I did it.
I made it through the proverbial gate, stood on the other side, and breathed the words, “So this is how it all begins…”
This meaning my life, my dreams, my reason for needing my hands on the keys, drudging up words made of strings attached to every aching question inside of me.
I wrote a book. That book is going to be in readers’ hands. But just because it feels like new doesn’t mean it’s the beginning of this journey. Because this journey is over ten years in the making and I have had that “so this is how it all begins…” moment more than once.
The first time was when I started writing my very first book. I was seventeen and I wrote desperately, feverishly for more than twelve months. I wrote that book by my father’s hospital bed. I finished it shortly before he passed away. And with every word, I thought, this is it. This is why I’m here.
The next time was when I won $100 in a short story contest.
Then again when I finished my second book.
I thought “so this is how it all begins…” when I self-published for the first time. And the second. And the third.
Every time I finished a book and shared it with readers I felt this sense of new beginnings, this wonder at what was to come.
Now I’ve reached another milestone. One I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. And it feels surreal and scary and so freaking fantastic.
But calling this the beginning completely negates the past ten years that I have been writing and exploring and growing. I am proud of this moment but I am also proud of all of the other moments that led me to this one. All of the shelved manuscripts and half-written stories. All of the hours spent doubting, forcing out one word, one letter at a time. The wrong turns and the wishful thinking. The daydreaming. The daydreaming about this day.
I have a book deal.
I have a book deal.
But I wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for all of the things that came before. The things that shaped me, hurt me, saved me. Because it’s those things that have made all of this worth it. That have made this moment mean that much more.