Does anyone ever get “there?”

Let me take a little of your time to talk about the concept of “getting there”. The lives of many seem to revolve around this elusive destination. Lately, mine as well. I’m a writer. I’m as passionate about this as the next writer out there. I’ve spent countless hours obsessing about the next steps in my writing “career.” The goals. The milestones. The obstacles.

I was first focused on getting a story—any story—published. Then I was focused on getting more stories published, then on joining a number of communities, and now I’m gearing up to obsess about finding an agent.

And as my obsessions peaked, the pure, innocent joy that the act of writing is for me dissolved.

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The beginner’s mindset: so important in writing.

The good thing about long breaks (even if involuntary) from a regular routine is that they help us see the big picture of an activity, a life choice, a goal. They bring clarity. It’s been more than three months since I worked on my writing projects, and I have come to recognize a couple of things.

But first, let me explain the break in my writing. The reason is, in fact, lovely: I’m pregnant with twin girls and I can’t be happier. But I was also very morning (or rather all-day sick) for a good number of weeks. Looking at screens or even reading printed books made it even worse, so I had to take an involuntary break from all I was doing and spend some time on the couch meditating next to a bucket.

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Owning the baggage that trips us: when they told me I shouldn’t write.

A few weeks ago, I met Garth Greenwell at a reading of his book, “What belongs to you.” I was completely taken aback by his eloquence and uplifting ideas. During the discussion, he said one thing (among many other wonderful things) that stayed with me (I’m paraphrasing): The wrong or hurtful things we hear and are taught as children will always stay with us; we can never grow up to be as if we had never heard these things; but what we can try is to turn them into something useful.

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Finding that voice.

On November 30th this year, I reached a milestone: my short story, “Clara,” appeared in the November issue of Electric Spec magazine. This is the first time that a short story of mine got published. I can’t explain what this means to me. It’s been a long road.

I took the decision to live my dream rather than dream my dream in the beginning of 2016. Before that, I had always wanted to but had never taken any real steps to live the life of a writer. But finally, two decades of wishful thinking culminated in me having had enough of dabbling. By Christmas that same year, I completed the rough draft of my fantasy trilogy, and in January 2017, I gave in my two-months resignation notice from my day job. This was not a spontaneous decision. In that faithful spring of 2016, a slow transformation began inside me, ending with me finally breaking through the thick wall of fear that had hitherto held me back.

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