Encouragement. Don’t we all need that once in a while? Doesn’t it get tiring trudging along the same old paths or whacking our way through an untamed jungle without something to embolden us? That boost comes in all forms, like a child telling another to keep trying to catch a ball, or the sympathetic ear of a friend or the support of a group of authors who’ve never met.
The cheerleader in my life was my paternal grandmother. I was a typical dispassionate teenager when I began writing short stories. I was shy and awkward around other school kids, but in my stories things could turn out the way I wanted. My grandma was the only person I shared my imaginings with. As much as I rolled my eyes at her praise and thought she said all those good things only because she had to (she was my grandma after all), I knew I could trust her with my dreams. It’s been over thirty years and I can still hear her sing-song voice telling me to “keep writin’ those stories”. She passed away long before my first book was published, but I know she’s grinning down from Heaven and proudly telling all her friends about it.
Without my grandma’s urgings when I was young and the enthusiasm of another author in a small writer’s group when I was first dipping my toes into the huge ocean of writing, I don’t know if I would have attempted to find a publisher for my books. Maybe you don’t have that kind of encouragement close to home. Maybe it comes from friends or people who share similar interests. Maybe you don’t feel as if anyone cares. Well, I do. And, I want to tell you this; you are capable of following your dreams—whatever they are. Keep striving. You can do it.
I’m not saying to jump out of an airplane without a parachute or think you’re going to swim across the English Channel if you can’t even dog paddle, but study whatever you want to do. Learn. Practice. Have realistic expectations—like you probably won’t get rich being an author. But, anything is possible if you work hard enough, don’t give up and stop to smell the flowers along the way.
Now, I have a challenge for everyone. Don’t forget to encourage the loved ones in your life. You may not see the impact right away, but that planted seed will eventually blossom into something beautiful.
Sandra Wilkins is busy writing another series while home educating her two daughters. Ada’s Heart, Rose’s Hope and Gwen’s Honor are her first three published wholesome historical romances. Go to http://www.sandrawilkins.com to find out more about her and her books.