Guest Post: The Makings of a Writer by Georgia Coffman
The journey toward becoming a writer is different for every person who attempts it. For Book+Main author Georgia Coffman, it began early—and was derailed by false starts and detours along the way. Did it ultimately succeed? We’ll let her tell you as she joins us to share her experience in her own words.
My writing journey started next to steaming green beans and baked chicken.
I was around thirteen years old when I first uttered the words, “I want to be an author when I grow up.” I said them to my mom while she worked at our family’s restaurant. She was placing more food out on the buffet—green beans and chicken—while I followed her around, rambling about my hopes and dreams. My mom listened intently and told me I could do it.
I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’d been a library assistant the year before my salad bar confession. That year sparked something inside me that led me to words.
I had many false starts from that point on. A short story assignment in high school re-ignited the fire. A college English professor told me I had real potential when he read an essay of mine. The fire came and went. Short stories, essays, and manuscripts all but forgotten on flash drives around my apartment and hidden in folders on my laptop.
I was a Biology major in college. I wanted to be a doctor because I thought it was more practical than being a writer. To me, it made sense because at least there was a clear path to becoming a doctor. College, medical school, residency, etc. Of course, I knew it was competitive, but still, it was less daunting to me to do that instead of trying to become a writer.
That didn’t stop me from dreaming, though. I often fantasized of doing big things—living in a city, becoming an author, and traveling the world. But that was the thing. At the time, they were just fantasies. I never thought they’d be possible.
I’m from a small town, and it was hard to see myself leaving it, let alone doing something so unconventional like pursuing a career as a writer.
As a freshman in college, I had a hard time adjusting to being away, and the lonely nights started eating at me. One night, after finishing the first season of Gossip Girl, I was inspired by the drama of that show. I sat down to start writing my first romance book. It was emotional and romantic and angsty.
I hid it in a folder labeled “Genetics” so that if anyone (cough, my nosy Greek family, cough) came across it, they’d just think it was my homework. I actually never gave the book a title because to me, at the time, I really just wanted to see if I could do it. If I could write a book.
I didn’t work on it often because my classes were demanding, but I kept at it during breaks and slow weekends. Four years later, I finished the book and felt like a whole new world opened up for me.
I’d never felt such an amazing sense of accomplishment, and I’d just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Psychology. None of that made me feel like I did when I typed The End on my first whole book.
I was so excited and high on that feeling that I wrote another while I worked my big-girl job at a local bank. I continued to write in secret and only shared my work with close friends whom I knew wouldn’t laugh at me. That’s another reason I didn’t go after it. Not only wasn’t it practical, but writing is an incredibly vulnerable art to share with people, and I’m not an open person. Why would I subject myself to the kind of scrutiny writers get? No, thanks.
But my friends encouraged and supported me. They rooted for me to go after my dream, but I was still apprehensive. I couldn’t just drop everything and become a writer.
What tipped the scales for me was when I met a guy. Yes, it was a guy who changed my life because he made me think bigger and better for myself. Not that there was anything wrong in my life per se. Quite the opposite—I had a full-time job with great future potential. I had friends and family who loved me. I was in a loving relationship.
But I was missing that which lit my soul on fire, and it was the guy who made me believe I could change my life and do something that truly makes me happy.
After researching different graduate schools and their writing programs, I enrolled in the one I thought was the right fit for me and quit my job at the bank. I no longer had a secure salary and benefits, but I had something that meant way more to me—the start of an adventure.
The start of the rest of my life.
I was chasing my dream.
It wasn’t always glamorous or even enjoyable. Graduate school was hard. It wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows and daydreaming about all the stories I wanted to write. It wasn’t me sipping wine on a balcony overlooking the ocean as I flawlessly penned the next bestselling romance book. No, learning and improving my craft wasn’t easy, but once they handed me my diploma for my Master’s in Professional Writing, my heart felt full.
It was exciting, and I’d come a long way.
But it was still only the beginning.
I went on to start another book, my fourth one. I got up at 5 AM day after day to write as much as I could before going to work. The scenes and chapters started coming together. The characters came alive on the pages. The world became real to me. And again, like the fire inside me from when I was a young teenager, I felt it. The flutter in my stomach that told me this is what I’m meant to do.
I published that book—Strip for Me—in Fall 2019. I was proud and nervous and excited and many other things, but most of all, I knew it was still just the beginning. I was only scratching the surface.
My second book, Let Loose for Me, released April 2020.
I have two other books coming out this year, one in K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes series world and the other in Corinne Michaels’s Salvation series world.
I have plans for many more in the coming years.
I still have big dreams I’m chasing after every day.
I’ve even moved to a big city and travel to new places every chance I get.
It’s been difficult to navigate the world of publishing, but I’ve had an incredible support team and fellow authors who’ve kept me sane and continue to help me through it. The guy I met years ago, who opened my eyes—he’s now my husband. My family. My friends. I’m grateful for them every day.
And when times get particularly difficult, I turn to words and to the thirteen-year-old girl standing next to a hot tray of green beans and baked chicken. I owe her for the big dreams I’m now chasing. For the excitement in her that led me here and beyond. It’s thanks to her that I’m fulfilling those dreams and doing something that truly gives me joy.
Georgia Coffman is a romance author with a Master’s in Professional Writing. She loves all things books, the TV show Friends, and jumpsuits. When she’s not reading, writing, or daydreaming, she and her husband enjoy working out, traveling, and playing with their two pups.
For more on Georgia and her books, visit her website www.georgiacoffman.com.
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