I had a dream that began when I was ten-- to be a writer like Beverly Cleary, my favorite childhood author. I wrote my first story on a big clunky, old-fashioned typewriter. It was about a girl and a turtle. Hooray, I was on my way to becoming a real author LOL.
I first got published when I was in my 20's, by selling a children's story to The Friend magazine. Then I sold another and another. One showed up in print, the other two never did. But they still paid me. Awesome. Getting paid to write-- what a rush.
But my writing goals got interrupted and postponed countless times through the years. My husband and I had a large family, and I was really busy raising kids, those convenient little excuses for not writing. Here's a few of my excuses all grown up:
Me with six of my eight boys. (One was in Africa, another in Air Force Basic Training, I also have two beautiful daughters not pictured.) In all that's ten, yes ten, children--many good reasons for postponing my own writing dreams. Because this I believe: "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." (David O. McKay)
So if I was going to have these kids, I would have to give up stuff in order to raise them. Because really, I'm not a high energy person. Even in my 30's, I got tired easily. Knowing that about myself, it was essential to set limits and priorities, because I couldn't do it all or have it all.
But eventually my childhood dream was realized, and two books with my name on them are found in bookstores and libraries. It took much longer than I expected, but I did it. And I'm still at it. Although I'd like to be more prolific.
I wish I weren't such a slow writer. I procrastinate, waste time, goof off and stare a lot. But I won't quit. More dreams, more books. For someone whose dream began 50 years ago, it took way too long. I should have dozens of books lining the shelves instead of just two.
But that's not the point. I can't compare myself with others who have found greater success in their writing careers. I can't look back. I need to be glad for what I have done, not regretting how long it took. I raised an incredible family, and I sure don't regret that for one second.
Don't you think that as long as we keep at it, and never give up, we can achieve our dreams? Maybe not on our timetable. Maybe not to the extent that some of us might imagine in our fantasies. But if we just never give up, it will happen. That's how I see it. Rock on, my writer friends, and don't ever give up.
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf