I’ve always been a dreamer, and I’ve always had big dreams. My biggest, wildest dream has been to become a writer. And ever since I could form words on the page, I have been writing. When I was in elementary school, I would fill spiral notebook after spiral notebook full of stories. I would go all out for our school’s Young Author program. I was one of the shyest kids in school, but I loved reading my stories out loud to my class. My whole life I have dreamed of story ideas and have always had a notebook on hand to jot down ideas whenever my muse struck.
And then I had kids.
I remember thinking that I would have so much extra time to write and finish a story while I was on maternity leave with my first child. (Ha!) I don’t think I wrote more than a few pages during those very short weeks home with a new baby as a new mom.
But I couldn’t give up my writing completely. It’s always been a part of who I am, and I always have a story to tell. True, sometimes my time, energy, motivation, and brain power are not exactly conducive to writing, and sometimes I go days or weeks without writing. But I can’t let it go.
In 2012, when my daughter was three, I published my first novel. It was an absolute dream come true. All those years of dreaming and I was finally in print. My second novel came out in 2015 and this fall I am publishing my first children’s picture book.
But it hasn’t been all roses. Being an independent author is hard. It’s full of upsets and disappointments. Several times I have wanted to give up and just be done writing forever.
But you want to know a big reason why I won’t? Because my children are watching. How can I teach my children to follow their dreams if I give up on mine? In the end, it really doesn’t matter if I’m a runaway success or simply in local bookstores. I have realized my dream, and I am still working on it. I’m still writing, and I’m going to keep writing. Sometimes I’ll fail. Sometimes my writing will flop. But that teaches my kids a lesson, too. We will all fail. My kids have seen me fail. They’ve seen me cry over a failure, and disappointments too. They’ve seen me want to give up. But they’ve also seen me get up again.
So, I know that I’m going to want to give up some time again in the future. But I won’t. Because my kids are watching.
What’s your dream, mama? Have you had a special dream since you were little that still compels you today? Follow it. You’re worth it, your dream is worth it, and when you work toward your dreams, your kids learn they have it in them to work toward theirs. You got this!