Okay, you’ve got the ache, but no writing credentials. No school newspaper bylines. No teachers calling you “gifted.” No stellar grades in English. Or worse: you got bad grades; your papers returned covered in red ink. A teacher said you’re not gifted. A writing group sniggered at your early attempts. Will a publisher tell you to “keep your day job”? Does going to school for writing matter? Should you think about going back now?

If you’re like me, you grew up in a community steeped in reverence for the university system. Perhaps you were indoctrinated over Cheerios with talk of extra credit, straight A’s, SAT prep classes, and taking as many AP courses as your little brain could hold. The goal: to win over admissions counselors, even if you’d have to sell a kidney to afford tuition.

As trusted systems crash around us, nothing is assured. For me, a student who both loved and hated school, nothing ever was . . .

That’s how chapter 1 (No Degree? No Problem) of Beautiful Writers starts before I go into my memoir piece of the chapter, where Señor Gomez yells at me across my high school Spanish II classroom for not paying attention. Again.

But I was paying plenty of attention! In inglés. Duh. My boyfriend, Jeff, was far too cute to ignore in the back row; the love notes I’d been scripting were already making their way down the line of desks.

No one would have pegged me for being a bookworm, certainly not the Smarty Pants Mean Girls who made sure I knew I was an airhead.

I had to ignore what other people thought of me and tap into what I knew. I chose myself. Who are you choosing? If you ever feel conflicted about that (because human), let me and 62 other bestsellers help you get over that s#it once and for all. 💚

When it comes to whether or not to go to college, there’s no right answer, only a wrong one. The wrong answer is believing you must have a degree to write. Degree or no degree, I believe one truth: We writers long to share our stories because there is a path forward for us.

You know my motto: Trust your ache. You have what it takes.

In case you don’t yet have the book, here’s the linky dink. But you gotta READ it for it to work its magic. Speaking of magic, when you tap the 5-star icon on Amazon or Goodreads, which takes 20 seconds, the algorithms get happier about helping other writers find the book. Same with liking the positive reviews, which moves them up or something. (Mama ain’t no expert, but it’s good stuff.) Thank YOU in advance, if you can! And, shoot me an email at linda {at} bookmama.com to let me know you’ve done it so I can say Hi and thank you myself! xo.

Regardless, have the happiest weekend. Write on, my friend. Write on.


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