Renowned author, the late Helen Keller, once said, “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
The move to sideline a successful pharmacy career to pursue her longtime dream of becoming a writer is both daring and adventurous for Alcorn State University Alumna Dr. KeAndrea Kelly ’09, ’10.
“Working as a pharmacist for seven years has been amazing,” said Kelly, a Port Gibson, Mississippi native. “I’ve been able to help so many people and earn a stable income. It is a great career, and while I truly enjoyed practicing pharmacy, the pandemic put many things in perspective for me. Becoming a writer has been a lifelong dream of mine, one that I didn’t want to fade away. So, I prayed about it and stepped out on faith. I stepped back from my pharmacy career to pursue my dreams, and it has been working out wonderfully.”
The leap of faith has been a success, as Kelly released her first book, “Fix Your Thoughts,” on Amazon in June. The book offers a path for transforming mindsets, identifying unhealthy beliefs, and stopping negative thoughts in their tracks.
The book’s content aligns with Kelly’s other passion, helping people.
“The book is motivational, but also it is for anyone who has struggled with negative thinking. If you’ve found yourself struggling with your faith, loving yourself, or coping with loss, there are strategies in this book that will help. I want to help change the reader’s mindset from negativity to positivity, from lack to abundance, from rejection to acceptance, and from discontentment to happiness. The message of the book is that you can be happy, healthy, and whole, and it starts in your mind.”
The book also serves as a reminder for Kelly when she needs a boost in morale.
“I still use the prayers and affirmations in my book today. The words of encouragement and positivity have helped me tremendously, and prayerfully, it will do the same for others.”
There were challenges along Kelly’s race to finish her debut publication. However, leaning on spiritual guidance during bouts of doubt and writer’s block assisted her in completing her effort.
“It was a rollercoaster for sure. I had an idea of the message I wanted to convey but struggled with the title. After a month or so of just writing, I fasted to receive the title of the book. When the title was revealed to me, it brought more clarity and direction to my writing. Some days, I felt super confident that I was on the right path. Other days, I struggled with whether I should keep writing. Each chapter I wrote brought about different emotions. There were even times I wanted to quit writing, but God would always give me a sign to keep going.”
One of those signs from God is Kelly’s solid support system. She reflects on days of sending ideas and snippets of her book to family and friends and them assuring her of her talent. She credits their motivation for fueling her inspiration.
“I have had an amazing support system surrounding me every step of the way. When I stopped working full-time as a pharmacist, my friend, Rachel James, offered me my first writing job as a blogger for her company Pear Nova. My parents and friends supported me and gave me the confidence to see myself as a writer. I had written so many short stories, letters, and poems before taking the job as a blogger, but I wasn’t sure that my words would be well received. I wasn’t confident in myself, but my support system changed that. I could not have published this book without them.”
Now that her book is complete, Kelly can take a breather and enjoy the fruits of her labor.
“It feels great. The journey here was both exciting and stressful, but I feel relieved. I feel fulfilled, and I’m looking forward to writing again.”
“Fix Your Thoughts” is available on www.amazon.com.