I spend 95% of my life frustrated. It’s the truth. Every day I wake up, and I want more. I want more success, more readers, more time to write, more photographs that make me smile, and more time to capture those perfect moments– I want more, but I also realize the only person who is able to give me more of all of those things, is myself. Just because I want more, doesn’t mean I’m not thankful–because I am. Every day I also wake up and smile. I breathe in the scent of my husband’s cologne, and thank God that somehow, he sent me him–that in the depth of all my teenage stupidity I found him–or he found me–and that after ten years of knowing him, I love him more every day. I wonder to myself how the hell it’s possible–and then I sit up, have my dogs kiss my face, and I smile again. I’m even thankful I have those little (cold and wet) noses to wake me up. I drive to work, my mind in the cloud of my imagination–I always get the best ideas when I’m blasting my music–I thank God for whatever ideas I just got and I sit down and get to work on my day job– the one that pays the bills. The one I worked my butt off for, the one I am so thankful I somehow got. I smile when my employees call me–because I’m thankful for each and every one of them. I work with an amazing group of people, who challenge me every day. My employees, my managers, our vendors, my customers–they all give me a challenge every day. I have a dynamic job where one minute I’m working on a training program, the next I’m writing a proposal with statistics and numbers, the next I’m answering a frantic employee phone call–calming down a irate customer–or joking around with one of the vendors I work with. Then at the end of it, I go home–mentally exhausted and I write. I love my day job, but my dream is at the tips of my fingers, pounding on these keys and telling stories to people around the world. God, am I thankful for the fact I reach readers all over the world. Who would have thought I would have readers in Italy, New Zealand–fans, real genuine fans who talk to me on Facebook and Twitter from Romania, the UK and even Africa? My day job may be challenging, but writing tests me each and every day. Still, sometimes I just want it to stop. I just want the world to stop for two seconds. I just want to breathe. I never feel like I can breathe, but in the next breath I’m inhaling in words–gulping them down like the best oxygen on the earth. That’s it– I’m addicted to this– to creating and living in other worlds, and I truly am blessed to have this talent. No one ever said this would be easy, and I am going to stand up and say, it’s not. There’s nothing easy about being an author. There’s only a handful of authors who make it, truly make it–and there’s so many of us just treading water. This year, I honestly feel like I’m drowning. Forget treading water–it’s over my head. When I first started this, I had no clue what I was doing, but slowly I started to feel like I was going to make it–maybe I wasn’t going to make it big–but I was going to make it, little by little. Love Exactly was amazing, and I thought it could only get better. It didn’t. I’ve spent months wondering if I am just a one hit wonder–that’s it–one and done. Yes, I believe in God, fate, karma. A few weeks ago I felt like the drowning was almost over, that I was about to hit the bottom; I felt like the end of my writing career was nearing. I was putting a time stamp on success. Five years, and I’m done with this struggle. Then came the tweets–the ones where I found myself shaking my head. The ones where I thought to myself, just be thankful–and I realized Love Exactly spoiled me with its sales. That the sales really weren’t what made the books I write amazing, because then came the discovery–the webpage where a photographer put one of my quotes, from soon to be published (2015) Pieces of Perfection. Where they wrote about the loss of a loved one with my quote attached. I sat there for a moment, amazed, that in the middle of a million quotes, mine had struck this woman so much. It had touched her, and as I read it, I thought, holy $hit, I wrote that. Yes, I wrote that. Then there is this fabulous woman from Romania, who popped on my page, and made my day–and somehow, she felt like I had made hers. Another holy (alright, I’m just going to swear) shit moment. Then there’s the faithful fans who read every single thing I post on Facebook (Deniz)–who make me feel like a best seller, even when I’m not anymore. I can’t stop–I don’t think Love Exactly was the best book I have written–or can write. I don’t think it’s going to be my only best seller. I’ve gone through an evolution as an author, and maybe instead of drowning, I’m just going to become a mermaid (I always wanted to be one anyways). I’ve learned more about myself as a writer, this year, than I ever have. I realize what I stand for. What I want to write about in every single one of my books–which span so many genres, is simple–music, words, love. The things that have helped me keep moving, pushing forward through whatever I’m handed. The things that make it so I can’t stop.
Some people have doubted me.
I WILL NOT STOP.
I’m not brilliant–God knows that, but I am determined.
I am a hard worker.
Dear God, I want to take a second to not ask for anything–but to tell you how thankful I am for everything you’ve given me, every single day. For my husband, for my family, for my words, for my fans–for my life.
I won’t give up. Nothing will ever be good enough–but in the best of ways, because no matter what I’m thankful for this life.
So keep handing me those challenges and those moments that are brilliant sparks against the dark water around me.
I promise I’ll keep recognizing them.