Gratitude for Trying
Not quitting or letting outside projections and doubt sway me wasn't easy...
I started writing books ten years ago. At 23, I self-published my first book, Words from a Wanderer. With very little money in my pocket, I took a risk and chance on myself. From there, I self-published another book, Love in my Language, and a couple of journals to help folks dive deeper into their own writing practice. Self-publishing all those years ago gave me the confidence in my craft that I needed. It opened up a lot of self-trust for me at the time. Not only that, about four years in, I started getting approached by traditional publishing houses. I signed my first official deal in 2016 with a meager advance and no agent in my corner to advocate or negotiate. Needless to say, I knew next to nothing about the book industry at the time—but I learned a lot. I went on to release two books with that publisher. Soon after, I realized I needed an agent so that I could move to a new publishing house. Luckily, I found one who is now like family, and, in my career, she is my greatest advocate.
I ended up leaving the first publishing house, and taking my 2020 book After the Rain to auction with the help of my agent, and getting a six-figure advance for that body of work. To say the process floored me would be an understatement. When I started on this path through self-publishing, I had no idea that the book industry was this complex and had so many moving parts and people involved. Taking a chance on myself when no one around me understood or believed I could be an author for a living was an undertaking. I had to lean a lot deeper into self-trust in order to keep going and not quit.
Not quitting or letting outside projections and doubt sway me wasn't easy, but I'm so grateful to my younger self for sticking with what most thought was impossible. Fast forward to today, my fifth book, How We Heal, is available for pre-order. Looking back on how far I've come opens my eyes to my dreams. I am reminded that nothing is impossible—that we must try and take risks on ourselves to create the lives we desire. Being on this path reminds me that self-belief is necessary and sacred.
I'm grateful for the paths that led me here.
I'm grateful for the detours that slowed me down.
I'm grateful for the crossroads that encouraged me to think.
Our journeys are not linear. I hope this reflection encourages you to go out and get what you want. To try, even if you're scared. To dream, even if people tell you your dream is too big.
Your life is yours.
Your dreams are real.
Your path is waiting on you to keep exploring what's in your heart.
If you're paying attention, you will find gratitude along the way for the highs and the lows. You deserve to take up space. We all do.
Community, leave your dreams in the comments. Tell us how you're trying and taking risks on yourself. I look forward to reading them.
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Please pre-order my new book, HOW WE HEAL, here. Your support is so appreciated.
Learn more about publishing and self-publishing your work, here.