Fairly early on in life, I discovered my shortcomings. I was too shy and nervous to be a good actor, though I had dreams of performing on Broadway. I loved to dance, but had no training. I wanted to play a musical instrument, but had no success with any I tried. I couldn’t learn to read music, though I loved music and singing. I loved biology, but wasn’t smart enough to become a scientist.

Okay, you get my drift. The saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none!” comes to mind. Although I was fascinated by a wide range of fields, I wasn’t good enough to make any of them my calling. So I finally settled upon becoming a teacher, then had to choose between art, biology, or home economics. I managed to get into an art college on my second try, then nearly flunked out first semester. I buckled down, worked hard, and managed to squeak by. Eventually, I became a decent artist, graduated with honors, and became an art teacher.

I soon discovered that teaching wasn’t all I’d hoped for. But in the meantime I had realized that I was pretty good at writing, usually earned As for my reports, essays, curriculum guide, etc. I had begun writing novels and other fiction at age eleven. In High School, I’d won a creative writing award, but never envisioned myself becoming a professional writer of fiction. I simply enjoyed making up characters and stories.

Eventually, I determined to try getting one of my books published, met with no success at first. But I couldn’t help feeling that, all along, this is what I was meant to do. I love writing fiction. I’m good at it—maybe not great, but if I’d waited until I was great, I never would’ve accomplished anything! My third book will be published shortly, and I have two more WIPs.

In order to be successful at anything, you first have to discover what you are best at, give yourself the tools you’ll need to succeed, then work your butt off. Oh, and never quit!