A Gentle Reminder from the Past
Facebook has a lovely feature that shows you your posts from prior years. This blog post from a few years ago recently appeared on my time line and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
See, lately, I have felt like life has been getting in the way of my dreams, and I was definitely getting derailed. I was letting Book 2 sit, languishing in a corner in first draft form with no hopes of a rewrite. I mean, who has time!? The mere thought of diving back into it was causing me heart palpitations. I didn’t feel like I had the time or energy to devote to it and do it justice. And so it sat, waiting…
Now, I am finally getting ready to attack my novel again. It isn’t so much that I have freed up time. I was truly chasing my tail on that one! But my heart and soul are burning with the need to pursue something creative and all mine, something that I am doing just for me and not because anyone else is expecting me to or paying me to. And that need is roaring in my ears, blocking out all the have-tos and should-dos and making my list of things I need to get done in my “real” life a memory. 🙂
Sometimes the dreams won’t wait for the perfect moment. Sometimes you have to follow them anyway.
Letting Go vs. Rescheduling Your Dreams
Recently, Gwen Hernandez, a writer and Scrivener guru I follow, posted that she was having to reschedule the release date for her newest novel. She was mere weeks away from the big debut into romantic suspense when she had to put on the brakes. She had done everything right with this novel – had it edited, had people beta read it, designed the cover. So what happened?
Some of her trusted writing friends read the book and had some valid points about things that should be fixed. As much as she hated to postpone, the desire to publish quality won out over the desire to merely publish.
This type of thing happens a lot in life. We are cruising along toward a goal and have put a self-imposed deadline or due date on it. Suddenly, we hit a bump in the road. Our schedules explode and we have no time to dedicate to the project; our day job gets super stressful; our kids get sick. Something derails our intentions.
Unfortunately, many times when this happens, we let the entire project get derailed and fail to pick it up again. We let a minor obstacle or a temporary detour throw us off the path for good. The next thing we know, months or years go by and we don’t give our dream a second thought. It lays dusty and neglected in the corner. When we see it one day and dust it off, we no longer feel the passion we once did for it and wonder why we ever tried. Or, worse yet, we think that it is now too late to try again.
It’s important to put realistic timeframes on our dream projects. I initially thought that publishing my first novel would be easily accomplished by this fall. But in hiring an editor to work with me on the project, I realized that it would be impossible to do the editing process justice and still meet that deadline. So, I moved my goal date to January 2015. While it is something to aim for, it is not written in stone. I realize that non-book things can and do come up that may affect the work I plan on putting into my novel.
I also started my next certification class for my day job. While the course is entirely online, which is convenient, I know that I will still be putting in close to 80 hours by the end of the course. Not to mention the 5 1/2 hour board exam that awaits me at the end… This has led me to revamp some of the other small steps that I had laid out to reach my publishing goals. I realize that I need time to focus on class as well as my writing and my blog, so I tweaked the schedule.
Letting go of our schedule and letting it be more fluid is a much better approach toward dream building than letting go of a project completely even for a few days. A few days have a way of turning into a few months. It is too easy to lose momentum. We must learn to let go of the right things – the deadline, not the dream.
Don’t let life get in the way of your goals. Be flexible in setting your own deadlines. And remember — Baby steps…