After delaying the dream of writing for so many years, being published in a print magazine was a dream come true. Last January, I was published in Holl and Lane, starting my 2017 off to a bang.
There is something unforgettable about holding something in your hand. Something that you wrote yourself. Your words. This is what dreams are made of; this was my dream come true.
This is my story.
All writing-firsts are unforgettable to me. The first time I was published in a newspaper, the first paycheck as a writer, my first blog post. I love all the firsts. I also love all the seconds and thirds, and so on..
I hope you read my story and are aspired to make your dream come true!
This is my story, published in Holl and Lane Magazine, 2017 Collection, Volume 1 Issue 11
I am a writer. A paid journalist. I can say that now. It took me twenty-six years to be able to say that. To own that title. My story is one of believing in yourself, of confidence and it has a happy ending. The road was both smooth and full of potholes, but where I am now, in a place of happiness and contentment, I can say I am a bit proud of myself. When it takes you twenty-six years to discover yourself and to do what you were meant to do, you have a little self-pride.
This story begins in 1988 when I graduated with a journalism degree. Married for a year, baby-on-the-way, but no confidence. Absolutely none. I had never been published; only written articles for assignments (which I believe was a failure of the university). Besides the baby and the lack of confidence, my husband was making a good living and we were ok so I stayed home. Fast forward eight years, we were doing great-nice house, nice cars, traveling, and living the good life. I was happy being a mother and a wife and living well. Another ten years or so, and due to the decline in the economy, our life changed.
My husband owns a contracting business for new construction apartments. His company develops and installs the air conditioning in all the apartment units. He was very successful and had jobs all over the country. When there is a problem with the economy, builders stop building apartments, and contractors, like my husband’s business, stop installing air conditioning.
So, like a lot of Americans at that time, our family was hit hard.
This was a step into my fate of writing. A pothole-stretch-of-highway in my road to writing. It played an important role in how I ended up where I am now. I believe in ‘all in His time’ and I believe God placed all the events in my life to lead me to this moment.
I had no confidence, didn’t need a job, had a baby, then two more, and lived for my kids. I raised them and enjoyed every minute being a mommy and a homemaker who went to lunch with my friends and shopped all the time. (run-on sentence on purpose because it was a fun, happy, busy life)
But now, I was bored and having extra money benefited our situation. So, I started working at our local high school where my kids happened to be eight hours a day. I worked there for six years. It was a fun job and I loved working with the kids and being around my kids and their friends. I gained a great deal of friends.
In January of that sixth year of working, two important things happened.
Our superintendent was aware of my journalism degree, asked me to write an article for the local paper, so I tried. I was petrified and thought I would fail. I wanted to say no and put my head in the sand, because twenty-six years later, I still had no confidence. I panicked, and I freaked, but I wrote that article, submitted it to our city newspaper and although I had no bi-line, it was published! My first article I wrote was staring back at me in black and white. I was published.
So, I wrote another one. Published. I then wrote one to a smaller community paper and not only was it published, I had my first bi-line and they asked me to send more.
It was as though a bomb went off. I exploded into a journalist. Even more reason to be thrilled–I was even getting paid.
I remember calling my parents after my first payment and said, “Remember that journalism degree ya’ll paid for? You know how I have never used it? Well, I am using it now and I am a paid journalist!”
My parents were extremely proud, and I was so happy to give them this news.
At about the same time, the economy was changing for the better, my husband’s business took off again and a few months later I quit my job to start freelancing. I started writing for a weekly newspaper, writing from home and happily do so.
I love writing. I have always known I wanted to write. From diaries and journals my whole life, to writing poetry in college. When my oldest daughter was little, I wrote five children’s books. I researched and learned how to submit them to publishers (this was way before the online submission days). When I received my first no, I put the books down and filed them away. No confidence. A few years later, I had a dream and woke up and started writing a novel. Ten chapters in and the no confidence bug took over. I filed the novel away.
I honestly feel God knew I wasn’t ready to be a writer when I was younger. For some reason, it wasn’t my time. I am not sure I would have appreciated the process of writing and the rewards of writing at that time. He led me along my way to discover my confidence. I know this was all due to God and His timing. So many things fell into place for me to sit here today, writing this story. My story is not about ‘look at me, I am a writer’ but more about ‘you can be whatever you want to be, when you (and He) are ready’.
You can be anything you want to be when you grow up. It just took me twenty-six years longer than most people! I don’t regret or consider I wasted any time. I was a mother and I still feel that has been my most important role. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Even for writing. I hope you will read my story and be uplifted. I want to inspire others to be late-in-life-journalists. Or chefs. Or a nutritionist. Whatever your passion–do it and do it now.
I hope you find your confidence. Believe in yourself and believe in His time.
I am not finished driving down this road of mine. I am not through dreaming. I have more goals that I hope will, one day soon, be fulfilled. It will take hard work and I am prepared to put the work in. Who knows, I might get those children’s books and that novel out again?
This article, my story, is important for me to tell, over and over again. My intention is to inspire and if even one person decides to be brave and go Over the Edge , I have succeeded. (click the links for more of my story!)I want to inspire others to be late-in-life-journalists. Or chefs. Or a nutritionist. Whatever your passion--do it and do it now. #dedradaviswrites Click To Tweet
Thankfully, I have had more success since the publish date of this article and like I said, “I am not through dreaming.”
I hope for you a dream come true. If I can do it, you can do it!
love and blessings~dd
Thank you for reading my story. Another reason this article is sentimental to me– my youngest daughter was the published photographer!
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