net. I also offer free self-publishing and book marketing tips at my blog: http://www.jjhebertblog.com.
Today I’d like to share a bit about my journey as a writer, focusing on the moment I realized that I could be a writer … you know, that moment I said to myself, “I’m going for it!” I think I got my first taste back when I was around twelve or thirteen. I sat down at my box of a computer and wrote fifty pages of a book, Cyclopsis, and saved it on a floppy disk, which became the most valuable piece of technology I owned at the time. I guarded that disk with my life. There was a problem, though: The story lacked in almost every department. As a young teenager, however, creating fifty pages from scratch filled me with pride and I knew that I wanted to pursue writing at some point—if I could just figure out how to finish a story. I think that’s the most difficult part of writing for any young writer: learning to complete a story. Most people can type up a few pages but finishing a book, especially a novel, requires lots of drive, persistence, and focus. Oh, and I can’t forget planning (and some talent helps, too)!
I had my breakthrough (many years later) when I finally discovered (via online discussions) chapter by chapter outlining. Up until that point, I didn’t bother with outlining and just wrote freely without planning anything in advance. I sat my butt down and wrote an outline of what would become my first novel. This type of planning put me at ease and I knew that I was finally ready to go for it—to finish my first novel, tentatively titled Defiance Rising. I’m proud to report that I did finish. This time I saved it on a CD (times had changed), which I guarded like gold. I celebrated a bit. Celebrated some more. Then I read the first draft. Ouch. As before, it lacked in virtually every department.
Seven drafts and nearly a million words later, I set that manuscript aside and decided to take a break and write something a little more personal: Unconventional. The story flowed out of me very quickly. I wrote about fifty thousand words in a month. I referred to my new outline occasionally. I completed the novel in less than a year and then “I’m going for it” changed meaning: I was going to publish that book! I ultimately decided to self-publish Unconventional and, as they say, the rest is history!
When did you experience your “I’m going for it” moment(s)?
“Unconventional is a wonderful story full of heart, humor, and what it means to truly be successful. An A+ novel for the keeper shelf.”
—Gemma Halliday, award-winning author
“I loved Unconventional, a stirring love story and spiritual journey that will surely touch your heart. You’ll remember James Frost for a long time!”
—Cecelia Dowdy, inspirational romance novelist
UNCONVENTIONAL is designed to inspire readers to reach for their dreams.
Buy this book. Read it. Share it with everyone you know. You—and they—will be glad you did!-Dorothy Thompson
Indeed. Thank you. J.j. You are a valuable asset to and in the writing community…and a powerful voice in the Kingdom of God.
If you’re on Twitter, Follow J.J. @authorjjhebert