My first article that I submitted for publication was finally published.

After going through the publishing process of pitching an idea, submitting, having editors review the submission and make changes, someone decided that what I had created has quality.

This isn’t a paid article. Millions of people didn’t read it. Thousands didn’t share it.

But none of that matters.

What matter is someone else validating my work. It’s affirmation that the stuff I’m putting out in the world isn’t fruitless. I’m not a narcissist that doesn’t have a clue about life. There are others that can relate and want to read what I’m putting out there.

It’s a humbling and grateful experience.

I can’t wait to have more good news. Every small step is a step towards the ultimate goal.

Once my name’s out then I can start giving the voiceless a voice.

Here’s to the first step in speaking for the unspoken!

I’m an introspective person and love to learn my strengths and weaknesses. Awareness is how you grow into the person you’re supposed to be.

Which is why, after 2 days of uncharacteristic laziness, I started to search inwardly.

I am supposed to be writing seriously and sending books off to publishers. I have the time, the tools, everything is in order, so what’s the hold-up?

The road block is me.

I’m the person who’s the motivator. No one else is going to do the research for me. No one else is going to print the manuscripts. No one else is going to send the queries.

I’ve put in all of the work. This is the moment, I’ve been looking forward to. This is the easy part. So why can’t I find the energy?

I’m a self-sabotager.

We all have a tendency to run from things that scare us. Some of us are scared of failure, so we never start anything. Some of us are scared of rejection, so we never seek other opinions. Some of us are scared of change, so we stay in our comfortable bubble.

I’m scared of success.

I don’t know why but the idea of actually making it is my fear. Not because I don’t think I’m deserving. Rather, the perfectionist in me is scared that the product isn’t good enough. It’s the reason I’ve re-written the children’s books over ten times. It’s the reason I have received ten different critiques.

I secretly don’t want to submit something that isn’t perfect.

Which is irrational, because perfection is not an ideal. Especially when it’s your first time. Inexperience is the reason you make mistakes and why you are able to do better the next time. I’m not going to let myself sabotage the opportunities and gifts I’ve been given. All I can do is be aware of my faults, change my habits, and push forward.

That’s all anyone can do.

So I submitted my book and I’m starting a new one. One does not simply wait, instead, one is productive.

We enter adulthood and try our best to fit on the corporate hamster wheel.

We convince ourselves that job security and benefits are the way to find fulfillment in life. Until the day the wheel breaks and we find ourselves tumbling into an unknown abyss.

That’s where I found myself this week. I probably handled it better since I had been preparing all month for this event. I didn’t think it was actually going to happen, but sometimes your spirit prepares you for things.

After always having a job since I was sixteen and working over forty hours a week, I find myself in unknown territory. I have down time. i have an open schedule. I’m learning terms like severance package and unemployment.

Instead of rushing to end this period as quickly as possible, I’m taking the road less traveled. I’m going to focus on my true goal of being a writer. Not many times in life are you able to take time to focus. I don’t want to squander this gift.

Sometimes all it takes is happy thoughts to sprout your own wings.

Opportunity Knocks

People are always waiting. Waiting for a sign. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting for change.

So when an opportunity comes we tend to jump at it. Grab on as if our lives depend on it. Then when that opportunity leads us down a path we don’t want or if the opportunity isn’t granted to us, we go back to our waiting.

I had that scenario this week. A job opportunity was thrown in my lap that would be perfect. It’s my ultimate favorite thing to do with the company I work for. I wouldn’t have to constantly be worried about whether I’ll have a job tomorrow. I wouldn’t have to walk on eggshells by around my boss. I would love doing this so why not apply?

Since I am an impulsive person, I went home and prayed. I know what I want from life. I’ve put it in the universe and so I asked Him, “Is this the path you want me to take?”

Then I started thinking of the cons. I would have to break my lease. I don’t have the money to move. I would have to cancel my two vacations I’m planning. I would lose focus on my dream that I’ve been working on for months.

That’s when the decision seemed pretty clear. Don’t take the opportunity. It’s not going to benefit who you are or who you want to be in the world. Focus on the dream, because either you’ll get to quit the job after earning a publishing contract or you’ll have unemployment to motivate you into earning the publishing contract.

Just because the opportunity is there, doesn’t mean it’s for you. Start focusing on what you truly want from life. Don’t just wait for an opportunity to come, because you might grab the wrong one. Instead make the opportunity you want come to you.

Keep Reaching

It’s been a few days since I returned from the Writer’s conference and I’m still on cloud nine.

There was so much information, my brain was going to explode! Desperate need for some introverted time to let it absorb.

I met so many amazing people and handed out my business card (which I’m secretly proud of since I made it) to anyone who would take it. I whole-heartedly believe that these will be friends and connections will be in my world for a long time.

Despite the amazing fun to be had, there was also work to do.

I had a critique with an established author, who had a few revision ideas, agreed to re-read my stories, then gave me a list of potential publishers.

This is the best news, cherry on top, kind of day!

Now I just have to revise, resubmit, and for real submit.

Voices will be heard.

We will stand up for the bullied children.

We will start changing the world.

Keep reaching for those goals, because dreams are possible.

Unmotivated

Have you ever been on the cusp of success?

You can sense the hard work you’ve put into a project is on the brink of finally reaching recognition, acceptance, accomplishment, or what ever it is you use to determine its validity.

Yet something happens to you.

Suddenly you find yourself unmotivated to finish. You have all these new excuses or events that take priority and prevent you from reaching full completion.

Why does this happen? Are you afraid of success? Are you afraid of failure?

That is where I find myself. The morning off to finish my soon to be final draft of my stories. They’re already written. There really isn’t any work that needs to be finished, but I still find myself avoiding it. I distract myself with things like reading, exercising, shopping, internet surfing, literally anything that is not the project at hand.

Maybe it’s fear of change. Maybe I have fantasized so much about next weekend that I have made it bigger than it is. Maybe I’m naturally a saboteur. No matter what the reason, I’m sure that it is toxic.

It seeps into your pores, into your mind, into your well-being, so much that it kills you. Maybe not the physical you, but the dreams that make up you, which is worse than the body.

I suppose that’s when you just have to face it. Push through it. Quit thinking and obsessing, instead, just do it! Easier said than done, but here goes.

The worst tragedies in your world aren’t inflicted, but they’re the ones you inflict on yourself. Start believing that change is good. That you can do this. That you’re worth the dreams you have for yourself.

Chance Meeting

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes things happen that appear merely by chance?

I decided to attend a last-minute writer’s group because they were in need of writing to critique, but couldn’t stay long due to a prior engagement. As I’m sneaking out for my alternative plans, I run into an established illustrator that loves to create the kind of images needed for my books.

Coincidence? Fate?

He shows me some of his work and we engage in conversation. Instant connection made! I’m still on the fence whether I want to have the book professionally illustrated or if I want child-like illustrations. I think that a blended version could make for a big impact. We’ll see what he thinks after he reviews my material.

I’m not a coincidence kind of girl. God puts people in your life that you’re supposed to meet. They sometimes come when you least expect them, but always for a reason.

There are still 2 weeks before the writer’s conference, but I believe this opportunity will be for good things. Fingers crossed things will start happening next month!