Have you ever set a goal, and then wondered what to do once you accomplished it? Perhaps it was learning to play an instrument or mastering a foreign language? Maybe it was something simple, like learning how to sew or cook? But what do we do once we have found success?

When I started this journey to write a novel, it was merely something on a bucket-list I’d made in the 5th grade. The global pandemic gave me the motivation to write, but it wasn’t until I was almost halfway through Book 1 that I really considered publishing. I’d always wanted to publish a book, but I admit I never really had the confidence to do so. Truthfully, there are many days that I still don’t, and I suspect that isn’t something I’ll ever lose. I’ve come a long way since writing that first, grueling chapter of The Witch of Selvenor. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve still got a long way to go. But my perspective on this project of mine has changed somewhat over the course of its development.

As I’ve said many times, publishing a book has been something I’ve wanted to do since I was in the fifth grade. I confess, I was a bit of an odd kid (that hasn’t changed as an adult, mind you). I can think of very few who would have put publishing a book or learning a dead language on their list of things they wanted to do, but that was just who I was (am). And now that I have published, that goal has become something more than I thought it would be. Publishing a book hasn’t made me famous. It hasn’t even paid for itself (Yet!), but it has done so much more for me than I could have ever imagined it would.

In the last eight months, I’ve been able to connect with new people. I’ve developed friendships with people around the world, all with writing goals and the determination to tell a story, whether it is fiction or their own personal experiences. I consider it a blessing to have “met” so many wonderful new friends, and as I continue to learn, I’ve gained a great appreciation to authors who have poured their soul into making their dreams a reality. Publishing is NOT easy work. Writing, in truth, may be the easiest part of the entire process.

Obviously, I have always loved to write. I would not have made it a life goal if I did not. To tell a story and have someone enjoy something I created is the most rewarding experience an author can have. Even if I never become the next Tolkein or JK Rowling, if I have just a handful of people who enjoy the story I want to tell, then it is all worth it for me. Last week, I got a taste of that feeling, the success and happiness that comes from someone truly appreciating the words I put to paper. My adorable niece has become my first superfan and I’ve asked her permission to share some of her things on this post.

Kaybree, you made my week!

She has even created her own fan-based website. Check it out here! I love that she enjoyed my story and it means the world to me to have her support. Kaybree is even writing her own story, and I couldn’t be more excited for her! Maybe someday I can be her superfan (jk…I already am!)

As I become more familiar with the publishing world, I no longer wish to just write and get my stories out there. I enjoy talking with others who are on the same path I am, and I realize that what I enjoy as much as anything else, is helping others figure out the process as well. I’m not an expert, nor do I think I ever will be, but If I can take what I’ve learned and use it to mentor someone, to help them achieve their dreams, then my goal has grown into something far more than just a fifth grade bucket-list.

Sometimes we don’t know where our paths will lead us until we arrive at the destination. The trick is to recognize there are always more destinations worth visiting even farther along the path of life.