I don’t have incredible wealth. I don’t live in a mansion. I don’t drive a Ferrari. But…
I don’t need any of that. I’m incredibly privileged to tell stories for a living. I make up things. I made up things even when readers had never heard of me. Some people still haven’t. And yet, I create people that don’t exist and bring them to life in my own strange, special way.
Writing and reading have always provided me with an escape. At ten, fifteen, twenty-five, I’d go into that world inside a story, whether someone else’s or my own, and nothing else mattered. That was long before I’d created Jake and Kit or Nick and Jordan. But while creating them they existed for me as if they sat down at the dinner table with me. Sound strange? Oh it is. But I’ve been strange for years now. I see a particular place in my head, a scene. I smell the flowers on the wind. I try to take you there. Is that so wrong?
The thing is I’m not alone. There are thousands, maybe even millions of wannabe writers out there. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, or that your dreams aren’t important. If you want to paint, paint. If you want to play guitar and start your own rock band, go for it. If you want to run a marathon in every single state before you turn fifty, start now. If you want to tell a story, tell it.
Don’t let anyone knock you down or stomp on your dreams. And there are plenty of those out there waiting, waiting to be the first ones in line to kick the dream out of your reach, to tell you how many times you misused a word, or you overused a phrase, or the story wasn’t that believable. Hey people, guess what? It’s fiction. It’s a book. I’ve read countless stories that had no basis in reality and yet, they are some of my favorites. Anyone ever heard of Tolkien? Hmmm, that really wasn’t very believable, now was it?
That why you don’t let negative energy or negative people dissuade you. Get rid of the people in your life that don’t show you support. Whether it’s a best friend or a professional you’ve worked with in the past, pry them away from your zone, move past them and their negative energy and find people who think your dream is just as important to them as it is to you. Lip service doesn’t count. Lip service equates to people telling you one thing, but when it comes to showing you what they can do, they sabotage your efforts at every turn. I know this part is tough to accomplish and won’t happen overnight. But you get rid of the negative energy surrounding you and a weight will fall off.
Someone once told me that 90% of happiness is finding the right partner. She was talking about life and marriage, of course. And she was right. But the same holds true when you go for a dream. If the people around you are less than enthusiastic about you succeeding, then shove past them and find ones that routinely cheer for you when things are tough. It makes all the difference in the world.
And if it’s your dream, keep at it. Don’t wait for that agent to come knocking. Trust me, even when she/he does, it won’t matter all that much. A publisher? Sure, we indie authors all want that contract in our hands for validation, but don’t be fooled, don’t be taken in by unscrupulous people who come for you with that hook. Be savvy. Be smart.
And remember, there is no shame in self-publishing. Self-publishing means you’ve written a story and want to share it with the world.
That alone should mean something. Because you’re a writer. And if just one person gets the story, you’re already a success.