Change is hard. Especially in the beginning. In those first moments, seconds, hours and days when you first decide to make a change. Maybe one of the hardest things for the majority of people to accept is change. Even if that change is good change, it’s still hard.

I have to admit, I chose a path in life that I felt was safe. It was a safe decision to go to college and pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and engineering, eventually get my Ph.D. While many of you have told me that those were brave decisions; looking back on them now, they were safe decisions. I wanted to ensure that I could provide a solid, secure life for my family and kids. Getting my Ph.D. put me in a position where that was almost a guarantee.

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I don’t regret the decisions that I made for my career. I love being a scientist. It brings me great joy and satisfaction when I get to play a major role in improving a local watershed or restoring a wetland to a more desired and functioning habitat. Those are worthy achievements.

But I have to admit that my passion for science is not my first love. Recent months have taught me that writing is my true passion. Writing has always been a huge part of what I do for a living. I have written countless technical papers, reports, and peer reviewed journal articles. But that is not the same as allowing my mind to wonder and be creative in my writing.

In many respects, I have been writing stories since I was a young girl. I have always kept a journal and let my mind spill out onto the paper; creating new characters, alternative paths for myself, or unimaginable worlds that only a somewhat wacked out mind can envision. But only recently did I take that passion for writing seriously.

Over the past two years, I published three nonfiction books. The process I went through to write those books changed my entire view of myself and my future. I can’t even begin to express the degree of happiness is has created for me. Choosing to start with nonfiction writing felt safer to me that jumping right into fiction. But through the success of the nonfiction books, I now know I can make it as an author and write fiction as well. My third nonfiction book hit the best sellers list! WOW, that was one of the most amazing days of my life. All because I decided to embrace change.

The best decision I ever made was deciding to be a writer, saying it out loud and definitively. I am a writer. Now I can say I am a published author. It’s a shame it look me until now to come to this realization. Better late than never, right! I will admit, it’s scary. Failure is always an option. While I am afraid of failure, I am more afraid of dying and never doing what God really intended for me to do!

If my first attempts at fiction fail, I will get back up and try again, and again, and again.