On Writing

All my life, I’ve wanted to be a writer.

I spent summer days immersed in books, reading until I could read no more. I entered writing contests in elementary and middle school, wrote a sequel to Snow White, a short story about my teacher being eaten by a hippopotamus, a book about the beach, and one about my sisters.

I wrote a poem in my little notebook with the Orca whale on the cover when my Mawmaw passed away. I wrote in my journal and notebooks when Marques and his mom died. I wrote when Nany and Pampaw moved on to bigger buffet tables in heaven, when I was rejected by a boy in high school, when my best friends decided to no longer be my friends, when I was convinced I was the right girl for a certain boy – only he didn’t agree, when nothing in my world made sense, when I was cheated on, when I was lied to, when giving up seemed like the best option, when I felt alone, when I was so in love I couldn’t think straight, when I found my soul mate, when I was so hurt and deceived by people I thought I knew that writing was all I could do. I write when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, when I’m anything.

I get completely lost in books, imagining myself in each scene and easily getting attached to the characters.

I’ve fallen in love, fallen out of love, been crushed by tragedies, smiled at happy endings, and cried for people that don’t exist. And as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be able to create that magic for someone else. To have someone else read what I’ve written and be transported, to fall into the words, to put off other things just to get through one more page, one more chapter.

And yet, writing here is all I’ve allowed myself to do. I have been so utterly terrified of failure that I would talk myself out of reaching for other opportunities.

I want to write; I do. But other than this blog and my honorable mentions from elementary school, I have no real world experience. Maybe that’s what has been holding me back: I know that without experiences and publications, it is extremely hard to write for a living.

How do you get past that fear of rejection and into your life long dream?

How can I push past all my excuses and reasons for not doing this to go after what I want?

Can I do it?

What is it that changes dreams and passions and longing into acting and doing and creating?

Is my dream of being a writer just a dream, something that will never happen for me?

One of my favorite authors of all time, Ernest Hemingway once wrote: "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."

So here it is.

I am scared to go after what I truly want in life. Some days, I don’t even know exactly what I want.

I’m afraid to take the leap and take a chance.

I’m terrified that I’ll get in over my head and have no way back. But I’m also scared to stay where I am – uninspired, unfulfilled, and unhappy in my work.

The crazy thing about this post is that I wrote the beginning of it a few weeks ago, and just getting those thoughts and feelings out and onto the screen, letting them flow through my fingertips as they danced over the keyboard, made me truly realize what I’m missing.

I decided to finally act.

And I’m so incredibly humbled and ridiculously giddy to announce this exciting news!

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I am officially a published writer!

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I’ve been reading Bella Magazine, a regional (Virginia) magazine for women for months and love everything they’re doing. After emailing back and forth a few months ago, I finally had my first piece published in their September issue – and I couldn’t be more ecstatic!

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It is crazy to see my face – my face! – in print.

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And my pictures/recipes! I’ll have a monthly column to write about all things food – recipes, restaurant reviews, or random tidbits.

Needless to say, I’m psyched. It just seems surreal that it’s actually happening.

I finally took my own advice and went out on a limb for my dream.

Maybe this isn’t the next great American novel, but it’s my words out there in print.

Thank you, thank you for reading and commenting and helping me get up the courage to go after this dream! Thank you to my family for the constant encouragement and unfailing belief in my abilities. And a big thank you to everyone else I see going after their dreams with incredible resolve and determination – your notes and posts and emails have been so important in my own journey and a great inspiration to others around you.

 

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Two questions for today:

What dream are you putting on the  back burner?

And…

What in the world should I call my column?!?

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89 comments

  1. Congrats on the column!

  2. So happy for you Brandi! This fits you so well.

    My dream is to be a missionary. Right now I’m working on being good where I am with hopes of doing something similar overseas for more than just the short term.

    I’m horrible with titles but what about “Brandi’s Beautiful Bounty.”

  3. Congratulations Brandi! I know how you feel! It’s great to finally be published. Keep up the good work!

    Don’t discredit your blog because it’s great writing experience and will help you improve over time.

    What about Brandi’s Bites?

  4. Wow congratulations! I just goes to show you what you can accomplish if you dive in and follow your dreams.

  5. Oh Brandi, this is AWESOME!!! I am so proud of you and happy that you are able to use this incredible gift that you have to pursue your dreams! Keep going for it girl! ;)

  6. Congratulations!! You are a great writer and have a very readable style, so I’m sure your column will be a big hit.
    People talk all the time about going after their dreams, but you are actually doing it. Good for you! :)

  7. Congratulations! I’ve always wanted to be an actor, and have made no steps towards that career. Oh well; I figured if it were meant to be it would happen.

  8. CONGRATULATIONS, Brandi! You are truly living your dream, and I am so proud of you. The spread looks fabulous! More good things are sure to come to you :-)

    Hmm… Brandi’s Bites?

  9. I’m so excited for you Brandi! Way to go!!! Congrats!!!!

  10. Oh…Em…GIIII!!! Oh Brandi!! I am SO ecstatic for you! That’s FANTASTIC news!!! As an aspiring writer myself, I totally get that fear and the trepidation that comes with this fickle job. But Gosh! SO glad your dream is unraveling true!

    Hmm…Bits and Bran? I actually really do like Bran Appetit, but I understand if you want to keep your column separate from your blog.

  11. Oh my goodness. I am so proud and excited for you! See what happens when you just put yourself out there! It’s amazing. I am so so so happy for you, Brandi!

    I’ll be thinking of some column name ideas for you :) Will there be a theme to the recipes or food? All healthy? Quick and easy?

  12. Congratulations, that’s insanely awesome!!!! I’m so excited for you! I’m horrible at coming up with names for you, but I’ll try to think of something…..;)

  13. Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment!

  14. Congratulations Brandi! That is amazing, I wish that we got the magazine up here so that I could read it :) Is it online by chance?!?

  15. Oh my goodness! How excited are you? What a wonderful opportunity to get your foot in the door in a field that you are truly passionate about. Congratulations! What about something like Bites with Bran or Bites of Bran for a title?

  16. CONGRATS!!! That is such exciting news. Just goes to show that you can do anything and achieve anything if you put your mind to it!

  17. Oh my gosh that’s so incredible!!! Congratulations, Brandi! :D I hope to one day write a book. Not sure what kind yet..but I want it to make nutrition fun. :)

    But again, huge congrats! :D

  18. I’m so excited for you! I hope that I will one day have the courage to go after my dreams like you did! If there is ever a link online to read the magazine let us know!

  19. O wow, CONGRATULATIONS! It’s always great to see someone getting closer achieving their dream.

    Best of luck!

  20. Brandi, this is so absolutely exciting! Congrats to you!!

  21. You should name it:
    Branappetit & More…
    Living with Brandi
    Everyday Brandi
    BTW (Brandi the Wise)
    Monthly Brandi
    Life is better with Brandi
    Chilled Brandi
    Dandy Brandi
    Smooth Brandi
    Brandi on ice
    It’s always time for Brandi
    (sorry I got carried away with the drink Brandy)

    Congratulations!

  22. Brandi this is amazing! Girl I’m so so excited for you! Hooray! :D I love that you are going to have a monthly column in a local magazine. Oh and maybe you can talk about the farmer’s markets too? So fun! :D

    Actually I really like All Bran as a title for the column. It’s all about food and it’s all written by you! :)

    P.S. Alright, I’ll bite. Whacha doin’ with the handcuffs? (teasing!)

  23. Congratulations Brandi!!And I just want to thank you for all the recipes and reviews.I have made many of the recipes you have posted and my family and I have enjoyed them so much.I look forward to reading branappetit everyday!Good luck with future endeavors.This is just the begining of many good things to come.

  24. Oh how fun!! Congratulations to you. You are so creative, you’ll do great. All of us online readers are hooked, now you’ll have a whole new audience who’ll fall in love with you.

  25. Massive congratulations! What an amazingly exciting milestone for someone so passionate about writing. Feel so pleased on your behalf! My first and only thought was Brandi’s Bites but I see I am not the first to think of it….
    I’ll keep my thinking hat on for you!

  26. How dang exciting!!!! Congratulations :)

    Jen
    http://jenslosinit.blogspot.com/

  27. That’s incredible, Brandi! Congrats!!

  28. A HUGE congratulations to you!! You totally deserve this. I love seeing what happens when people put themselves out there and just go for it. You’re definitely an inspiration! Ooh… I’m so not creative with this stuff, but I’m sure someone will suggest a great column title for you.

  29. That is so exciting! Congratulations!!!

  30. That is so great Brandi! So happy for you!

  31. First of all…CONGRATS! This is huge and exciting news! I’m so inspired by you for taking a leap and going out there in search of your dreams. I have no doubt that your column will be a hit!

    Secondly, your entire post truly resonated with me. All my life (specifically since college) I have said the same thing over and over to Bobby: “I want to write a novel. I want to write a book. I want to inspire people like J.K. Rowling, like X, Y, Z author.” That feeling of being able to transport people and make them want to put obligations aside and just read is so overwhelmingly awesome. So let’s help each other get there…sound good? ;)

    Third…

    Bella Brandi?

  32. Congratulations! That is so awesome; I am very happy for you. Good luck!

  33. Ahhh Brandi this just absolutely SPOKE to my heart. I feel the exact same way but am scared of it. I am SO proud of you and congratulations! You are so inspiring to me! <3

  34. That’s fantastic! Congratulations Brandi! :)
    It can only be the beginning of what’s to come, imagine the opportunities you can get from having your name out there!

  35. Congrats, Brandi! :)

  36. wow, brandi! good for you! way to go after your dreams, achieve your goals, and just be an amazing person all around. congrats :)

  37. Great job – and so, so smart going with a local publication that you admire for your first in-print column! I practically see the doors to your writing future opening! But – more importantly – congrats on this huge accomplishment in itself. That is so wonderful.

    I like the Brandi’s Bites suggestion. If you’ll ever take questions from readers – BBQ (Brandi’s Bites and Questions). :-) Congratulations – those of us who enjoy your daily posts just know you will be great!

  38. Congrats; I am so excited for you!

  39. B!!!! That is awesome!!! I’m so happy for you!!! I will have to look Bella up online to be able to read your column if it is at all possible!!! You don’t know how happy I am for you and that another one of your dreams has come true!
    Hmm, a title for your column… I’m gonna have to think on that one. I guess right now my dream of having kids is on hold because of school. If I could I would want to be a mom right now, I guess it’s just my biological clock ticking :)

  40. oh my goodness girl this is so exciting! i’ll have to pick up an issue ASAP :)

  41. Congratulations! What a great way to enter the field of writing.

    Food Adventures with Brandi
    Brandi’s Best Bits
    Keepin it Local w/Brandi
    In Your Own Backyard

  42. Pingback: Just Write « Rita's Three R's: Reading, Running and Recipes

  43. Congratulations!!! You inspired me.

  44. so so happy for you girl :) fear of success is sometimes just as strong as fear of failure. glad you’re reaching for the stars!!

  45. I didn’t open my reader all day yesterday so I am late to the party but I still wanted to tell you Congratulations!!

    Also, I am MORE THAN THRILLED that I can have a real live copy since I live in VA. Hooooray!

  46. Wow Brandi, congratulations!!

    I suppose I have some dreams that aren’t able to take place yet.. but I’m not sure I would say I’ve put them on the back burner. Unfortunately, finances have a way of determining where/when/if some of those dreams can take place — but I’m going to beat those finances and find a way to work around them to make my dream come true!!

  47. Well, I am late to the party; I missed this post yesterday, but…

    CONGRATULATIONS!!

    It’s a wonderful feeling to be a published writer, to have real published credits. And a column? How awesome is that?!

    Brandi’s Bites gets my vote!

  48. We are so proud of you girl, we love you, keep writing, remember you are my favorite middle D, see you soon, go hokies

    Love ya
    Dad

  49. so exciting!!! congrats, doll. you deserve it!

  50. That is pretty cool! Congratulations for following your dreams.

  51. That’s amazing! Congratulations. Dreams can come true ;)!

  52. That is amazing news!! Congrats, congrats, congrats! You deserve it. I love your writing and recipes.

  53. Such an inspiring post! :)

  54. I’m so excited for you Brandi, so I had to share this post as a part of my sweet saturday share list :) http://ksayerphotography.blogspot.com/2010/09/sweet-saturday-sharing-time.html

  55. Pingback: Terrific Twos «

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