"All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney
I often have to reread this phrase again and again because it really speaks to me on so many levels. Pursuing dreams. Hmmm... first you have to dream big enough to have a dream to pursue. Then, after the rum is gone, (Pirate!) the euphoria fades, rejections descend, and the muck thickens, you MUST want that dream bad enough to keep going when all hope appears lost.
Life isn't easy. Oh, how I wish the reverse were true! You can go pirate, take to the seas, put reality behind and live in the World of Willy Wonka, but odds are hard times will follow. Yes, even to the chocolate river. Sigh... So how do you keep a tight grip on your dreams without losing hope?
While doing some spring cleaning, I was going through some old RWR (Romance Writer Report) magazines I needed to get rid of and happened on an article that jumped out at me. That article was "Life is What Happens to You While You're Busy Making Other Plans" by Stephanie Sloane, Eight best-selling authors reveal how they fought through some of the most difficult times of their lives ~ and won, April 2012 issue. Interviewed authors included Katharine Ashe, Monica Burns, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Kris Kennedy, Elisabeth Naughton, Kate Noble, and Susan Wiggs, who all willingly divulged their most private battles.
"Words of truth from a person who believes in you as a writer and understands your dreams ~ even when you can't see them clearly ~ can have miraculous effects." Katharine Ashe
"Communication is a key element to effectively handling adversity." Vanessa Kelly
"What you do with what happens is up to you: surrender, rage against your fate or, better yet, use it in your art." Susan Wiggs
"If I can help even one writer see that there's hope down the line, then I know I've made a difference." Elisabeth Naughton
"Make progress from the pain." Shana Galen
"Remember the silver lining." Elisabeth Naughton
"So, rather than trying to change what had been, what was, or waiting for everything to be just right before I could X,Y,Z, I just started moving forward in the direction of my dream." Kris Kennedy
"Small gestures make big impacts." Monica Burns
I've been struggling with a few family issues these days, while finishing and turning in my Nelson's Tea novella, MY LORD ROGUE, tentatively scheduled to release April 20th. I've also been celebrating the relaunch of DUKE BY DAY, ROGUE BY NIGHT, which released March 11th, and recently signed two more contracts with EsKape Press. Pass the rum!!!
Every step closer to a dream requires desire, determination, devotion, and discipline. These are four principles I've had to learn however.
From 2009-2013 I experienced migraines 24/7 and underwent all kinds of tests to discover the cause. One remedy put me in the hospital for three days as doctors administered an antidote to medicine I'd developed a rare reaction to. On August 23, 2011, I had interior neck surgery which appeared to help the headaches. By January of 2012, the pain was back. On August 2, 2013, I had interior and posterior neck surgery. While my headaches were miraculously gone after getting two rods put in my neck, after Thanksgiving and just before Christmas, I tore the muscle in my back neck incision ~ twice. The pain of both the surgery and torn muscles was excrutiating. While healing from that, I got sick January 2nd and have struggled to get well since then. During this entire time, I've had to learn to focus on the bigger picture. I've written when I hurt, when I didn't feel like it, even when all hope appeared lost. The result? Two full length books, one novella, and one full length book I completely rewrote!
What did I really want to achieve? How did I want to succeed? What was I willing to do to grasp onto my dreams and not let go? Believe! Aye, a little rum did the trick too. ;)
Believe to receive, me hearties! That is my motto.
Life and dreams might feel like they've been baptised in bittersweet reality. I'm asking you to never lose the courage to hope, to dream, to pursue your joy. What you seek is just over that horizon.
Rogues, Rebels & Rakes
Rogues, Rebels & Rakes