An Exciting Update from Story Shares 2017 Best-Selling Author

Hailey Hudson is the 19-year-old author of Story Shares 2017 Best-Selling book: Hope Is The Thing With Feathers. She's also a freelance writer who spends her days exploring what it means to be a "hardworking creative," and how she can inspire others to be the same. It is with that goal in mind that today she has launched her new project: a website called The Hardworking Creative, whose target audience is "anyone bursting with a dream."

THC will be a one-stop source for young creatives, supplying them with the information and tools they need to make their dreams become a reality. It will feature interviews with successful young creatives, as well as content regarding marketing, branding, social media, and more. Blog posts will be biweekly on Saturdays and will alternate between interviews with young hardworking creatives and general information blog posts. Through the interviews, Hailey hopes to create a place where young creatives can a) have a platform to share their work and b) tell other young creatives how they've achieved their successes. The non-interview blog posts will talk about "advertising, marketing, money, and all the boring but super important stuff that young creatives need to learn about."

This project stems from Hailey's own experiences: when she started her writing career in earnest a couple of years ago, she really needed someone to tell her all of these types of things, but there was no one to do this. This project is her heart and soul, and her way of bettering future experiences for young creatives.

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We asked Hailey to give us some additional insight into her life as a young creative, what that looks like, and how she knew that reading, writing, and creating needed to be major components of her life. Here's what she had to say:

Some of my earliest memories involve sitting on the couch with my mom as she read historical fiction books out loud to me—I’d read over her shoulder and be at the end of the page before she had reached the middle of it. Even though life is much busier now, I still read almost every day; last year I read 135 books. I read lots of YA historical fiction, dystopian, fantasy, and sci-fi. Leigh Bardugo and Louisa May Alcott are my two favorite authors, which goes to show how diverse my taste in reading is! Although I’ve lived in the same town for more or less my whole life, I couldn’t find my way anywhere when I started driving because I’d spent years sitting in the backseat with my nose in a book. I learned to read when I was four, so I literally can’t remember a time when books weren’t my constant companions.

There’s also never a time that I don’t have a story in my head. When I was nine, I began writing a series called Eight Friends; I wrote thirteen of these “books,” each one about six pages long. The series was about a group of girls (I bet you can’t guess how many) who were friends, and it focused on their various adventures and misadventures at school—interspersed with plenty of long descriptions of their food and clothes. These stories primarily consisted of long drawn-out descriptions of the clothes, hair, and food of the eight friends. I like to think that my writing has gotten a little more sophisticated now, but one thing at least hasn’t changed—I’m still a firm believer that long descriptions of food are always acceptable. Many other cringe-worthy stories, including a halfway decent book called Miracle on Avonshire Lane from middle school, were the stepping stones that led to me beginning my writing career in earnest in the fall of 2016. A re-read of Little Women inspired me to begin writing short stories and submitting them to magazines; I’ve been accepted by many publications and declined by many more. As someone who notoriously doesn’t have the attention span to write a full-length novel without getting distracted by countless other ideas, I’ve fallen in love with the art of short fiction, and now I write one short story each week.

Although I took a few years off of writing novels because life got crazy, I soon jumped back onto that bandwagon as well, beginning by writing a novel about a travel softball team during one summer when I had had surgery and couldn’t play softball myself. My current project is a YA dystopian novel titled Angelica that I started a year ago; the end is now in sight and I’m absolutely in love with it. I also plan to complete my MG novel Florida Market this year—I came up with the concept for this novel when I was twelve or thirteen, but didn’t begin writing it until last year.

Being published traditionally is my dream, and the route I hope to take with both of these novels as well as any future ones. About a year ago, I attended a writing group with a local author a few times; I couldn’t attend long-term because of other commitments, but I remember telling the author that I just never seem to finish novels. She said matter-of- factly and with complete confidence, “You will write novels. You will write lots of novels.”

Through blogging, I have an excellent online community of writing friends, and I am so grateful for them. I also have a couple of wonderful real-life friends who are also novelists, and we meet at Panera Bread and write together. But I’ve been trying to seek out even more of a writing community lately. I went to a book festival last fall where I was able to attend excellent seminars and even got to meet Leigh Bardugo (we talked about how Hamilton was the soundtrack to Crooked Kingdom!), and in a couple of months I’m going to my first official writing conference—I’m excited out of my mind for everything I’ll learn and all the connections I’ll make.

I graduated high school in 2016 and decided to stay at home for many reasons. My freelance career really took off that summer; I got my first writing job, ghostwriting for a CrossFit company, a week after graduation. Since then, I’ve had so many amazing  opportunities with freelance writing, primarily in the fitness niche. I still wake up every day and think it’s crazy that I get to write about what I love and get paid for it. In the next year or two, I plan to get an associates’ degree online either in marketing or sports management and then continue pursuing my dual writing careers (freelancing and fiction).

Hope is the Thing with Feathers is a short story that I wrote in fall 2015, when I was sixteen. I was elated when Story Shares published it. One of the reasons I love working with Story Shares is because I am passionate about people learning to love reading. I work for a nonprofit that tutors kids after school, so I’ve seen the illiteracy crisis firsthand. Did you know that to determine how many prison beds will be needed in upcoming years, many states actually look at the reading tests of current elementary school students?

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized most people don’t have my love for reading. This makes me sad because not only is reading the foundation to success in any field, but I also just don’t understand how anyone can live without a steady diet of fiction. Most days, I feel that I need no other sustenance than stories.

Every day when I sit down at my computer and write, I know that it’s all I want to do forever. I’m blown away at all the opportunities writing has offered me so far, and I am so excited to see where it will take me in the future.

If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”—Ray Bradbury

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Be sure to read more from Hailey on her blog, All I Know is Grace, and her new website, The Hardworking Creative (launching today!) You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram! Copies of her newly-released book, Hope Is The Thing With Feathers are available on Amazon.

 

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