Hi readers! My name is Hannah Soukup, I’m a second-year dual credit student at Elgin Community College, and I’m a young author trying to make a difference in the writing industry.
As someone who struggles with mental health, I decided to write and publish a book telling the story of a young girl with the same issues. As a sexual abuse survivor and someone who struggled with a dangerous eating disorder, I wanted to spread awareness to these issues as they typically go unnoticed.
My story, “To Be Consumed” is about a young girl who struggled with many of the same issues I dealt with. I put my own experiences into my character, El, and included other situations that some of those closest to me struggled with. I wrote the story in a heart-wrenching and suspenseful format to add novelty, which contributed to my success.
I began writing “To Be Consumed” when I was 17 years old, completed it in 2 days, and about 3 months later, I finally got it published. It made waves across Amazon, and I hope to assist other writers with my writing process.
I submitted my story to many publishing firms, and although they wanted to publish it, I took the self-publishing route. I tirelessly submitted articles to newspapers to promote my story, and over time, local newspapers began publishing my work, establishing my name as an author.
When I decided to self-publish, I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon. This is a free publishing site that provides monthly royalties and free promotion tools. You can sell print copies of your story if you so choose, but publishing an eBook is free. I published my novella as an eBook, but for the sequel, I may publish it as a hard-cover story.
During my writing process, I learned the importance of organization and self-care. My recommendation to young writers is to prioritize self-care while drafting your story. You do not need to sit in front of your computer for an entire day. Making slow progress day-by-day is just as good as writing an entire story in one day, if not better.
Use your motivational periods to your benefit. If you’re motivated once a week, write once a week. If you’re motivated everyday, write everyday. This is a personal preference, but managing your time carefully will definitely create a solid writing schedule.
The biggest piece of advice I can provide is to write about things you’re passionate about. Writing about passions increases determination and interest within a story, stimulating productiveness within authors. Even using personal experiences within a story can create a connection between you and your work, making the story prevalent to your life.
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