One year after graduating from the College of Charleston, Ashley Glenn Miller ’10 published Common Senseless, a book that shares real life incidents as she learns some common sense as an undergraduate at the College. Miller self-published Common Senseless and it is available on www.amazon.com.
The opportunities at the College played a key role in her book, which was on Miller’s “to-do list” since her sophomore year.
“It was after graduation that I found myself at a crossroads, as most college grads do. There were so many clear paths ahead of me that would have been easy to follow but something inside of me couldn’t just accept any of these obvious next steps,” Miller explains. “At the very least I figured that this would be a great experience and that being a published author was something nobody could ever take away from me.”
She believes that every opportunity should be taken because some will only come around once. Miller also stresses the importance of not only dreaming big, but also having the courage to turn those dreams into a reality, regardless of what others think. She remembers, “Until I got to the College, I had never completely realized my full potential and I think it was because I paid more attention to the people telling me I couldn’t than to the ones telling me I could. With each accolade I earned at the College, I grew more confident in who I was as a person and what I was capable of achieving.”
Miller learned a lot about publishing and the real world as she compiled the “tell-it-like-it-is manual for the first years of life on your own.” Some of her advice for College of Charleston students interested in publishing includes: don’t be shy about reaching out for help, make time to listen to anybody willing to offer advice and always be honest and sincere.
She also suggests developing thick skin.
“In a society as judgmental as ours, where conventional decisions are often easier for some to accept, it was tough explaining to people my decision to turn down offers I’d had for ‘real’ jobs and to write a book instead. Publishing a book is not an easy task and was harder than any ‘real’ job I’ve ever had. But, now that I’m a published author, the only thing left for the haters to do is eat their words and read mine.”
Throughout the process, Miller leaned on the relationships she made with publishers, journalists, and College of Charleston alumni to write her book. When contacting people in the publishing and writing field, she says to ask for advice, not favors.
“You can hope for it, but don’t expect anybody to do a favor for you,” says Miller says.
When asked ‘what’s next?’ Miller says, “Right now I am very happy being a writer/entrepreneur/speaker/whatever-you-want-to-label-me-as. I’m using what I’ve built so far, moving forward with it and seeing where it will take me. At the end of each day I ask myself, “Was today a plus day or a minus day?” If the number of my minus days starts to outweigh my plus days, then maybe I’ll pursue something new. But for now, I’m happy being The Common Senseless Girl…after all, life’s more fun that way!”