Yeah, I suppose it did. In fact, I’m surprised I’m here. For thirty-five years, admittedly with several multi-year breaks, I’ve put all I could into writing the story of a young woman now named Lisen who learns that the destiny she’d envisioned for herself has dissolved into dust in favor of a far more ambitious fate. This was always the heart of the story, always its thrust. The fact that she now has seven years’ experience as a Southern California teenager behind her changed nothing. In fact, that change in the initial setup only enhanced Lisen’s accessibility and the poignancy of her journey.
My journey, on the other hand, has followed a somewhat circuitous route. I’m not going to lie down on the couch here and confess my innermost workings, but the truth is that my father was a great one for cautioning me not to get my hopes up and my mother—well, she lacked the ability to love. I grew up incapable of finishing what I started, especially when doing so could bring me any sense of accomplishment. And yet, the one thing I’ve never given up on—despite giving up on it a dozen times a day, sometimes for weeks at a time—is the tale of Lisen, the young woman of destiny.
When I realized this a few years back, I asked myself why. It was my very first novel. The sage advice is to toss that first attempt. Or, at the very least, pack it away never to see the light of day again. I tossed the first version, no problem. Then I rethought it—re-envisioned it, if you will. I dumped that version, too. And then, once more. Why? The fourteen-year-old inside of me wanted me to tell her the story, to tell her the story the way it was meant to be told. I think that’s when I truly committed my all, what I had and what I’d have to dig up from somewhere deep within. Whatever it took, I had finally promised that inner teen and the outer me that I would never hold back again.
And I haven’t. I decided to independently publish Fractured because I couldn’t seem to write a selling query letter. I couldn’t afford to pay someone to prepare the book for printing. I couldn’t afford to pay someone to design my cover. I kept hitting the rocks in the road, sometimes allowing them bring me to a dead halt, sometimes jumping over them with glee. But I overcame all the obstacles, and I am very proud of the finished product—the writing, the story telling and the package it comes in.
So, to anyone who aspires to a personal goal, I say this. Success does not come from the number of people who know who you are or the amount of money you make. Success comes from within and the satisfaction of knowing that, given your limitations, whatever they may be, you did your very best and never gave up.