For the last ten years I’ve joyfully called myself a writer. I feel better able to claim the title on some days than other days. And there were decades of my life when I despaired of being able to write at all.
I was one of those little kids who knew very early what I wanted to become: I was going to be a writer! And then life happened, an income to be earned, and rent and bills to pay.
I had so many self-doubts. Who was I to think I had enough talent? What did I know about life, anyway? Whatever I did know, it couldn’t be enough to write a book….
So I went out into the ‘real’ world and forgot about my very first, exhilarating dream.
Or did I?
I wrote freelance for Massage Magazine for a decade and I’ve always kept a journal, but in my mind those activities never qualified as actual writing. Gods, I was dumb.
About twelve years ago I decided to re-read all those old journals in consecutive order, from beginning to end. By the time I got to the fifth one moaning about ‘Woe is me, how I wish I could write a book’ I was ready to hurl the journal and myself across the room. Enough whining!
I started to write in earnest, I found and joined the Writers in Stuttgart, a writers’ group that meets monthly. On September 5, 2012, I self-published my first book. On this day ten years ago, I held the first copy of Broken In: A Novel in Stories in my hands. As I held it I literally felt my heart and my body and the room and my life begin to expand and glow. I was filled with a joy that has never really abated since.
Writing remains easy some days… less easy on others. I still have those self-doubts. Those, I think, will never really go away; I’ve learned to regard them as healthy. They’re reality checks. But you know what? The only question I ask myself these days is ******What took me so long?*******
Don’t wait to start on your dreams. Whatever they may be, no matter how impossible. Part of our soul will only feel complete if we are following whatever Muse has chosen us.
Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Happy Birthday!
NOTES: ©2022 Jadi Campbell. My books are Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Tsunami Cowboys, Grounded, and The Trail Back Out.
Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award. Broken In: A Novel in Stories was a semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award from Hidden River Arts and a Finalist for Greece’s international 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories). The Trail Back Out was American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Fiction Anthologies, Runner-Up for the 2021 Top Shelf Award, 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award Short Story Collection Finalist for the Independent Author Network, and 2021 Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Award.
Broken In: A Novel in Stories went on to become a Semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award from Hidden River Arts and was a Finalist for Greece’s 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories).
Click here for my author page to learn more about me and purchase my books.