Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don't Let Fear Stop Your Dreams

A fellow writer recently told me that she didn't worry about whether anyone disliked her writing or not. She merely feels compelled to write--so she does it. While I have felt compelled to write since I was a child, my feelings about others liking or disliking my work stopped me in my tracks. My feelings that I didn't have anything worthwhile to say/write and that no one really wanted to hear/read it, kept me from pursuing this craft publicly.

My writing partner Morgan Tarpley
Then God brought a very good friend into my life. We met by what I assumed at the time was happenstance. It wasn't--it was God at work. That was five years ago. Since then, she has been an encouragement to me and we have pursued writing careers over and above what we do for a living. She is a newspaper journalist and I am a thirty-plus year travel consultant currently working in the Genealogy Department of my local library.

The most recent positive reinforcement to push me further into my new writing career was the acceptance of a travel article with photo, in International Living Magazine's Members Only Communique. In addition to my wonderful friend's encouragement, advice, and technical support, it was a tremendous boost to have a professional publication actually pay me for my work.

I said all that to say this--don't let anyone deter you from following your dream. While my family has always been supportive of me, they never pushed me out of my comfort zone. Some of us need that extra shove. In 2007 my son was determined to go far, far away to college. While I was not too keen on the idea, I never tried to deter him from his dream. I gently reminded him of the consequences of making such a move--about 1,500 miles from home! 

My son Daniel and I after his graduation from Boston University
Even when he called me the first week of college, homesickness strongly evident in his voice, I encouraged him to follow his dream. I told him to stick it out for one semester and then if he really wanted to come home, I would be more than happy to make it happen. Within a week he was making new friends and loving his new school life. I am so proud of him. He has since graduated and is settled into a wonderful job for over a year--in that same city--Boston. Far away from his Louisiana upbringing.

If your dream is a writing career, go for it! Don't think it will happen overnight. I walked into a writers conference in 2011 with my dear writing friend. We spent one year learning the industry--and it has been an experience. I didn't know I knew so little about something--other than brain surgery! I am still in the learning the process, but I have come a long way.
Currently, I am seeking representation for my completed manuscript, but I am not giving up. Perseverance is the first and foremost component of success. God is still revealing to me whether my writing is a calling by Him or a gift (or sacrifice) to Him. Either way, I feel it's something I should do.
Do you know someone that could use some encouragement to persevere? How have you encouraged others or been encouraged on your writing journey?

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement...” – Philemon 1:7

“If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that
voice will be silenced.” - Vincent Van Gogh


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