Monday, March 24, 2014

Pursue Your Dreams!

"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.

Katherine Bone
Rogues, Rebels & Rakes


Pamela Mason said...

And your experience is a great one to follow! Thanks for the uplifting post.

ShanaGalen said...

I remember that article, and I'm so glad you found it helpful!

Katharine Ashe said...

I second what @Pamela said above. Congratulations on your success, Katherine!

Ali Hubbard said...

All great advice and a wonderful example to follow. In manufacturing we always said continuous improvement is made in inches a day. I think it's the same with writing. A few pages a day really add up over time. That's something I'm still learning. Write every day.

And I hate that you had to deal with all of your neck/back/migraine issues. Best wishes of only good health in the future!!!!

Congratulations on your books and your writing, and for being so wonderful. :-)

Vanessa Kelly said...

Katherine, your experience is truly inspiring! I've had to write through physical pain and ill health, too, but your dedication and discipline is truly phenomenal. You embody what it means to be a writer!

Katherine Bone said...

Hi Pamela! Thank you for stopping by today. Woot! I hope no one tried to mimick me. I'm a clutz. Which explains why I may have ended up where I was. LOL!

Katherine Bone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherine Bone said...

Hey Shana! Your experiences were incredibly touching. (I've had miscarriages too.) And you're right. Some experiences are meant to be shared with comfort and love. (You made my day stopping by! Woot!!!)

Katherine Bone said...

Katharine!!! Thank you so much for stopping by and wishing me well. You're an inspiration to me! ;)

Katherine Bone said...

Hey Ali! When I first read your post, I thought about what my rogue says, "Going in for more repairs?" LOL! Thank you so much for your kindness!!!

I absolutely love your manufacturing work ethic! It's spot on. If I hadn't written through pain, I wouldn't have these books of my heart. Though they were conceived in pain, they've brought me tremendous joy!

Katherine Bone said...

OMG! Hand flail! Lady Vanessa is in da house! I'm so humbled that you, Shana, and Katharine stopped by to read my post today. Woot!!! What an honor! (Note: exclamation points are my norm. Pirate!)

You've had a very tough time writing through pain too, m'lady. What a true inspiration you are to me! Thank you so much for your very kind words and I pray your days of agony are over and you're painfree! ;)

Louisa Cornell said...

What an awesome post, Katherine! And what an inspiration you are to all of us who know you. I was so glad to hear your surgery had finally put those migraines to rest, but then that darned muscle kept dealing you fits! Hope all is well and healing now!

And I am so proud and pleased with your writing successes!

It is tough sometimes to pick yourself up and keep going when life knocks you flat. Writing is not an easy gig on the best of days. But as the old saying goes "The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is the published writer didn't quit!"

Now I'm going to find my April, 2012 RWR ! A little inspiration goes a long way!

Cari Hislop said...

Blimey! You win the writing through hell award! That's very impressive. I hope the migraines are now floating off into the sunset on a make shift raft draped with any characters making your life extra hell.

Chris Bailey said...

The other day I copied this note into my story file (and I would attribute it if I could, but I didn't copy where I got it! *Pauses to Iron Hands, house elf style*) "What does the character want so much that she'll give up everything to get it?"

Even since, I can't help applying that to my own dream! Am I giving up everything to get it?

Katherine Bone said...

Hi Louisa! Thank you so much for your inspiring words!!!

Your quote brings to mind one of my ultimate favorites. "Never, never, never, never, never give up." ~ Winston Churchill Gotta love, Sir Winston. If it wasn't for this quote (I have it in my office) I wouldn't be where I am. If I can do it, anyone can! ;)

I hope you find your RWR!!! <3

Katherine Bone said...

Hey Cari! Oh, there were plenty of moments I felt like I was in hell, but I was never alone there. I was carried through in the arms of a mightier and much more vigilant swashbuckler. ;)

Katherine Bone said...

Shout out, Chris! Very cool! I'm pondering iron hands typing the keyboard when the words won't come. Iron will forcing myself to work through the pain. Iron fists that promise "tomorrow is another day".

The elves can do the rest. (Pirate!)