Hello, Jolene Navarro checking in from the Texas Hill Country. I have a confession to make. I had a dream for most of my life that I thought was out of my reach. I’ve had many dreams, and some I just out grew, but that one stayed with me through all my phases of growing up as a young wife, new mother. Life got busy as my four kids stayed on the go.
I dreamed of writing stories that would be published and sit on book store shelves.
I dreamed of doing book signings and getting letters from people I didn’t know, telling me how much the characters I created touch them. The way so many stories touched my heart.
I had a strong imagination. Many of the notes home from my teachers were how I was not meeting my potential; I spent too much time daydreaming. One teacher was worried about me because I seemed to be marching to a different drum beat than the other kids in my class.
The reason I thought the dream was out of reach is that I could not spell to save my life, and it was not from the lack of trying or studying. Don’t tell anyone, but by the sixth grade, I learned to cheat on my spelling test so I would not be grounded. It was not a lack of studying. I would fail tests even though I had the right answers because many of my teachers believed “if it was spelled wrong it did not count.” I worked hard but was accused of being lazy. There was no way I could be a writer.
I hesitated to go to college, all I could see was more humiliation, so I went to Art School in Houston. As I moved through life, raising my family, one thing never changed.
It was the stories in my head. I had developed characters that were always with me, but I never told anyone about them. I went to sleep telling myself stories.
Fast forward a bit. As a young wife and mother, I did end up going back to school. I was diagnosed with dysgraphia. It is the other side of dyslexia. I usually just say I’m dyslexic because most people are familiar. Kind of like telling people I’m from San Antonio because most people outside of Texas have not heard of Boerne.
Dysgraphia is a decoding issue also but works on the output. Spelling, pronunciation, handwriting, and flow of language are some of the struggles. I went onto graduate with honors. My Masters is in Education with a specialization in reading and spec. ed. About the same time this happened, I was approaching forty, my oldest of the four children was about to graduate from high school and I had lost both parents suddenly and unexpectedly. I had a strong sense of time running out.
The one dream that still burned within me was being a published writer. As I heard the clock ticking, I knew I would have to take a risk, to put myself out there to be humiliated if I wanted to find out if I could succeed.
Being writer seemed to be out of reach, something that other people did. There will be people telling you that you’re not good enough or you need to be realistic and do something else. A career full of rejection.
You can get help, go to workshops, even get a mentor or surround yourself with other writers, but eventually, you have to step out alone and jump. You have to trust God and put your heart out there.
Sometimes you will crash, sometimes you might stick the landing, but there will still be people still tell you it’s not enough. That you’re not enough. Persistence is the key to making your dreams become reality.
I got to see my first book on the shelf October 2013. I have had seven out since then.
I love writing characters that have dreams they don’t think will happen for them.
In my August release Texas Daddy, Adrian gave up his dreams to raise his daughter, then he meets Nikki. She is back in town to heal and try to save the dreams she had. They discover when they trust God, the real dreams of their heart can come true. Right now you can get the ebook for 1.99 across all platforms or a print book for about 5.00 depending on retail. Harlequin has all the buy link so just click on the book cover and you will find them.
Do you have a dream that you have been hesitant to pursue? Leap people, find the thing you love and fly!
I don’t think I have a dream that I’m hesitant to reach out for. With the kids being young and the house being full, my dreams these days are very practical ??
Dreams come in many sizes and shapes. Being happy where you are is the best!
Hi Jolene, thanks for sharing your story. As a teacher, and parent of a son who is wired differently, I have a lot of time and respect for those who learn and work differently. Having a dream is such an important thing, as is having someone to encourage you on that journey to keep pursuing that dream. Praise God for giving us dreams and the passion to pursue them- and major congratulations to you, seeing your books in print would be such an exciting thing!
Thank you. It is exciting to think that I get to share my dream with people when they step into the town I created and get to met people that have lived in my head.
Thanks for sharing academic struggle and how this affected your dream to become a writer. My oldest son, who is your age, also struggles with dysgraphia. As a designer for an international firm, he just received two patents. His oldest son also struggles. As a reader and retired teacher, I appreciate reading about characters that struggle with academics. So many students do and often the student and especially the parents are ashamed to a seek help or admit there is a problem. As a retiree, God has blessed me to fulfill most of my dreams – to be a teacher, a wife, a mom, and grandmother. To travel the world including two countries on my wish list – Switzerland and Japan. But I maybe as old as Grandma Moses, to fulfill having a book published. This year some ideas have been brewing and are every present in my dreams. You are an inspiration, Jolene.
Thank you. I teach and reaching students that struggle in school drives me to get up and go everyday. As you know their are so many types of gifts and sometimes they get lost in the school system So happy to hear of your son’s success
Thanks for sharing your story and not giving up!
Thank you Laura.
Walter Daniels says
I know what you mean, In my family it was always the “If you’re so (exp. deleted) smart, why aren’t you rich?” My answer of 1) I don’t want to be rich. 2) I enjoy learning what I’m interested in. 3) I like helping people to learn what they need to know (solving problems behavior).
It wasn’t until Kindle and POD surfaced that I could be who I wanted to be. I now have a YA/children’s book and 3 cookbooks for Single/Handicapped out in Print and Kindle. The children/YA book came for the son (now Seven) of a friend, who made me believe I *Could* do such things. Now, in a Nursing Home due to a severe back injury, I fight the incompetence of Management, determined to believe all residents are exactly the same. In spite of that stupidity, I will write and put out more books.
I totally agree that money is not the point of being happy. Your life sounds full. Hope you recover soon. I’ll be praying for healing. And it is a great time to be a writer – so many opportunities. Thank for sharing your story.
That’s quite a story and an inspiration! Thanks for sharing and giving encouragement.
Thank you for stopping by Paula.
Valerie Comer says
I put my dreams of writing on hold while raising my family. Do I wish I’d grabbed hold of it sooner? Sure, I do! But I didn’t, so I need to “own” my decisions and carry on from where I am, rather than from where I wish I was… if that makes sense!
I’ve decided I can’t live with regret. It is a waste of energy and you can’t do anything about it – so why spend time there? :) Everything in our past is a part of who we are today. Raising a family is never a waste.
Margaret Nelson says
Thanks for sharing! I’m glad they finally figured out what your problem was.
Thank you Margaret.
Kimberly Rose Johnson says
Way to follow your dream and not give up! Welcome to the blog. It’s great to have you here.
Thank you so much, Kimberly.
As a pastor’s kid, I always dreamed of becoming a pastor’s wife. That dream became a reality when I married my husband and we ministered together for over 50 years. I was very blessed. ?
Congrats on the PhD Priscila. That is not easy. Academia has always been a challenge. Persistence is a tough character trait to develop. I’ll keep you in my prayers. .
So sorry, I thought I was replying to Prescila.I love that you wanted to stay in the same field as your father. It sounds think a very blessed life.
Thanks for sharing your story. What a lovely dream and trajectory. I’ve dreamed of getting a PhD and teaching higher education.. I’ve achieved the first part, but now I’m struggling to get a job. Academia is still suffering from the last economical crisis and now even more with all the funding cuts.
Jolene Navarro says
There my email I thought I was replying to you, but it was the one above you. lol
Thanks for your encouragement. I’m a new mom now so I’m not complaining for the additional time holding my baby, but it’s just sad to look at the job market and lack os prospects. I had a postdoc interview today and I was accepted so I’m pleased for now.
Jackie Smith says
Thanks for sharing….you are inspiration to us readers!! And thanks for the heads up on the great price for your book! Headed to Amazon now.
Jolene Navarro says
Thank Jackie – I’m writing a story right now and the heroine’s name is Jackie. She makes an appearance in Texas Daddy. Hope you enjoy.
ToniAnn Sprouse says
My dream was to become a teacher, or to open a bookstore. I taught preschool for almost twelve years before coming home full-time to keep my grandchildren. I still dream of owning a bookstore, or a career revolving around books in general. Thank you for sharing your talent with so many!!
Jolene Navarro says
I was a preschool teacher too while my children were that age. Have to say I do prefer the high school students. I know you are a blessing to you grand babies and thier parents.
Jolene Navarro says
I was a preschool teacher when my children were young. I know you are a blessing to your grand babies.
Wow, Jolene I had no idea about your struggle with words nor have I heard of Dysgraphia. I suppose most people haven’t as dyslexia is familiar nowadays. What did you do to get help as an adult? It’s amazing that you have found a way to write and fulfill a dream you’ve had. God is certainly good isn’t He?
I want to say God has given me my dreams…I have a wonderful Godly husband, two grown children that I’m proud to call mine and a silly three and a half year old grand-girl to keep me on my toes. Now I’m looking forward to someday living and traveling full time in an RV with my husband…that’s a dream that we pray God will bring to pass :-)
Jolene Navarro says
That sounds perfect Trixi. To help with the writing I use a program to read me back my words. I write the stories fast, but I have to leave a great deal of time for editing. I have a few people I trust to read it after I have worked on it. I hate that I can’t spell. I wish there was a way to fix that part of my brain – it sure would make writing easier.
I’m glad that you followed your dream! We’ve been dreaming of retirement, which is finally here. We really do feel like we are “living the dream”! I’ve only read your story in Sweet Summer Nights, but your other books look good!
Hi! Thanks for visiting – I have a surprise! The 15th comment get an ebook copy of Texas Daddy. Let me know if you can message me on my facebook page with your email, so I can send it to you. :)
I loved your story and am so glad you achieved your dream. My dream is maybe silly but one I hope to do. I want to visit a library in every state. I may go to a small town in a state and visit their library or to a big city and see theirs. Every library is different and I want to experience that.
Deana, I love that dream. I also love visiting libraries when we travel. Not silly at all. Do you take a picture in front of every library you visit?
Jessica B. says
What a great story. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by.
As long as your happy. :) Thank you for stopping by.
janet estridge says
I totally agree with Deana. I too would love to visit libraries around the United States.
I’ve visited a library in Ottawa, Canada and also in ShaTin, China.
If there was a tour just for that, I would be the first one in line.
A tour of libraries! What a great idea.
Nikki Dawson says
Goodness gal … I’m so glad you write these wonderful books for us to enjoy !!❤️?❤️?
Thank you. :D
HI Jolene! Thank you for sharing your story. I have dreams. Idk how realistic some of them are though, But a dream without a goal is just that…a dream. So if I want that dream I need to make goals. I’m workign on it.
jolene navarro says
Sometimes dreams are just nice ways to pass time. I love daydreaming. But your right, if you want it to happen you have to put an action plan together and act on it. :) Hope your goals get set and see action.