No one will drop your life's dream into your lap. You've got to work for it.
Since I was a little girl, I wanted be a published author.
I was too afraid to tell anyone my dream, so when the time came to go to college, I took the safe path and studied communications instead of creative writing.
It served me well, I worked in broadcasting, journalism, and marketing most of my adult life. If I hadn't made that decision, my life would not have taken me to where I met my honey, so I don't regret my choices. I'm blessed.
Yet, I still longed to see my name on the spine of a book. My dream would not fade. So one day about a decade ago I decided to take a run at my dream.
By then, I'd been writing a novel (or two!), but I never submitted it to a publisher. Actually, I didn't know how. So I joined a writers group. Then I went to a writers conference. Then I joined a critique group and began to enter contests. I continued to write, continued to learn, and started submitting my work.
One magical day I got that email dreams are made of--the one from an editor requesting to see my full manuscript. The rest is history. I had two books published. My dream was realized.
I've thought of how lucky I am, but honestly, much of it was disguised as hard work. I didn't sit around daydreaming. I did all I could to make my dream come true.
You shouldn't give up on your dreams either. Do you have a dream? Here are 12 steps to take to make your dreams come true:
- Set a goal. Really. Write it down, if you must.
- Make a plan. What do you need to learn or what certification/degree do you need to acquire to meet your goal?
- Find others on the same path. The writing community helped me to stay in the game until my dream was realized.
- Become persistent in striving for your goal. For me, I wrote 1,000 words a day.
- Continue to learn. Go to school/seminars, read books that will help you learn.
- Go out on a limb. I entered contests to see if I was progressing in my craft.
- Tell others about your dream. Yeah, I know this one's hard. It was a long time before I didn't feel like a phony when I said, "I'm a writer."
- Accept that challenges are difficult. Don't beat yourself up when you don't "get it" right away.
- Enjoy the process. One day you'll look back and be proud that you started, continued, and succeeded.
- Be grateful for any assistance given to you.
- Be generous in helping others along the way.
- Be gracious when you reach your goal.
Most importantly, take that first step!