As a writer I get asked all sorts of interesting questions and offered terrible advice (for the last time, getting kidnapped is not a good way to get a book deal). I was intrigued, however, by a question I was asked recently by a first time author at her launch party: Where did I get the moxie to write and publish over two dozen books?
I didn’t even realize people still used the word moxie, which means nerve or determination, but since someone thought I had it and wondered where I had got it from I decided to figure out where my moxie came from. Where did I get the nerve, determination, chutzpah, or moxy to write and publish so many books?
I got my first batch of moxie sometime in the mid-1980s from Kmart. It was a blue light special and, honestly, I just bought it because it was on sale. That first batch led to my first articles for the student newspaper, and my writing career began, even though I kept insisting I wanted to be a math teacher.
Kmart moxie kept me writing through the 1980s, but I knew in the 1990s, when I was writing my first novel, that discount moxie wasn’t going to cut it anymore. I invested in higher quality moxie from Marshall Field’s, and I got a free box of Frango mints with every batch. That moxy got a couple of books written and kept me going after every rejection. So many rejections!
Marshall Field’s became Macy’s, and I switched to Nordstrom for my moxie needs, although occasionally supplemented with moxie from Amazon. They really do sell everything. But no matter where the moxie came from I kept writing. I now have a few dozen books written, published, and for sale all over the world.
I hope what I wrote about moxie gave you a little giggle, but here’s the true moral of the story. If you want to write, you should write. Prioritize it. You’re worth it. If you write badly, but you really want to be a writer, you should write. You have to write badly before you write well. Accept that writing is work, just like any other endeavor. Writing also may not be for you, and that’s okay. The world needs more creators in every medium. Create and express yourself. Tell your story how you want to tell it.
And that is true moxie. That first time author had it, even if she didn’t know it. You do, too.
Elizabeth Andre writes lesbian romance, science fiction, and paranormal adventure. She is a lesbian in an interracial same-sex marriage living in the Midwest. She hopes you enjoy her stories. She certainly loves writing them. If you would like to support her work, become a member of her Patreon or subscribe to her email newsletter.