Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No One But You

I've been doing a lot of writing lately in the hopes to finish my next novel in time. Which means I'm neck deep in stress. Writing a story is both exhilarating and mind-numbingly painful at the same time. My brain no longer knows how to turn itself off. To be quiet. To go to sleep. It just doesn't stop. If I'm not worried about my next writing goal, I'm worried about the scene I've just created, or the last character, or the last five chapters, and does everything work, and how can I MAKE THIS WORK! It's cool. It's fun. Really. I cry a lot. Tears of joy and wine. I mean, fine. It's fine!

Breathe. Smile. 

I've been trying to get out more, see my friends, and remind myself that there's more to me than work. It feels great to see everyone. I hug them like I haven't seen them in forever because yay me, I'm alive. And I remember that what I'm 
doing [what I'm writing] is magical. I'm doing what I love. I'm experiencing so many emotions with my work that it's ridiculous and I'm on cloud infinity.

But no amount of positivity makes the fear go away. It's still there. There's so much work left to do. 

Last night, I read an old post written by Jim Butcher (author of The Dresdon Files, and the Codex Alera series), one of my favorite authors. The post was advice to aspiring authors. Butcher says that because of how difficult becoming a full-time novelist is, that the vast majority of aspiring authors self-terminate their dream. They simply quit. 

"Think about this for a minute, because it's important," he says, "THEY KILL THEIR OWN DREAM. But here's a secret: You are the only one in the world who can kill your dream. No one can make you quit. No one can take your dream away. No one but you."

Did you get the feels reading that? I sure did. This message transcends various interests, from business, to health, fitness, art, and music. We all aspire or dream for something. This message applies to you just as it applies to me. Whether you're striving to meet a fitness goal, build a business, or launch your next career. 

At the end of the day, you are the only one who can kill your dreams. So yes, it will be hard. It might make you a little crazy. It might make you question yourself, your life, your entire being. You might lose your hair, or several nights of sleep. Even after all your hard work, you might still not find success in the next year, let alone the next decade. But either way, only you can end that dream. If you don't quit, you will eventually reach your goal. You may have to make adjustments along the way, and perhaps change your idea of success, but when that day comes, you'll look back at these times and forget just how bad the drama had been. The grueling, endless work will be but a memory. 


I tell myself that it's all worth it. Because it is. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, and nothing worth having is without some measure of pain. 

So keep working. Keep striving. Everything is going to be wine. Fine! I mean, fine!


Photo cred: Anthony Lew

17 comments:

  1. Here's to realized dreams and fulfilled lives.

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  2. That is *such* a good quote! And something I need to remind myself of, like ten times a day. Seriously, someone should just imprint it on my forehead (but backwards so I can read it in the mirror). I am sending you all kinds of good juju on finishing your book (because, I want to read it) and hopefully good wine, too :)

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    1. Thank you for the juju! I need it! That and plenty of wine (snickers). ;) I'm really excited, and nearing the point of penning, THE END. Fingers crossed that I can finish the monumental task of editing in time. -_-

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  3. Noone? Well, Freddie Kruger certainly can :)

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  4. Thanks for the reminder! That's certainly a wise and spot-on quote. Good luck on finishing your novel-- if you're going through all that, then you're definitely on track too. ;) Also, serious, serious pony-tail jealousy!! Lol!

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    1. LOL That pony-tail took some serious work. I haven't done my hair quite the same it since this photo. -_-

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  5. I'm in a similar place with my MS right now...it's been so much work and such slow going I sometimes want to cry just thinking about getting to work on it! But we'll get there! <3

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    1. LOL We sure will! Hang in there, Beth. So excited for you and for all that's to come with your upcoming book!

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  6. Very inspiring post. Thanks for writing it. We all need that shot in the arm, regularly.

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    1. Yes! I definitely agree. It's a good reminder. :)

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  7. I write all day but when it comes time to work on my next page for my book, I freeze up with fear. I always feel like what I'm writing isn't good enough! I miss those early days of writing where I just wrote and didn't worry about messing up. It was all just fun!

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    1. I know that freeze all too well. I try to write more for pleasure, but at the end of the day, a part of me resents that it feels so much like work. But when it's finally written, I don't regret a moment of it!

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  8. Some projects take forever. Getting published took what felt like forever. I wasn't willing to give up that dream. Even when I told myself it was the business or rejecting agents and editors, it's true that it was up to me whether I kept going or not. Wonderful post.

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  9. LOL! It's so true. I had to chat with my publisher and reestablish some deadlines so I didn't want to kill myself. So far so good. It's a beautiful life, eh?

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  10. That is an excellent quote, wish I had come across it sooner this summer. You're getting close to the finish, and really, finishing the book is the best feeling. Full speed ahead, and good luck. :)

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