Saturday, January 28, 2017

Never Give Up on Your Dreams!

This blog is my entry in "Writing Contest: You Deserve to be Inspired, hosted by Positive Writer", located HERE.


For as long as I can remember, I've been a voracious reader, devouring ANYTHING with words on it, even reading milk jugs, juice cartons, and cereal boxes at the breakfast table. So, naturally, it didn't take long for me to acquire an interest in writing.

The first real memory I have of writing something for public consumption was for elementary class. It was a mystery and it had a few red-herrings in it, so I had quite a bit of fun telling my classmates they were incorrect in deducing whodunit.

From that point on, my favorite classes were the ones that required writing and I LOVED essay questions on tests, as they allowed me to flex my writing muscles. But my TRUE desire was to become a famous published author and for a long time, I thought I'd accomplish that goal, too.

But then, as often happens, Life got in the way. I married young, having three young children back-to-back (my "stair-steps", I call them) and my dreams got put on the back-burner, second to keeping the household afloat, as my then-husband was drug-addicted and therefore no help to anyone.

Fast-forward to a decade later and I still loved to write. I'd also obtained a BA in Telecommunications, but was no closer to my dreams, when one day at work, I had an idea, a story that I HAD to get out. I rushed home that evening and immediately started typing away, as if my hands were on fire.

I wrote like that for several weeks. Then, a terrible thing happened...Writers Block! @o@.

As my life was in turmoil at the time, it took several years to get back to it and by then, I knew how I wanted to continue the story. Then, yep, you guessed it...MORE Writers Block! @_@

That was nearly five years ago.

Since then, I've opened up my Word .doc on occasion, stared at the screen, and sometimes even typed something, but not much.

It wasn't that I didn't WANT to write, but I was discouraged. I was still blocked and I'd gotten to the point where I was constantly thinking about my age and how I'm too old to be trying to just now start professionally authoring. It was very debilitating.

But still, I did have a smidgen of hope...

During this last 3+ years, I’ve been a part of a band, founded by my significant other, who is 51 (I’m 48, now) 20+ years ago. He is undaunted by his age and that helps me a lot; I figure if he can keep striving at HIS age - *lol* - I can keep striving, also.

Funnily enough, though, I have NO problems writing songs. At the time of this writing, I have at least 50 songs in various stages of readiness. I have hip-hop songs, r&b songs, a country-ish song, my writing knows no bounds.

Except when it comes to my book, the one I’m convinced will be the Next Big Thing...if ONLY I could finish it.

So, about three months ago, I made myself a promise that I’d get back to it, until it’s done. Coincidentally, not too long after I made that decision, I stumbled upon an article about a local bookstore that was participating in NaNoWriMo and needed authors, as the store wanted to have a different author each day for the duration of the month. I contacted them, was accepted, wrote my Chapter and got positive feedback. The book should be coming out in the next few months, so I’ll be a published [co-]author! It’s not what I dreamed of (not yet), but I’ve also committed to telling myself it’s okay if I take baby steps; at least they’re steps!

Something else that has also encouraged me is writing for little things online... I play on a virtual pet website and they have virtual books written BY THE PLAYERS. I’ve submitted 8 and the first 5 have already been accepted and made into books for the site. The other 3 were denied at first for grammartical errors, but since I haven’t heard back since I resubmitted, I’m assuming they were accepted and are just awaiting artwork from the site artists.

Then, just a day or two ago, I read that J.R.R. Tolkien started on the Lord of the Rings trilogy at the tender age of 45, just three years younger than me! And by the time the first book was published, he was 63! So I figure, since I’m not even 50 yet, of COURSE it’s not too late for me.

With that weight off, I wrote a few more lines today and have ideas for the next section that I couldn’t get past.

So, I write all this to say, YOU CAN DO IT.

Yes, you.

Just remember these 3 things:

(1) Besides J.R.R. Tolkien, there are many examples of people who had a late start in their chosen field. Grandma Moses, for instance, was in her 90s when she started painting! Please keep this in mind if you’re beating yourself up over wasted time. As long as you’re still breathing, it’s not too late!

(2) Baby steps are ok! In fact, they’re great! Didn’t your parents get excited when you first started toddling? And you would not be walking today, had you not taken those first few steps. So never despise your small beginnings.

(3) I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ... Yes, I swiped that from the Little Engine That Could. So sue me, *lol*... But really, positive affirmations are a great thing. So get in the habit of making some, daily. Even if your inner voice protests, keep it up. It will soon be ingrained and then nothing will be able to stop you.

I can’t wait to see what you do.

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