When Sarah Bailey was 33, she set herself a goal. She decided she wanted to have her first book published before she turned 35.
Her debut novel, The Dark Lake, was published the day after her 35th birthday.
She's since written three more books all before turning 40, and while working full time and being a single mother to two kids.
It wasn't a lightning bolt moment that made Sarah finally open her laptop and start writing. Instead, she spent years thinking about writing a book and attempting to write a book, before she decided that if she really wanted it bad enough, she just had to do it.
"I remember I sat myself down one weekend. And I was like, right, this is a good idea. You have a good idea. No excuses," she told Mamamia.
"If you want to write a book, then you have to write one. And that's the only way that the book will get written. And no one else cares if you write a book. So if you want to do it, then you have to do it.
"I think it's more about the mental switch that once you decide you really want to do something, it's not about finding extra time. It's just about using time, in a different way."
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Sarah had written a collection of short stories, which got her into the habit of writing regularly and meeting her own set deadlines. So she decided to tackle the book in the same way.
"I thought if I can turn it into a bit of a goal and I can break it down into sort of manageable chunks, that's surely going to be better than just looking at this giant, looming task of writing a book," she explained.
Sarah set herself a goal of writing 10,000 words every two to three weeks, which led her to reach her goal of 90,000 words pretty quickly.
She then redrafted the story and sent it to an agent. It took her about 10 months, from the moment she started writing until she submitted it to an agent.
The agent had a lot of feedback for Sarah and this part of the process meant another big edit.
"So she was sort of very clear from the start," Sarah explained. "She said, 'Look, I love the book. And I love the story. And I'm really keen to work with you. But you have to be keen to work with me. I have lots of feedback. You know, are you up for that?'"
After that, the agent sent the book to five different publishers, and they went with Allen & Unwin.