Tag Archives: dreams

Who Says Dreams Don’t Come True?

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Shhh . . . and don’t you dare pinch me. I’m not ready to wake up. I am having the most amazing dream . . . so much better than the one I’ve been having for years.

You remember that one? I’m sure I’ve told you about it before—the one where I become a published author and share my fictional stories with the world.

Coming back to you?

Well, this time I dreamed that it actually came true, can you imagine. I went online to shop for a new book, and—what do you mean it’s not a dream? Are you sure?

Ouch! Hey, I told you NOT to pinch me . . . and that was a kinda hard, by the way. But wow . . . look at that.

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You’re right. This isn’t a dream. I’m a published author! I did it!

And I’m still sane . . . for the most part.

Sure, my family and friends will probably tell you I’m not . . . or that I made them crazy along the way with my obsession for perfection and my self-imposed deadlines. But you’re not gonna believe them.

You’re not . . . are you?

Okay. Just checking.  Phew . . .

Anyway, this has been such an exciting journey filled with many opportunities to grow—both as a writer and an individual—and I’m glad you’ve allowed me share the experience with you. Both the highs and the painful lows.

But I’ve weathered those storms, pushed through the times I felt defeated, and finally made it to the port of Published Author. And I’m just getting started.

What’s next, you ask?

My journey continues, of course! I’m entering a new phase of the publishing industry as an indie author-entrepreneur and learning so much more that I did as an aspiring author.

There’s a lot of work to be done. No time now to sit and chat—we need to keep moving! And I already have a few great stories and lessons to tell you about along the way.

Next stop . . . best-selling author.

The Journey Begins Here

I’m sure the road will be bumpy with lots of steep hills, but I’m determined to get there! Fasten your seatbelt and come along with me as I share the challenges, frustrations, and excitement of being an indie author-entrepreneur. 

See you soon!~CJ

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Get your copy of Two Hearts: Beyond Control today at Amazon.com(USA) – Amazon.com(Canada) – Amazon.com(UK)

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2015: The Year of Lessons Learned…and the End of the Foolish Dreamer

 

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I started my blog about six months ago. Since then, I’ve written several posts that talk about my dream of becoming an author. I even wrote a post solely devoted to the idea. (Chasing A Dream) But here’s the thing I’ve come to realize about dreams: most times they’re unrealistic fantasies, things we wish for that will never come true.

Today, that all stops . . . the dreaming, that is. Imagining myself as a writer—seeing myself doing all the things I know a writer needs to be doing—is never going to get me anywhere.

Now, that’s not to say I’ve been foolish enough to think I could sit back all this time, just waiting to watch a miracle happen. I’m saying that I need a different mindset, a better approach, in order to avoid becoming a life-long dreamer.

Looking back on 2015, I’m not at all satisfied with what I accomplished. I’ll even go so far as to say I’m disappointed in myself. The book that I dreamed would be flying off the shelves by the end of the year? . . . well, I’m still not finished writing it.

You can’t win the race before you even leave the starting block.

It’s so easy to get swept up in the excitement of talking to other authors and learning all that they’re willing to share … which is far more than I’d ever expected when I first entered the indie community.

It’s also easy to let all of that become a distraction. With too much energy focused on new opportunities or on preparing for the future, you can forget to focus on the present—for a newbie author, that means getting down the words for my story.

This is where I failed.

At least I managed to learn a lot of valuable lessons this year that will help me reach my new goals:

  • I leaned I can’t do EVERYTHING I want to do, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. More importantly, I learned to accept that and to prioritize so I can focus on the big pieces of the puzzle.
  • I learned to say no. This is huge, because saying yes to everything other people want or expect me to do for them—or things they think I should be doing for myself—means there isn’t enough time to do the one thing I need to do, which is finish writing my book.
  • I learned that words may sting, but they can only hurt me or kill my spirit if I give them permission to. Having a thick skin is an absolute MUST for authors. While we’re all entitled to our own opinions, people may not always voice their’s in the kindest of manners. I realize this is something I’m bound to run into more as my audience expands, especially after the release of my book. Being able to search for any value in their messages and letting the rest fall away is vital.
  • I learned to believe in myself. I had plenty of refresher courses in trust, honesty, and dependability this year. Some were painful lessons, but they made me a stronger person. They taught me to be confident enough to trust my own judgment and stand up for my ideas and opinions. They taught me to fight for what I want. I won’t be foolish enough to make the same mistakes again.

I can’t change the past, but the future is mine to command. Dreams don’t come true . . . I need to plan and work hard to make them become a reality.

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With the start of the new year closing in, my dream of being an author no longer exists. Instead, I’m eager to move into 2016 with a new set of values and a list of goals, and plans on how to achieve them. —CJ

Above All Else . . .

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Dreams are important. We all have them. (you can learn about mine here) But simply acknowledging they exist isn’t enough. We need to do something about them.

Our dreams help us to set goals for our lives—what we want to do, who we want to be, where we want to go.

But it takes more than a dream and hard work to reach your goals. The path we travel on our journey is riddled with tests and challenges to make sure we are worthy of the reward that awaits us. It takes courage—an inner strength to believe in ourselves—to reach our destination. And it takes determination—the drive to forge ahead, no matter what.

Above all else, we must never give up.

As a new writer, there’s always so much to learn and do. One of the most important things is to build an author’s platform. The first time I heard that phrase, I had no clue what it meant…some days I still wonder if I really do.

For the most part, it just means establishing a base of followers on different social media outlets. By blogging, we hope to build a loyal following of fans who enjoy our writing and will eagerly await the release of our books . . . and tell all their friends about them.

I realized the importance of creating a blog, but I couldn’t imagine having anything to say that someone would actually want to read about. (Still waiting for the masses to prove me wrong . . . ) The idea of opening up and writing real thoughts, personal stuff, instead of fiction was somewhat intimidating. There were a lot of things to consider, beyond deciding what image I wanted to portray and what audience I hoped to connect with.

Since you’re reading this, I’m sure you already know I decided to blog about my writer’s journey. So far, I have to admit, it’s been pretty much fun . . . even on the weeks where my journey itself hasn’t been.

Sharing the low points and personal struggles of my life as an author is difficult, but it helps to get them out of my head where they could fester and do a lot of damage to my creative process. I just imagine I’m writing a personal journal that no one else will read and let my thoughts fall to the page.

As a friend pointed out, people really seem to connect with that, which surprised me. Unfortunately, it seems my lowest moments have been the most popular. So either misery really does love company, or those posts are the equivalent of an accident on the highway that everyone slows down to stare at—I haven’t been able to decide which.

The past few weeks were difficult for me. I allowed other people’s actions to affect the way I saw myself. I questioned my value as a writer. I lost my connection to my story.

How could I write about my character’s life when I didn’t care what happened to her? How could I push myself to meet daily word goals when I didn’t care how long it took me to finish my book?

I couldn’t. Instead, I spent a lot of time staring at my screen, or I’d simply pack up and call it an early night.

But I never gave up on my story—it means too much to me, and I’m not a quitter. I just didn’t care about it at the time, and that’s almost as bad as giving up. Almost.

To make matters worse, my muse abandoned me, taking my self confidence with him. Overcoming this has been my biggest challenge. I’ve felt lost and alone, but I’m learning to adjust.

In last week’s post I realized it was time for me to ignore everything around me, focus, and give my story the TLC it deserves. For the most part, I’ve done a pretty good job of that this week.

Today the elusive chapter 25 that I’ve been stuck on forever is going up for review in my critique group, and I’m really excited about the way it turned out. It’s a small victory. One I fought hard for. One that took a lot of courage, and sheer determination to never give up on my dream.

The power to succeed lies within every one of us. I’m back on my path, pursuing my dream, and ready to take on the next challenge that tries to stand in my way. Above all else, I will never give up. —CJ