Life is filled with so many things you could be doing. Whether it’s wishing you had a certain job or wanting to go on a vacation to Hawaii (who wouldn’t want that?). There are so many choices out there, it can be hard to decide where to start.
Taking the Journey
So what if instead of following the safe path, the one that says if I do X + Y then I’m guaranteed a safe and secure life, you listened to those dreams stirring inside you? Maybe it’s those thoughts that tell you to be a writer, a musician or that you have a great idea others need to know about. Everyone may tell you you’re crazy. You won’t make any money (which is probably true). You’ll just fail, they say.
But what if you tried? And what if you found out you were good at it?
I think those people who dare to create something often end up having the most to say. Who would have thought iPads would exist? Or that Starbuck’s would have coffee houses on nearly every street in America? And that an idea like Facebook would become part of our daily lives? The ideas the keep you up at night may just be the thing that brings you your greatest joy and makes you who you are. Sure you’ll probably need a job to support yourself, but you can find ways to pursue your dream as you work.
Finding the Right Balance
Don’t neglect the three “F’s” in pursuit of your work or creativity – Faith, Family, and Friends. Let them be the support and anchor for your art.
•On Faith: My brother told me years ago, “He made you the way you are because of why you are.” The words stuck with me and helped me to lean on my spiritual faith throughout my journey of writing. There are too many ups and downs to think I could ever do it alone.
•On Family: Surround yourself with family which will support you and help you grow. My husband encouraged me though writing a novel seemed so far away, so impossible. I myself was thinking this was too crazy to try. But he believed in me. And as I shared my heart for writing with my family, they did, too.
•On Friends: I joined a writing group and took classes. I even braved the dreaded critique group and found it wasn’t so scary. The other writers there were so amazing and helpful, and they became my friends. We support each other now. I even met my mentor through this group. He’s been a great friend and teacher I’m so grateful for.
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I couldn’t put the down pen. The ideas were percolating in my head. I just had to get them out. I worked as I studied writing and grew in my craft. I made sacrifices in my time to sketch out the early drafts of my first attempted novels. But as I became better, my ideas and abilities grew. I’ve still got a long ways to go. More stories to write, to finish, to get out there. But I know, I can’t ever put that pen down.
It won’t be easy. Your ideas may fail. There are bills to pay. There are family, friends, and faith to balance. You may feel stretched in your time. But in the end, you may find what you’re most passionate about. And that is truly living the dream.
What challenges have you faced as you try to pursue your dreams?
Rachelle Harp is editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Intentional Novelist, as well as an avid coffee drinker. Her speculative fiction has appeared in Havok Magazine and her non-fiction in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She’s a finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest, a Zebulon Contest Novel winner, and a Novel Rocket Launch Pad Novel Contest grand prize winner. Read more at rachelleharp.com or follow her on Twitter.