When I was seventeen, I declared that I wanted to be a published, professional author. Books in Barnes and Noble, movie deals, country-wide tours. The works. I dreamed of writing all day, every day, of owning a house on some lake with big windows and a comfy fireplace and an expensive laptop.
And then my parents heard about it.
They meant well, don’t get me wrong. They just, you know, didn’t want me to be a starving artist. So they steered me in a different direction, which is how I wound up with a bachelors in criminal justice and a career as a flight attendant.
Having a job is important. But here’s the thing: society dictates that work must take the place of your passions.
After all, only one pursuit is making you money, so if your boss wants you to show up on Saturday, well… you’d better close the laptop and get to the office. And as a result, we get people who slowly forget their dreams, who write them off as “impossible” and settle into the dreaded 9 – 5. Then, fifteen years later, they look at their lives and wonder, “How did this happen?”
Day by day, that’s how. It’s not usually a conscious thing. Usually, it manifests as procrastination. “Well, no one’s waiting on my book, so I’ll write tomorrow.” Tomorrow becomes a week, a month, a year… and then you forget your passion.
I’m secretly convinced that the reason publishing is so “hard” is because we look at the years it takes to make strides… and decide it’s not worth the effort. Yet we’re willing to dedicate just as much time to our work life and relationships.
So what’s the difference?
You OWE it to yourself to give 110% to your writing. If you were ever the kid who dreamed of being a bestseller, but someone told you “yeah right,” now’s the time to prove them wrong.
We make our own lives. So turn off the TV and grab your laptop or journal. Join Twitter, read writing reference books, talk to agents, attend conferences, and most importantly, WRITE. Every minute you’re not at work (or maybe even when you are 😛 ), WRITE. Treat it like an internship with yourself, because that’s the dedication it takes to make it a reality.
But most of all:
NEVER FORGET YOUR DREAMS.
Because you deserve them. <3