Friday, June 29, 2018

Chasing A Dream

Since I was a little girl I've told stories. Before I could read, I would look at the pictures in a book and make up my own story. Throughout elementary, I wrote story after story. I entered a story contest or two and when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was most often "an author." I continued to give that answer through middle school and I'm not quite sure when my answer changed. I know my writing became less creative and more educational and informative - the very writing I loathed. At some point I probably blamed writing in school for sucking away my creativity like a vacuum. The truth was: I just quit writing for pleasure. 

I took a Creative Writing class in college that I loved and wrote a few other things but writing just wasn't the same for me. I also didn't read much. As a younger child, my nose was always in a book. I can guarantee you that there is a direct correlation between how much someone reads and their ability to write creatively. When I'm reading more, it charges my creative battery and I am able to write. 

For years, certain people have told me the same thing over and over again: WRITE THE BOOK. What book you ask? It doesn't matter. They've just wanted me to pursue this dream that has been buried inside me for most of my life. I've started many books; but somewhere along the way, I lose momentum. I'm no longer invested in the characters or the story line and so, many of my books sit unfinished. 

Except now...

I finished reading a fiction book by one of my favorite authors a few weeks ago and it was like a spark ignited inside me. The idea for a story was born inside. I started by writing down a few notes - the backstory of my main characters and their names. And then I just started writing. And I kept writing. And I kept writing. And now, only about three weeks in, I am halfway to a novel. HALFWAY, I said. You guys, this is insane! I have never been this far into writing a book before. And my head is still so full of ideas. I was worried I wouldn't have enough ideas to get the length I needed but I think now, I'm going to go well over. In order to have a manuscript that can be considered novel length by publishers, you have to have at least 50,000 words which is roughly 200 pages. I am on page 100, friends. PAGE. ONE. HUNDRED. And...OVER 30,000 WORDS!!

I can't even believe I've gotten this far. The feeling I get when I proclaim I will finish this time is unlike anything I've felt before. Excitement mixed with a little bit of fear. But I'm 30 years old (almost 31...shhhh), and it's about dang time I chase this dream I've had for so long. It's scary y'all. I won't lie. I know when I finish this thing and I'm ready to attempt the publishing, I  will be terrified to send it off. And I also know that it will likely take upwards of a thousand rejections before I get that one YES! 

My overall goal is to have the first draft completed before the end of my summer. Then I will spend the next several months carefully revising and editing each individual chapter by hand. I would love to have a finished manuscript by December. I'm praying I can stay the course and chase this dream until it becomes a reality. I don't want to give up this time. I want to show my kids that fulfilling their dreams is possible. But those dreams won't come without hard work and dedication. And they might make you downright uncomfortable at times.

What makes you come alive? What do you have buried deep in your heart that you've shared with others or maybe kept a secret? What's your passion? What have you been afraid to pursue because of possible failure or just simply fear? Find that dream. Then chase it down like a dog chasing bacon with legs. 

In the middle of Chapter 13...

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