Thursday, 13 December 2012

Follow Your Dreams

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney.

As a child I was a prolific reader. I read everything I could get my hands on and more. It seemed only natural that eventually my dream would turn to writing books someday. 

For years I practised by sending family and friemds letters of my life story, whether they wanted to read about it or not. I wrote poems and stories for the children in my classes and for my own boys as they grew. 
Eventually I challenged myself to attend a few short story writing courses at the local Community College. With the confidence that came from that I extended my horizons to a Diploma in Professional Children's Writing through the Australian College of Journalism. It was a fantastic correspondence course that was very comprehensive and lasted over six months. The feedback I received once again was so positive and helpful I finally felt ready to put myself "out there" and send off those first manuscripts. Unfortunately my timing was all wrong. The inital chidren's book I sent away was an adventure set in Bali and while held for over twelve months by a very promising publisher who assured me they were certainly keen, the Bali bombings hit, and all things Balinese understanably were not so popular anymore. The manuscript was returned and all went quiet. I immersed myself in my teaching career, studying further, this time a Graduate Diploma in ESL/LOTE. Study, teaching full time and raising three boys kept my basket full, but I still yearned to write for children. So I once again began to write stories for the children in my classes, but it wasn't enough. I wanted to reach more children. I wanted to see the delight in their faces as they read my books.

Finally I decided to retire from teaching. I joined an online writing group. It didn't take long for the rave reviews to come flooding in. I even started to win the odd award and competition or two. My confidence in my writing grew once more and with the backing and wonderful support of my husband and family my journey to self publishing began.

Gingerbread Aliens is now available via my website for those interested in grabbing a great book for the kids for Christmas before it's too late! The second book in the series is with the illustrator now, I can't wait to see the final product myself! Books three, four and five are not far behind.

So follow your dreams, as Walt Disney said, it only takes a little bit of courage and faith in yourself and you can get their in the end. 

More on my journey to publication and beyond to follow.

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