When I was fourteen years old I wrote something in my journal that shaped the rest of my life. I wrote down a goal to publish my first novel by the time I was thirty.
From that time forward, writing was my obsession, the driving force behind nearly everything I did. I did not meet that goal. At thirty years old I was busy with two very young children, heaps of laundry and sinks full of dirty dishes. Somewhere along the line, I made a choice to be a full-time mom, and that choice took precedence over becoming the famous best-selling author I had always dreamed of becoming.ut I kept writing. In those early years I wrote articles about anything and everything - in local publications - for free. Then I became a columnist for those publications and a few others - and I got paid - a little. Then I ended up with my own newspaper column that ran in three different papers. Google revealed that I was being quoted on blogs and my words were spread abroad. It felt good to be noticed. But everything I wrote - in magazines and newspapers - was fleeting. Read once and then forgotten. That's the nature of magazines and newspapers. Tomorrow there is always something new to replace what is written today.
I yearned to write something that would last. My heart kept reaching back to that goal set long ago to be a novelist. Novels last. Some books stick in your mind and soul forever. They become a part of you. They are cherished. They are loved like part of the family. Some books I read thirty years ago still bring tears to my eyes when I tell my kids about them (and insist they read them, too.) That's what I wanted. Immortality. For my words to be remembered long after I am gone.
The truth was that during all those years of writing, I never wrote a novel because I was afraid. Afraid I wasn't good enough. Afraid I didn't have what it takes. But a funny thing happened. After thirteen years of writing all that other stuff, I got pretty good at it. And by the time I had had enough of magazines and newspapers, I had gained the experience and confidence to give novel writing a try. I was right, though. I wasn't good enough. At least not at first. My first novel sucked. But I kept writing. I never stopped writing.
When my first novel was finally published in 2012, I was forty-three years old, thirteen years overdue. But that's okay. Since then I've had three more books come out, and I'm having the time of my life.
I'm living my dream
Are you living yours? Why or why not?