- Kathryn Lee Martin
On Turning 30 and 2018
2017 was a bit of a weird year for me. It was filled with a lot of trials and other fun things that often bring a writer’s confidence down. Things like self-doubt and just general feelings of not being good enough to be a writer. It doesn’t help much when you suffer from Major Depressive Disorder along with this. That was difficult for me to say right there because I’m still so ashamed of my illness 9 years later. We’ll tackle that in another post another day. Today I want to talk about writing. That and last week I turned 30. A big milestone in my life that changed everything.
Yet despite the gloominess of 2017, I somehow powered through to write another book. Phirestag by all accounts, shouldn’t exist, but I couldn’t resist the call to adventure that led me to write it. Over the summer I spent time fleshing out the characters and working on building a fun world to live in as well as making life miserable for my characters. It’s a different book from what I usually write. A bit of a happier book. And as far as things go, excellent therapy to combat the lack of confidence that I was facing.
Writing is therapy to me. Because when I write, I’m free to be whoever and whatever I want to be. Each word on paper brings me a sense of joy that is difficult to replicate by most things. Writing is my passion, my freedom, and something I enjoy doing on a daily basis. I couldn’t picture life without it and the books I’ve written.
And then I turned 30 last week. Turning 30 should be a huge milestone to a person. For me it seemed like it was going to be just like any other day. Like quite a few people out there, I felt I didn’t accomplish much before 30 other than holding down a smalltime job before things went to hell on the farm and I had to leave it due to illnesses.
I sold myself short. During my late 20s with everything going on (cancer in the family, hardships on the farm, a job loss,) I somehow managed to write a few books, no small feat in itself. And then out of a little bit of God given guidance and luck, I found my agent, Rebecca from Golden Wheat Literary two years ago. Up until that point, I never expected I would get that far. It was a major accomplishment for me—some uneducated ‘hick from the sticks’ as the saying goes managed to land an agent.
And God just kept surprising me from there. Things weren’t going well for me the closer I got to turning 30. More hardships on the farm, more crippling self-doubt, the very real fear that we weren’t going to be able to sell The Bone Roses because of it being too ‘dystopian’ in an already flooded market.
About two weeks ago, I got a message from my agent in the middle of the night, saying that a small press called The Parliament House was interested in my Snow Spark Saga and fell in love with The Bone Roses.
It still hasn’t quite become real to me what those words mean, only that after chasing the dream for 13 years, it caught me. Needless to say, I’m going to be an author. A published one with a book series out there and everything. Those words mean the world to me and as I sit here writing, it feels different, better in a way. Not because I’m going to be a published author, but because suddenly, dreams come true. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to people like me, I always believed that lie anyway. And now, suddenly, it did.
Turning 30 has taught me not to fear the future and that not everything can be rushed. Good things can and do happen to those who wait and keep pressing forward. So if you’re out there, reading this and thinking to yourself ‘it’s hopeless’ let me tell you right now that you can do this. You can do the thing. You are remarkable and that it WILL happen in due time. Just be patient, never give up, and keep hoping. God’s got you and when it does happen, it will be the most amazing thing.
2018 didn’t look like it was going to be special for me either. And then everything changed. And now as I go into the new year, there’s suddenly much to do and a lot more going on in my quiet little life.
I couldn’t be happier or more hopeful on how this year is going to turn out and I wouldn’t have it any other way.