Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Thing About Following Your Dreams

Monday was low day for me. I'm not going to go into the details of everything that happened, but I basically spent the day telling myself that I would never be good enough to go anywhere in this business and that I shouldn't even pursue publishing because, what's the point?

My husband called me toward the end of the day, and even though I didn't say anything, he knew something was wrong. I broke down crying.

I had a reason for the cry, it was a stupid reason (no, it wasn't a rejection) and I knew it was stupid. Still, I felt compelled to fade out of the writing community and forget about publishing.

I mean, I like to write, so I should just do it for myself and not worry about putting my work out there. Putting work out there isn't the reason I write, so why do it?

When my husband came home, he told me to read this book called QUITTER. I didn't want to. I've been putting the book off because my husband read excerpts to me and I felt like I was already doing everything John Acuff mentions about following dreams.

A few hours later, after I had a good mope (which I'm excellent at), I picked up the book. Then I read this:

"The soundtrack we play in our minds is that our gift is nothing. Our dream really isn't that meaningful. It's just a bit of gossamer we play with sometimes. Don't think twice about it... if you admit that there is a chance that you are good, perhaps even great at something, you should feel a little uncomfortable. Because if your gift is nothing, that means it is something. And a gift that is something is always a little terrifying..."

That hit me in the gut. I'm terrified of putting my stuff out there. Not because I think people will hate it--hate is a given. I'm terrified because I'm afraid people won't like it enough.

The most terrifying thing about chasing a dream is that I want it. I want to be Stephanie Perkins, and Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, but I'm not there yet. I'm not even close, and that holds me back.

But something snapped in me Monday night. Reading QUITTER brought something to my attention. Dreams are going to be that way. So I'm not there yet. It doesn't mean I won't ever get there, it just means it'll take more time and more work

I'm going to admit the scariest thing in the world--I might be good at writing. If that's a truth (albeit an extremely hard one to say). Then that means I have to do something about it. If I hide, then that's the equivalent of me saying "I have this piece of gold in my hand, so I'm just going to  make sure no one ever sees it."

No. I need to take that gold and make it into something. As freaky as that might be, it's the reason I'm here.

That's the thing about dreams, if you don't use them, then you're ruining your opportunity to become something above average. And that is a life wasted.
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