“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison
I’ve always been a scattered background writer. In fact, I have scraps of writing stashed in notebooks all over the house. I also have some post-it notes and fast food napkins with what I consider to be possible writing perfection scribbled on the folds. Once, several years ago, I was even brave enough to publish. But then I was too scared and preoccupied with other things to market myself. Fast forward to the end of last year, I was “due any day now” pregnant with my second child having a conversation with my mentor about the state of my life, specifically my desire to write for myself, not just others. I had so much potential, but seemingly not enough time, energy or motivation to realize it. In the spirit of authenticity, I’ll be honest and share that I even told her part of my stagnation was the lack of enthusiasm from my husband about my endeavors. She said, “Danielle, have you considered that maybe he’s not that enthused because you’ve been all talk and no action? Maybe if you were to complete something, he’d be on board. But it’s not fair for you to hold him accountable to being more excited about projects that you’re not enthusiastic or committed enough to complete.” Ouch, amen, and thank you ma’am! My mentor’s message translated in my hormonally sensitive mind that day as “Just Write It Already!” I couldn’t help but think she was probably right about my husband and those closest to me. They were all probably sick of hearing me talk of the next big thing without me actually doing anything.
That day I stopped talking about what I wanted to do, what I was gonna do, what I planned to do and what I hoped to do. I started writing the plan in ONE notebook (that was a big deal for me). I drafted the book I wanted to publish in that same notebook.
I was DOING it, not talking about doing it. After a few weeks I connected with a local publisher who was accepting new authors and submitted my manuscript for review. Scary! Within 45 days my first children’s book was published. As I was launching that book, the second children’s book was already in progress. Within about 120 days, I’d released two children’s books!
Moving from talking to doing required me to make sacrifices. My responsibilities as a wife and mother along with a full-time job did not yield to my dreams of being a writer. I had to stay up late (against the advice of sleeping while my newborn was sleeping). I had to wake up early, or in the middle of the night, to get things done. I had to cry tears of frustration; I even cursed a little (well, actually A LOT). But I got it done and it was so worth it!