Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dreaming: The first step

This weekend I am going to a writing conference. The thought both excites and terrifies me. I think that's the way most things are in life. At least, the things that are worth doing. Writing is something I never thought I would do. Something I never thought I would like. And here I am, and Saturday feels like a huge, gigantic, big step.

You see, I've been writing for almost two years now. I've had several small successes. Enough to energize me and keep me going. I've received enough positive feedback to make me feel like I'm not absolutely horrible. I've received enough rejection to let me know I'm not great and to encourage me to keep working and learning.

But this conference is scary.

Why is it so scary?

Because even though I've been writing almost daily for the last two years, and submitting and critiquing, and getting rejected, and revising, over and over and over again...I could always view it as a hobby. Something I just did for fun. A nice outlet, I would call it. A fun adventure, something new. That way I could blow it off.

Rejected? Not a big deal. I don't take this writing thing too seriously. It's like crocheting or cooking a new recipe. Just something new to try.

But I just spent two hundred dollars. I've submitted for critique a novel I've been working on for the last 18 months. Suddenly this is not just a hobby.

It's a dream.

I admitted to myself that I had this dream a while ago. But going to this conference is like admitting it to the world. Sometimes, when I admit it to other people, I still feel a little silly.

And yet, admitting it makes it real. Talking about it is like lifting a burden.

Yes, I'm a dreamer. I work hard at a goal that might never be realized. I take that risk every day. The risk that I will put in countless hours for what may seem like "nothing" to the world.

But even if that impossible dream never comes true. At least I have it. I don't need to be ashamed of it. And even if I don't "make it," I've learned so much, not just about writing, but about learning, and setting goals, and networking, and just plain, flat trying something new.

The truth of it is, allowing myself to have a dream, admitting it to the world, is the first step in getting there.

Hi, my name's Amanda, and I have what oftentimes feels like an impossible dream.

And it's exhilirating.

And suffocating.

It's freeing.

And it's hard work.

Now it's your turn. Do you have a dream?


  1. My dream is the same as yours! I'm writing a novel. I've already finished one but I don't know what to do with it :) I've never submitted any of my work to anyone so I don't know how it will be received and that's always worrisome. What types of things have you submitted and where? I'd love more input. I don't know what the next step is for me, but I'm excited for you and your writing conference! Good luck and have fun!!

  2. I remember that! And I remember telling you I could never do that. Ha! I've subbed all sorts of things in tons of genres. I'd love to talk with you. Heck, I'm always up for swapping critiques (number 1 way to get better). You should e-mail me! hillamanda32 [at] yahoo [dot] com