I recently tweeted: There are different ways to live your dream. Don't be afraid to try a different course.
I wish I was living like Marrisa Meyer, author of Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) running around the country signing books or Maggie Steivfater driving her 1970 Camaro with personalized license plate with the name of the book (Shiver) that put her name on the map. I wish for that sort of life not because they are famous, but because they seem to being having a lot of fun. They seem to live life with purpose.
I have been struggling to find meaning in my life. I wake up, write, clean, cook and help my husband in the garage. I’ve been fortunate, thanks to my husband, to stay at home and write full-time, but getting published and building a career as an author takes time. All the waiting combined with a stack of rejections has started to chip away at my confidence. My motivation to write another novel is dwindling. I decided, like the protagonist in my novel, to stop wallowing in self-pity and do something.
But what? I needed something that was in line with what I want to do with my life, that is, write books for kids.
Then I saw that the local bookstore was looking to hire someone for the Christmas season. I thought what the heck and I applied. I quickly realized two things that I was missing from my writing life:
As a wannabe author validation has to come from within versus from the publishing industry. But like I said the stack of rejections letter has been chipping away at the self-confidence. Getting a job has been a Godsend. Each day I help countless customers find the perfect book for their kid, grandchild etc. All the hours I’ve put into reading and studying books for kids has paid off. Although I wish my book(s) were among the pile of recommendations I make each day, I’m happy to make those recommendations. Because not only do I get to help promote an author, I know that the books I recommended are going to inspire/entertain a child somewhere. Isn’t that why many of us write for kids in the first place?
Which brings me to job number two. I recently accepted a position with a non-profit organization that provides education and day programs for special needs kids and adults. While I won’t be working directly with the kids, my work as a communications coordinator will benefit these kids, adults and their families and possibly the community.
I will finally be making a living as a writer while helping kids! So in part I’m living my dream. I still dream of being a children’s author and I continue to work on that dream each day. Thanks to my new jobs, I’ve found the motivation to get back on the “computer” and start writing again. I’ll have the resources to attend events such as SCBWI LA this summer. The connections once I get a novel published.
Back to my tweet: There are different ways to live your dream. Don't be afraid to try a different course.
I was terrified of applying for a job and I almost didn’t apply. But with a little of encouragement from my husband and a dear friend I did. Now all these doors are opening up and a life I dreamed of is becoming a reality.
What about you? What sort of path(s) have you taken to start living your dream? Please share in the comments below.
If you liked this post please let others know. Due to all the hours I’m working this December, I’ve decided to wait until January to launch my book queen series, in which I’ll be discussing a new book each week and providing writing exercises and possibly even marketing tips. I’m sorry about that until then dare to write the impossible.
*Image courtesy of Marcus/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net