Hailey Rodgers (Comm ’21) decided to follow her passion for writing, and published her first book, See Me, in December 2019.
It all started when Creator Institute reached out to Rodgers via LinkedIn. Creator Institute is a company focused on helping writers become published authors. They reached out to Julia Sun, a friend of Rodgers, in December 2018 to ask her to look for other writers who might be interested in publishing their work. They offered Rodgers the opportunity to publish her writing in January 2019, and she accepted.
She wrote and edited See Me throughout 2019, and published it on December 10, 2019. She published it using her own money and crowd-funded donations using IndieGoGo. Her book is currently being sold at the Campus Bookstore.
See Me is a self-help book targeted at young adults, and is sectioned into three steps. Part one is “Authenticity,” part two is “Happiness,” and part three is “Success.”
Rodgers’ philosophy on life is that you have to be your authentic self, and then happiness will follow. She believes that when you’re happy, success will come naturally, as it did for her. She says she saw improvements in every facet of her life once she became her authentic self, and she hopes to help others do the same.
Rodgers argues that in order to become your “authentic” self, you have to first follow your passions. Her own passion is writing, something she got to do by working with Her Campus—an online lifestyle magazine geared toward university students. This opportunity led her to feel like she was living her authentic self because she was doing work that she cared about.
Rodgers balanced her academics and extra-curriculars carefully while writing her book.
“Balancing with school wasn’t hard at all. The semester before I wrote the book, I had a 69 per cent average, now I’m at a 95 per cent after writing,” she said. “Everything else just came into place […] I think it’s just because I devoted my time to my passion.”
See Me is a self-help book that conveys its message of following one’s passion through story-telling, rather than preaching rigid steps to readers about how they should improve their lives.
Rodgers started by writing stories about individuals that she “found to be incredibly authentic and very unique,” eventually completing 20 stories about 20 people.
Some people Rodgers wrote about in her book include a recovering addict and a music school dropout who now builds drums for famous Canadian bands.
“As humans, it’s very hard for us to see how some [self-help] concepts play out in real life without an actual experience conveying them,” Rodgers said. “I need to see it through an actual human in order to integrate it into my life.”
Now that the author has published her first book, she has advice to share with other young aspiring authors.
“When you start writing a book, do it for its own sake,” Rodgers said. “Don’t say, ‘I want to be something someday.’ Always ask yourself, ‘Why not now?’”
This article has been corrected to reflect the exact year Rodgers edited her book.
The Journal regrets the error
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