By Nikkie Locke, author of Unbound
Twenty three. That’s how old I am. People tell me all the time how young I am. Part of me wants to say “Really? I didn’t notice.” The other more reasonable part tells me to take it as a compliment.
Even the sweet pacifist side of me gets pissed when people tell me I’m too young, though. Too young for what? To make decisions that impact the rest of my life? Sorry, sweetheart, but I’ve been doing that since the first good-looking boy tried talking me into bed.
My parents worked damn hard to raise an intelligent and independent woman. I like to think they did a fine job of it. My parents taught me that there is nothing more important than following your dreams. You work hard and you follow your heart.
I think that’s the best lesson I can share with anyone, no matter your age. Your dreams are probably not going to come true on their own. If they do, those dreams won’t mean as much as they should. Working hard for something makes you appreciate it more.
Anyone who tells you writing a book is easy is lying. It takes practice, determination, and hard work. You put your butt in the chair and write until it’s right. Then, you send emails and letters to every damn agent and publisher out there until someone sees your book for what it is and what it can be. In the meantime, you put your butt in the chair and write the next book until it’s right.
What if your dream isn’t to become a writer? What if you want to be a dancer or an artist? A lawyer or a doctor? Do you want to be an inventor or an actress? Go back to school? Learn to juggle? Do you want to learn to fly or see the world in a new way? Whatever you want to do in your life, my advice is the same.
You work hard and you follow your heart. That’s all there is to it.