I am living breathing proof that dreams come true and I want you to follow yours.
Six years ago, I was having a rough time finding myself – as many people in their early twenties do. I found myself in strange circumstances in which everyone was telling me how lucky I was and so, no matter how miserable I might have been – I went along for the ride because to be honest, being somewhere that everyone else wanted to be was intoxicating and oddly empowering. I couldn’t quite explain to anyone what I was experiencing, so I wrote it out. Once I started clicking away at the keyboard – I couldn’t stop. My excitements, insecurities and secrets were staring back at me in times new roman font. When I was finally finished purging my thoughts, I had a new one: I wanted to share them.
5% of books that are written get published. I have heard that for the past six years from friends and strangers alike. I had never written a book. I had never written an article for a magazine. I never took a journalism course. The only notes I took in any english class were passed to friends. The fact that I had written a book was laughable and trust me, I was in on the joke. But I had this insistant voice in the back of my mind telling me: you can do this. I knew that I was meant to get the story I had created out and into the world. I didn’t know how, I didn’t know where, but I just knew that it was part of my personal story.
For six years, I exhausted every avenue that I came across in an attempt to get my book to the next level. I was rejected by agents, denied by publishers, taken advantage of by deceitful people and it felt like everyone was rolling their eyes at me – and not always behind my back. I firmly believe that nothing worth having is ever easily attained and I repeated this mantra to myself time and time again. You have to believe the same if you want to achieve something extraordinary. Every time that you get set back, learn something from it and make it work in your favor.
Make sacrifices. At one point, I had to sublet my NYC apartment and move back to my parents house in Seattle for a short period of time. At twenty-nine, I feared that I was bordering loser status. My parents were worried about my choices and future, rightfully so – and even my sister hurtfully referred to me as a joke. People aren’t always going to understand what you know and that is their problem, not yours. I just kept pushing along – considering it as fuel to my fire. Do the same.
My best friend and I were going through similar struggles and we would (still do) say to each other daily; continue to be a good person and good things will happen. I really, truly believe in this – but only if your intentions are pure and not expecting rewards from the universe. Just be a good person and be deserving of good things and they will come. Know this.
On the morning of July 15th 2011, I woke up to three missed calls and two text messages from my agent. My book had sold to Penguin Group – one of the biggest and best publishers in the world. My dream had officially come true. There are no words to describe this moment in my life – even though I always knew it would eventually happen just as it did. I literally dreamt about that very moment. And it happened.
Last week, I produced the photo shoot for my book cover which was shot at Smudge Studios in LA. It was exactly what I had envisioned for the cover and I am still flying high on mixed but merry emotions. The best part was being able to hire and work with some of my closest friends (well deserved credits below) who have watched and supported me as I fought pearly tooth and polished nail to get here.
I don’t know what will happen with my book. It could fly and it could flop. Regardless, I already feel like I’ve made it. Five percent, schmive percent. If I can do it – you can do it, whatever ‘it’ is to you.
Believe in yourself. Be a good person. Follow your dreams. I believe in you.
PS. Was that not Jerry Maguire’s mission statement moment via www? Somebody hand me a goldfish. Who’s coming with me?