Dragons in the closet

About ten years ago, I decided to go back to school. I began with hesitancy. I was a poor student in high school—not because I wasn’t smart enough, but because I had no focus or discipline, rarely went to class, never did my homework and basically couldn’t wait to get out. Gee wonder why I struggled?

I started at the University of Phoenix, which was probably a good place for someone in my mindset to begin. They cater to the working adult and they make you begin with a class that helps you realize you’re not “Josie Grossie anymore.”

I remember thinking on that first day, “I’ll try this. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll quit.”

Not exactly the positive attitude winners have. By this point in my life, I’d been performing successfully in my career and I’d published one book. I’d been struggling for years to sell my second book and had finally come to terms with the fact that I might not make it in publishing and so I’d better have something to fall back on.

So, yeah, I’d had milestones and I’d proven to myself that I wasn’t the total loser I’d perceived myself to be in high school. And yet, walking through the door the first night of class was like going back.  Surprisingly, considering my attitude, but not so surprising, considering I was by then a successful adult, I excelled.

Fast forward ten years.

I don’t have my degree yet, but what I learned in going back to school was that I was never going to be a loser. Ever. I rekindled my dream of being a writer and pursued it relentlessly. It was as if conquering the dragon of high school stigma enabled me to conquer my doubts and fears about my ability to succeed as an author.

I now attend ASU on the 20 year plan—meaning at one class a semester, it’s going to take me a long time to hit graduation. Still, better one step forward than none at all, right? And I do keep a bit busy. In those ten years I’ve published three more novels, written a fourth that will be coming out later this year or early next and I’m contracted for my sixth and seventh. I’ve continued to work full time in a high pressure job and had success there. I’ve raised two amazing children (the youngest is learning how to drive, gasp, and the oldest is a college freshman). Some days, I feel like hanging in there is a more of an accomplishment than any of the above.

Dragon slaying is nasty business, but oh, the rewards are great. If there’s something out there you’re thinking of doing—something that is holding you back, kick its butt. In doing so, you may find you’ve given yourself the kick in the butt you needed.

If you want to learn more about me or my books, stop by http://www.erinquinn.info/ and say hi!


  1. Good for you, Erin. I went back to school with 4 kids at home and tried to set a good example. We all did our homework together! I made it as an RN and have now retired.
    You will be an inspiration to many who read this blog.

  2. Thanks, Deanna and congratulations to you both on the RN and the retirement. (I have to confess more envy for the latter, though). Funny how life turns out, isn't?

  3. It's always uplifting to hear of success despite the odds (even if the obstacle lies within ourselves!).

    A Hearty Congratulations on slaying your 'dragon'!


  4. So true, isn't it? That when you accomplish one thing, you find yourself accomplishing others. I've returned to another round of playing the keys - so much easier for me now than when I was a kid or young adult. Congrats!!

  5. Thank you Chiron! And Kathy, you are so right. I think it's all about perspective. :)

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Thanks Erin,

    for reminding us how to keep fighting the good battle. Indeed, it may feel like slaying dragons but it's rewarding on the other side.

    And congrats on all your published work!

  7. Good for you Erin! You did something gutsy and it fueled your passion for writing and re-enforced your faith in yourself. Brava! Thanks for the inspiring post! ;)


Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you but hope you are a real person and not a spammer. :)

Popular Posts