I’ve been sitting on this for a good few weeks now, and I’m so happy to finally be able to should it out: I’ve signed a new two-deal book contract with Lake Union Publishing!! Woohoo!!
When I say the last two months have been a whirlwind, that’s no understatement. I’d started writing Book 4 ages ago, and picked it up again in lockdown. I decided to write here and there, when I had time, with no pressure. The idea of getting a book contract was the last thing on my mind. Apart from when I’d map out my aspirations for the year, or think about what I’d like to eventually return to: a life of writing, yoga and fun! Alongside this, I saw a post from Vienda Maria on Instagram. A space had opened up in her diary for a 1:1 mentoring session. I decided to book it. One of the questions on her form was, what do I want for myself within the next 12 months. And as always, I answered that I’d love to get back into writing. That session was an amazing one where we barely touched on writing at all, until the very end of the session.
On of the big blocks for me to start writing again, was the decision over what to do with my agent. We hadn’t spoken for two years and I’d been feeling way out of alignment with the whole set up for some time. And I wasn’t allowed to feel that because he was one of THE top literary agents out there, in an agency that was as old as time with so many famous names on their books, I should count myself lucky to be among them. Vienda’s advice was to listen to my intuition and so I decided to reach out to him and just see what would come back.
Well, what came back was that he was no longer working at the agency. My agent had left over a year ago and I’d had no idea. And miraculously, at the same time I got a call from my old Editor at Lake Union. She wanted to know if I was working on anything new and, as luck would have it, I was. And she loved the idea. The space between my session with Vienda, contacting my now ex-agent and my old editor getting in touch was literally about three days. I’d taken some knocks along the road to with my writing career but what was worse, was I’d forgotten something truly fundamental for all areas of life:
The only person standing in the way of you getting what you want, is you!
When I really think of all those times I failed to tell people I was a writer during my hiatus, or when I’d tell myself I only wanted to write for me, for fun, I realise that what I was really doing was acting out of fear. If I told people I was a writer and they asked for my latest book, I’d have to tell them it was from three years ago, because I’d lost my confidence by not getting a contract and didn’t write again. And if when I told myself I’d write again but just for fun, it was because the fear of getting rejected again was so strong.
As soon as I got out of my own way and started facing up to my fears, the wheels started turning.
We all have dreams. Things we wish we could do, if only…if only we were given the chance, could get time off work, could move somewhere new. And it’s really worth stopping and asking yourself, whether it’s the world standing in your way, or if it’s actually you.
Grab yourself a mentor or coach, buy some online courses or whatever else you need to do to start working through your fears and start getting yourself on track.
The life you’re dreaming of is right there, waiting for you to claim it.
Natalie Martin is a bestselling Women’s Fiction author with a passion for empowering women through story, embodied yoga and self-development and mindset coaching.