My heart is so full today. After dreaming about it since I was a little girl, I am a published author and my first novel, Just Under the Clouds, is in bookstores.
When I was a kid I always said that I wanted to be an "author" but that dream wasn't always nurtured. I was often told it was "impractical." For a long time, I strayed from the path of becoming a professional writer.
But I was always a writer.
I wrote in secret. I wrote in the dark. I filled notebooks. I crowded hard-drives with files upon files of words. Sometimes my sentences were ugly and awkward, sometimes they had potential, sometimes they were even a little beautiful. They were mine.
Slowly, I let them go. I shared them with gatekeepers who didn't want to read them, who had a lot to say about their merit (or lack there-of). After practicing my craft and sending more work out into the world, I was told again and again that my stories were "beautiful but..." I was often told they were too quiet. Maybe it was because I whispered them in the dark.
I might not have been the writer I wanted to be, then, but I was always a writer.
As the years drew on (and ON!), a few of you listened to those quiet stories and I am thankful to you, for leaning in a little closer to hear. For your faith and belief in me and my words. You know who you are. Slowly, that handful of people grew a little larger. And, now, it would seem I have my own little #TeamCloud.
Today, this story will go out in the world, into the hands of strangers, and kids, and I couldn't be more proud and happy (and a little nervous, too). Thanks to so many of you for your love and support over the years.
I was always a writer, just like you were always that something you wanted to be. I hope you'll let others in on your secret.