“My experiences remind me that it’s those black clouds that make the blue skies even more beautiful.”
No, I’m not talking about the weather. In fact, it’s pretty much the antithesis of sunny outside: overcast, dreary, and damp. I’ll take the drizzle, though, considering the fact that it was pouring so loudly this morning that the rain gutter resembled some sort of bongo drum. Guess it’s a good thing I’m an early bird. Waking up at 7:30 on the weekend doesn’t bother me at all, especially when it means I get to squeeze in some extra writing time.
That is what I’m talking about. It might be cloudy outside, but today my outlook is nothing but bright and sunny. I always love my morning writing time, no matter what project I’m working on. It’s my oasis from everything else, my happy place. With every paragraph, every section, every chapter of Reflections of Me, that couldn’t possibly have been more true. Writing that novel was a complete joy and a beautiful journey. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the technicalities of writing – does everything flow seamlessly, do the metaphors work like they’re supposed to, do the characters come across as relatable and three-dimensional – but sometimes it’s so, so important to just let go of that for the time being and write for the pure love of it. ROM combined both things for me as a writer, and so did this morning. There’s just nothing like getting swept up in the excitement and passion of working on something you adore. It’s a perfect reminder, at least for me, of why I love this craft so much in the first place and why I am beyond determined not to stop until it’s my full-time career. It’s not about the extrinsic rewards. It’s all about the intrinsic ones.
Are there difficult, challenging times on this publication journey? Absolutely. It’s nothing if not an emotional rollercoaster. I wouldn’t get off the track for anything, though. Hanging on through all the ups and downs is worth it. It’s more than worth it. Because when you love something so much, when it brings you this indescribable happiness, you grab onto it with both hands and never – never – let go. You take those clouds in stride and realize that they really do make the blue skies even more beautiful. It’s impossible for the sun to shine everywhere, all the time. But it’s always there. It’s a constant. We’re as sure of its existence as we are of our own. And when it breaks through the clouds? When those rays light up the sky and cast a warm glow over us? Best. Feeling. Ever.
When I met Kelly Clarkson (finally!) in 2007, I told her what a huge inspiration she’s been to me. Well, I think I told her that, anyway. The whole experience was a bit of a blur – my friend Mary Kate always tells me how dazed I look after I left the M&G – but the happiness behind it is as bright and clear as can be. It took five years and a ridiculous amount of “almost but not quite” experiences, but in the end, waiting for so long to meet Kelly just made it even more special when I did. It was something I will always treasure and always remember, a day that I’ll forever count as one of my favorites. And the day when this publishing journey moves to the next step? The day that I’m waiting for and working towards with everything I am?
You’d better believe that no matter what the weather, I’ll have to shield my eyes against the blinding glare of the sun. And I’ll love every minute.
What about you? What would paint your bright horizons?