The Book That Changed My Path

The Book That Changed My Path blog by Author Terra Kelly

“You’re not a good writer. This paper is elementary.”

When I was a teenager, I loved to write poems. The words were dark and shared what I felt at that time.

There was something special about writing down words to express every emotion my teenage mind felt (and there was a lot).

Writing seemed easy, especially if you were in the moment when the words just flowed.

In eleventh grade, I even dipped my toes into writing a book. It was a children’s story, and I had a blast illustrating and creating each character. The book still sits in a specific location in my basement in hopes I will finalize the story and finally publish it.

Honestly, I didn’t think about my writing ability; I just loved creating with words.

The Book That Changed My Path blog by Author Terra Kelly

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Reflecting on my papers in high school, I remember the teachers working with me to make the story better or even stronger. I can also see that with the teachers I had during the first year of my first degree.

I can’t remember the teachers in my bachelor's degree ever taking time to help strengthen my writing skills. Instead, I would get the papers back with a good grade and move on to the next task.

Thankfully, I didn’t have a ton of papers I wrote during my bachelor's degree, but still, that is very odd to me when I think about it today.

So, when I graduated and got accepted for the dietetic internship, I never thought about my writing ability. 

Even worse, when the internship director said, “You’re not a good writer. This paper is elementary,” I was devastated.

How was it possible that I could write poems, write a children’s book, or even get A’s and B’s on my papers in college yet still suck at writing?

Writing and producing a good paper for the director was grueling and created so much self-doubt.

Once the internship ended, I was a mess. I avoided writing anything for several years, too afraid to look like a failure.

Every month, we’ll have a new recipe inspired by the characters in each of my books; you can subscribe with the button below to receive the entire recipe in your inbox.


At one point, I discovered blogging and started a food blog (about six years after the internship). The difference with the blog was that I still didn’t believe in my writing skills, so I had my husband, a writer whose opinion I trust, read each post to ensure it was “Okay.”

Then something magical happened…

…one morning, I woke up from a dream with a story idea.

Who me? Why was I thinking about a story? Hell, I’m the one that wasn’t a good writer.

But I listened to the signs blaring red before me and sat down to write down the dream.

When my husband woke up, he was surprised to find me in front of the computer early in the morning. I shared my experience and handed him the computer to read the paragraph.

Once he finished reading, he sat back in his chair and said five words that changed my life.

“I want to know more.”

It felt difficult even to start writing. I read romance books, but writing my book was completely different.

There were moments when I deleted five to ten thousand words and would start over. Other moments where I laughed because I thought every single word was shit.

I was writing a story that evolved from my dream and then had to stop because it felt forced; the words didn’t flow.

The difference is that writing something I loved made me want more, so I waited for a sign to start another story. Not too long later, another dream happened, and another story idea was started.

Hard To Resist (The Winters Family Book One) was a joy to write because I didn’t let anything hold me back. I just wrote the words and let the story flow.

Isabel is still my favorite character. She pushed me past my self-doubt and helped me do the one thing I didn’t think was possible.

I’ll never forget how I felt when I typed “The End” in August 2014. I didn’t feel self-doubt anymore; I only wanted to write more books.  

As I grew with my books and felt comfortable writing again after nine long years of hiding from the very thing that brought me joy, I had fun creating simple yet loving stories that included my love for food on every page.

Isabel and Drew’s story includes five recipes the characters made and are included in the back of the book. Plus, more recipes were mentioned in the story beyond the five delicious treats.

I’ve learned on this journey that not everyone will like what you write, and that’s okay. One person’s opinion should not stop you from doing what you love.

I’m thankful for my husband for saying those five words, and I’m thankful for Isabel because I didn’t give up, and now I have 40 books published. 

If you’re curious about Isabel and Drew’s story, Hard To Resist, you can read the first three chapters here.

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