Okay I confess- some of this will be repeats from previous posts where they were touched on in some detail or very little. This is my current mood though based on what just happened and made it dawn on me once more. The set up- I was sitting with my son on my lap watching a few music videos and a couple behind the scenes ones as well while we cuddled before bed. He was entranced though for a couple of the behind the scenes one I was more interested in what was being said- following your dream and being afraid to fail. The constants we put on ourselves that actually prevent us from following those dreams and I realized that’s what I had been suffering from for years now and still haven’t been able to shed it. ( Link to the video that partly sparked this post here, by the way if you haven’t I highly encourage you to check out her music as well.) While chancy indie publishing and being an indie author has never been at its best point to try to get into because of the attention it now has as well as credibility.
So I completely realized how right she was in this video- as we grow older we do put constraints on our dreams. Instead of seeing limitless potential we see hurdles upon hurdles and practicalities. Yes- some would call this realism and I would agree that some realism is necessary but you hear every day of people working jobs they HATE to get by only. And by hate I mean barely tolerate with sanity, several steps above and beyond what I consider baseline of simply impatient for the day to be over like I was during my summer job at a local amusement park back in high school. Anyway- I watched my son stare fascinated at the images on the screen, whether he fully understood what was said it caused me to think back to my mindset when I first started this journey- to show him dreams- even impossible seeming ones -can be possible.
Growing up I had a pretty lose outlook on what was possible for me from others in my life. At the same time- they urge me to get a solid job, one with a secure future- or you know, those ones that chances are you HATE or are ranked a bit below that point on the scale of job love. Who cares if you enjoy it, they say- it pays the bills and that’s all that matters liking it will either grow or just never come. As for me I had a drastically different view, what is a job if you don’t like it? I went in phases- I wanted to be a doctor.. .then actor except I have horrible shyness and stage fright- then author – and eventually professor as my college years progressed and the author thing became a distant memory. Then I discovered that I could actually accomplish that dream and figured why not try. Best to finally give it a go then not, of course this thing that I thought was going to be a somewhat laid back affair now carries a piece of my soul, hopes and dreams. It no longer is seen as a secondary thing, but a focus though I still go to school. Still, the same people wonder how much money I’m making from books, how much this and that is going into this. In other words- how much is being wasted on such a chancy thing?
I try to tactfully dodge the questions- since I’m starting to be honest the answers will just add fuel to the fire. I’m still finding my footing, tweaking my strategy and approaches- the windfall- if any is fall off into the future. But sitting here tonight I wonder why I ever stopped those years ago when I was spurred on to seek publishing the first time. I refocused my view because to be frank a few weeks ago I had one of those great moments authors have at times that I was about to throw in the towel and quit. I realized it was the same voices- the ones that tell you to go the realistic to constrained route in life that caused the silence, the abandonment of the dream for that time period. I was looking at colleges, trying to find a steady job- I couldn’t balance both I felt and still go to high school. And when I say trying to find a steady- not seasonal job I mean really under a lot of pressure to do so though I was never really successful. Conversations turned to “What do you want to do after you’re done with school?” Anything less than certain was met with the usual grimace and quickly flying suggestions of alternatives that were much safer. This followed to the – why don’t you just work and not go to school suggestion. So I lived by the mantra for years of safety over dream- now that isn’t to say I have no love for being a professor or my major and that all they are is that safe option- on the contrary I do. It was one of those majors and ideas that take hold in the “discovery time” of early college years when you test the waters and discover new fields.
Last winter though I remembered those stories, since Vengeance and another idea I’m developing for a future series are both written originally back then. I remembered the far flung dreams and the voices urging me to publish, that it was good enough to make it. So I dared to take a look with fresh eyes and shove the other voices that said it was a waste of time and wouldn’t go anywhere- to just continue on the secure path aside and decided to go for it. To be honest while I want my son to have a secure future I don’t want him to do something he hates for it, I don’t’ want him to abandon a dream because it is hard and most of all I don’t want him to lose that world of wide possibilities we seem to completely lose as adults. Some harshness and realism will happen, it is par the course, you want to have that backup plan but I don’t ever want him to feel he has to wonder what if. What better way than to prove that it can be done taking a rode you have to literally pave yourself? Sure its not the easiest route- at the same time is querying agents and publishers any easier at times? You trade waiting for work – yeah there are pros and cons to each version of publishing- that’s a whole other post though, but really is it any easier on the nerves wondering if that latest promo effort paid off or if you would get a favorable response from someone who would represent you and your ideas? I also do it for myself- to fulfill a dream from days gone by that I thought I’d left behind forever but have a chance still to fulfill. I do it to also, and some may think this petty, to prove those nay-saying voices wrong. To prove that you can make a sustainable living of an amount doing this job, a job I love and fulfill a dream that may or may not be worth it in others eyes. In a way I’ve already accomplished the first part of the reasoning, I have a few books out with more being worked on- I have shown it is possible but its not done.
So in this insane stream of consciousness I began on a Sunday night and am now finishing in the early dawn hours Monday I do have a point. The point is to not give up on those dreams- seek out and remember those that encourage them, ignore the rest though those voices will be the loudest at times. Most of all, pass that belief down to the next generation if you have kids or someone of similar age in your life like nieces or nephews. Like I said some realism is going to happen, these dreams are hard work no matter what route you take, and sometimes things prevent them from being fulfilled right now. Don’t give the line of them being not worth it because of it and push into the realm of never instead of maybe. Encourage smartness but not lack of worth. Maybe then we can all keep looking at the world through the eyes of a child somewhat again and believe in not just the limitless potential of others but our own.