How to Find the Courage to Write for This New World of Publishing

An “old school” approach.

Merre Larkin


Old typewriter with a poem on a sheet of paper in it
Photo by jules a. on Unsplash

I have left full-time employment (because I could). My children, whom I raised as a single mom, are grown and on their own. No more obstacles (job). No more scheduling conflicts (kids). I now can devote time to getting published.

Except what happened? Getting published is scarier than it used to be. Haters?! Banned books?! Fake news?!

No, I haven’t been living in a cave somewhere. I’m aware of what’s been going on. But to choose to join in? It’s intimidating, to say the least.

My history with writing (the short version)

I used to dabble in writing when I was a kid. I started my fair share of journals that would fall to the wayside.

In high school, I did well in English class. I started to excel in math and science, though, so I gravitated towards engineering in college.

I didn’t love engineering, but it promised a good job, and I was capable in most of my courses. I figured I’d find my way in the engineering field after I graduated.

I probably would have. However, in between my sophomore and junior years in college, I fell backwards down steps while stretching to go running and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

I was lucky in that I survived. I insisted on going right back to college that fall despite struggling with crushing headaches and slower cognitive processing.

My engineering classes were challenging with a TBI, but I eventually got back in the groove. Except I’d changed. I now suspect that my brain had reconfigured itself. Math and science weren’t enough.

I added Sociology to Chemical Engineering as a second major, and I started to love writing for those courses.

I also started writing poetry. (It was bad.)

I think because of my TBI and my difficulties expressing myself due to a lag time between what I wanted to say and being able to say it, writing in general became a saving grace for me. It was patient with me.

After college, I worked as a research analyst using my engineering background. When I had my…



Merre Larkin

Writer. Life coach. Educator. Marathoner. Survivor. Avid reader. Here to share, here to learn.