For the past eight years I've had a ritual, every new bookshop I go in, I find the place on the shelves for the W authors. I take a picture of where my book would go.
I've done this while I was writing my first draft, while I was learning how to edit, while I was pitching to agents, while I was getting rejections, or worse, no response at all. I kept doing it while I entered competitions, after I found out I'd won the Good Housekeeping novel competition, after I signed my contract with Orion and while I was going through the pressure cooker of the editing process.
Today I did it for the last time before The Choice is released next Thursday. It was an epic moment.
Dreams can come true. They might not be fast. They might not be easy. They might not be at all what you were expecting. But they can happen.
Believe in yourself.
Believe in your dream.
Keep going as and when you can. Take breaks, get help, abandon and come back to them. It's all part of the process.
I look forward to celebrating with you when your dream comes true.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about people who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.
I'm an author, disability activist, winner of the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition and The EABA for Fiction 2020 and founder of Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (ADCI).
The Choice is available from:
Title: The Choice
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