“It took 20 years to build the Great Pyramid. It took me almost as long to break into the cutthroat book publishing industry. It might have taken even longer if not for the improbable combination of Tom Hardy, Italy, and the moxie to reinvent my writing career,” so writes former AP reporter Cindy Nazzi in a guest post at Forbes.com.

The Filipino-American author has always wanted to get a book-length work of fiction published, but the opportunity eluded her, not necessarily because she lacked the dedication to write—she had the discipline to set aside time for writing every night and often bowed out of trips so she could work on her craft—but because of other challenges that got in the way. For example, she would often write about the Philippines, which, according to publishers, just isn’t commercial enough.

It was during a trip to Florence that Fazzi decided to do something commercial instead. A romance! Using the pen name Vina Arno, she used Tom Hardy in the movie Warrior for inspiration and was able to finish her work and get it accepted for publishing even without a literary agent in less than a year.  

Thinking of reinventing yourself career-wise? Fazzi recommends welcoming new ideas and adapting to the market. “It took me almost two decades to learn that when what you’re doing isn’t selling, it’s time to try something else.” Not that Fazzi is going to give up on her Filipino-themed novels anytime soon. “On the contrary, my romance breakthrough gave me the confidence to pitch one of my Filipino-themed novels at a writing conference in New York last year. That led to my signing with a literary agent and injected new vigor into my writing.”

Fazzi also recommends that you take a leap of faith. Sometimes, you just have to go where inspiration takes you.

PHOTO: BibBornem/Pixabay

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