I’m most proud of having written and published (I started my own publishing company to do so) my book, Gathering Strength: Conversations with Afghan Women. I never considered myself a writer, never wanted to write a book–OK, when I was 8 or 9 and had just fallen in love with reading I fantasized about being a writer with Anna as my pen name. (My middle name is Anne) I rejected that dream after struggling through English and typing classes and then totally forgot about it.
However, the book’s precursor, the Afghan Women’s Project came about because of an inspiration that I chose to follow. I faced discouragement when I lost resonance with my inspiration and began to believe my self-doubts. Also, the Peggy Kelsey I was at that time wasn’t a person who could have done the things I did in the subsequent 10 years. But, I continued with the Project and actively took steps to build my skills and confidence. Slowly, who I was at the beginning of this adventure transformed into who I am today.
I mostly stayed inspired while writing my book. I knew how to do that–just show up and write. My self-doubt re-emerged when I began to bring it into the world via publication which involved taking on something I didn’t already know how to do. What helped was connecting with my inspiration regularly, writing lists of my Tasks, and doing what needed to be done. Also, I focused on things I had control over rather than worrying about what I didn’t.
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