I haven't done much writing, but I have finally finished going over the edit suggestions for the book I wrote last year. I have sent copies to some beta readers. I hope to hear back from them within a few weeks. After that I go over their suggestions, alter things to make more sense (if needed) and then it'll be time to start looking for publishers I want to submit my book to. I expect to be rejected before I get accepted. It'll hurt, but it will also give me a chance to grow as a writer.
As this isn't something I've done before I'm not even sure how to feel. There's no precedent in my life for this. I'm steps away from sending my work out. This is something I have worked towards my whole life. It has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I know that there's a chance that this book won't get published, that it'll be a later work that gets published first. But the mere fact that I'm almost to the point where I could potentially be a published author rather than an aspiring one... Being on the verge of a dream is such a strange feeling.
Books are something that have always been important to me. They are something that have always been a part of my life. I asked my parents when I learned my alphabet (as I have no memory of the event). My mother (who would have been the one to teach me) couldn't tell me. She didn't know. She said this instead "it was like you always knew how to read." I actually had trouble when I was eight as my teacher thought I couldn't read. The problem wasn't my ability to read, but how boring the material was. I'd get so bored I'd zone out, unable to pay attention. This made my teacher believe that I couldn't read, when in reality I was reading the book she was reading out loud to the class on my own.
I was later home schooled and was grounded from reading until I finished my science and math. I'd pick up a chapter book and be transported for hours on end. I started writing short stories, and finished my first draft of a rather long short story (not sure where exactly it fits as it was ten chapters) at age ten. I continued to write. A lot of the time the stories weren't ever finished as I'd jump from idea to idea. There were also spans of time where I didn't write anything at all. The largest of which was two years (age 18-20) as I struggled with my mental health.
I only started writing again at 20 when I read Mercedes Lackey's books for the first time (I still haven't read them all). In her Arrows trilogy (the copy where the three are combined into one book) she mentioned her own struggles with publishing. She was in her thirties before she published. I was only twenty at the time and suddenly felt like I still had time to achieve my life dream. Since I was extremely depressed and battling anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD triggers, this was a huge step.
Now here I am years later. Not only have I finished two first drafts (only 3% of writers finish a first draft), I've edited one and have sent it off to beta readers. This is something that at multiple times in my life I thought was impossible. Never give up on your dreams. They are something that won't come easily, but are always worth fighting for. Some times what you are fighting is yourself.