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By Roxanne Rustand

I was sitting here, debating about what to write for this blog post, when I thought about the wonderful authors, both inspirational and secular, who have influenced my own writing journey so much–whether through the wonderful books they’ve written, or the writing workshops they’ve given at conferences over the years.

My very first writer’s conference was in Minneapolis during the early 1990’s, and at the end of the day, a dozen published authors stood at the front of the room to field questions from the audience. I remember feeling such awe at seeing them–real, live authors! They’d achieved what I hardly dared dream of doing, and when they each shared a bit about their own road to being published, it made me realize that perhaps it was possible to make dreams become reality.

We live out in the country, and my office windows look out on our wood-fenced corrals and the pastures beyond, where our horses are standing slant-hipped in the cold, early spring sun. Across the fence, a few beautiful, wildly marked paint foals are romping in the neighbor’s pastures–providing no end of amusement to our border collie Elmo, who is safely contained by our Invisible Fence and his radio collar.

Our fluffy, silly golden retriever likes to watch a few moments, and then wanders off to find his toys. But Elmo remains a study in total concentration. Head low, ears pricked, body crouched, he’ll stare at them endlessly, his intensity deepening each time they scatter. Our son Brian says we need to buy two sheep, so Elmo could spend his days keeping them together. He’s a dog who thinks he’s on a mission–but one without a job. Which got me thinking. Elmo knows what he is and what he needs to do. He never loses sight of that, even though he can’t ever get close to anything he can herd.

What about us…were we blessed with direction and determination from childhood, and have we followed through? Or did we discover our true desires later in life and try to make up for lost time? Our daughter, who finished grad school last spring, has been determined to be a writer since grade school. I have no doubt that she has the drive and ability, and that she can reach her goal if she stays on that course. I didn’t start dreaming about becoming a writer until our kids were in grade-school…and wish I’d thought of it much, much sooner.

How about you? What would you love to do? Have you followed your heart? Become what you want to be? Is there something you could do toward that goal now, even if it can’t be achieved any time soon?

I’d love to hear about your own goals, and how you are working to achieve them!

Roxanne Rustand B&WUSA Today best-selling author Roxanne Rustand has written over thirty-five traditionally published novels, and four self-published novels. She is currently happily at work on a three-book contract for Love Inspired.

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