I spent ten years becoming unhealthy, physically and mentally. Because I was depressed, I ate to comfort myself. Then before I knew it, I was 40. While I didn’t look very good, I still seemed okay on the outside. I laughed and made others laugh. I wrote some books that people seemed to enjoy. On the inside, though, I was pretty numb in a lot of ways, but I felt like it was too late to change anything.
I almost gave up and decided to just be content with how things were. Then something happened; an anthology I was a part of hit a big Bestseller list back in August. There I was, a former public defender, who had always dreamed of writing, and now in my 40’s I had just become a USA Today Bestselling author. That was when I realized that AMAZING things can sometimes happen if you work hard.
So, I started eating better and walking on my treadmill a few minutes a day, and then a few minutes more etc. I also started reading again, good books – the kind that didn’t just provide me with an escape, but instead also made me think, and made me want to write that well myself. I took steps to learn to write that well, reading books written by master editors, studying the technical aspects of good writing and so on.
I started surrounding myself with supportive people. I began mentoring new authors, and I met some experienced authors who became good friends who have been there for me in many ways. I made new writing goals, and decided to measure success by how happy I felt about a book. Little by little, I started to become healthy again.
So now it’s December, and while I still have a way to go, I’m ON my way. Physically, I may not be a twenty year-old supermodel, but I don’t need to be one to feel beautiful. I’m a woman in her forties who is much healthier and feels attractive because of it. In fact, I’m going out for a Girls’ Night on the town next month for the first time in over a decade. When I go to sign at Wicked Book Weekend in February I will pose proudly for pictures instead of trying to hide behind other people.
I’m still reading good books and studying the technical aspects of writing. I’m not content just to hit a Bestseller list anymore. My new goal is to become a great author – the kind people remember. I’m not announcing release dates anymore until a book I have written is nearly complete and I feel like it’s ready.
I’m also starting to speak up about issues that I am passionate about again, Feminism, Zionism, Neurodiversity, Environmental concerns etc. Although I used to be an advocate, and even an activist, for a long time I remained silent. While I will always do my best to be respectful, and I will never try to force my views on others, I plan to discuss issues that are important to me. I have a voice and I want to use it in many ways.
The point of this post is not to brag; it’s to motivate. It is never too late to turn things around, not in ANY decade of life. If you are still breathing, you still have a life to live. Get out and live it. Start slowly – set yourself up for success, one step at a time. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start again when you fall. Think positively and surround yourself with others who lift you up. Believe that anything is possible, but be ready to work hard for it.
I hope that you have a wonderful 2015 and that your dreams come true.