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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Following Your Dreams

Photo © Lokigirl616

Over on one of my favorite writing gig boards there was an article about balancing parenting and freelance writing. It got me thinking about my own situation, and about the concept of following your dreams.

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Granted, while I was growing up, there were also a lot of other careers that interested me, too. However, the one constant other than astronaut and pilot was writer.

My earliest memory of the desire to be a writer was in second grade. We were given the assignment of writing a fictional story. I can't remember all the details, but I do remember after reading mine, the teacher had me read it in front of the class. The teacher and my classmates were laughing hysterically as I read my funny vacation story that involved a volcano.

As a teenager, my grandmother was the first family member to take an interest in my writing. Not only did she cry as I read her some of my love poems, but she told me I had a gift, and told me I got it from her mom. Her mother wrote beautiful poetry that had been published. My great-grandmother died when I was a baby, but she did get to spend time with me, though I don't remember her. Until the day when my grandmother told me that my great grandmother wrote poetry, I did not know.

The rest of my memories about writing consist of teachers and others who read my writing encouraging me to continue to write and complimenting my writing skills, while others in my life discouraged me and told me it was not realistic or practical to go into writing. They never read my writing, they just told me I was a dreamer and I would never succeed at writing.

Fast forward to today. I actually make a living as a writer, have won one award thus far as a professional writer, and I am continuing to advance in my career.

I see my son dream about different careers and I am careful to not discourage him from doing what it takes to achieve them. Despite the naysayers he has around him, he sees me doing what I love and have always dreamed of doing, and it gives him hope.

When it comes to following your dreams, where do your beliefs lie?

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