Where I’m Supposed to Be

By Angela Smith, author of Burn on the Western Slope

Burn on the Western SlopeI thought I knew what I was going to discuss on my guest post until today. Something happened to me, and I wanted to write it out while it was still fresh on my mind. Some of the best writing comes from the heart and from the strong emotions you recently experienced.

I’m a pretty private person, so blogging has always been somewhat difficult for me. Writing, as much as I love it, has always been difficult for me to share. So difficult, in fact, that my first two books were written under a pen name. After a couple of years, the rights were reverted back to me, but they aren’t forever gone. I hope to one day republish them. They were a huge learning experience.

I hid those books and the fact that I’m a writer from important people for so long and went through many, many emotions during those years. I stopped writing for a while and stopped pursuing publication but somewhere along the way, I found myself and realized this is me. I am a writer. It is in my heart and isn’t going to go away. I could tell you of all the experiences I’ve had that has led me back to this path and the reasons I felt I couldn’t be true to myself, but that isn’t necessary. I know it is meant to be, and I knew I couldn’t hide under a pen name any longer or I would make the same mistakes again. I would never truly be me and something would always stop me from succeeding.

I’m comfortable with myself and my writing now, and I know I can’t stop. So, once I made this decision, I knew it wouldn’t take long for people at my work to find out. My family already knew but my work didn’t, and that was my concern. You see, I work for a politician—a long-standing District Attorney—and he retired last year. I am still working for the new DA and plan to continue to work there, but coming out as a romance writer in that field was very frightening.

When my former boss found out, he came to my office and gushed over how proud of me he was. I hadn’t expected that, honestly. I wish I had recorded some of the brilliant and insightful and inspiring words he said so that I can go back over them in case I ever forget. But his words and his faith in me are written on my heart and even if I can’t repeat them verbatim, I know and feel them. He talked about creativity in ways that made me realize I had kept myself grounded in fear of what might happen for so long that I missed out on many opportunities I might have had if I had just been faithful to my writing passion.

Many people do that. Many people don’t “step out” in fear of failure or fear of change or fear of so many other things that might or might not happen (hey even Steven King doubted himself!) To walk along the path you are supposed to be walking on is a tremendous experience. I encourage everyone to follow their heart’s true passion, because I believe that is our purpose in life. I know I am where I’m supposed to be now.