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Where to begin...

The start of my journey as an author.

People make websites and blogs every day. I've thought about doing it myself any number of times but have never made that plunge. I kept asking myself, "what do I have to offer the world that's unique?" Due to anxiety and imposter syndrome, the answer I always came up with is; absolutely nothing that is special or different. Then this past weekend, I spent two and a half days at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference and that feeling completely changed.

Let me back up a little first. For as long as I can remember, I've loved reading and have dreamt that maybe one day, I could become a published author. I've spent the better part of eight years writing my debut novel in different forms and variations but have never quite finished it. At some point during COVID, something in me just decided that this is the time to go for it. Through many hours spent at my favorite local coffee shops, I was able to sit and finish my first full manuscript of 'Dear Ella.' Finishing those last few sentences of the epilogue was a bit unreal. I'd spent so long imagining that day that I didn't know how to feel. Joyful? Proud? Ecstatic? All yes. Terrified? Unsure? Anxious? Also yes. I knew that finishing the first draft of a manuscript was only a mile marker somewhere in the middle of a marathon. Other than hoping that somehow, someway I'd find a way to get my book published, I had no idea where to go from there.

Then I remembered that there was a local writer's conference coming up! I'd been to a few workshops with Pikes Peak Writers but never had the courage to attend the conference. A half written book that I had convinced myself was probably terrible anyways was not something I thought worth bringing around to a bunch of seasoned writers. Finishing that manuscript switched a light on in my brain. For the first time ever, a little voice inside me was shouting, "maybe you can really do this Rebekah!"

So without second guessing myself, I signed up for my first writer's conference. Being a complete novice, I was fairly certain that this was either going to be amazing or really, really terrible. Luckily, from the first workshop of the day on Friday morning (Tantrums to Tearjerkers: Making Your Readers FEEL from romance author Angel Smits), I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

From there, I took a lot of truly amazing classes and workshops that I'm certain will help me improve as a writer. More than that though, it made me confident that I can pursue my dream of being an author. I met so many amazing people that are on similar journeys and are truly inspiring. Who knew how cathartic it would be to talk to fellow authors about being in the scary editing phase or the dreaded query letter trenches??

The biggest takeaway that I had from the conference was this; if you put yourself out there, declaring to the world that you love being a writer and that you have an awesome story to tell, you can make your dream happen (give or take a few rejection letters).

So here I am, putting myself out there and declaring that I, Rebekah Santoro, am going to be a published author no matter what it takes. Through the ups and downs, I'm going to share my journey of writing & publishing, my passions, and maybe a few other thoughts here and there that can hopefully inspire some other young writer to pursue their dream.

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