I remember those summers spent watching the sunrise and leaving well past sundown after a fun-filled day with friends. My surfer hottie had sandy blond hair, a lean physique, and bright blue eyes that made me suck in my breath whenever he smiled. I remember sitting on the sand, my feet buried deep beneath the soft grains, as I watched him hitting the waves in his wetsuit. He was a natural and the beach was his second home. Whenever he rode the waves in on his longboard I would be mesmerized at his beauty and grace. He had a way with making my heart race and lightheaded with just a touch. We always laughed and most days we snuggled on the beach to watch the sun go down. We were a perfect pairing and those were the times when I thought nothing could be as perfect as being with him...

As an adult, I look back and realized that he was my first love. The one person who shaped my life and although we had grown apart and our needs changed, I knew he impacted me in so many ways. There's no regret when you've learned a lesson. In fact, all those memories...all those emotions are usable when it's time for me to add a touch of intimacy in my storytelling. I pull from different experiences, different people to build the overall characters and actions, but that's because if you use just one person to create your h/h, it may not be enough. The truth can be that fiction is always more engaging and the author has the ability to make everything larger than life to make things work.

Over the years I realized writing is a lot like surfing. The ocean is intimidating but when you step into the water--go as far out as you possibly can, even past your comfort zone, the waves are bigger and better...they're even more exciting and scarier than you expected. When the mammoth wave appears and seems like it could easily engulf you, you can either: 1. ride it in or 2. get sucked in the undercurrents.

Translation: Writing is intimidating when you first start your project but once you put words to document--and continue to write as much as possible, going with your continual stream of consciousness, the story grows and strengthens...the characters and storyline becomes more solid and shaped in ways you hadn't anticipated. When you come to a stopping point, you notice that you're now so far away from the beginning, yet so close to the end. You can either 1. keep pushing forward and worry about editing later or 2. you allow your insecurities to prevent you from reaching the end....

In both cases, what would you do?

C'mon now--you have all the answers you need. YOU have the power at your fingertips, just as you have the power to decide if you really want it bad enough...If you want to be published someday. This means there are no excuses and you should carve out time to dedicate to YOUR writing. Serious writers write regardless of the curveballs that are thrown your way. Serious writers should have realistic expectations. Not all writers will publish the first thing they've ever written. Be ready to roll up your sleeves, get that empty binder ready to house all those rejections, and be prepared to grow a thick skin. When you can accept that you're in it for the long haul...then there's no doubt in my mind that you can call yourself an author.

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