From Christina: It’s always a treat when Ashley Nemer comes by Time for Love to share a few thoughts or comments. Today she’s dropping in to tell us a bit about the lessons she’s learned in 2013. Thanks, Ashley, and best wishes to you in the coming year!
Note: The pictures included are Ashley at age 14. Great pics!
A Refresher in Perseverance
By Ashley Nemer
I cannot believe it’s the end of the year already!! This 2013 year has flown by so fast. There have been so many changes in my life — as I’m sure you have had in your life — that it’s hard to imagine we have gone through fifty two weeks of a year.
Those that are close to me know that on February 1st I was in a car accident that left me injured with a concussion and a few neck issues. Don’t worry, I’m okay now, but for a solid six weeks of the year I can’t remember anything! And the physical therapy until July wasn’t fun either. So now you might ask yourself, okay where are you going with this? I’m going here…
This is a lesson that I learned as a child through my Taekwondo upbringing. However, this year was a real refresher course in this. It has been an up and down struggle most of the year with everything from my author world to my real life. It was through the support of friends and family that I was able to pull myself out of the trenches and achieve so much.
The year started rough after the car accident happened and left me zombified for a few weeks. I then had to make a decision. A very hard and serious decision about my craft. After a lot of reflection I pulled my two published stories (at that time) from the publisher and purchased my rights back to them and set out on a new journey.
It has been one hell of an adventure. One that for a long time I was scared was the wrong decision. At first it was very discouraging. My online sales were minimal and I was very unhappy with that. It isn’t about the sales (or rather money) that I make – but about reaching an audience. I knew that something was missing and I had no idea what it was.
In August I went to the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas and that is where everything began to change. I learned some tricks that I had completely gotten wrong and I started to adjust my way of thinking. So now, nine months after my first self–published novel, I think I finally have a game plan that will work.
I am glad that I didn’t give up. I am glad that I stopped and listened to those who had gone down this path before me. I am glad I persevered. Now, at this point – I am watching my stories bring happiness to others. Bring joy and fun into lives they never would have touched. Are they perfect? No, no one will ever be perfect. I have a unique writing style and people either love it or hate it. I respect that – but as of right now I feel safe in saying, “Hello, my name is Ashley Nemer and I’m an Author!”
It isn’t just about being published or writing a story. It’s about acceptance too. For me. Acceptance into a community of writers, an acceptance into a community of readers, and an acceptance of one’s self.
As a teenager in Taekwondo, every few months we would belt test and be awarded a new ‘rank.’ This showed an outward progress of an inner strength. In this industry there isn’t any outward reward for moving forward. For sharpening your craft. For achieving 500 sales or a 1000. No, this is a self-awareness that one achieves on their own.
And I am finally there and this couldn’t have happened without the wonderful friends I have met along the way to help reteach me the most important lesson I learned through the 1990’s.
Author Bio: Ashley Nemer writes under the pen name, Niki Becker. She is married and lives in Houston with her husband, Tony, and two dogs, Toto and Doogie. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her best friend gave her “Ashes to Ashes” by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger. She finds strength through her family, especially her parents. They have always supported her and pushed her to strive for greatness. Her newest book, “Special Assignment”, is now available at Amazon.