Normalize Reinventing Yourself

First appeared on the AWC Blog 3.11.21

“In high school, I was always the girl reading the book. Now I’m the woman writing them.”

My alarm typically goes off at 4 a.m. – it’s the golden hour when the world is still asleep. No paws following me around, no children tugging at my clothing, no emails filtering into my inbox – absolute stillness and total peace. It’s my time to write and enter a world uniquely my own, the snow falling out my window in soft bits of magic.

I’ve become a tad obsessive over the last year, turning to writing as an outlet for creativity. With each tap of the keys on my laptop, I’m rediscovering a piece of my heart that I once knew and loved. And lost over time. As my professional career took off post-graduate school, I’ve always been afraid to let my passion for storytelling be a part of who I am – always working toward who I should be – or at least what others told me to be.

Well, no more.

I read a quote recently that really resonated. “Normalize reinventing yourself in your 30’s. Normalize buying a house in your 40’s. Normalize finding love in your 50’s. Let’s just – normalize.” I don’t know about you, but I felt that quote in my core. So, here I am at 34 years old with my millennial side part and skinny jeans, normalizing my new path. I’m an author – and storytelling is my passion.

As professional women communicators, we can all respect and agree that storytelling is at the very heart of communication – and fiction writing is no exception. There’s an art to it – a finesse to master words on a page, deliver drama and conflict, craft character arcs that work, and conclude with a story that leaves the reader in deep contentment.

Writing for me – is about the challenge. It’s about building a story from start to finish, wrapping up each tiny little detail in a full circle. It’s no easy task, but the more I write – the more magic I find in my keyboard. Writing is about power and as an author, I hold the magic wand.

In high school, I was always the girl reading the book. Now I’m the woman writing them. It took me fifteen years to rediscover this piece of my creative soul again. But I’m back. And I’m ready to remove the façade of the self-image I’ve created. I’m ready to normalize the reinvention of myself – and share that passion with the world. I’m an author – and I’m on the verge of publishing my first romance novel.

The reinvention of self is not something we should be embarrassed about. It’s not something we should shy away from. Let’s normalize it together. Be the people we’re meant to be. Because through the journey, I realized the only person that was stopping me … was myself.

In the end, we all deserve that happy ending. I am an author. I’ve always been an author. Now the world just gets to see (and read) it too.

Published by julienavickas

Julie Navickas is a nationally recognized contemporary romance novelist with Inkspell Publishing, known for her keen ability to weave heart-wrenching, second-chance love stories through relatable characters with humility, humor, and heroism. She is also an award-winning instructor and academic advisor in the School of Communication at Illinois State University, the public relations manager for Burning Soul Press, the social media strategist for Labyrinth Made Goods, and is a continuing education instructor with Heartland Community College. Julie is a mom to three children: Lily (5); Colton (4); Brady (2), and has been married to her high school sweetheart, Thomas, for ten years.

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