At Get It Done, we love shining a spotlight on our clients and their beautiful projects.
Today, we’re highlighting Dina Varellas, author of Wild Horse, Wild Heart.
When the pandemic first began, Dina started a daily writing practice as a way of slowing down and turning inward. This practice—along with a very special horse—inspired Dina’s first book.
We had a chance to talk to her about it:
Congratulations on bringing your book into the world! How does it feel to be an author?
Thank you so much! Being an author is all the feels—amazing, exciting, nerve-racking, gratifying, humbling, and very surreal. It feels really good to get my art out into the world.
Tell everyone about your new book.
The title of my new book is Wild Horse, Wild Heart.
Each chapter is filled with real-life stories on learning to ride, trusting your intuition, exploring your feelings, following your heart, and overcoming fear.
Whether you’re a horse lover (like me) or have no experience riding, my hope is that this book will inspire you to follow your heart's calling and find the faith to leap.
What inspired you to choose this particular topic?
At the onset of the pandemic, I started a daily writing practice. This morning ritual was a beautiful way to ground and connect with what was real inside.
The pandemic also inspired me to take a chance and start my own business. I began leading writing classes and meditation circles for women.
I also became curious about horses and began to work with a woman, Rachel (who I met through my writing class) and her horse, Cody.
Then, I signed up for The Tiny Book Course with no clue what I would write about at first. But all the pieces came together—the writing practice, the course, Rachel, and Cody the horse. The vision for Wild Horse, Wild Heart materialized, and I knew, “This is the book I want to write.”
What was the hardest part about this project?
The hardest part was working through lingering doubts, occasional writer’s block, and learning to get out of my own way.
The Tiny Book Course provided the support that I needed to hold me accountable, answer questions, give feedback, and gently nudge me along the way.
Describe your writing process. Do you typically write first thing in the morning? Late at night? Do you listen to music—or work in silence? How do you get things done?
For this book, my writing process was a combination of many little moments and long writing stretches.
Each week, I scheduled writing appointments and put my phone on do-not-disturb mode, dedicating 3-6 hours when I knew the house would be the quietest.
I also found pockets of time when the inspiration kicked in and flowed, writing anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour at a time.
How have readers responded to your new book?
It has been a humbling experience to see the outpouring of support around my book.
It’s wonderful to hear from family, friends, and relatives sending me words of praise and loving support, writing reviews, sending me photos of the book, requesting me to sign their copy or a copy for their friend.
I love seeing the magic unfold as I step out of my comfort zone and into my heart and courage. I walk into bookstores, yoga studios, and gift shops and offer them a copy of my book and inquire if they are interested in selling it. I would not have done that a few years ago! So far, a couple of stores have agreed to sell my book!
That’s wonderful that stores are excited to sell your book! Courage pays off.
Often when clients work with us, they catch “book fever” and immediately start working on their next book. Did this happen for you? Are you planning another book?
I have “book fever!” The floodgates have opened with ideas.
One idea I have is about peanut butter! Five years ago, my teacher invited us to give up something we love—as an exercise in developing greater discipline and integrity. I choose to give up peanut butter.
This simple yet profound practice helped me believe in myself and taught me that I am capable of making a commitment and keeping it. This exercise gave me the courage to give up alcohol. I have been sober for more than three years—and am still off peanut butter, too.
Any words of advice for aspiring authors?
Become curious about what inspires you.
When you follow your curiosity, possibilities and opportunities unfold in ways you may not understand until later when you connect the dots.
I never gave up on my dream to write, ride, and publish. The accumulation of consistent practice of curiosity, bravery, vulnerability, listening to my heart, and watching for clues of the Universe was the recipe to share my book, Wild Horse, Wild Heart, with you.
What is one curious step you can take today?
What a beautiful question to end upon. Thank you for sharing your story, Dina.