The Christmas Box and The Martian

xmaspresentChances are if you’re a writer you’re familiar with the story behind the successful book The Christmas Box. Richard Paul Evans, the author is said to have authored his book for his children. Originally self-published, the book became a local hit in Utah.

Needless to say, major publishing house caught wind of the book and Evans eventually received several million dollars in publishing rights. What began as a way for one writer to entertain his children became a successful writing career with over 20 million books in print.

The MartianNow fast forward to the 21st century and a fellow by the name of Andy Weir, author of The Martian. Andy originally published his story as a series on his website. Like many struggling authors, he’d had no success finding an agent so rather than give up; he used an old method, serialization, in a new medium, the Internet.

Eventually, Weir had the entire novel published in a Kindle version, and when over 30,000 copies were sold in three months, the majors became interested.

The stories of Richard Paul Evans and Andy Weir inspire me to write and publish my works. They should inspire all new authors to write their stories, whether for a wide audience or a small one.

Their stories should inspire writers to think outside the box, to never give up when rejection letters show up in our mailboxes. The success of The Martian and The Christmas Box should give us hope that no matter what the odds or obstacles we can become published authors.

This holiday season and for the New Year, I challenge new and old authors to write and publish their work. In fact, I’d like to challenge everyone who reads this article to write a holiday story. Whether it’s a short story, a novel, or a memoir, write about the holiday season. Regardless of your faith, or lack thereof, write something about the season. It may not be another Christmas Box or Christmas Carol, but it may be something you’ll be proud to share with others.

To each and everyone who I’ve had the privilege to reach through my blog, I say to you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Peaceful Festivus; in other words, Happy Holidays!

May you have a blessed and peaceful year filled with enlightenment and may you be prosperous and happy in the New Year.

And remember: Just Write!