And there you have it, the headless chicken.
Have you ever had a secret dream? One you wanted so bad you'd move the earth to have it? Since I was 6 years old, I've known what I wanted to do.
Grandpa said I could talk anyone's ear off as a toddler--I just had so much to say. I quieted down when I started drawing horses at 3, then unicorns, then cartoon characters. Pictures consisted of multiple layers or stories, characters doing things in the background that contributed to the overall development of a plot--and I was in heaven.
At twelve I completed my first hundred page novella, and my plan for life. I would become a writer, published by the grand old age of sixteen--a career I could easily manage around my expectations of being a wife and mother one day. I smile now to think back on that.
The one thing that is inevitable in life: change.
We moved to a new neighborhood. I stepped into a new school with the chance to be whoever I wanted. (Chicken became cool, by the way.) We were attending a different congregation where I was not only accepted, but welcomed with open arms. My brother finally realized that I loved him, despite it all. Life was no longer one cloudy storm after another. I could see the sun, and it illuminated the world with new-found understanding.
People are what really matter.
At 14 I made a firm decision to quit writing. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I did it to become a better person.
I've often wondered who I'd be if I hadn't quit. Where would I be now? I know myself. Once I set a goal, let heaven and hell get out of the way. It's going to happen. I would have researched, attended conferences, met agents, completed a writing program in college, entered every writing contest and won myself a place on the shelves.
But at what cost?
When this life is over I won't look back and say, "Man, I'm sure glad I had a successful career." I'll see the faces of my children, my husband, close friends, relatives and others, and I'll think, "What an amazing life I lived."
People tell me I'm a great writer. People say they love my stories. Those people aren't agents or publishers.
AND THAT'S OKAY.
The last rejection jarred my eyes wide open, and so I am on the verge of killing the dream--the one that got me through some of the hardest years of my life, the one that has always been my distant star and great hope. Maybe I don't need to be published by someone else. Maybe I don't need an agent to validate my talent. Maybe I should give in to my hubby who keeps begging to let him publish me.
Why do you write? --or do whatever you do? And what is your life-long dream?