A Free Spirit Forever Dreams, Dares, & Does

As I gear up for the agent round of Pitch Wars next month, I’ve been researching all the fun publishing dos and don’ts when it comes to agents. Today’s article was about making sure your online presence is on point, so I decided to do a routine check on what happens when you Google me.

And… I came upon this beautiful recap of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit conference back in 2012. It was a great time, but they also had this super short video of all the alum (including me!).

When I got into the Free Spirit program back when I was a high school senior, I was over the moon and back. I was super hopeful about everything: my future, my dreams, my career, my education– there was no end to my optimism.

Heck, I was even voted “most optimistic” for senior superlative by my high school class.

Watching this video now, it reminds me how important it is to keep dreaming, daring and doing. While I haven’t stopped any of those things (hello, epic journey with my novel-writing career), I know it’s easy to fall out of. It’s easy to think that adult life will just consume my younger self’s spunk and confidence that anything is possible. And yes, sometimes it happens. Sometimes it’s easier to brace for disappointment than to work so hard for something that may never happen.

But as my hero “Uncle” Al Neuharth once told me (and everyone who has ever read his awesome autobiography), it’s important to fail in a big way before you turn 40, because it’s those failures that teach you how to succeed.

This super short clip was a great reminder to me that my hard work doesn’t lead to disappointment. Ever. I’m a Free Spirit. And I will always dream, dare, and do with the best of them.

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