Women Breaking Through Barriers
Lesly Federici suddenly lost her mother at the age of 40 while coping with the news that she had a genetic disorder that would result in blindness. Suzie Cheel was given three choices: life, death, or dialysis. Beverley Golden, only 89 pounds and suffering from a mysterious health problem, listened as a doctor told her there was little hope for recovery.
These are just three of 14 inspirational stories in the book, Women Breaking through Barriers, by Marquita A. Herald. The women describe how they conquered tremendous hurdles to move forward and live fulfilling and successful lives.
The book shares what helped them find the courage and inner strength to create a life they love with tips on how you can do so as well.
I was touched that the author of the book asked me to share my own story about how I pushed through my fears and self-limiting beliefs.
My own story is not as dramatic as some of the others in the book. I write about how I overcame my fears and doubts to pursue my dreams of becoming an author and writer. Oh, I put a lot of self-imposed barriers on myself. I was afraid that people would laugh at me because I didn’t have a college degree. That my submissions would sit in a huge pile and be ignored by literary agents and editors since I didn’t know anyone in the publishing business. That friends and family would roll their eyeballs if I dared to express my dreams of becoming a writer out loud. That I would become so discouraged by the countless rejections sure to come my way, I would give up and watch my precious dreams slowly fade away. Doesn’t everyone want to be a writer, but how many actually make it?
Instead of taking action, I was comfortable just dreaming about becoming an author one day. It was fun envisioning my novel on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and my first book signing. It was so easy to tell myself that I needed to learn more about the craft of writing before submitting my work.
Until a woman at a writer’s conference asked me a simple but profound question. What are you waiting for?
Oh, I had a million excuses why I wasn’t pursing my passion. But she forced me to ask myself some important questions. Did I want to go to my grave with regrets that I never followed my dreams? That I never even tried? Would I wonder what I could have accomplished if only I had mustered up enough courage to break through my self-imposed barriers?
With the woman’s words echoing in my head, I took the first step and began submitting my short story to magazines. Of course, I received the standard rejection letter which stung, but I continued on my journey, taking writing classes and submitting my work. The road wasn’t easy. Many of my fears came true during that time. I gathered enough rejection letters to wallpaper a room. Plenty of people gave me cynical looks when I dared to share my dreams of becoming a published writer. Many times, I became discouraged and swore off writing. But I tenaciously pressed forward. Six long years passed before my first short story was published. Am I happy that I persevered and finally faced down all those nagging self-doubts and fears?
I’ve been writing professionally for over 25 years now. Over the years, I’ve been published in national magazines, authored three books (one of which was published by big time publisher McGraw Hill), landed an agent, won three journalism awards, and even had a book signing at Barnes and Noble.
What helped me accomplish my goals? How did the other 13 courageous women overcome their fears, persevere, and find the power to become the driver of their own lives and personal journeys? You’ll have to check out the book to find out! Each tale will give you hope and encourage you to reflect on who you are and what matters most to you in life.
For a limited time, I’m offering a free copy of the book, Women Breaking Barriers, to all new subscribers of my blog. When you are finished, click on the link below to receive your free copy of the book. If you are already one of my subscribers, feel free to click on the link below and receive a copy of this inspiring book compliments of Baby Boomer Bliss.
Enjoy the book and in the meantime, remember that there is nothing magical that happens to people who choose to take responsibility for their own life. They choose to commit to taking a risk, doing the necessary work, and taking action. And most importantly, they choose to be true to themselves.
As John Quincy Adams eloquently said, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
Images courtesy of Sira Anamwong and iconmac at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Julie, Wow, we’ve been cyber pals forever (measured by digital time!), and I’m still learning new aspects about you and your writing career. So exciting to hear about your journey and successes! Congrats on being featured in the new e-book. Can’t wait to download my copy.
Love the John Quincy Adam’s quote. Change is not easy. I’d add “getting by with a little help from my friends” in my success criteria -:D
Thanks, Cat! So glad we connected. You’ve been such a great support. As I write in my article in the book, writing is never easy, no matter how many times you’ve been published or how long you’ve been writing. So happy to have company and the support of all my new blogger friends!
Hi Julie! I enjoyed this blog today! What hope and inspiring encouragement you give us all!
I’m looking forward to reading your book, “Women Breaking Barriers.” Thanks so much for offering that to all of us!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thanks Rosie! So happy you were inspired – that’s always my goal when I write blogs. Enjoy the book!
Oh I absolutely loved this post! Could resonate with so much of it and totally get how hard it can be at the beginning. This post has come just at the right time for me as I am very much going through the wobbles, but like you I am not one to give up! Thank you for sharing your story with us and for giving us a reminder to keep working towards our dreams.
Yes, all of us writers and artists understand the struggle – especially when you’re first starting out. You can’t be the type of person who gives up easily to be in this business – and I can tell you have the persistence and passion for your work that it takes to be a success. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Corrina.
This was a very moving piece Julie. When dipping my toes into writing I felt much of the same. The feeling of individuals looking at me funny when I expressed a desire to write. It can be very overwhelming, no matter how long you’ve been writing. Thank you for sharing your story with us and for giving us a reminder to keep working towards our dreams and goals.
Writing is quite a journey, for sure. Torturous and rewarding at he same time, but well worth it in the end. Glad you could relate, Carmela, and enjoyed the article. Thanks for stopping by!