I’ve been thinking back to to when I first started writing, to when the belief I had in myself and my ability to tell a story was almost non-existent. That’s how things are though, right, when you first start to lean into a passion you never quite acknowledged?

When people ask me how I started writing – I always tell them it was based on a challenge. My husband, who understood me better than I’d thought, was the one to challenge me to do something for myself, to do something I’d always wanted to do but never believed I could. He was the one who challenged me to start writing.

That girl in the photo above…that is the girl who took that challenge and made it her own. This photo was taken five years after I started writing – five very long, very arduous, very belief-crushing years. It took me five years to ‘learn’ how to write a novel that would connect with readers. It took me five years to realize I was ‘worthy’ of belief…from myself.

This is one of the first ‘author’ photos I had taken after Finding Emma exploded on the market. That joy, that happiness on my face…it’s not because I’m having fun playing in the snow…it’s because a dream I’d squashed all those years ago was coming true right then and there.

I can’t help but smile when I look at that photo. Yes, it’s old…thankfully I no longer wear glasses, but I still have that jacket, that scarf and I still live in a place where we get way too much snow for my liking. I smile however, because life has been so good since this photo was taken…and at that moment in time, I honest didn’t think life could get better!

I’ve written over 30 novels since then. I’ve sold over 2 million copies of my books, given away millions more of free copies, I’ve written stories that touched readers hearts and I’ve written stories hardly anyone reads but I needed to write. I’ve met amazing friends, visited amazing places and I know that life will only get better here on out as I continue to grow and continue to believe in myself.

That’s what changed in an instant. Me. When I realized I was worthy of that belief…everything changed. In. An. Instant. It’s crazy how that happens.

What does writing mean to me? It means everything. It’s part of who I am as a person…I’m not just a wife, a mother, a child – labels I’ve worn with pride but they are still, just labels. Deep down, in the recess of my heart and soul, when I look at ‘who I am’ as a person, as a being…I’m a creator. I am someone with passions, with dreams, with a drive inside to create something that others connect too.

We all have that drive inside of us. A drive that defines us more than just the labels we wear. What is that drive for you? Like my husband did for me back in 2014…what can I do to help you find and nurture that drive?