Updated: May 12
Your dreams will choose you. But how will you know? That's the easy part.
You choose them first.
I chose mine when I was a second grader. It wasn't a specific thing. I didn't sit there at 8 years old and exclaim to the Universe "I WANT TO WRITE BOOKS!"
It was more like a feeling. I loved making up stories and always felt the most "me" when I was creating.
So I started. Because that's what you have to do. You have to start. You have to do the work. Whatever it is that you dream of doing won't just show up and knock on your door.
You can ask for it.
You can believe in it.
And you can absolutely receive it.
But you MUST do the work. My debut series didn't appear magically on my laptop, all written and ready to be published. Hell, I didn't even know anything about writing romance novels. I don't even read them! But I had a story in me and it needed to come out.
I spent many late nights and long days and whole weekends writing. I started writing Catch My Breath after a trip I took to Scotland. The book was conceived in Burlington, MA and it fully developed clear across the country after moving to San Jose, CA. I spent hours writing and writing and writing.
One of the first things I did after I finished writing Catch My Breath was attend the Romance Writers of America conference. This particular year it was in Atlanta. I didn't have a contract with any publishers. I didn't have an agent. I literally didn't have a clue about anything. I just had a story to tell.
Unravel Me was in its infancy at that time. I'd broken it away from Catch My Breath so it could be its own continuing story. Same with Effortless.
I networked, met agents, met publishers, met authors and absorbed as much knowledge as I could. I joined online writing communities and had complete strangers (some who became friends) critique my work. Once I felt confident enough, I started pitching my book.
Within weeks, six publishers wanted it. SIX!!!
And then I was signed to a three-book deal.
And then I got an agent.
Again, I was clueless about everything. I just wanted to write and get my story out.
It's all very unconventional but it's how I fell into the world of becoming an author. Other aspiring authors that I was friendly with at the time stopped talking to me. Like, they blatantly ignored me or were dismissive.
Some say it's jealousy. I'll never truly know but it was jarring to me since I'd been nothing but supportive to these people.
But you know what? I forged ahead.
I edited Unravel Me sitting at Logan Airport during a flight delay because it wouldn't stop snowing.
I worked on Effortless in London while visiting my publisher.
I attended book signings and met fans.
This was my dream that chose me because I chose it first.
Nothing will ever keep keep you from doing what you were meant to do. All you have to do is choose and get to work.