This is my daughter. She is finishing up Kindergarten and, for those who don't know, we home school. Yesterday was a big day at our house because she finished her reading book and has pronounced herself a reader. That smile on her face...that's pure pride.
We struggled this year. Figuring out the whole home school routine, learning how to be the teacher and the mom and staying motivated. But my little trooper had a goal. She wanted to be able to read books all on her own and she knew that finishing her reading lesson book was the way to do it. When we flipped to that last page she was literally shaking with excitement. She had to calm herself down before we could finish it because she was absolutely bursting with joy.
That, folks, is the joy of knowing that you started at ground zero and persevered until you met success.
And that's where all of us started. No one picks up a pen and inks out the next great American novel on day one. We all had to learn and practice and keep going in the face of failure in order to get where we are.
There are authors who are ahead of us in the game. And that's okay. We can look to them and allow their success to help us set new goals and stay motivated. There are authors who aren't as far along in the journey as we are. We can reach down a hand to offer advice and listening ear.
Sometimes, I forget that everyone isn't on the same path as me. I get caught up in what I'm learning and how I'm growing, and in doing so, I worry that I leave behind the newest writers just getting started.
So today's post is a reminder. To me and maybe to you. That we need to keep an eye out for the next guy. The one fresh with that first plot bunny and wide-eyed at just how vast the publishing world can be.
And if that's you? If you're the one standing there with the first 20 pages of a truly awesome idea and feeling a little shuffled about, don't be afraid to raise your hand and ask for help. Because we all started there, with nothing more than a big idea and a desire to prove ourselves.
Everybody starts at the beginning.