My name is Robert Acosta and I left my job as a classroom teacher to become a professional writer.
And here we are.
It’s been 2 years, and I finally decided to stop hiding behind my keyboard and launch my personal author site. A landing hub, of sorts, to practice my writing and examine what I’ve learned.
Because, as it turns out, I’m not alone.
Thousands of people out there are dreaming of becoming accomplished, well-known authors. They follow their favorite writers on social media, like Tweets pertaining to what “real” authors do from Writer’s Relief, and buy “how-to-write-like-a-champion” books in the hopes of absorbing the life essences of successful storytellers before them in some strange, dark reading ritual.
Or maybe they want to learn how to write engaging dialogue, I’m not sure.
For me, I made a decision to leave my dream profession to chase my fantasy profession. Stepping away from my 4th, 5th, and 6th graders was not easy, and I’ve felt like going back to the class about a hundred times, but I’m still here, 2 years later.
No published manuscript as of writing, but I have a job as a freelance writer.
And a lot farther to go.
So, one objective I hope to expand on is a dissection of writer advice that floats around online, popping up in my feeds, and giving me migraines. Since many of us gonnabe-writers might look to this advice as gospel, let’s do what all people should do with gospel:
Break it down and absorb it’s essence in some kind of dark, reading ritual.
…What kind of churches did I go to growing up…?
This is a quote that gets tossed around because the message is simple. Don’t try to write anything you’re not comfortable with. Steer your pen and mind into the well-known and experienced, and your stories will speak truth.
Makes sense, but it can be limiting, and can keep you in a lane that may become a prison.
One site, Narrative.ly, publishes real life, human submissions, outside of the clickbait-y titles often shared with a goal of “focusing instead on ordinary people with extraordinary stories.” So, I wrote up a submission and sent it in, detailing how one of my 5th grade girls once told me she wanted me to die.
…It was a whole…thing.
Writing non-fiction was never supposed to be in my wheelhouse. My strongest influences, I thought, were comic books, fantasy, adventure, humor, aimed towards a middle-grade audience. I spent most of my teaching career instructing my kids how to read and throw themselves into the words. We lived in the worlds of Narnia and Olympus, and this was supposed to be “what I knew.”
If I kept myself in the lane of all that, I never would’ve convinced myself to try and write that story for Narrative.ly, to share what being in the classroom is really like.
They politely declined my submission, but I still tried.
There’s another short story that I’m writing, due at the end of the month, “Project: MOON.” (I like to give my stories ridiculous project titles. Not my idea. Stolen from writers greater than myself.) It’s a horror-themed, psychological tale for an anthology, WAAAAY outside my lane.
I guess that’s the point. “Write what you know, but TRY AND WRITE WHAT YOU DON’T.”
To wrap, the above Featured Image shows my current writing set-up. A Kylo Ren Moleskine Notebook, Hard Cover (Amazon US), an OLPR Moleskine Cover (OLPR) with a Moleskine Cahier softcover, (Amazon US), alongside a Pilot Frixion Erasable Pen (Amazon US).
Inside the Kylo Ren notebook, the story’s plotted, and I plan on hand-writing it in the OLPR. Deadline for Project: HARP (again, silly name, but it’s what I’m about, yo.) is June 30th.
My name is Robert Acosta.
I want to be a writer.