Don’t Delay Your Dreams by Allie Burton


I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was in 8th grade, I was stranded in a hospital during a snowstorm and wrote my first book.

My mom had a minor procedure and my sister and I had taken her in the morning. When the storm hit, the hospital checked my mom in overnight, but my sister and I had to stay and sleep in the lobby. The regular cafeteria was closed so we ate in the staff lounge where the doctors and nurses congregated. My imagination flew. I watched every move and facial expression. I eavesdropped on their conversations, and they weren’t all about medical procedures and patients. I didn’t sleep much that night as I scribbled an entire story in a spiral notebook.

And then I didn’t write anything until after I graduated from college.

My advice to my younger self? Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep learning the craft of writing.

But my younger self said and would say: I’ve got too much studying in high school and college, no time to read and write for fun.

My older self would respond: Find time. Make time. You might not sell a book right away but each word you write you'll get better and learn.

My younger self would protest: I need to get a sensible degree so I can get a job. I need to pay the rent.

My older self understands because I’d been there, done that. Still, I’d plead: Write fifteen minutes a day or an hour a week. Your time won’t be wasted because you’re going to be an author in the future and if you don’t start now it won’t happen in your twenties or even your thirties.

My younger self would consider: You can’t guarantee I’ll be an author. I need to be practical.

I knew that was the truth and nothing would change. But my older and wiser self would realize: 

Sometimes you need to experience life and find your own path. Sometimes you can’t take a shortcut. Sometimes you can’t rush the story of your life.

Allie Burton is the author of several young adult fantasy books including A Glass Slipper Adventure, Lost Daughters of Atlantis, and Warrior Academy. You can find out more about her at

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