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Things to Mull Over
posted on September 27, 2016
At the LDSPPA conference for LDS publishing professionals, Brandon Mull, the author of the popular Fablehaven series, shared the experiences of his journey to his now successful writing career. There was so much I could relate to as though he were speaking directly to me. Part of what made it all so powerful was how vulnerable and personal he became with us.
Like me, he's had an vibrant imagination throughout his life, going off into fantastical daydreams. It became his passion to want to share these things with others, starting him on the path to learn the writing craft, sufficiently to have the words on the page give justice to how he's imagining it in his head.
The one he married was fully on board with this pursuit, working to support him, allowing him to focus energy toward his dream. But in time, they had a baby on the way, putting the pressure on as the last thing he wanted was to merely end up being just some deadbeat stay at home husband, while the wife is doing all the work supporting the family.
This led him to seek out a job opportunity on a reservation. As he prayed about things, he felt the right thing was to turn it down. To his relief, his wife was on the same page, getting the same impression, so he didn't have to explain away something that would appear as a lazy thing that he was making excuses for.
Of course, a yes from God, doesn't mean easy sailing from that point on, but more often than not, it isn't easy sailing. So the rest of the journey involved struggle and rejection after rejection. After a while, he joined the marketing team for Excel, a company very instrumental in pioneering the early days of LDS cinema at turn of the new millennium.
Through this he found connections to the Shadow Mountain publishing company that was launching, perfect timing for him to become their poster child. He original pitched something other than Fablehaven, but Fablehaven was what they wanted, which makes you wonder what would have happened if he was querying that all along as his other work was getting rejection after rejection.
He didn't intend to go into all this as much as he did. He ran out of time before getting to what he actually wanted to talk about. Yet, I felt it was exactly what I needed to hear. I felt encouraged by his story, seeing all I'm now going through as my story and my journey, and being more at peace with my circumstances as I'm working on it. I'm no more doomed to just be a deadbeat 30 something or 40 something or so forth, than Brandon Mull was doomed to be a deadbeat husband as events didn't go as he planned. The story isn't over until it's over.