The dream of becoming a published author is not for the faint of heart. The passion, the drive, the fire, must be stronger than any fears you let seep into your soul. I fell in love with writing when I was six years old when I watched my mother type away on her Smith-Corona creating her stories. I knew at that moment I wanted to be a writer of children’s books. But life gets messy, real messy. When raising my boys I never thought I’d find the time to write, but I did. I’d scribble on a piece of paper I’d find somewhere just to get an idea out while at soccer or lacrosse practice. Then the best thing I ever did for myself was to create a writing space. A sacred space that was all mine with little things that brought me joy like a small bird’s nest I’d find on a nature walk or a beautiful blue feather from a blue jay. The other step I took was to give myself the gift of carving out the writing time, one little chunk at a time until I got something done. That feeling of accomplishment, even if it took years was worth every messy moment trying to juggle family and precious writing time. And last, give yourself the permission to write a not-so-great first draft!! We are SO hard on ourselves. Your soul needs the expansion, the stretching out of any and every possibility in that first draft (yes, I admit I was a panser in the beginning) Why do we write?? Because for me, whatever I write from the heart, will reach the heart. And whatever I write, I know there’s a child out there waiting for the story that I have poured my heart and soul into. A child who will say, that’s me, or I’ve felt that way before. So, please writers, artists of any medium, don’t give up. We need you!!!