First of all, I'm grateful.
I used to think gratitude was activated only around the holidays. I usually didn't hear the word unless it was somewhere around Thanksgiving. However, I've learned that gratitude is an attitude to be exhibited all year round. It's not seasonal, but rather it's a daily thing.
If you've followed me on any medium within the past two years, I'm sure you know that I've always wanted to be a writer. I feel like words picked me. They singled me out and made me fall in love with them. From reading the dictionary for fun to writing in multiple journals throughout the years, the way words are purposeful and meaningful always intrigued me. I couldn't get enough of them. Truly. I still can't.
When I was growing up, a writer was someone who wrote books. Period. There were no blogs or copywriting. So I figured the only dream that could become a reality for a writer was to publish a book. I knew I would become an author one day, but the goal was so out of my reach at the time that I was willing to wait. And the reason why I felt it was so out of reach was that it was hard to get a big publishing house to accept your manuscript. How do I know? I read about it. And at the time, I wasn't confident enough in my skills to be a "big-time" writer. Besides, what would I even write about?
I didn't realize that journaling was my pathway to publishing a book. It was therapeutic for me, but I practiced honing my skill. Journaling was how words translated my feelings. It was how my journey to becoming a writer began. And now, I teach women how to leverage journaling as they move through their healing process and draw content from their journals for blog posts, web copy, and become published authors. It's pretty sweet.
Fast forward 20+ years.
Being in the right place at the right time is a thing. It's real. And I can't express how grateful I am that God placed me in the right places. I know it was Him because I wanted to move in different directions most of the time.
As I was scrolling through a Facebook group, I saw the link that was shared to become a contributor for Austin Moms Blog. My initial thought? No way am I putting myself in the position to be rejected. Not happening. But then I remembered that I'm a pretty good writer. It's in that moment, after the rejection thought, of course, that I believed in myself. So, I applied and was chosen to join a powerful team of moms who expressed the many sides of motherhood. The blog experience gave me the courage to explore all that writing offered. I found myself through words again. I'm also very thankful to have built strong friendships with many of them, and I love them all immensely.
As I'm honing my skills and learning more about using them, opportunities started coming in from many different directions. But, do you know the craziest part of it all? I was ready. I was prepared to write all day if I could. And even though my subject matter started to shift, the fact that I could spend time doing what I love was magical.
"Writers live twice." - Natalie Goldberg
I'm blessed to have friends/family who love me and want to see me do well. I'll never take that for granted. So, in this case, it was a family member who invited me to participate in a multi-author project for the book, Strong and Free. I was inspired by the process and how the publisher made everything run smoothly. In addition, I met women from across the globe, and their willingness to support each other's business while marketing this book was refreshing.
I joined this project pretty late in the process, so I chose to submit a story that included only 1,000 words. At that moment, I was working on projects for my clients, so I didn't have the time to contribute more. In only 1,000 words, I was able to share my journey of rediscovery. I wanted to encourage other women to avoid getting lost in the sauce of taking care of everyone else and in turn, neglect themselves. It's not worth it. It's never worth it.
By the way, don't underestimate the power of 1,000 words. You can tell your story in 1,000 words and sometimes less. If you want to know how to do that, make sure you sign up for next month's workshop, The Power of 1,00 Words. Sorry for the repetition, but I'm repeating it because it's essential to know. Trust me!
I'm so happy I joined this global powerhouse group of women in telling our stories of pain and triumph. We became #1 international bestsellers on Amazon, and I've been pinching myself ever since. The book was released in December, so that's lots of pinching. Therefore, I now know this is not a dream. The sugar on top? It was sharing this experience with my friend/family, Janifer. I will love her forever.
While writing my chapter for Strong and Free, I presented an idea to a group of friends who were all writers at a brunch I hosted. My bright idea was to create a lead magnet together. It was only supposed to be an eBook that we could all offer on our websites, but it turned out to be so much more.
It was during this process that I discovered K., the publisher. She had always been there, but now was the time she was to make her appearance. I could write a book about being a publisher. It's such an honor to have women trust you enough to allow you to share their stories. Somehow they knew that I would take care of them through this process because they allowed me to be my random yet intentional self. It was during this process that I started to study. I mean, I watched YouTube videos, participated in masterclasses, read books and articles all about publishing.
Publishing Transitions was a learning experience from beginning to end. I know what to do again, what not to do again, and what I would change. Besides getting married to my best friend and having five children who I love like crazy, publishing this book was the biggest accomplishment of my life thus far. And its success has assured me that there are many more big accomplishments to go!
At the end of this process, I became a #1 bestselling author on Amazon AGAIN, and this time, I got to share this experience with even more friends. I'm proud of myself, but I'm also proud of them. They told their stories, shared their hearts, formed friendships, found courage, and have been hitting the ground running ever since. What they may not know is, because of them, I also have found the courage to share my story, my heart, develop deeper friendships, and just like Fred Flintstone, my feet are on FIRE. I'm hitting the ground running so hard!
Thank you, ladies. I love you forever.
Out of this project, Chestnut Publishing House was born and we are super excited about the next project!
Are there some things you wish someone would have shared with you before you became a mom? Are you willing to share what you wish you knew or what you now know with another mom? Join us as we launch our next book just in time for our special day.
For more details, contact us, and let's connect!