Keep Going, Writers
Stay the course and choose yourself...
Seeing my books in bookstores never gets old. My heart gets full every single time. I've been writing books for ten years now, going on eleven. Sometimes it's really hard to believe that I ended up here. There were so many voices along the way that questioned my ability to make writing my profession. I mean, shoot, at one point, I almost believed them. The outside doubt was just as bad as my self-doubt. I almost gave up and listened to folks telling me how crazy I was to bet on myself like this. But like Brandi says, almost doesn't count.
My first book came out when I was 23. I was relentlessly ambitious back then. I was determined to make something out of myself, but I don't think I ever imagined being here. It's been quite the ride, five books, and multiple journals later. Last year I became a New York Times Best-Selling author and celebrated teaching over 20 thousand folks how to stand in their power through writing-to-heal. It's wild what a little self-belief and a whole lot of not giving up can do for our dreams.
Yesterday, when I walked into Barnes & Noble with my husband and oldest daughter, I beamed when my daughter said, "Your books are in the Local Author section, mama, come look!" Her excitement brings me an even deeper level of pride and joy.
Writing has opened so many doors for me. It's how I feed my family. It's how I was able to buy my home. It's allowed me to tell my story so that people can feel less alone. It's created liberation in my life that I never thought was possible. Writing reminds me that I can build and be in a community with folks from different walks of life whose stories bring us together in life-altering ways. The written word is a sacred bridge builder that reminds us all to keep going.
To whoever needs this right now: Keep pressing forward. Your stories matter more than you know. You will have people doubt you, and still, you must choose to believe in yourself. No matter what you want to do in your life, self-belief can help you stand even deeper in your truth. Do not let anyone trick you out of trying. Your dreams are not for everyone to understand. They are yours for a reason.
If you're looking to dive deeper into your writing practice, it would be an honor to share space with you in New Mexico in September. I would love to be your supportive partner as you unfold and deepen into your truth on the page. I'm thrilled to be a part of the A Writer's Room Retreat this year. Never in a million years did I imagine teaching alongside living legends like Julia Cameron and Anne Lammot. No matter where you are in your journey, we are all in this together.
If you would've told 23-year-old me that I would be where I am today, she wouldn't have believed it. There's something to be said about staying the course and choosing yourself. I’m grateful that I did both of those things.
Keep going, friends. Keep going.
Gratitude Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.