I have always found something rather beautiful in words. The way they capture a person’s imagination or express the way we feel; the way they can impact another person’s life, and create changes never thought possible. Words changed my life, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
My name is Sara Ridley and I grew up the in the small outback town of Broken Hill, Australia, where dreams such as becoming an author were not acknowledged or heard of, and my life was one of ups and downs. I did my best to live my life how I had always envisioned it, and I believe to this day there is nothing I would have done differently. Growing up I never had or asked for much, living with my single mother and two brothers. I was bullied for not wanting to fit into the stereotype of modern society and laughed at by others when I announced I wanted to be a published author. In a town such as the one I live in, there are limitations as to what you can do, be, and achieve. You can imagine my frustration and understand why I began to give up my dreams and hopes.
In 2013, after a long time of hardship for my family and I, we finally caught a lucky break and moved away from Broken Hill to start our new life. At our new home, I started the next stage of my journey studying journalism at university. Unfortunately, that was very short lived as my Grandmother took ill with terminal cancer. My family and I made the decision to move back to Broken Hill and care for her in the 6 months she had left.
I was unable to continue with my studies and therefore left university to take up a retail job at a local store. My Grandmother and Mum watched as the person I dreamed of becoming slowly slipped away, and that is when my Grandmother told me the words that changed my life; never give up searching for your dreams.
It was then that I decided to stop caring what other people thought, and pursue my dreams of becoming a published author with the support of my family and close friends. I approached my Grandmother, after finding out she had a twin after 54 years, about her life story; a woman adopted out in World War ll and sent half way across the world to live a life of torment, heartbreak, and unspoken words. I asked if I could write her story, and she said yes. I dusted off my old research book on my Grandmothers backstory and got to work on turning my dreams into a reality. For the next 2 years of my life, I researched her life thoroughly and even discovered she had two more blood brothers in England.
In 2015, I self-published my very first novel, ‘Unspoken Words.’ I beat the barrier of modern societies expectations and took matters into my own hands. Those who didn’t understand what I was trying to achieve soon had a change of heart and the support I received from my home town was incredible. Not only was I praised for my work, but I had achieved one of my goals through writing; if I could inspire just one person through my work, then that is more than the world could give me. I went on to inspire and help others, through my own personal story and my Grandmothers. I was lucky enough to have her by my side when her life story was published, having beat cancer and the odds against her, proving that my one true inspiration in life, the inspiration for my writing, was an inspiration to all.
So where did turning my dreams into a reality lead me? At the end of 2015, I self-published my second novel, ‘Boy.Girl.You,’ and have never looked back. I went on to continue inspiring people in my home town with the message that there are no limitations to your dreams, and that you can achieve anything you want to if you put your mind to it.
It was because of this that I went on to create my blog, Life Of A Storyteller, a website geared towards helping authors write, market, and publish their novels. It was, and continues to be, my hope that writer’s out there, just like me, should know that they have the support to achieve their dreams, that they can become a published author, and that no barrier should hold them back. I launched the blog in April 2017, and have since helped 11 authors self-publish their novel, thousands write theirs through my articles, and self-published a further two novels.
Unfortunately, since the launch I discovered I suffer from a heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia, which has set my life back a step. Does this mean that I am going to give up on what I envision for the future? No way!
Life is always going to throw barriers at you. There will be times when you believe that you cannot achieve your dreams because they simply are not achievable, because others believe that you are not good enough to reach them, or because the obstacle is simply beyond our means.
Take a stand and tell yourself that you are good enough. That you can achieve anything you put your mind to, whether that is becoming an author, writing a short story, or creating a world completely from your imagination. I never stopped searching for my dreams, and I achieved them no matter the barrier.
So don’t stop searching for yours, because one day you can turn them into your reality.
Featured Photo Credit: Milky Way setting over The Pinnacles Desert, Western Australia by inefekt69 on Flickr