Keep Dreaming: The Bittersweet Experience of Quitting Your Own Company

As many of you already know, last week I announced my departure from Writer.ly. I stepped down from the role of CEO of the company I started in order to write more books. This is both a terrible and wonderful thing. Note: This rest of this post was originally published on the Writer.ly community site.


Kelsye bids adieu

It is with both heavy heart and great excitement that I announce my departure from Writer.ly. I am stepping down as CEO to focus on my career as an author. My capable co-founder Abigail Carter will be taking up the reigns and charging forth on the Writer.ly mission of helping writers become authors.

I’m not going very far! You can easily contact me through my author website or on twitter. Writing has always been my number one love. A great believer in the wondrous new age of publishing, I have experimented with a variety of paths to publishing. I self-published my Breakup Girl Series and crowd-funded Book Lush: What to Drink with What to Read. Now I am finishing my first novel and just signed with agent Gordon Warnock of Foreword Literary.

I am, and forever will be, a champion and believer in Writer.ly and all the writers in our community. These past two years have been incredible! Here are some of my favorite highlights:

The day we launched. The moment the Writer.ly site went live, a full year’s worth of planning, dreaming and development came to fruition. As anyone that’s every worked on a startup form the very beginning will tell you, seeing your dream materialized in the real world is an awesome moment.

Pubcamp! Pubcamp! In both San Francisco and Seattle, our one-day writing and publishing conferences inspired, informed and empowered writers. Local writing community members gathered together to support and celebrate the great endeavor of the writing life. Personally, I found these events incredibly fun and always learned something new.

Working with my hero Guy Kawasaki. I met Guy just after APE came out while he was keynoting at the San Francisco Writers Conference. He generously gifted me his time to and moved by the Writer.ly mission and purpose. Not only did guy come on as an advisor and give all of our users a free copy of his book, but he also brought along Peg Fitzpatrick and Shawn Welch, a formidable trip of publishing and social knowledge if ever there was one!

Your success stories. Many of you out there that used Writer.ly during your publishing journey sent me a personal note and thanks when your books debuted in the big wide world. I teared up with each and every one of these I received. Transitioning from writer to author is the stuff of dreams. Big, crazy, beautiful dreams. I am honored that I was able to be a part of yours.

If there is one thing I learned through Writer.ly, it is that we are better when we work together. One author’s success does nothing to diminish another’s. We, the writers of the world, collectively rise when we encourage, support and celebrate each other. This applies to our journey of finding our voice and improving our craft, as well as producing and selling our books.

I’m terribly excited to see what comes next in the wildly changing industry of publishing. I am proud to have been a part of it with Writer.ly and know the company, and community, is in great hands with Abigail.

All my love, Kelsye

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