Filtering by Tag: dreams

IWSG: Doing the Thing That Scares You

A couple months ago, I did something. Something big. Something scary. Something I have always wanted to do.

I bought a ticket to Europe.

Not as part of a group tour, or a cruise. A single, solitary, one-way ticket to Amsterdam.

The moment I confirmed the purchase, my stomach fell straight to my toes. What was I doing? Who did I think I was, planning a solo trip thousands of miles away from home? I wasn't that brave!

Here's a secret, though: I AM that brave.

We all are.

Life, I have come to learn, is often choosing to do the thing that scares you. It's not easy, and there are a million reasons NOT to do it, but what's the worst that could happen?

Given, of course, that the thing that scares YOU is not, like, committing murder or jumping off a high-rise. DON'T do those things. They're scary for a reason.

But buying a ticket to Europe? Applying for a job you really want? Asking that cute dude out that you see every day at the coffee shop (probably not for coffee, though)? Yes. Do those things.
Moments after buying my ticket.

Because the worst that could happen is that you fail. You get lost in the streets of Florence. You don't get the job. The cute dude says no. You're still okay.

This applies to writing, as well. A book idea that scares you might turn out to be the best thing you've ever written. Joining a writing group could earn you some new friends (and writer friends are the best) and maybe some solid advice. And self-publishing the book babies you've put your heart and soul into for years...

Okay. That last one is super scary, no matter how much optimism I sprinkle over it.

But, just like that ticket to Amsterdam, I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna do the thing that scares me. Because what's a life spent sitting on the sidelines while others chase their dreams?

What scares YOU (writing-wise or not)?

IWSG - The Trouble with Dreams

This post is in participation with the Insecure Writers Support Group, which posts the first Wednesday of every month. Check it out!

I've always been a writer. From the moment I picked up a pencil and could scrawl words on paper, I've been making up stories. I didn't get serious about it until I was about seventeen. That's when I made my very first attempt at a novel (which will NEVER see the light of day). Since then, I have written five full novels and two half-started attempts. Most of this will never be read by another living soul -- heck, I probably won't even look at some of it. I've learned a lot along the way, and, despite all the hard work and frustration, I've managed to hold on to my love of words.

Publication has always been in the back of my mind. Even if I just wrote the first novel for fun, I wrote the second (and third, and fourth...) with the idea that someday I'd be published. When you're seventeen, a little ole thing like publication doesn't seem like that big a deal. It doesn't seem so hard. But once you grow up, when you start to research the big, bad world of publishing, well...it's an icy cold wake-up call.

But we keep on writing. We keep on dreaming. We push and we strive.

We.

Don't.

Give.

Up.

Even when we have people doubting us. Even when we doubt ourselves. When the writing sucks or the words won't come and we're crying ourselves to sleep. We keep on imagining our names on shiny new covers or bestseller lists. We think about "the call." We go to school and work our day jobs and take care of our families. We seek out careers that will allow us to pursue our dreams.

We are troopers.

Don't get me wrong, I love all this about being a writer. I love knowing I'm not alone in this impossible dream. I love having an entire community full of supportive, wonderful people who understand exactly what I'm going through. I wouldn't want to be anything other than a writer for all this alone.

But I'm struggling. We all are, I know. It's the impossibility of this dream that keeps my feet on the ground, even while my head is in the clouds. I've got to keep a tight grip on reality. And this presents a problem.

I want to write. That's all I want to do. I want to type my days away. But a girl's got to eat. Bills have to be paid. And my job is barely cutting it. And so I'm going to school to further my education and get a better job. But what kind of job is there for someone who has never wanted anything but to write for a living?

What about you? Do you feel the pressure of the real world trying to smother The Dream? How do you keep going? What do YOU do for a living?


Balancing Act

Summer semester starts in just over two weeks and I'm just now starting to get back into the swing of things, regarding my writing. I've finally jumped back into my story from the beginning. I'm keeping notes as I read, jotting down things I think I could change, ways to fix overall issues, etc. I'm getting excited again.

I'm a little bummed that it's taken me so long. After all, once Summer semester starts, I may not have enough free time to continue work on my novel. Then again, I'm only taking two classes this time -- I learned my lesson last year. I will never take four classes over the summer again. But I start training for a promotion at work in a week or two, so there's extra work and studying time.

I often wonder if I'm crazy to pursue this dream of writing. It's become clear over the last year or so that it's damn near impossible for me to balance life and writing. My writing has suffered because of school. As much as I love my story and characters, I had a really hard time jumping back into it when I had free time. It scares me, the idea of giving up writing because of everything else going on. Writing is my first love. It's my dream. My passion. I can't live without it. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. When I'm not writing, I'm feeling guilty. When I'm not writing, I'm feeling sad. Words have gotten me through a lot in my life and I feel like I owe it to myself to hold onto them.

But I've got to finish school. I've got to work. I've got to be a grown up.

I want a full life with a good job, a house, kids. The whole shebang. But I'm worried about how I will have all that AND my dream.

Dreams are tricky little buggers, aren't they?

So, for all of you out there who are managing to balance life and writing, whether you're going to school like me, or already have your home and family and job, how do you do it? Any advice? Words of encouragement? I'm dying to know!

From My Inbox

My email Inbox is stuffed full of links I've sent to myself from my phone. I read blogs and sites on my phone when I'm away from home and bored and ship the ones I want to read again or share here to myself. Today, I figured I'd actually share some of those links!

First up, this wonderful post via Michelle Davidson Argyle at The Innocent Flower. It was actually a guest post on her blog, but the advice is priceless: Simple Things I Wish I'd Known About Writing

Next up is a site I frequent a lot: Storywonk. I love Lani Diane Rich - her novels are fantastic. And that she shares so much advice makes me love her even more. Her podcasts are not only informative, but super entertaining. This particular session is about names. I know all of us struggle with naming our characters at some point or another. I know I did with my last project! Anyway, here it is: By Any Other Name

I loved this post about hope and dreams. One of these days, I'll have to write about the amazing people who fanned the flames of MY writing dreams... Who Started Your Dream?

Alright, that's all for now, folks. I just might have to do a few more installments. My inbox is filled with wonderful blog posts and useful articles! Oh, and if you're wondering if I've made up my mind about NaNoWriMo...well, not yet. I'm sitting down to night to make a Pros and Cons list. I'll let you know how it goes!