I feel like the word “dreams” when referring to striving for a “dream” is very misleading. It sounds like it’s something you think up in your head and then somehow it just miraculously comes true. By that same definition, the term “dreamers” often has a negative connotation as well. Like a dreamer doesn’t like to put the work in. They just want to dream things up and hope they get a lucky break. But that isn’t generally the case. Reaching for a dream is HARD WORK! Not to say that it’s harder than other jobs, etc, just that it’s not all roses and sunshine. Take my writing journey, for example.
I’ve always loved writing stories from the time I was a young child. Being able to use words to create worlds and characters that fill the mind with vivid images, has always fascinated me. So when I became a stay at home mom that needed a hobby very badly, writing was the natural solution. But it wasn’t easy. Trying to get words onto paper in a way that makes the characters jump off the page can be hard to accomplish when grubby little hands are reaching up and pressing the keys on your computer! Besides the day to day demands of having four children, I also found the emotional drain of putting so much pressure on myself to be there for my children and to shape them into contributing adults, made it difficult to put emotion into my writing. Yet despite these set backs I continued to write dry, emotionless stories but learned so much while I did it. I started story after story, but in those 11 years, I never wrote one to completion, but still found learning in the simple act of writing something even if it wasn’t good.
Once all my children were school, I allowed myself to concentrate on my writing and was pleasantly surprised to realize that I could finally finish writing a novel. Then, because I knew I could do it, I wrote another complete book, and then another. I was ecstatic! I did it! I was a writer! Now all I had to do was write some query letters and an agent would love my first drafts so much that I would be a published writer in the year…yeah, that didn’t happen. It took me another 7 years of writing, learning how to edit, and querying to finally get published. There again, you might think that’s where the struggle ends, right? Not so! Just as I was finishing up the editing process to turn in my next book to my small publisher, I found out that they were closing their doors. It would have been easy to give up right then. I won’t say the thought didn’t cross my mind. Maybe this isn’t for me anymore, especially with my new job at a School District Office where the stress is high. Do I really have the time for childhood dreams? Is it time to grow up and put aside the dream of writing?
Maybe there will come a time for that to happen but that time isn’t now. I just know that when I tried to quit writing, I felt like a piece of me was dying. This dream of mine had become more than just something I thought up…it has become a part of who I am. With that knowledge, I decided to keep Duchess up on Amazon by self-publishing! Does this mean I will self-publish the rest of my books? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m going to continue to move forward, even if I’m moving slowly. Forward motion is all I’m trying for right now. I will continue to grow as a writer, an author, and now as a publisher. There is so much to be learned and so many people to help along this journey of mine.
So while achieving my dream of being a published author isn’t easy, I am trying to enjoy the not-so-smooth journey. I’m so grateful for the people in my life that have encouraged me to keep moving forward no matter what! You are all amazing and I’m glad to count you as friends!