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Inspiration

How I Successfully Pursued My BIG Dream as a Teen…and How You Can, Too! By PI Girl Jacquelyn

Hello, wonderful PI girls! My name is Jacquelyn Eubanks, I am 16 years old, and I am the author of a best-selling, award-winning Christian novel called The Last Summer!

It’s been a long, challenging road to accomplishing my dreams as a published author, but with a lot of hard work and faith, anyone can achieve their goals. I’d love to tell you about how anything is possible with God, especially when you allow Him into your life to help your dreams become a reality.

My Story:

My whole life I’ve always loved writing. Even when I was in preschool, I would draw scribbles on a piece of paper and read them to friends and family as if they were actual words in a story. Every year since then, I was always writing some sort of story or another, forever dreaming of one day publishing my own book. I knew it would happen eventually; I just didn’t know when.

By the time I was in seventh grade, I had written three full-length novels and had tried to get them published. They all fell through, and I was getting very discouraged. I wondered if I would ever get published, or if I was even good at writing. I was on the verge of giving up writing altogether when I began the story of The Last Summer. I wrote it and let my seventh grade classmates read it – until one person in particular told me it was “boring” and “stupid.” I was heartbroken, and I decided to quit writing forever.

Months passed, and finally I gave in to the urge to write. I sat down and finished my first draft of The Last Summer in one day. Once it was complete, something inside me just knew that this was the book to get published. I wouldn’t let anything stand in my way.

The road to accomplishing my dreams was definitely not easy. I had to type up my book and work with an editor for my whole eighth grade year. The work was daunting. I had to do so much editing and rewriting that it really got discouraging. I wondered if the editing would ever end. I questioned myself. I thought that maybe my book was terrible, and that’s why my editor made me fix so much of it.

Finally, after a year of editing was completed, my family and I looked for a publisher. I wanted to go the traditional route, where you send your book manuscript to a publishing house, and they read it and publish it if they think it’s good enough. My parents decided against that, though, and we decided to use Create Space, a self-publishing division of Amazon.

It took many months to work with them to get my book ready for print. During my whole freshman year of high school I had conference calls with cover designers and interior formatters in order to pull the whole project together. It got frustrating at times, trying to pull together all of these things at once, and I sometimes thought about just giving up because it was so hard. It just wasn’t fun anymore, and I wanted to quit. It seemed too difficult.

Finally, after literally two and a half years, my book was published. It had taken from January of 2010, when I wrote the very first words of The Last Summer down in a notebook, until May of 2012, when I finally received a first edition print copy of the book in my hands. It’s now available on amazon.com, Kindle, and barnesandnoble.com, and I’ve sold more copies than I can count. I’ve had professional book reviewers and kids alike give it top ratings. I have been featured on radio shows and in newspapers, such as The Christian Post. I have even won awards for my book, including “Best New e-Book: Fiction” finalist for 2012 from USA Book News.

It has been an unbelievable journey – long, daunting and strenuous at some points – and I could not have done it without the help of my family, friends and God. Through the strength and endurance God gave me, I was able to complete a seemingly insurmountable task.

Your Turn:

Do you have a dream that you’ve always wanted to achieve? It could be anything – recording an album, playing a varsity sport in college, climbing a mountain, travelling to Europe, getting the lead role in a play. If it’s something you want so badly, something you’re willing to work tirelessly for, something you’ve prayed about time and time again, then here’s what I have to say to you:

  • God knows what you want. He has heard your prayers and felt your longings. He has a plan for you. Trust in Him, for He will help you accomplish your goals. In fact, He has placed that goal into your heart for a reason, and He has every intention of helping you achieve it. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
  • Be patient. God will help you accomplish your dreams in His time. He knows when the time is right. Do not get discouraged just because it seems it is taking forever for your dreams to come true. He is already at work; it just may take some time. “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).
  • Do not give up. Paul tells us that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). This is such a true statement. When your dream seems impossible, when you are struggling to overcome challenges that stand in your way, remember that our God moves mountains! There is nothing you can’t do if you rely on Him and ask for strength and courage. The truth is that there will be obstacles you’ll have to face on the road to achieving your dreams, but God will get you through it.
  • Believe in yourself and in Him. Have confidence and hope. You have this dream for a reason! Deep inside you, God has given you the abilities you need to achieve your goals. Everything you need, He will provide for you. He has given you gifts, talents, qualities, family and friends so that they might help you. Do not be afraid to use what God has given you! Believe that you can succeed, and you will. Keep faith and always remember that you can do anything if you truly believe it. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23).
  • Everything you do, do for God. It is important to keep in the back of your mind that you are achieving your dream not just for yourself but also for God and for others. God has given us talents and dreams so that we may use them for the good of others. Use the gifts He has given you in His name. When you accomplish your dreams, thank Him and the people who helped make it possible. Give back to others and stay humble. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

Written by PI Girl Jacquelyn

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Image: iStockPhoto | ThinkStock + Project Inspired

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25 Comments

  1. RosannaL

    Posted by RosannaL on July 11, 2014 at 09:21

    Very inspiring, thank you! ♥

  2. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on August 7, 2013 at 03:25

    Thank you for writing this article! My biggest dream is also to become a writer and rigth now I`m writing my own devotional book on Create Space. Sometimes I just start to doubt if I`m actually good at writing or if this book will help anyone… You`re welcome to pray for my book!! Was it free to publish your book on Create Space? How many pages does it have?

    • tomboy_loves_Tigers

      Posted by tomboy_loves_Tigers on August 9, 2013 at 08:55

      No, it wasn’t free, sadly. It’s actually expensive, depending on which publishing package you get. My book is 206 pages.
      Also, I think it’s wonderful that you’re working on a devotional! I’d love to read it when it gets published, sounds like a great project to take on 🙂

  3. Grace Pierpont

    Posted by Grace Pierpont on August 3, 2013 at 13:05

    Oh! I have the same dream as you!!! I am also 16 and I am almost done with my first book! You have really encouraged me, thank you!

  4. ericweider

    Posted by ericweider on August 3, 2013 at 11:21

    Congratulations! This is a great accomplishment. You are a driven and tenacious young lady and this will serve you well. My father taught me that perseverance is one of the key ingredients to success. From a poem… “Genius, that power which dazzles mortals eyes, is often perseverance in disguise!”

  5. Madd

    Posted by Madd on July 29, 2013 at 16:05

    I noticed while reading the prologue on Amazon, the narrative of “The Last Summer” changed from past tense to present tense, but yeah, it seems like a good book. I might would by it if I had any money. I tried self-publishing my book, but it must not be very interesting because I’ve only made six sales — from family and friends 😛

  6. sisterwhocares

    Posted by sisterwhocares on July 29, 2013 at 15:00

    Wow, congratulations!!! That is really awesome that you got to publish a book at only 16 🙂 you’re awesome! I’ll make sure to follow you on Wattpad and get your book on my Kindle. Stay amazing, and thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

  7. nonnie

    Posted by nonnie on July 29, 2013 at 11:35

    im not a writer im an artist but i absolutely loved your story =D It was amazing. praise God that He gave us all gifts of our own! many people tell me how amazing my paintings are and have been since i started painting when i was about 12 every once in a while someone will buy 1 but no one has in a while. could you pray that the Lord starts doing more in my life with my painting?

  8. tomboy_loves_Tigers

    Posted by tomboy_loves_Tigers on July 28, 2013 at 16:39

    If anyone would like to check out “The Last Summer”, here is the link to the book so you can read reviews, read an excerpt, purchase it, etc.:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Summer-Jacquelyn-Eubanks/dp/0978590031/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1338229687&sr=8-20

    If you’d like to know more about me and my writing, please visit:

    http://www.jacquelyneubanks.com/

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by allietrieshard52891 on July 28, 2013 at 16:26

    hey i’m a writer to and going into 7th grade and i’ve written two whole over-a-hundred page books, and i’m working on several at the same time. but i have a question: i’m way too shy to show it to anyone. do you know any online writer websites (free) that i could post my stories on and get reviews? thanks. 😀 btw your story is amazing!

    • tomboy_loves_Tigers

      Posted by tomboy_loves_Tigers on July 28, 2013 at 16:42

      Actually, I do! I LOVE the website Miss Literati, it’s perfect for middle and high school girls who want to make friends and share their writing. Everyone there is SUPER awesome, you’ll love it.

      Here’s the link: http://www.missliterati.com/ml/home

      Also, there are 2 other websites you might consider:

      Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/home

      Figment: http://figment.com/

      I have accounts on all three websites, so if you’d ever like to chat with me/ask me questions, just type “Jacquelyn Eubanks” in the search bar 🙂

      • xJesusLovesYoux

        Posted by xJesusLovesYoux on July 29, 2013 at 11:16

        Wattpad is a great tool for getting your writing out there. It’s open to the public and you can receive some great reviews for your book.

  10. worship

    Posted by worship on July 28, 2013 at 15:19

    Amazing! I am so happy for you. Thanks for sharing! I will pray for you.

    God bless!

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ruth_of_Song on July 28, 2013 at 15:15

    This is awesome. I’m also writing some stuff, but my forte is more fantasy. Still, I thing this story is very inspiring, and I’ll have to pick up “The Last Summer” sometime! Continue writing!

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by inna on July 28, 2013 at 14:12

    So inspiring!!!! Thank You!!!!!

  13. emily.kate

    Posted by emily.kate on July 28, 2013 at 12:55

    A great article, thanks!

  14. rachelbrownell

    Posted by rachelbrownell on July 28, 2013 at 11:05

    I have a question: I’ve also loved writing for a while and have actually started my own story. However, I’m having trouble coming up with a name for it. How did you come up with your title?

    • tomboy_loves_Tigers

      Posted by tomboy_loves_Tigers on July 28, 2013 at 16:14

      To be honest, I wasn’t able to come up with a title for my book for months. I was halfway finished writing it before the title finally popped out of nowhere. “The Last Summer” literally just appeared in my mind somehow, without any warning. (Probably God giving me the inspiration I needed). If I were you, I would pray about it and wait – God will inspire you with the right title at the right time 🙂

      • rachelbrownell

        Posted by rachelbrownell on July 29, 2013 at 11:57

        I bought your book 3 hours ago, didn’t put it down, and just finished it. I absolutely LOVED it. I even teared up a bit at the end 🙂 I could not stop reading it for the life of me. The town, the characters, everything was so quaint and enchanting, I felt like I was physically inside every scene. I can’t wait for the next one! 😀