Donna Norman Carbone
I had this tattooed on my wrist in 2013, roughly about the time I started to
take my writing in a new direction.
Over the last seventeen months, since I signed my publishing contract, I have been on an amazing journey of learning and living in my manifestations. What do I mean by that?
Many, many moons ago, I put out into the world that I wanted to be a published author. Until this point, I’ve been working at it, at times more fastidious than others. Only through the lens of reflection can I see the steps that led me to this moment: on the cusp of releasing my first novel.
The road to this point has not been an easy one. And, if I’m being honest, I didn’t always have faith in myself. In fact, there were very low points that I swore it was time to quit. I had been devoting so much of my heart and soul to what didn’t seem like it was going anywhere. I was afraid it would all amount to nothing but precious time wasted.
The long, winding, rocky, steep, and at times no end in sight, road
But something kept me returning to this dream I had since I was a little girl. Because words have always meant something to me, personal and poetic, I believe in their power. I dreamt of using that power to touch others’ lives in some way through my words, my creations, my experiences.
Until the point that I reached the milestone of my novel being accepted, I kept putting out the work. Whether that meant writing and revising, teaching, reading, taking courses, viewing webinars, networking and querying. All of the tasks I put into this goal, one I kept returning to again and again, led to this moment. I’ve been a student of my craft this whole time, studying and experiencing and learning.
There are moments in one’s life that a great shift becomes apparent, even in the living of it. I have experienced a few such shifts before this and know how it feels. Frightening and exhilarating at the same time because, consciously, the choice is being made to walk away from something comfortable into the unknown. Self-doubt inevitably creeps in. I have pushed myself forward, stifling the little voice in my head that speaks the can’ts or shouldn’ts or the unworthies because this moment is too important not to embrace.
Change is inevitable through such experiences. I have built a resume of skills in marketing and publishing and, maybe most importantly, in confidence. I have become confident in my public speaking through many interviews. I even dare say, I don’t hate seeing myself on visual outlets as much as I used to–still working on that, though. Perhaps the best change has been the opportunity to network with people in this industry, some of whom I am lucky enough to call mentors and friends.
This is the first moment holding my published book in my hands
Over the past seventeen months, I have gained so much through living this experience and learning from it, that when I held my book in my hands for the first time there came a moment of distinct realization. Fireworks didn’t erupt, fountains didn’t splash champagne, there wasn’t a crowd cheering at me. Instead, it was quiet, reflective, one of immense pride. Conscious in that singular moment, I reaffirmed for myself that the journey is EVERYTHING.