Monday, 5 August 2013

Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough. By Melissa Wray

You can read this wonderful publication online. Pg 17 has the online version of my article. It has a couple of cute kids attached!
Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough.
By Melissa Wray

When you decide to begin a family there should be a leaflet for future mothers to read. It would include all the things you will need to consider and it must list the job description; multi-tasker, protector, carer, chef, cleaner, nurse, educator, negotiator, volunteer, assistant, judge, confidante, personal shopper, taxi driver and babysitter. Of course none of this would deter us for a moment.

I never once thought the decision to start a family would change my identity. But it did. I was now first and foremost a mum. It took a bit of getting used to motherhood. Previously I had worked for several years as a primary teacher. Strangely enough I thought that experience might help. But as the days turned to months I soon got into the swing of parenting and all the things it entailed. My son was 6 months old when I began a writing course by correspondence. It was something I had wanted to do for years. I was naïve enough to think I could complete it while the baby slept. Ha!
I persisted with it around the 40 minute sleeps taking place three times a day. I managed to complete the assignments at night and found myself enjoying this new found creative freedom. My dream to write a book had always been in the back of my mind but now I was doing something about it.

Over the next five years my son gained a sister and life got busy. I continued to write when I could find time. This was mostly late into the night. There were plenty of times I snuck into bed well past midnight. Sometimes on weekends hubby took the kids out for a couple of hours while I madly pounded the keyboard in the silent house.
I honestly never believed my dream of a published book would come true. Writing was a hobby. It was my escape from parental responsibilities. I didn’t need to think about the shopping list or the washing piling up. I pushed all thoughts of play dates and sticky floors that need a mop aside. I didn’t have to think about reality because I was writing fiction.

Then in April 2012 something unbelievable happened. I was offered a publishing contract through Morris Publishing Australia. My young adult novel, Destiny Road was going to be published. I read the email ten times before jumping around squealing like a mad woman. It would seem my identity was to change again.
One day, not long after the published books arrived, my son asked me, ‘Mum, do you know who my favourite author is?’

I rattled off the ones he knew from school and home; Mem Fox, Roald Dahl, Graeme Base, Dr. Seuss.

‘No,’ he said, smiling. ‘You.’

Mahatma Ghandi once said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ I interpret that to mean, lead by example. So I let my kids inspire me. I can’t tell them they can achieve anything and do anything if they try hard, and then not follow my own advice. So even though life changes once you become a parent it doesn’t have to mean you lose your identity. Yes you have to juggle your responsibilities better but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. You can still have interests, goals and dreams.

Destiny Road was a labour of love and written late at night after my two cherubs were sleeping soundly. I can barely remember life before children and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do have one more thing to add to that job description though; Author.

Destiny Road is about a sixteen year old girl Jessica, who is building up to making a most important decision. One that will affect the rest of her life. It is a story of choices, consequence, heartbreak and growth.
Read the first chapter for free;

What's your dream? Tell us in the comments!

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