There are many reasons. I’ve always wanted to write, and when I finally started, it felt so right that I almost regretted missing all those years. I’m saying ‘almost’ because I don’t really regret anything. The way my life went, the things I had to go through, and the lessons I learned, all of this has shaped me into the person I am today. And this is the person who is finally ready to tell stories.
Going back to the reasons for writing—there are plenty. But here’s one of the most important ones I want to focus on today.
I have two sons.
I have a teenager who thinks he’s got life figured out.
And I have a toddler who is only beginning to learn what this world is all about. And when he is the same age as his big brother is now, he’ll probably think the same.
It’s okay. They are learning. And I’m learning with them.
But I’m also teaching them something too.
I’m teaching them that it’s okay to follow your dreams. No… wrong wording. Following your dreams is the right way to go. It’s in fact the only way to go if you want to find yourself. And to stay true to yourself.
I’m teaching them that following your dreams can be hard. And scary. But it’s not a reason to give up.
I’m teaching them that it’s never too late to start.
My teenage son is reading my book now. It’s not his preferred genre. And there’s a great chance he won’t like it. But every time he picks it up, he’s holding physical proof of the fact that anything is possible. That it’s possible to start writing when you’re 40 years old, when you are raising a baby, when you hardly have any time or energy, but counteract it with enough stubbornness to type on your phone in the middle of the night. To type words in the language that is foreign to you.
So maybe he’ll feel more hopeful.
He learns that if you don’t know how to do something, it’s possible to research and learn. For example, you can learn all you need to know about self-publishing your book. And while doing that, you can meet so many people on that journey. You can also genuinely connect with those people from all parts of the world. You can read their stories, support them, learn from them, and call them your friends.
So maybe he’ll feel less lonely.
He learns that you can pour your heart out on the paper (or screen), wrapping it gently in words, linking those words together and making phrases, using those phrases to build stories. Stories based on your thoughts, your feelings, your imagination, your dreams, your joy, and your pain.
So maybe he’ll learn to open his heart.
And as for my little one, he is really obsessed with my book cover. Every time he sees my book, he needs to hold it. Well, I can’t blame him, the cover is absolutely stunning. But seriously, do you know why I think he’s drawn to it? Because he can feel what it means to his mom. He can feel what I invested in that book. And I’m not talking about the financial investment here, of course. He can feel the energy coming from a dream that came true. It’s pretty much like magic.
He’ll grow up and I’ll have many more books published. But I will tell him where it all started. How I decided to follow my dream when he was a little baby. How the chapters of that very first book were created while he was sleeping in my arms.
I’ll tell him this story and then I’ll say, “You see, son, anything is possible if you really want it. You need to be brave enough to start, and then you just keep going no matter how hard it gets. Don’t give up, don’t turn back, believe in yourself, and you’ll get there.”
These are the things I want to teach my kids. And what better way is there to teach than through leading by example?