To dream is to set goals, but to accomplish those goals is to truly live. ~Tonya Ross
I have always dreamed of becoming a writer. Unfortunately, lack funds to take college courses and negative thoughts of others on my ‘chosen’ profession hindered my dream. After years and years of being told I could not do it or that it would never support me. That it was harder to be successful in writing than it was to make it in the music industry or art world. I let those comments other’s made live in my head rent-free as squatters. I gave up on my dream and focused on other things.
I am now in my 40’s and have opened my eyes for it seems like the very first time. I no longer care about the opinions of others as I once did. I no longer take their thoughts to heart in a way that it will stop me from doing what I choose to do. I no longer let the negative seem daunting or failures defining. Instead, I am always reaching for the positive. If something does not work out; I do not internalize it as if I made a bad choice. I give greater value to the positive lessons I learned from the experience.
With this in mind, I have finally taken an internal trip to the attic in my brain. Searched through the boxes of dreams piled high in the shadows. Reclaimed the one that always burned even ever so dimly. Knocked down the cobwebs and dusted it off. That dream is once again shining and beckoning me to follow it as far as I can. To set daily, weekly and monthly goals that are small enough to accomplish; yet challenging enough that I grow and evolve.
As if you have not guessed it yet, being the wise people you are. That dream is to become a professional writer. But what does it mean to be a writer? In a sense, I have always been a writer. I have continued to write short stories and poems throughout the years. Does that already make me a writer? Is being a writer only defined as having your works published in a sense where you get paid to write? If so, I am not a writer. I have only had two poems published. I did not even get a copy of the books they were in and certainly never gotten paid for them. Taking my earlier thoughts into consideration I will say this: I believe I am a writer, therefore, I am a writer.
With pride in the knowledge that I am a writer the guess work and fumbling for answers is done. I no longer have to define myself. Goal one is complete. I am a writer. I love the sound of that, let’s say it again. I am a writer!
Goal two is to write at least one hour a day every day. It does not matter what I write, just that I write. It can be a blog post, a short story, a poem….anything! I can choose to continue what I started the previous day and add to it or I can write something entirely new. Eventually, I would like to get up to a minimum of several hours a day writing.
Goal three will be to read at least one article, blog post or book per week that will teach me some new aspect of writing then try to implement those ideas into what I write daily. It could be on how to write a short story, Novel structure, character building… again, anything that teaches me something new to help on this journey.
Goal four is my monthly goal. For this goal, I would like to continue to work on the novel I started outlining a few years ago. It is not enough to just say I will continue to work on it. Instead, I will say I want to complete the outline in the first three months. Then write at least one chapter per month (or more) until it is complete. Like any writer though, I imagine once I get the outline done and start working on writing the actual story, I won’t want to stop. Kind of like every blog post I start. The story is already bursting in my mind ready to break the seams and explode onto the paper. This excites me yet terrifies me at the same time. If I stick to my goals though…
The moral of this blog post is that you should never let anyone stop you from doing what makes you happy. Never let others tell you what you can and cannot do. To further that, you are never too old to follow your dreams and see where they take you. You might surprise yourself and learn a few new things in the process.~Cheynoea