A goal as described by the Merriam Webster dictionary is “the end towards which effort is directed”.
Ok then, yes, becoming a published author has been a goal of mine since I was a child.
I can recall writing poems for my friends as a teenager, describing them in a lyrical way was how I expressed my loving opinions of them, writing is my tool for expressing myself.
For a long time I felt that I was unable to communicate effectively, even though my words on my pages were strong, well thought out, yes sometimes edited, but they were my words, my feelings and emotions, how I truly felt.
Over the years I wrote on and off, even took a children’s writing course (via old school snail mail way back before we could take courses online). I was always encouraged and given positive feedback by the instructors, but I continued to write simply as my own outlet, and eventually not even for that purpose.
Fast forward to the winter of 2015 and along with the dark, cold weather that the Northeast so generously delivers came a despair that snuck up from behind me. I did not see it coming and did not recognize it for what it was, but what is was, was depression and being disconnected from my soul. By mid January of that year I was unmotivated, my fatigue was worse than usual and I didn’t have an ounce of desire to spend time with anyone other than my immediate family. Even with them, it took effort to stay in the kitchen or living room any longer than necessary. I wanted to lay in bed and look out at the gray skies that reflected my despair.
I maintained life as usual, I went to work, I cooked, I cleaned, all with minimal effort and as quickly as possible so I could retreat to the quiet of my room. I was also very unhappy at work and I knew each day I was “dying a slow death” and had to get out of there.
Every moment I could was spent in my room contemplating, pondering and soul searching.
I spent weeks being in the stillness and quietness of my own energy. I listened, but for a while, heard nothing. Was there a guiding voice? I believed there was, but self-doubt crept in and I convinced myself what I heard was only what I wanted to hear. Quietly I allowed my mind to clear, I allowed my thoughts to clear, for it is within the silence we often receive the loudest messages.
In my case the loudest and sweetest voice I heard was that of my soul sister telling me to write my way out of my job. I shared with her my thoughts and disbelief that I had become so disconnected from my writing. How could I have strayed so far from the very thing that gave me my voice, that was my outlet, that filled and satisfied my soul!
“I wish” was my silent reply to her statement. To me, writing feels like coming home, it’s comfort food for my soul.
And then, I heard my old inner critic.
What would I write about? What do I know enough about? What can I teach or guide anyone about? I’m not an expert on anything.
I caught myself pretty quickly before I had the chance to actually believe those negative thoughts, and I began to think about all that I have learned and been trained or certified in, about what I can do well. I love to motivate, inspire, and empower others utilizing holistic methods and tools. My own life has been transformed by the tools I have acquired and I had burning desire to assist others to learn that they too could transform their lives.
And no sooner than I came to that realization, but the words began to spill out. Whenever and wherever I was, words poured out like I had broken a dam of silence and my voice was singing to the high heavens.
I was free! I was using my voice in the medium that was aligned with my soul and I felt joyous.
I wrote and wrote and wrote about my life, my family, things I’ve done, and things I desired to do. As soon as I took that first step it was as if were on a golden path and although I could not see where the path was leading, I trusted my way was being divinely guided.
My golden sparkling path led me to a heart centered, amazingly supported, book writing course. I felt connected and exhilarated and I knew in my heart of hearts this was my next step. I began that class with what could have been described as a tornado of writing pieces and no idea what to do with the storm of words, emotions, and experiences that were left in the aftermath. Baby steps, I was divinely guided, and every part of my being was alive again!
Through the course I met many women like myself, I hit it off with one woman in particular and we decided to get in touch by phone as a way to further support each other and give one another credit for having each taken our own baby steps. Michelle Griffith, I like to think, was divinely guided to mention an anthology to me that she was so eagerly contributing to and thought I might like to check out. She sent me the link knowing it was up to me to take my next baby step towards my goal of becoming a published author.
I eagerly clicked on the link and as I began to read more and more about a husband-and-wife team, Jodi Chapman and Dan Teck, and their soulful mission and purpose of the three prior books in their 365 series, I could not shake the feeling that I was meant to be a part of their next book, “Goodness Abounds”. I closed my laptop and casually mentioned it to my husband deciding to take some time to see if it truly was resonating with me, and within hours I knew I couldn’t not be a part of their next book. So I emailed Jodi and her quick reply and welcoming nature confirmed to me that working with them was something I was meant to do.
In the months that followed, there were moments where I questioned calling myself a “published author”, does this really count, I only have a small part in this beautiful book, it does not belong to me, I cannot take credit for it, does that really give me the right to call myself a published author? But the consistent validation that Jodi and Dan offer throughout the process, their ability to make each one of over 200 contributing authors feel important, and their attentiveness to ALL of my questions have transformed those insecurities and I am forever grateful to them both.
Book launch day arrived and within two days I was holding our precious book containing 365 heartfelt and loving stories from over 250 co-authors, and it brought tears of joy to my eyes. I knew it would feel amazing, but it became even larger than that, with each story I read, my connection to how our book could touch so many people worldwide, grew immensely. I am beyond proud for sharing this journey with Jodi, Dan, my co-authors and our readers!
“It is never too late to be what you might have been” by George Eliot has long been one of my favorite quotes. It resonates deeply within me and is a constant reminder to me that at ANY age you can accomplish your goals, you can absolutely be, who, as a child long ago, you imagined you would be when you take just one baby step forward. You must be patient and you MUST take that step!
Calling myself a “Bestselling Published Author” took on considerably greater meaning when it came as a result of a book that I am so honored to have contributed to!