A friend of mine recently shared a blog post via Facebook that hit home. It was a rather tongue-in-cheek take on the achievements (or lack thereof) made by those who pursue their dreams in the hours around their day job and familial commitments. (The blog was written by David Ferguson and posted on www.theonion.com if you’d like to read it for yourself.)
Every word that man wrote seemed to come directly from the little sarcastic being that whispers words of doubt and belittlement to me on a daily basis. I am one of those who attempts to achieve my dreams around the day job (it pays the bills) and my family (who offers much needed support). If I were to challenge the role of either of those entities in favor of 100% pursuance of my personal dream, would I be happier in the long run?
That is the ultimate question isn’t it?
We could make a list of pros and cons in an effort to determine the best road to take. Let’s see… if I quit my day job and write eight hours a day, five days a week…
Pro: My stack of completed pieces would be substantially thicker than it is currently. I would also be able to commit more time to the business side of writing, perhaps generating some income through freelancing, etc.
Con: I would be unable to meet financial obligations, which could lead to such things as vehicle repossession or even foreclosure on my home.
I think I can answer with certainty that the inner turmoil of the con in this situation would wreak havoc on my creative juices. Although I would have 8 hours, chances are I would be less able to create the high quality work I currently expect from myself in my abbreviated time slots.
The crazy thing is, I don’t disagree with Mr. Ferguson at all. I don’t want to be one of those people who says, “Well, I gave it 50% and it didn’t pan out, but at least I tried.”
I want to be one of those people that can say, “I did all I could with the time I had and it’s finally working out! Now I can quit my day job!”
I woke up this morning to one of the most beloved days in a school teacher’s life.
I live in a section of the country that is now encased in ice, although we are supposed to warm up today and drips are cascading off the roof outside my window as I type. I live for days like this. I’ve been granted an unexpected day in which to completely focus on my writing. As I get ready to work on my next novel I am pondering whether or not to stay immersed in the characters I’ve created in Inheritance of Truth or to venture away from Liv and Ridge for a while to explore new personalities. I do believe I am leaning toward the latter… as a good friend reminded me this morning, writing comes to us in its own time. It cannot be rushed. So true… yet I think I hear inspiration knocking and it often doesn’t wait long.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Chinese philosopher Laozi
Just like a good story, my journey on this road began with an incident for which I was no where near prepared. In January of 2010 I received a letter. The letter was from my sister (whom I had never met) and was written to inform me that my birth mother had passed away just a month prior.
I never met my birth mother. We had been corresponding since she first made contact with me in 2002, and as I read that letter over and over again, I realized that I would never get that opportunity. I would never be able to tell her in person how grateful I was that she chose to put me up for adoption all those years ago. I took for granted the opportunity I was given. Instead, out of fear of the unknown, I missed out on getting to know the one person who held my history in her hands.
I grieved after receiving that letter. Sadness enveloped me as I thought of my young half-siblings who had been left behind by her untimely passing. But even more than that, I grieved for lost opportunity. Time waits for no one, after all. I began writing seriously that same month.
I have always been a writer. In middle and high school I would pass snippets of storyline along to my best friend who would add to the story and pass them back. I can’t tell you how many little plot twists and turns we went through in those adolescent fantasies of ours, but I am sure they helped hone my story writing ability greatly. I will always be grateful to her for indulging me and keeping the story going.
Once I came back to the craft in 2010, it was as if I’d never been away. There is a sense of peace, calm, that emanates from creation of the written word. Creating lives on the page gives me a sense of fulfillment that I refuse to let pass. Am I afraid that this dream of mine won’t work out? Of course I am to some extent. But fear of the unknown is no reason to stop walking. In this case, it may just be the best reason to buckle down and journey on.
I’ve got to admit it will take me a little while to lean into this curve that WordPress is throwing at me. My goal with this blog is to document my journey from relative nobody to published author. If nothing else, it will provide me a wonderful memory book for future me! Feel free to post!