A Racing Heart

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On Sunday night as I dragged my tired butt to bed after many, many hours of cleaning and home renovations, I grabbed my tablet. I set my alarm, crawled into bed, and planned to read for a few minutes. As I went to open my Kindle app I saw a notification that I had an unread email from the editor I had submitted my short story to. With a racing heart I read it, and then re-read it. Once I realized what it said I handed my tablet over for my husband to read. I lay there for a moment, my heart beating frantically as my toes went numb. Don’t ask–the numb toe thing is weird, but I’ve had it happen before.

My husband asked if I was excited and I said, “I don’t know.” I could hardly wrap my brain around what was happening yet. For several years I’ve talked about the idea of wanting to try to publish something, and he’s encouraged me the whole time. I just wasn’t ready. He knew I had to reach that point on my own, and when I finally said the big, scary words, “I want to be a writer,” he was there to tell me that he believed in me. That I could do it.

Almost immediately after my husband finished congratulating me, I messaged a couple of very close friends, people who have held my hand through this process. The ones who read through the story many, many times and helped me tweak it. The ones who never had a doubt that this would happen for me. It turns out, they were right.

As we talked, it slowly began to register that this was really happening. It was completely surreal to realize that a publishing company wanted my story. As confident as I am in my writing, and as hopeful as I was when I submitted it, I never expected it to get picked. There are so many talented writers out there that the odds seemed incredibly small. I assumed I’d have to send in story after story before something got accepted. It wasn’t being pessimistic, but practical. I’d set a goal for myself that I wanted to have something published by the time I was 35. I’ll just be a few months over 32 when this short story comes out.

I hardly slept Sunday night and I’m not sure it’s completely sunk in yet. I spent Monday practically shaking with excitement, my mind whirling. Frankly, I think it was amazing I was coherent enough to function. It’s all still a little dream-like, and I’m not sure it’ll really feel real until I’m holding the book in my hands and can see the words I’ve written in print.

I may be a writer, but I’ve been struggling to find the words to write this post. It’s so big for me, such a huge moment and I really don’t know how to explain it. I guess all I really can say is how thrilled I am, and how eager I am to start this process. I also want to say thank you to all of the people who have helped me get to this point. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I began writing, it’s that I can’t do it alone. Without the people pre-reading and editing my work, the people holding my hand once I put it out there, and the readers, especially the ones who give me feedback, my writing wouldn’t be anywhere near as good. And the process wouldn’t be half as much fun.

 

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