When Motherhood and Dreams Collide

When Motherhood and Dreams Collide

I'm seated at my desk, breathless with anticipation while Brennan whacks me with a tiny packet of Whoppers filched from the Halloween stash. "Mommy! I can't open it!"

"Shhh! I'm talking to my agent!" And this is the phone call I've been waiting for my whole life!

Today, I'd find out if Penguin Random House would publish my two young adult novels, the first of which I'd been working on for years. Years. Brennan, of course, does not care. He wants the chocolate, and I'm the one who can assist.

I'm Mommy, opener of candy, kisser of boo-boos, massager of backs, fixer of lunches, scolder of naughtiness, and driver of children. Laundress extraordinaire…maybe on a good day.

But definitely not some random author whose hopes and dreams rest in the next words this woman on the other line is going to say. He doesn't care that my heart is jack-hammering in the agony of the seconds before she replies.

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Gaining the Confidence to be a Fool Who Dreams

A Mom's Life

Last Wednesday, November 1, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to a Tampa women's group dedicated to helping moms connect, called A Mom's Life.  

My topic? How to use confidence to follow your dreams. 

This topic was culled directly from my heart, as I've been a dreamer pursuing a publishing contract for my YA book series for a long time: through three failed novels and more than 100 agent rejections. It's why I sobbed my head off during Emma Stone's Audition (The Fools Who Dream) in La La Land. I've been there. I've felt the incredible ache of chasing an elusive dream. 

After all of these years, I would never have been able to find my agent Kari Sutherland and been on hot pursuit of editors if I hadn't believed I could do it.  

Why?

Confidence equals competence. The more you have of one, the more you have of the other. If you are confident, and believe that you can achieve your dreams, (even after getting knocked down again and again), you will believe you can develop. That you can learn. So, you will go after the skills you need to move one step closer to achievement. And you'll keep doing that until you get what you want. 

If you lack confidence, however, you will assume you'll never be able to grab your dreams, so you won't allow yourself to develop and learn. The result? You get what you think you can, which is nothing. 

Personally, I've been cultivating my confidence for years, because the only other option while pursuing a dream of this magnitude is to sink into misery and disappear.

And I have absolutely no intention of doing that.

I lift my chin, strike a power pose that I taught the moms at the group to simulate to boost their own confidence, and keep moving forward. 

One of these days, I'll go from a fool chasing her dreams to an author with a contract, and the confidence I've used over the years to help get me there, will propel me through the ins and outs of the industry.

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How I Got My Literary Agent

How I Got My Literary Agent

If you're thinking of throwing in the towel, I want you NOT to picture me with my agent contract in hand dancing around my office because that was just one moment from the thousands I put into securing a literary agent as amazing as Kari Sutherland.

Instead, I want you to picture me sitting at my desk, wiping tears off my blotchy face after yet another rejection, pulling those tentacles of woe from around my neck, and trying again.

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