By Neil Kavanaugh
Freshman Lauren Goodwin has something on her resume that few others could match: she has written and self-published her own book. The book, entitled What What What, is a series of coming-of-age essays about growing up with faith, family and friends. Goodwin wrote what would become her book in the twilight of her senior year of high school.
“My senior year I had to write a thesis, and we had the choice to publish it or not. I chose to write a book of personal essays. My motivation for the topic was there really isn’t a book out there for kids my age who are going through the most confusing and overwhelming time of their life,” said Goodwin. “There really isn’t a book out there to relate to them, for people to say ‘Oh, I also am going through this and I also do not know what to do with my life and I don’t know how to feel about that’. I wanted to write for an audience that didn’t have anyone they could relate to.”
Goodwin went through the entire process of publishing by herself, with the except of her cover photo, which was taken by a close friend. Goodwin also did all the marketing herself, putting the book on Amazon, local Barnes and Nobles, and her local coffee shop.
“The publication process was interesting because I did it all myself, I didn’t have an agent or anything. The best part of it is that I had complete free reign to do what I want. There was no company telling me what I needed to do or change,” said Goodwin. “It was completely my own thoughts, which is amazing.”
Goodwin’s book opens with a note from the author saying:
“The quest I have committed myself to is the search for truth. If I am being honest, everybody is searching for truth. It is why we love reading—to find out what happens to beloved characters. It is why we love watching television shows, especially crime shows—to find the outcome of a dire situation. (It is also why Netflix is so popular; Why wait a week for a new episode when you can find out the truth in an hour?) The quest for truth has been driving humanity for the better half of forever and it is the only journey that proves itself to be timeless.”
“If I had one piece of advice to give aspiring authors, is everything you write is going to be bad at first, so be patient and keep editing and keep working, and eventually you will get to something that you are proud of,” said Goodwin. “Let other people read your work too. Have a trusted editor.”
Lauren Goodwin is in the first year of pursuing her English degree and plans to keep writing and is considering transitioning her talents to focusing on fiction. Look out for more projects to come from this aspiring freshman. If you are interested in buying What What What, follow this link to the amazon website.