I remember the moment I decided to turn an idea into a novel. It was my senior year at Texas A&m University. I was working part-time at Barnes and Noble at the time, surrounded by book lovers almost constantly.
A dialogue exchange had been plaguing my thoughts for weeks. You know how it is, even if you’re not a writer. Made-up situations or that thing you wish you had said in a situation can play in your mind over and over again.
This is how it was. And I knew I had to do something about it.
So I sat down and wrote the prologue to what would become my novel, Soulwalkers. It was not well-written. But it was there. Over the next year, I spent countless hours at my local coffee shop, drinking way too many Milky Way Lattes, writing this story that poured out of me. In between customers at work, I’d plot out chapters on receipt and butcher paper. I’d write entire scenes in my head on the bus to class before I get to my laptop. I was writing more words in one day than I could write for my English classes all semester.
When I graduated college and moved away from my writing partner, finishing the story seemed like such a daunting task. I wrote less and less, exhausted by my new full time job, saddened from moving away from my friends, and overwhelmed that I still felt like I didn’t know what I wanted “to do” with my life.
I don’t think I touched Soulwalkers for almost a year.
One day, I forced myself to come back to this story that I believed in and to work on it. Every day, I set a timer for 30 minutes and wrote as much or as little as I could.
And then, all of a sudden, the story was finished. The accomplishment I felt is indescribable.
That was almost 10 years ago.
Since then, I have revised, sent queries, revised, sent more queries, and felt no closer to publishing than I did before I wrote that first word. So I did the thing that no writer should do. I got discouraged. And I locked Soulwalkers up in a file box and didn’t think about it for years.
When I turned 30, I told my friends and family I was excited about it, that 30 was going to be my best decade. But inside, I felt like there wasn’t much I’d accomplished with my life.
But then I remembered…
I wrote a freaking book.
So here we are. Just about 10 years since I started, doing this my own way. This winter, I will be able to hold a copy of the book I’ve poured my heart and, yes, my soul, into.
And the best part is, you will be able to too.