Welcome, 2021!

It seems unnecessary to state the obvious, and I'm sure you've heard it from many, but I'm going to say it, anyway. 2020 was a terrible year filled with so much heartache and sadness, and I'm not sorry to see it go.

However, how can I be unhappy about a year that brought so many wonderful people into my life? Because of those people, I took my love for writing seriously and self-published eight books, and I've no plans to stop.

It seems trite to say we have to look for the positive amid so much that is negative, so let me say this instead. That wherever possible, look inside yourself to find the strength and courage to move forward. Even if you think you can't, take one small step. Then take another. It's from those small steps that the larger ones become easier to climb.

If you were to tell me at the beginning of 2020 that I would publish eight books this year, I would never have believed it. That's how quickly your life can change.

What made the difference? I decided that I was wasting time, waiting for the right time to begin. I was convinced I wasn't a good enough writer. I was afraid to put myself out there and risk someone not liking my stories.

I changed my thinking and decided that I would become a better writer the more I published. I treated my writing as my education. It was simple, really, but that small mindset change made the difference. It didn't take long before I realized that becoming a better writer is a lifelong endeavor. It is an education that will never end, and I love that.

When I was a child, my mother used to tell me to “do it afraid” whenever I was scared and lacked the confidence to push ahead during tough times.

Many of us cannot control our situation, and I know it can seem impossible to overcome negative thoughts that keep us down, but I encourage you to search deep inside yourself to find the strength to keep going.

Lift your head up and don't be afraid. Reach out and find someone who will help give you the courage to move forward if you need that extra help.

My wish for you in 2021 is that you find immeasurable hope, good health, and happiness. May you share those things with others. After all, that's really what it's all about, isn't it?

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