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When You Feel Like A Salmon

Keep swimming.

That’s how I feel these days, like I’m swimming against the current. How do I expand my reach, boost my discoverability factor? There’s a sea of books on the market, a torrent of good stories to choose from. It’s overwhelming. For me as a reader, finding that next great book to enjoy can be a challenge. Do I want romance or mystery? Espionage or intrigue? Do I want an established author or do I want to try someone new?

An indangered Chum Salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, (aka. Dog Salmon) attempts to jump a small dam on the Deschutes River in Tumwater Washington. The concrete in the foreground is the opening to a fish ladder.

As an author, it’s proves a different challenge. How do I reach readers looking for stories like mine? Book fairs, expos, online, social media–potential readers are everywhere, but I can’t be. How do we connect? Word of mouth, freebie giveaways or glittery ad banners?

Maybe I should join Kimberly in her yoga endeavor. Might calm my energy, streamline my thought process. Would probably improve my sleep, too! But seriously, as I find myself counseling my high school daughter on her education going forward, I find myself drawing on the tried and true words of wisdom. “Love what you do.” You’ll be doing a lot of it. “Don’t give up.” The time will pass anyway.

“Stay true to your dreams, and your dreams will stay true to you.” Persistence pays. Perseverance makes you stronger. **breathe** Life is a journey to be enjoyed, right?

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Channeling Bette Midler

I met with a friend today about his dream of writing a book. He’s an incredibly gifted physician who works with children and has one heck of a story to tell. As I walked him through some steps to take in order to make his dream a reality, I felt privileged to be able to help someone, no matter how small my contribution.

Sitting across the table from my friend and witnessing his eagerness to start something he’s always wanted to do made me feel so grateful that I took the leap and began living my dream of writing full time. I’m no where near finished with my journey, there is so much left to do and to learn, but I’m not back at the beginning where taking the first steps seemed so daunting.

I saw in his eyes what I’d seen in my own—desire, fear, apprehension—the kinds of emotions that back some people down and lift others up. I told him straight out that he had a lot of work to do and that it wouldn’t be easy. I wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know. A man who has worked as hard as he has and faces what he has to face every day isn’t the kind of person who’s going to back down because something is hard.

I feel like he took a real step forward today just by talking about his dream. Sometimes admitting something out loud to someone is the very thing to push a person toward his or her goal. It’s easy to walk away from a dream no one knows about but you. I wrote in secret for years and felt mortally embarrassed when either my husband or my kids told others I was writing a book. I didn’t want people asking me how it was going, when I was going to get published, when they could find my book on the shelves of the local bookstore. I was protecting my dream by not sharing it with others.

When I decided to self-publish my work, I had to let people know and in a very big way. Was I scared to put my work out there for others to judge? You better believe I was. I’m still a little bit scared. I had a very supportive group of friends who helped lift me up when I made this decision. I hope all the dreamers out there have at least one person who can make the road ahead a little less weary.

What about you? What’s your dream and who’s the wind beneath your wings?

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